Economic principles explain why the Saudis began, in late 2014, to pump crude as fast as they could – or close to as fast as possible. In fact, there is a good reason why the Saudi princes are panicked and pumping.
"China must find a middle ground and determine which things can be imported but have to be secure and controllable; which things may be imported, digested and absorbed for re-innovation; which things can be developed in collaboration with others; and for which things we must rely on our own strength and indigenous innovation." - Xi Jinping
It has been more of the same overnight, as global stocks piggybacked on the strong US close and rose despite the lack of good (or bad) macro news, propelled higher by the two usual suspects: a higher USDJPY and a even higher oil, if mostly early on in the trading session.
After snapping up trillions of dollars of their own stock in a five-year shopping binge that dwarfed every other buyer, U.S. companies from Apple Inc. to IBM Corp. just put on the brakes. Announced repurchases dropped 38 percent to $244 billion in the last four months, the biggest decline since 2009, data compiled by Birinyi Associates and Bloomberg show. “If the only meaningful source of demand in the market is companies buying their own shares back, then what happens if that goes away?” asked Brad McMillan, CIO of Commonwealth “We should be concerned.”
“But there is of course a much bigger reason why Apple and Didi were so keen to join forces: The deal is an incredible “f### y##” to Uber, a company that neither Apple nor Didi want to get much more dominant in the US... The clues that this was not just an investment but a Statement were easy to spot: A billion dollars isn’t a random number — it’s a headline-grabbing way to telegraph This Is A Big Deal.” So here we have what could be the poster-child for all unicorn valuation metrics (i.e., Uber) having their valuation story for future investment and/or IPO dreams gutted in one fell swoop by Apple.
After three consecutive weeks of seemingly relentless bad news for Apple, moments ago the stock jumped by $2 dollars, rising from $90.5 to over $92.50. There was some confusion as to why the jump and then it was revealed that none other than that "other" billionaire, Warren Buffett, has decided to start building a stake in the world's biggest cell phone company to the tune of 9.8 million shares or about $1.07 billion as of March 31.
"Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed." If Congress wasn’t so busy being corrupt shills for the powerful it might do something to stop this. We're not holding our breath. Time and time again throughout U.S. history, you see the FBI working to undermine the public’s freedom in order to protect whatever racket their status quo masters happen to be running at the time.
As Icahn was selling, or just before as we don't know precisely when Icahn, who has since indicated he has turned massively bearish on the overall market, one entity was buying every AAPL share it could find. In fact, according to its latest 13F, everyone's favorite central bank that openly admits it is also a wholesale buyer of stocks (with a portfolio of some $100 billion), the Swiss National Bank reveals that in Q1 it bought another 4.1 million in AAPL shares, bringing its total to a record 14.5 milion shares.
This globalization of price - for goods, services, credit and currencies - continually creates imbalances that fuel a perpetual instability that gradually impoverishes every sector other than global capital, which being mobile, can exploit the imbalances for its own profit. Who benefits over the longer term from the permanent instability and boom-and-bust cycles of this arrangement? Only those close to the credit spigots of central banks.
Global stocks have started Friday the 13th on the wrong foot, with not only Hong Kong GDP unexpectedly tumbling by 0.4%, the worst print in years while retail sales fell for a thirteenth straight month in March, the longest stretch since 1999 as the Chinese hard landing spreads to the wealthy enclave, but also following a predicted collapse in Chinese new loan creation, which will reverberate not only in China but around the globe in the coming weeks. The latest overnight drop in the Yuan hinted that should the recent USD strength continue, China will have no choice but to repeat its devaluation from last summer and winter.