Apple

Continued Weak Consumer Spending "Puzzles" BofA

"We are left puzzled by the weak April consumer spending data - we expected the consumer to be a tailwind for growth in this year, offsetting the drag from weaker investment and manufacturing... If consumer spending does not accelerate, we will have to question our forecast for GDP growth to accelerate back above 3.0% in the second half of the year."

Canaries In The Coal Mine, Part 1: Tech High-Flyers Fall To Earth

Bull markets don’t end all at once. Generally a few egregiously-overvalued sectors blow up first and are dismissed by most observers as aberrations. Instead, they turn out to be a sign of things to come. In the previous decade’s bubble it was subprime housing that led the way, while being initially characterized by experts as too small to matter. Click here for Ben Bernanke’s ongoing attempts to convince the world to relax and ignore housing’s problems. This time around we of course won’t know until after the fact which sector is the canary in the coal mine. But these epic fails in the bubbly social media/online marketplace region of tech certainly look like viable candidates.

Armed Robbery In Midtown Manhattan Jewelry Store, Shots Fired

New York's thieves are getting bolder. After years without any violent crime in that mecca of hedge funds, midtown east, moments ago the NYC Scanner reported that there was an armed robbery in a jewelry store at 510 Madison where shots were fired (seemingly unaware that NYC is a gun free zone) and while 1 suspect was in custody two are still outstanding.

Chinese Saturation Reached: World's Largest Smartphone Market Suffers First Drop In 6 Years

Less than two years ago, the number of smartphone shipments in China soared by roughly 100% year over year, rising over 80 million for the first time. Fast forward to Q1 of 2015 when according to IDC, the Chinese smartphone market - the largest in the world since 2011 when it overtook the US - has not only reached maturity but is now also fully saturated and as a result smartphone shipments suffered their first Y/Y decline, dropping 4.3% on an annual basis. As IDC notes, "this is the first time in six years that the China smartphone market declined YoY as the market continues to mature." Worse, on a quarter over quarter basis, the market contracted 8% on the back of a large inventory buildup at the end of last year.

Frontrunning: May 11

  • Full picture of Clinton charities' foreign government funding remains elusive (Reuters)
  • Greece Readies for Another Week of Deadlines (BBG)
  • Greece says deal will be 'difficult' at Eurogroup meeting (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia’s Rulers Snub Arab Summit, Clouding U.S. Bid for Iran Deal (WSJ)
  • Saudi Aramco Said to Plan Spending $80 Billion Overseas (BBG)
  • The $900 Billion Influx That’s Wreaking Havoc in U.S. Bills (BBG)
  • Cameron rules out another Scottish independence vote (Reuters)
  • Banks Prep Defense for Anti-Wall Street Campaigns (WSJ)

Free Trade Is Plutocratic Propaganda

In 2003, Kevin Flanagan was an information technology employee at Bank of America. They told him he was being replaced with foreign labor, and he was ordered to train his replacement. After he completed his assignment, he was laid off. Then he went to the parking lot and shot himselfThat's "free trade."

EPS 'Beats' Lose All Meaning As Downward Revisions, Buybacks Mask Weakness

The good news: companies are beating earnings estimates by the widest margin in four years. The bad news: this has very little to do with strong corporate earnings and quite a lot to do with buybacks and analysts cutting estimates. In fact, bottom-up EPS estimates fell by 8.2% in Q1, nearly double the 1-, 5-, and 10-year averages and the largest decline since 2009. Meanwhile, repurchase authorizations hit a record in April and are now set to climb to an all-time high in 2015, providing a wonderful frontrunning opportunity for everyone from retail investors to the SNB.

Frontrunning: May 8

  • Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage resign as Tories sweep to victory (Telegraph)
  • Bonds and stocks rebound, sterling soars after UK election (Reuters)
  • Cameron Set to Return With U.K. Majority as SNP Sweeps Scotland (BBG)
  • Tory win brings marked EU exit risk (Reuters)
  • Why did Labour lose this election? It never tried to win it (Telegraph)
  • Stock Buybacks Hit New Records (WSJ)
  • Hard Money Comes Easy as Wall Street Funds Home Flippers (BBG)
  • Justice Department to Investigate Baltimore Police (WSJ)
  • Saudi Arabia mulling land operations on Yemen border (Reuters)

Guess Who Owns $1.1 Billion In Apple Stock

Last week we revealed that the Swiss National Bank is the proud owner of an equity portofilio that sums to $100 billion, or around 15% of Switzerland's GDP. Courtesy of the bank's latest SEC filing, we now know just what the Swiss were buying in Q1...

Global Bond Rout Sends Futures Tumbling, Bund Has Sharpest Weekly Selloff In History

BOND SELLOFF DEEPENS; GERMAN 10-YR YIELD JUMPS 17 BPS TO 0.76%
SPANISH 10-YEAR BOND YIELD CLIMBS TO 2%; HIGHEST SINCE NOV. 24
ITALIAN 10-YEAR BOND YIELD CLIMBS ABOVE 2%; 1ST TIME THIS YEAR
10Y TREASURY YIELD CLIMBS 6BPS TO 2.31%, HIGHEST SINCE DEC. 8
U.K. 10-YR BOND YIELD CLIMBS 8 BPS TO 2.06%; MOST SINCE NOV. 24
JAPAN 10Y YIELD UP 7.5 BPS, SET FOR BIGGEST RISE SINCE MAY 2013

Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama's New Global Economic Treaty

"If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door. If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving. And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read."