"Steady as she goes" was expected... having kept the "considerable time" dream alive last month, the FOMC ended QE3 on schedule but remained 'data-dependent' on reviving it... (even as Kocherlakota dissented)
- *FED ENDS THIRD ROUND OF QUANTITATIVE EASING AS PLANNED
- *FED SEES `SOLID JOB GAINS' WITH LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT
- *FED REPEATS RATES TO STAY LOW FOR `CONSIDERABLE TIME'
And so now the "flow" has stopped; given that "bond buying" did not work, we are reminded of Alan Greenspan's warning that "I don’t think it’s possible" for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. Full redline below.
Just 7 short weeks ago, no lesser guru of gains than CNBC's Jim Cramer proclaimed for all retail-stock-investing moms-and-pops that "through the end of the year, I am pegging Twitter, GoPro, Tesla and Netflix as the four stocks that investors will find irresistible." Things are not going well...
Remember when the Fed (and their Liesman-esque lackies) tried to convince the world that it was all about the 'stock' - and not the 'flow' - of Federal Reserve Assets that kept the world afloat on easy monetary policy (despite even Bullard admitting that was not the case after Goldman exposed the ugly truth). Having first explained to the world that it's all about the flow over 2 years ago, it appears that, as every equity asset manager knows deep down (but is loathed to admit for fear of losing AUM), of course "tapering is tightening" - as the following chart shows, equity markets are waking up abruptly to that reality. So no wonder Bullard is now calling for moar QE - he knows it's all there is to fill the gap between economic reality and market fiction.
As market prognosticators search for something to pin the recent weakness on (Ebola panic, macro data weakness, global growth scare, M&A boom over, fund liquidations, oil crash.. and so on), there is one much larger driver of hysteria that is missing from this list... The Moon and the madness of crowds.
The last time the stock market reached a fevered peak and began to wobble unexpectedly was August 2007. Markets were most definitely not in the classic “price discovery” business. Instead, the stock market had discovered the “goldilocks economy." But what is profoundly different this time is that the Fed is out of dry powder. Its can’t slash the discount rate as Bernanke did in August 2007 or continuously reduce it federal funds target on a trip from 6% all the way down to zero. Nor can it resort to massive balance sheet expansion. That card has been played and a replay would only spook the market even more. So this time is different. The gamblers are scampering around the casino fixing to buy the dip as soon as white smoke wafts from the Eccles Building. But none is coming. For the first time in 25- years, the Wall Street gamblers are home alone.
Following yesterday's diuscussion of the fact in the Land of The Free, Property Rights rank 36th in the world, we thought it fascinating that, as Rasmussen finds, 70% Oppose Police Seizure of Property Without A Criminal Conviction - Americans strongly believe someone needs to be convicted of a crime before their property can be seized, even though that’s contrary to current federal law and police practice. Which means a rather stunning 30% of Americans believe it is fine...
It’s not supposed to be like this. We’ve all been told earnings are great, corporate profits are great, analysts estimates have been rising. As a matter of fact, if one dared to question any of these metrics we were referred to as “idiots.” (And that is an actual quote.) Today as we enter this earnings cycle we have a new phrase that I’m sure will enter the lexicon of the lay person in reference to stocks, but will send shivers down actual Wall Street’ers as they have to defend, argue, or give a smoke and mirrors story that will have a chance of being believed. That phrase will be “a trap door event.”
While CNBC's Bob Pisani prevaricates on low "high" volume rally days and "the important things," ahead of Q3 earnings and a horde of hungry commission-takers explain to a gullible public how fundamentals are strong (ignoring entirely the massive manipulation buybacks and financial engineering) and earnings will confirm the equity market's wisdom any day now; we thought it worth a glance at the dismal evolution of earnings expectations for Q3. Since the start of July, S&P 500 Q3 earnings expectations have collapsed from 11.0% to just 6.4% with 9 of the 10 sectors lower and Consumer Discretionary now expected to see negative growth. But... that's probably not the important thing, right?
With just $10 billion of freshly-printed money left (plus reinvested maturing debt) the Fed is rapidly running out of put-providing, VIX-selling, low-volume-levitating ammunition to keep the wealth-creation dream alive. Nowhere is that more evident in the collapse in equity market breadth. NYSE New Lows have surged to 14-month highs and the spread to New Highs is weakest since August 2013. Of course, back then, equity bulls could rely on a guaranteed 'flow' from the Fed to BTFD, this time that backstop does not exist.
High-yield credit canaries are singing again... Blackrock will be in full panic mode...
If tapering isn't tightening.. and it's about the stock not the flow... then equity bulls have nothing to worry about. However, this chart suggests both of those flawed assumptions are entirely incorrect...
If a picture paints a thousand words, these three charts should write an entire book about the "market's" earnings...
I was originally going to title this post "Jackie DeAngelis Must Die", but I thought she might take it the wrong way.
For the first time since July 2011's plunge, and with almost half its components already in bear market, the Russell 2000 looks set to experience a 'death cross' in the next few days (50-day moving average crossing below the 200-day). But don't look at that - the S&P 500 and Dow hit new record highs (despite market internals slumping) today ahead of the BABA IPO to keep the dream alive just a little longer ahead of tomorrow's quad-witching malarkey. Today's action was dominated by dismal housing data (demolishing yesterday's exuberance in homebuilders), Poroshenko's "Ukraine invasion" headlines, and hopes ahead of BABA and Scottish votes. USD down on the day, commodities down, bonds unch, stocks... UP.