Puerto Rico is racing the clock ahead of a July 1 deadline to pass a fiscal budget for 2016 and scrape together $360 million due to creditors. Without a budget, the commonwealth will face a partial government shutdown and may be unable to issue $2.9 billion in oil-tax bonds needed to pay The Government Development Bank.
Battered by Bill Gross and Jeff Gundlach, SocGen warns that the current correction in 10Y Bunds remains atypical from a technical perspective and bears the characteristics of a panic selling.
With NIRP having turned traditional risk-free assets into guaranteed losers, investors have poured more than $9 billion into junk bond ETFs YTD, and while common sense dictates that buying at the top of an epic HY bubble just ahead of a rate hike cycle and against a backdrop characterized by disappearing liquidity in the secondary market for corporate credit is a fool's errand, most investors feel they have little choice.
No one stays on top forever, and to be sure, when Bill Gross' long reign at the top of the fixed income universe finally came to a sudden and rather unceremonious end last October, the race to lay claim to the inevitable outflows from PIMCO's Total Return Fund was on. Now, a winner has emerged — and it's not Jeff Gundlach.
If yesterday's laughable lack of volume (helped by the closure of Japan and the UK) coupled with hopes that the end of the buyback blackout period was enough to send stocks surging if only to end with a whimper below all time highs despite what is now looking like three consecutive quarters of Y/Y EPS declines according to Factset, today's ramp will be more difficult for the NY Fed and Citadel to engineer, not least of all due to the headwind of the overnight "incident" by China's stock bubble which saw the Shanghai Composite tumble by 4%, the most since January.
In what was perhaps the most uneventful Ira Sohn book-talking conference in years, some of the biggest hedge fund names came, and as expected, talked their book. There were few surprises, perhaps with the exception of David Einhorn who may have pulled an Ackman and revealed his disdain for Pioneer Natural Resources, which sent the name and the fracking sector lower if only briefly. Indicative of the broader state of the "market" Einhorn was also the only person who pitched a short.
10Y German bond yields hit 42.5bps today (almost a 10x move off their 4.9bps lows on April 17th - before Bill Gross and Jeff Gundlach unleashed their bearish theses). While Draghi keeps buying, the move over the last week is 'almost' unprecedented in bond market history. We says 'almost' because we have seen this before - a sovereign issuer with an extremely low yielding bond suddenly see their bond market collapse... Japan 2003 (when Greenspan cut rates less than expected).
While many thought the selloff had peaked yesterday, and would henceforth be more orderly, they were proven wrong, when right out of the gates this morning, investors were very, so to say, bunderweight, on the German benchmark govvie and the yield promptly gapped up as high as 0.38% before retracing some of the sharp move higher.
As first Bill Gross and then Jeff Gundlach suggest shorting German bonds, so it appears the message has sunk in that at 4.9bps 10 days ago, 10Y Bund yields were the short of a lifetime. Since then they have soared, with a dramatic doubling today from 14bps to over 29bps - the highest yield in 7 weeks. As Commerzbank warns, "a cascade of small events is creating a large splash in a structurally ever-thinner market," which has led to a plunge "similar to US Treasury flash crash of Oct. 15."
The "new" Bond King joins his predecessor on the bond throne in calling German Bunds a compelling short opportunity. Just as we said last week, "when you short negative yielding bonds you have a positive carry," so why not leverage your bet 100X and get paid to wait on rising yields?
Today we get a two-for-one algo kneejerk special, first with the Q1 GDP release due out at 8:30 am which will confirm that for the second year in a row the US economy barely grew (or maybe contracted depending on the Obamacare contribution) in the first quarter, followed by the last pre-June FOMC statement, in which we will find out whether Janet Yellen and her entourage of central planning academics will blame the recent weakness on the weather and West Coast port strikes and proceed with their plan of hiking rates in June (or September, though unclear which year), just so they can push the economy into a full blown recession and launch QE4.
October 15th, 2014 wasn`t a market crash!
- Just How Leaky Is the Fed? More Than You May Realize (BBG)
- Republican Presidential Candidates Spar Over Party’s Future (WSJ)
- Euro Area Seeks Greece Roadmap to May Agreement (BBG)
- The $320 Billion Bogey Needed to Placate U.S. Stock Market Bulls (BBG)
- Seeking Obamacare alternative, Republicans eye tax credits (Reuters)
- Gundlach Says Market Hasn’t Seen Full Impact of Fed Moves (BBG)
- EU meets on migrant crisis as shipwreck corpses brought ashore (Reuters)
- Canada’s Own Oil Pipeline Problem (WSJ)
"A slow start to the week has become customary, as Monday appears to have become the new Friday," Barclays says, noting that the humans simply aren't trading in a credit market where opportunities are scarce. Meanwhile, the robots do not rest, and on the Monday they simultaneously decide that some random data point or unduly hawkish/dovish soundbite out of an FOMC voter is cause for all the algos to chase down the same rabbit hole sending ripples through a fixed income market devoid of any real liquidity, the humans will be in for a rude awakening when they get to work on Tuesday morning.