Stronger Periphery trapping European equities, with the latter dragged down by US apathy.
Risk adverseness factors (equities – Periphery - EUR) decoupling.
US equities seem utterly tired.
Somehow the last months’ rally ahead of QE has tired everyone and since delivery every step seems sooooo heavy.
Stronger Periphery close will be the usual opportunity for politicians to rant about the lack of clout of rating agencies.
Good Jump in Risk appetite. Question is how far. Lack of absence of negative news, or better, markets simply ignoring the latter, doesn’t make for a convincing bullish rebound.
I’d say: We won’t get fooled again! European Bull trap.
If your predictions are wildly out-of-whack with reality, you need to change your approach. Jared Bernstein and Christy Romer Administration predictions have been an unmitigated disaster. Not only did the real figures not match up to the advertised ones, but they are also much worse than the baseline expectations. Romer and Bernstein appear to have both severely under-estimated the depth of the crisis, and over-estimated the effectiveness of the stimulus package. Obama might talk about spreading the wealth around, but the aggregate effect of the policies pursued during his administration have squarely benefited large corporations and the financial sector, and not the middle class or small business. Is reinflating financial bubbles and pumping up corporate profits Obama’s idea of recovery? The money isn’t trickling down, and small businesses and the middle class are more in debt than they were before the crisis started.
- Trade Slows Around World (WSJ)
- Debt limit lurks in fiscal cliff talks (FT)
- Welcome back to the eurozone crisis (FT, Wolfgang Munchau)
- Euro Leaders Face October of Unrest After September Rally (Bloomberg)
- Dad, you were right (FT)
- 25% unemployment, 25% bad loans, 5% drop in Industrial Production, and IMF finally lowers its 2013 Greek GDP forecast (WSJ)
- Global IPOs Slump to Second-Lowest Level Since Financial Crisis (Bloomberg)
- France's Hollande faces street protest over EU fiscal pact (Reuters)
- EU Working to Resolve Difference on Bank Plan, Rehn Says (Bloomberg)
- China manufacturing remains sluggish (FT)
- Samaras vows to fight Greek corruption (FT) ... and one of these days he just may do it
- Leap of Faith (Hssman)
- Germany told to 'come clean’ over Greece (AEP)
Some time ago, before China's hard landing was virtually assured (see Iron Ore prices), there was a period when its data was a veritable cornucopia of Schrodingerian ambivalence, with various economic indicators representing either growth or contraction at the same time. It appears that the modified wave-particle duality has just shifted to the US, whose housing segment is the latest patient of wave function collapse as the July Case Shiller index printed both a beat and a miss at the same time. The Top 20 composite index beat in the NSA Year over Year price change, which was +1.2%, on expectations of +1.05%, and up from a revised 0.59. However, it missed in the sequential Top 20 Composite price change, which printed at 0.44%, below expectations and half off the June price increase of 0.91%. In fact, as the chart below shows, the July increase was now the slowest sequential increase in the past 5 months, and at this rate, the August, or September data at the latest, will show a sequential decline in prices, as the euphoria from the Rent-to-REO fades, and as the massively pent up foreclosure inventory is finally forced to come to market and drag prices far below where the currently artificially propped up market "clears" (read Foreclosure Stuffing).
Hmmm, if that is all what JPY 10trn can buy…
Where’s the thrill?
The August housing starts number was a disappointment, printing at 750K on expectations of a rise to 767K from last month's 746K, now revised lower to 733K. This would have been a boost to a market trained to expect more QE on any economic weakness, if only all QE in perpetuity, and certainly at leat $85 billion in monthly flow, was not already priced in. As a result, we are slowly getting to the dreaded point where bad news is once again bad news, at which all faith in the Fed as a monetary policy vehicle is lost (since Fiscal policy is now perpetually deadlocked). If there was any good news, it was in the single family starts which printed at 535K in August, a rise of 28K from July, and the highest since April 2010 (when housing had again "bottomed") driven by a surge in new building in the Midwest to 134K, from 111K. Finally housing permits which are nothing but noise, declined but beat expectations modestly. Since permits are a completely meaningless category and are purely used by hedge funds to game the market (they cost a token amount of money to procure, involve no actual work, and are there merely to frame the "housing has bottomed" trope time after time, until disproven), just like Libor, there is no point to observe them.
Those who expected a major response following the surprising, and "preemptive" easing by the Bank of Japan which has now joined the freely CTRL-Ping club of central banks, and went to bed looking for a major pop in risk this morning will be disappointed. The reason is that with every passing day that Spain does not request a bailout, all those who bought Spanish bonds on the assumption that Spain will request a bailout look dumber and dumber (a dynamic we explained nearly two months ago). As a result, the EURUSD has been dragging ever lower, and is now playing with 1.30 support. Providing no additional clarity was Spanish deputy PM Soraya Saenz de Santamaria who said Spain will decide if and when to trigger an ECB bailout once all details have been analyzed. Well the details have been more than analyzed, and Spain has been more than happy to receive the benefits of its bailout, it has yet to trigger the cause. Ironically in a Barclays study,over 78% of investors see Spain requesting a bailout by year end (even though as we explained over the weekend Spain really has to do this ahead of its major cash drawing bond redemption schedule in October when it may well run out of cash). And so, just like the US Fiscal Ceiling, the global markets are expecting some Catchy 22 deus ex machina, where traders can get their cake and politicians can eat it too. Alas, there never is such a thing as a free lunch. And what is making the much needed outcome even less probable is that Spanish bonds this morning are actually trading tighter once again making a bailout less than likely. The Spanish zombie has left its grave and is now romping through the neighborhood unsupervised.
Lot of noon / afternoon official chatter on the wires, but eventually nothing highly conclusive.
And oops… I still have the Blues.
Having had the last 2 weeks propped up by Ben and Jerry, oops, Mario, who delivered the f(l)avours that had been expected throughout the summer, markets will be in need for some concrete impulses to push further.
Spanish bond auction on Thu rather on the mighty side.
Mostly bored today, though...
News may come, and news may go, but the fiscal policy implementation vehicle known as the market, and now controlled by the Political Reserve don't care. For those who do, here is what has happened in the past few hours and what is on deck for the remainder of the week.
Given how many unconventional means have been deployed over the last weeks, I wouldn’t exclude some form of stimulus postpartum depression… With nothing in immediate sight, it’d better hold. Why does my heart feel so bad?
The Fed panicked. It is extraordinary that the Fed would announce an open-ended "we'll print as much as it takes, as long as it takes" policy. Chairman Bernanke is sending a signal to the markets and to government that the economy is bad and getting worse and that the Fed will do its part as everyone expects them to do. This is a clear signal to the markets and the world that the Fed stands for monetary inflation. They don't know what else to do. Here is the fallout.
When observing the trends in the housing market, one has two choices: i) listen to the bulls who keep repeating that "housing has bottomed", a common refrain which has been repeated every single year for the past four, or ii) look at the facts. We touched briefly on the facts earlier today when we presented the latest housing starts data:construction of single family residences remains 46 percent below the long-term trend; the more volatile multifamily houses is 15 percent below trend and demand for new homes 47 percent below. This is indicative of reluctance by households to make long-term investments due to fear of another downturn in housing prices. Bloomberg summarizes this succinctly: "This historically weak demand for new homes is inhibiting the recovery of demand for construction workers as well, about 2.3 million of whom remain without work." But the best visual representation of the housing "non-bottom" comes courtesy of the following chart of homes in negative or near-negative equity, which via Bloomberg Brief, is soared in Q4, and is now back to Q1 2010 level at over 13.5 million. What this means is that the foreclosure backlog and the shadow inventory of houses on the market could be as large as 13.5 million in the future, which translates into one simple word: supply.
Organic growth is slow and painful (Boo!), central bank money fast, cheap and with few strings attached (Yes!)…And anyway, QE and other supports have already been priced in… Can’t change the programme.