What was one "one and done", just became "none and done" as the Fed will no longer hike in 2015 and will certainly think twice before hiking ahead of the presidential election in 2016. By then the inventory liquidation-driven recession will be upon the US and the Fed will be looking at either NIRP or QE4. Worse, the Fed just admitted it is as, if not more concerned, with the market than with the economy. Worst, suddenly the market no longer wants a... dovish Fed?
"There have been a number of studies that have been done recently that have tried to take account of many different ways in which monetary policy acting through different parts of the transmission mechanism affect inequality, and there's a lot of guesswork involved, and different analyses can come up with different things. But a pretty recent paper that's quite comprehensive concludes that the -- that Fed policy has not exacerbated income inequality."
While today's economic data is likely too late to influence the Fed's decision which is now due in just over 5 hours, moments ago the latest housing starts and permits data painted another mixed picture, with Starts declining to a three month low of 1,126K, missing expectations of 1160K, and below last month's downward revised 1161K. The miss was a result of housing starts in the Northeast tumbling by 34% to 108K, the lowest prince since March now that the tax-driven surge, which we discussed previously expired in July, is over.
The long awaited day is finally here by which we, of course, mean the day when nobody has any idea what the Fed will do, the Fed included. Putting today in perspective, there have been just about 700 rate cuts globally in the 3,367 days since the last Fed rate hike on June 29, 2006, while central banks have bought $15 trillion in assets, and vast portions of the world are now in negative interest rate territory.
"Looking into 2016, we believe the three major headwinds highlighted in the medium term - excess capacity in many industries, oversupply in the housing market and high debt burdens (especially among local governments) - together with anti-corruption and policy uncertainties will continue to weigh on growth."
The title does give it away: the only event that everyone will be focusing on this week will be the Fed's announcement and Yellen's press conference on Thursday. Here is what else is on deck.
While any moves in the US stock market ahead of Thursday are largely irrelevant, as only Yellen's statement in 4 days will unleash epic algo buying or short covering (yes, according to JPM the Fed statement is bullish no matter what), it is what happened in China that is concerning, because while we had expected Chinese stocks to go nowhere in particular now that index future trading volumes have plunged by 99% or perhaps rise on hopes of even more easing after the latest terrible economic data, the Shanghai Composite dropped 2.7%, but it was the retail darling Shenzhen Composite which tumbled 6.7% - its worst selloff since August 25, while China's Nasdaq, the ChiNext crashed -7.5%.
Perhaps after intervening every single day in the past week (remember that FT piece saying the PBOC would no longer directly buy stocks... good times) in either the stock or the FX (both on and offshore) market, China needed a day off; perhaps even the algos got tired of constantly spoofing the E-mini and inciting momentum ignition, but for whatever reason the overnight session has been oddly uneventful, with no ES halts so far, few USDJPY surges (then again those come just before the US open), and even less violent CNY or CNH moves, leading to virtually unchanged markets in Japan (small red) and China (small green). And while the initial tone in Europe has been modestly "risk off", it is nothing in comparison to the massive gyrations that have become a stape in the past few weeks.
News That Matters
With just 20 minutes to go until the latest most important jobs report ever in the history of man, Richmond Fed Chief Lacker just explained why "the case for raising rates is still strong"...
LACKER: BOTH MANDATE CONDITIONS 'APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN MET', EXCEPTIONALLY LOW RATES NO LONGER WARRANTED BY JOB MKT
LACKER: AUG. JOBS REPORT UNLIKELY TO `MATERIALLY ALTER' PICTURE
But perhaps most crucially, Lacker explains "recent financial market volatility is unlikely to affect economic fundamentals in the United States and thus has limited implications for monetary policy," removing the one last leg for permabulls to rely on (that is if you velieve The Fed is not Dow-Data-Dependent).
Home prices rose 4.97% YoY in June, according to Case-Shiller's 20-City index, missing expectations for the 3rd month in a row. Price appreciation has now been flat for 5 months - despite surging home sales - as bubblicious San Francisco saw price depreciation once again. Portland amd Denver saw the most appreciation in June. This is the second month in a row of sequential seasonally-adjusted declines in home prices, and along with TOL's dismal report this morning, suggests maybe another pillar of the 'strong' US economy meme is being kicked out... and Case-Shiller warn more than one rate hike by The Fed (or a stock market plunge) will stymie housing considerably.
- No End in Sight for Oil Glut (WSJ)
- Dozens of Clinton emails were classified from the start, U.S. rules suggest (Reuters)
- China August Manufacturing Activity Hits Lowest Level Since 2009 (WSJ)
- German Manufacturing Strengthens as Economy Shifts Up a Gear (BBG)
- Israel responds to rocket attack with protest and air strikes (FT)
- ASX carnage: 2015 fast becoming a year to forget (Canberra Times)
- Hong Kong Stocks Enter Bear Market After Falling From April Peak (BBG)
FOMC Minutes Leaked Early After Embargo Broken, Fed Warns Risk To GDP Forecast "Tilted To The Downside"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2015 13:41 -0400
Seconds ago, someone accidentally (we hope) pulled a Janet Yellen as the following just came across the wires
FOMC MINUTES: MEMB 'GENERALLY AGREED' MORE INFO NEEDED TO HIKE
FOMC MINUTES: NO TIP TOWARDS SEPT LIFTOFF, DOESN'T RULE IT OUT
But the bottom line is that the Fed just admitted things are going from bad to worse: "The risks to the forecast for real GDP and inflation were seen as tilted to the downside." The question now is what comes first: QE4 or the first rate hike in nearly a decade.
Chinese Intervention Rescues Market From 2-Day Plunge, Futures Red Ahead Of Inflation Data, FOMC MinutesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/19/2015 06:37 -0400
With China's currency devaluation having shifted to the backburner if only for the time being, all attention was once again on the Chinese stock market roller coaster, which did not disappoint: starting off with yesterday's dramatic 6.2% plunge, the Shanghai Composite crashed in early trading, plunging as much as 5% in early trading and bringing the two-day drop to a correction-inducing 11%, and just 51.2 points away from the July 8 low (when China unleashed the biggest ad hoc market bailout in capital markets history) . And then the cavalry came in, and virtually the entire afternoon session was one big BTFD orgy, leading to a 1.2% gain in the Shanghai Composite closing price, while Shenzhen and ChiNext closed up 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively.