All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent. It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.
We always keep a weather eye on the state of retail investing in the U.S. There is, of course, the old saw that this batch of buyers doesn’t get involved until the top; therefore, it makes sense to see if they are getting too “Bulled up”. Then there is the fact that retail “Cult” stocks can hold premium valuations far longer than those without such sponsorship.
Apple is expected to be the largest contributor to earnings growth for the Information Technology sector for Q2 2015. The blended earnings growth rate (combines actual results for companies that have reported and estimated results for companies yet to report) for the Information Technology sector is 0.2%. Exclude Apple, and the sector would report a year-over-year decline in earnings of 6.0%.
- Stocks sour as Apple results leave bitter aftertaste (Reuters)
- Awkward Alliance Running Germany Exposed by Greek Crisis (BBG)
- Apple Faces Old Question of What’s Next After Record Profit (BBG)
- Lawmakers, White House Explore Tax Revamp for U.S. Firms Overseas (WSJ)
- Digital Misfits Link JPMorgan Hack to Pump-and-Dump Fraud (BBG)
- More Debt Traders at Risk as European Banks Report Results (BBG)
- Iran rejects sanctions extension beyond 10 years (Reuters)
While this week has been, and continues to be, devoid of macro updates, yesterday's flurry of mostly disappointing earnings releases both before and after the open, including some of the biggest DJIA companies as well as the current and previously biggest and most important companies in the world, AAPL and MSFT, both of which came crashing down following earnings and forecasts that were well short of market expectations, came as a jolt to a market that was artificially priced by central bank liquidity and HFT momo algos beyond perfection. Add to that yesterday's downward revision to historical industrial production which confirmed the US economy is a step away from recession, as well as last night's Crude API inventory build which is once again pressuring WTI lower and on the verge of a 49 handle, and perhaps the biggest question is why are futures not much lower.
Apple Plunges Despite EPS Beat On iPhone Sales Miss, Drop In China Sales, Weak Guidance And Strong Dollar WarningSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/21/2015 16:48 -0400
The company which was carrying the fate of not only the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 on its shoulders had taken the stairs up, and just took the elevator down.
You don’t hear it much, but the S&P 500 has been a bit of a “One trick pony” in 2015. No, it isn’t the 4% weighting in Apple that makes it such; it is the combination of a 15% weighting in Health Care AND that sector’s 12.9% return year to date. When you compare the S&P 500’s price return year to date of 3.37%, you can see that the Health Care sector’s contribution is essentially just over half the market’s price return for 2015 (12.9 times 15% is 1.90 of that 3.37). Layer on the fact that 5 of the 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 are still down on the year: Materials (-2.7%), Industrials (-2.9%), Telecomm (-0.7%), Utilities (-8.6%) and Energy (-9.7%).
This charmed circle includes Google, Amazon, Baidu, Facebook, Saleforce.com, Netflix, Pandora, Tesla, LinkedIn, ServiceNow, Splunk, Workday, Ylep, Priceline, QLIK Technologies and Yandex. Taken altogether, their market cap clocked in at $1.3 trillion on Friday. That compares to just $21 billion of LTM net income for the entire index combined. The talking heads, of course, would urge not to be troubled. After all, what’s a 61X trailing PE among today’s leading tech growth companies?
If pouring billions of dollars into outrageous "look at me" buildings isn't tempting the gods, what is it?
If yesterday's market action was boring, today has been a virtual carbon copy which started with the usual early Chinese selloff levitating into a mildly positive close, with the SHCOMP closing just above the psychological 4,000 level: the next big hurdle will be 4058, the 38.2% Fib correction of the recent fall. In the US equity futures are currently unchanged ahead of a day in which there is no macro economic data but lots of corporate earnings led by Microsoft, Verizon, UTX and of course Apple. Most importantly, some modest USD weakness overnight (DXY -0.1%) has helped the commodity complex, with gold rebounding from overnight lows, while crude has at least stopped the recent carnage which sent WTI below $50.
"Giddy up! The Four Horsemen of Tech", July 17, 2015 - "Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook -- helped push the Nasdaq to an all-time high Friday morning."
"Cramer's Four Horsemen Of Tech" - September 25, 2007 "Apple, Research in Motion, Google and Amazon.com are up 31% as a group since he recommended them back on June 6. Despite the market being down today, each of these four stocks hit new highs."
"The Four Horsemen Of The New Economy" - October 2, 2000 "More than any other collection of companies, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, EMC, and Cisco Systems represent the building blocks of Net business."
We love reading quotes from Hussman in 2000 and 2007. The air is getting pretty thin up here. A stock market driven by Google, Apple, Netflix and a few other tech darlings with no earnings does not make a market. Time is running out for the bulls. The same morons on CNBC ridiculed and scorned his facts then and they scorn and ridicule him now. Do we trust Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman or John Hussman? Guess.
Today's action is so far an exact replica of Friday's zero-volume ES overnight levitation higher (even if Europe's derivatives market, the EUREX exchange, did break at the open for good measure leading to a delayed market open just to make sure nobody sells) with the "catalyst" today being the official Greek repayment to both the ECB and the IMF which will use up €6.8 billion of the €7.2 billion bridge loan the EU just handed over Athens so it can immediately repay its creditors. In other words, Greek creditors including the ECB, just repaid themselves once again. One thing which is not "one-time" or "non-recurring" is the total collapse in commodities, which after last night's precious metals flash crash has sent the Bloomberg commodity complex to a 13 year low.
It’s not too interesting to say that Donald Trump is a nationalist and aspiring despot who is manipulating bourgeois resentment, nativism, and ignorance to feed his power lust. It’s uninteresting because it is obviously true. It’s so true that stating it sounds more like an observation than a criticism. However, 'Trumpism' is an ideology that is very much present in American life, though hardly acknowledged. It lives mostly hidden in dark corners, and we don’t even have a name for it. You bump into it at neighborhood barbecues, at Thanksgiving dinner when Uncle Harry has the floor, at the hardware store when two old friends in line to checkout mutter about the state of the country. The ideology is a 21st century version of right fascism - one of the most politically successful ideological strains of 20th century politics. Though hardly anyone talks about it today, we really should.