Any money manager, whether he is managing separate accounts or a mutual fund, will go through stretches where he looks smarter or dumber than he really is, though his IQ hasn’t actually changed.
The unforeseen consequences of the advent of electric cars will reverberate much farther than the demise of dealerships and significant shifts in market share in the auto industry.
News That Matters
The downturn in China is “our” downturn. All the recent happy talk, due to unsuitable extrapolation and nothing more, has melted away yet again. In short, the same trend dating back almost four years now is quite expectedly unaltered by whatever any central bank does or does not do. “Stimulus” is just noise against all that, at best; at worst it actively contributes to the instability of the decline.
Thanks, Uncle Warren. The Kraft-Heinz merger engineered earlier this year by everyone’s favorite folksy octogenarian billionaire along with 3G will cost some 2,500 people their jobs, as the combined entity looks to cut costs.
- China Rattles Markets With Yuan Devaluation (BBG)
- China Move Sparks Wave of Yuan Selling (WSJ)
- China's devaluation raises currency war fear as Greece strikes deal (Reuters)
- Protests return to Ferguson streets, state of emergency declared (Reuters)
- Heavily armed 'Oath Keepers' inject new unease to riot-hit Ferguson (Reuters)
- Greece Secures Bailout Deal After All-Night Talks in Athens (BBG)
- U.S. Identifies Insider Trading Ring With Ukraine Hackers (BBG)
If yesterday it was the turn of the upside stop hunting algos to crush anyone who was even modestly bearishly positioned in what ended up being the biggest short squeeze of 2015, then today it is the downside trailing stops that are about to be taken out in what remains the most vicious rangebound market in years, in the aftermath of the Chinese currency devaluation which weakened the CNY reference rate against the USD by the most on record, in what some have said was an attempt by China to spark its flailing SDR inclusion chances, but what was really a long overdue reaction by an exporter country having pegged to the strongest currency in the world in the past year.
- Grim China data keeps stimulus hopes alive (Reuters)
- Berkshire Hathaway to Buy Precision Castparts for About $37 Billion (BBG)
- Greece, lenders in final push to seal new bailout (Reuters)
- Quantitative Easing With Chinese Characteristics Takes Shape (BBG)
- Greece nears €86bn accord with creditors (FT)
- Oil Futures Signal Weak Prices Could Last Years (WSJ)
- Drop in long-term investment hinders eurozone recovery (FT)
- Two shot in Ferguson amid standoff between police, protesters (Reuters)
It looks like it is time for Warren to get on the Obamaphone and make it clear this is unacceptable... Berkshire Hathaway announced a $2,367 (Adjusted) EPS, missing estimates of $3,038 by 22.09% - the biggest disappointment since Nov 2008...
Here comes today's main event, the July non-farm payrolls - once again the "most important ever" as the number will cement whether the Fed hikes this year or punts once again to the next year, and which consensus expects to print +225K although the whisper range is very wide: based on this week's ADP report, NFP may easily slide under 200K, while if using the non-mfg PMI as an indicator, a 300K+ print is in the cards. At the end of the day, it will be all in the hands of the BLS' Arima X 12 seasonal adjusters, and whatever goalseeked print the labor department has been strongly urged is the right one.
In a repeat of Thursday's action, Chinese stocks which had opened about 1% lower, remained underwater for most of the session before attempting a feeble bounce which took the Shanghai Composite fractionally into the green, before the now traditional last hour action which this time failed to maintain the upward momentum and the last day of the month saw a surge in volume which dragged the market to its lows before closing roughly where it opened, -1.13% lower. This caps the worst month for Chinese stocks since since August 2009, as the government struggles to rekindle investor interest amid a $3.5 trillion rout, one which has sent the Shanghai market lower by 15% - the biggest loss among 93 global benchmark gauges tracked by Bloomberg.
Last week was a complete dead zone for US macro, however with the peak of Q2 earnings season there was more than enough commotion for everyone. This week US macro starts to pick up again, with Durable Goods on Monday, followed by Case Shiller, Q2 GDP, the Chicago PMI, various consumer confidence indices, and of course, the July FOMC meeting on Wednesday.
It all started in China, where as we noted previously, the Shanghai Composite plunged by 8.5% in closing hour, suffering its biggest one day drop since February 2007 and the second biggest in history. The Hang Seng, while spared the worst of the drubbing, was also down 3.1%. There were numerous theories about the risk off catalyst, including fears the PPT was gradually being withdrawn, a decline in industrial profits, as well as an influx in IPOs which drained liquidity from the market. At the same time, Nikkei 225 (-0.95%) and ASX 200 (-0.16%) traded in negative territory underpinned by softness in commodity prices.
Would you rather have one “Share” of the S&P 500 at $2,124, or 41 barrels of crude oil, or 1.86 ounces of gold? Yes, they are all worth the same amount at the moment, but the price relationship between the three has shifted over the decades.
When Warren Buffet put $5 billion in Berkshire Hathaway funds into Goldman Sachs the week after Lehman failed, amidst total turmoil and panic, it appeared from the outside a high risk bet. Buffet had long tried to portray himself as a folksy engine of traditional stability, investing only in things he could understand, so jumping into a wholesale run of chained liabilities may have seemed more than slightly out of character. We have no particular issue with Buffet making those investments, only the pretense of intentional mysticism that surrounds them. The reason the criticism of crony-capitalism sticks is because this was not Buffet's first intervention to "save" a famed institution on Wall Street. If Buffet's convention is to stick with "things you know" then he has been right there through the whole of the full-scale wholesale/eurodollar revolution.