Bingo Bongo, Good News hailing, Sleepily digesting in the South to end Stuck… What an uninspiring week… Felt slow as a Sunday Afternoon– for 5 days in a row… The only thing that wasn’t lazy and laid back was the EUR.
Isn't it amazing that you can get more notoriety for showing your ass and a pretty smile than you can get for outing the scam of the decade through intellectual analysis? More money was lost through the Facebook scam IPO at $38 than Bernie Madoff could ever have pulled off.
Remember when less than brisk sales of the iPhone 5 after it was first unveiled (to the usual fawning media Borg collective ooh-ing and aah-ing) were blamed on "supply issues" even as "reputable" Wall Street analysts conducted channel checks which foretold of epic holiday sales and massive pent up demand. As it turns out the only commodity in short supply was, well, demand, particularly that coming from consumers, very much as we predicted during the last earnings report (which was merely the latest consecutive earnings miss in a row). And, as Reuters reports with its Friday night bombshell report, Apple has finally thrown in the towel on pretending there is a supply shortage and admitted there is simply not enough demand at the given price point, by proceeding to sell the margin flagship iPhone 5 at a third off the original price, at the bargain basement commodity expert Wal-Mart of all places. And not only the iPhone, but the Ipad too (we have no idea which generation is the latest one: the iPad 3, the New iPad, the iPad 4s, the iPad Mini, the MAXiPad, etc...) And just like that, the "niche premium" magic of the once uber-cool gizmo is gone, not to mention AAPL's profit margins, very much as the stock price has been sensing over the past two months, during which time it lobbed off some $150 billion in market cap. And with the reflexivity of fad-ness, as long as the price of the stock is soaring for whatever reason, interest and demand in the product remains at virtually any cost. Sadly for AAPL bulls, the opposite is also true, as is being witnessed right about now.
Unless you bought Apple stock before Valentine's Day this year, you are now underwater. In what must be the best evidence of how quickly a liquidity-fueled over-owned bucket of over-optimistic extrapolation can see sentiment swing violently against it, AAPL just plunged back (on heavy volume) through its previous "generational low" from 11/16/12. At under $505.75 ($505.58), AAPL is at its lowest level since mid-February and is almost 30% off its highs on 9/21/12 as it appears the much poo-poo'd Death Cross may just have been on to something. WWJTD? and do not forget to ask WWDKD?
Utterly boring Friday session, worsened by year end inactivity… PMI figures, which were actually needed on the more positive side to justify the latest levels in Risk were just so so in Europe. But, who cares? Periphery recovering further with Spain actually the best performer on the week (outside the bailed-out gang). US stuck despite better figures.
"Stuck in the Middle with You" (Bunds 1,35% unch; Spain 5,37% -1; Stoxx 2628 +0,2%; EUR 1,314 +60)
It is often said that a picture paints a thousand words; in the case of this image, we fear that a photo might just kill a thousand Apple Bulls' hopes. Unlike the euphoric (and perhaps 'paid') crowds that emerge to wait night-after-night under the stars in the hopes of being one of the first to get their hands on next-generation iMaterial, it appears the Chinese are just not that bothered when it comes to iPhone5. The photo below, via WSJ's China Real-Time Report, shows the line (all two people) waiting outside of the Beijing Apple Store on the day of the launch of iPhone5 in China. Before you ask; no, one of them is not Gene Munster doing channel-checks. As the article notes, this is arguably "the least eventful launch of an Apple device in the company’s four-year history in the Chinese capital." They go on to note, "at 8 am on Friday, when the store opened to hurrahs from employees, only two consumers stood inside a cordon set up by Apple, though they were joined by a desultory snow man someone had made on a bench near the entrance," and we understand the snowman was under-impressed with the iPhone5. Perhaps this sole image is the best reflection of a 'fad' product and why the 'fad' stock price just pierced generational lows (at $517.48 in pre-market). WWJTD?
- Obama, Boehner hold "frank" meeting amid "fiscal cliff" frustration (Reuters)
- Rice Ends Bid Amid Criticism (WSJ)
- EU summit delays crucial decisions (FT)
- EU moves to cap bank bonuses at 2 times annual salary (CBC)
- Europe Wins a Battle, but Not Yet the War (WSJ)
- Banks Spurn Europe Bond Rush Amid Central Bank Loan Largesse (BBG)
- German-French Sparring Over Euro Caps 2012 Crisis Fight (BBG)
- Fed begins stress tests on bank liquidity (FT)
- Draghi’s rallying cry for new EU powers (FT)
- EU Seeks Plan to Handle Failing Banks Amid Cost Concerns (BBG)
- Berlusconi says Monti has strong EU backing (FT)
- Abe Set for Japan Victory Faces 7-Month Window to Keep Hold (BBG)
- Japan's Abe would try to keep China ties calm-lawmakers (Reuters)
- Bernanke Wields New Tools to Reduce Unemployment Rate (BBG)
- Home Seizures Rise as Banks Adjust to Foreclosure Flow (BBG)
- EU Backs Release Of Greek Aid (WSJ)
- Democrats Confident They Have 'Cliff' Leverage (WSJ)
- Americans Back Obama Tax-Rate Increase Tied to Entitlement Cuts (BBG)
- Goldman flexes tentacles: Treasury open to Carney radicalism (FT)
- Launch Fuels Asia Security Concerns (WSJ)
- BOJ’s Unlimited Loan Program Seen Open to Use by Hedge Funds (BBG) - there are Japanese hedge funds?
- Abe Set to Face Manufacturing Gloom as Japan Contracts (BBG)
- US and UN condemn N Korea rocket launch (Guardian)
- Eurozone agrees common bank supervisor (FT)
- Berlusconi Adds to Italy Turmoil by Signaling He’d Step Aside (BBG)
A funny thing happened today. For the first time, the equity and bond market closed red (and VIX green) on a Federal Reserve QE-announcement day. Gold outperformed stocks and Treasuries underperformed everything... From the FOMC announcement, Gold and Silver closed green but stocks, bonds, oil, financials, and apple all lost ground (as did the USD very modestly)...
The much-heralded $1.05 billion patent lawsuit win on August 24th appears to have marked "Peak AAPL-ness" as investors look through the first-round win for Apple to Samsung's potential second- and third-round wins on margins and revenues as a supplier to their rival. As Bloomberg's Chart of the Day notes, since that analyst-exuberance-inspiring date, Samsung is +16.8% (or 23% in USD terms) and Apple is -18.4%.
- Here come the low margin products: Apple Tests Designs for TV (WSJ)
- Obama and Republicans Trade Offers to Avert Fiscal Crisis (BBG)
- Carney broaches dumping inflation target (FT)
- Bernanke Critics Can’t Fight Bonds Showing No Inflation (BBG)
- Corporate Taxes on Table in Cliff Talks (WSJ)
- US business chiefs back tax rise (FT)
- Greece Confident Bond Buyback Needed for Aid Succeeded (BBG)
- New Faith in Europe's Banks (WSJ)
- European Bank Sees Little Room for Rate Cuts (WSJ)
- North Korea Claims Success in Rocket Launch (WSJ)
“Sometimes there’s a bad apple, yet we denigrate the whole.”--Treasury Secretary Jamie Dimon December 2011
Markets recovering quite nicely from the Italian shock. Add some better outlook figures and we’re all friends again. The Spanish bill auction was less punishing than could have been feared. US opening stronger. Everything else is all good again. Greek bonds stellar.
"(Ain't That) Good News" (Bunds 1,32% +2; Spain 5,45% -9; Stoxx 2623 +1,0%; EUR 1,299 +60)
So, do we BTFD or do we realize that the dip hasn't even arrived yet? What a dilemma? Let's turn to the facts & the fundamentals for the answer... I know, blashpemy!!!
Surprisingly stable Risk. BTPs shot down in style. Italy? Down. Chinese data? Partially weak. Japan? In recession. French data? Weak. German data? Strong. Wow! Better have Friday’s PMI numbers really good. Analysts having to reinvent themselves once more as political experts to glare into a smoky crystal ball… Italian contagion contained, for now. Uh…Uh…!
"Uh...Uh - Bingo Bongo " (Bunds 1,30% unch; Spain 5,54% +9; Stoxx 2598 +0,0%; EUR 1,293 -20)