European shares rose as Fiat rebounded on hopes concerns about parallel to Volkswagen are overblown, Asian stocks were little as Chinese shares fell to the lowest level of 2017 after poor export data, and U.S. equity-index futures rose ahead of a deluge of bank earnings. The dollar is headed for a weekly loss and gold trades at the highest price in almost two months.
BlackRock’s quant hedge-fund strategies were on track for losses in 2016, according to a monthly client update sent out in late December, and according to Bloomberg, of the five included, four were set for their worst returns on record.
The core thread of next year's relatively downbeat "surprises" from Seabreeze Partners' Doug Kass is that the crowd is wearing Trump-colored glasses and that the single-biggest surprise is how quickly the bloom comes off the Trump flower.
Since Trump’s election, the US stock market has climbed unstoppably along a remarkably steep path to round off at a teetering height. Is this the irrational exuberance that typically marks the last push before a perilous plunge?
"Markets don’t have a purpose any more - they just reflect whatever central planners want them to. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable..."
Former Blackrock star portfolio manager Mark Lyttleton, 45, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to an "elaborate web of insider trading, using offshore companies, unregistered mobile phones and cash payments."
We started this year with the economy deteriorating and finished it with the second interest rate increase in ten years. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but ultimately 2016 was defined by three key story-lines: 1) Brexit 2) The Presidential Election 3) Fed Policy. The first two events were votes that shocked the world. The stock market’s reaction to each was arguably even more shocking.
Blackrock's chief multi-asset strategist summed up tomorrow's anxiously awaited ECB meeting best by noting that "what’s priced into markets is a fully fledged extension of the [bond-buying] program," but warns that, thanks to a muted reaction to the Italy vote and recent encouraging data, "there’s a significant chance the ECB disappoints markets." As bond traders bet on a six-month QE extension, Citi warns, anything less will be seen as hawkish and send EUR surging.
Donald Trump today announced that he is establishing the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. The Forum will be called upon to meet with the President "frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the President implements his plan to bring back jobs and Make America Great Again. The Forum will be chaired by Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone." Its members also include Jamie Dimon and Larry Fink.
In recent weeks, China’s central bank has effectively tightened monetary conditions based on the shifting composition of its repo operations. As a result, the local bond market is getting increasingly nervous as selling - first of bonds, and then of equities - is expected to accelerate in response to what appears to be China's (not to) stealth tightening of financial conditions.
"The paradigm has shifted in terms of inflation. Long-end interest rates are dangerous. Make sure you are being really careful about the long-end exposure as we saw this week." - Rick Rieder, CIO for global fixed income at BlackRock.
Two weeks ago we warned of the "unintended consequences" of Dodd-Frank which are likely to crush bond market liquidity. On the day of Brexit we got a glimpse of what can happen when the world's most liquid bond market suddenly isn't and as one veteran bond trader exclaimed today, US Treasury market liquidity is "worse than Brexit."
Global bond yields and the dollar both weakened after the Bank of Japan offered to buy an unlimited amount of debt at fixed yields, stabilizing the global bond rout, while investors awaited testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that will help shape the outlook for interest rates ahead of a December rate hike that is now seen as near certain.