Housing Starts

Barclays Slashes China GDP Projections After Weak Data

"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."

Futures Fade Early Euphoria After Chinese Stocks Resume Slide

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%.

Futures Drift Lower In Surprisingly Uneventful Overnight Session

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.

Fed's Lacker Says "Strong Case For Rate Hike... August Jobs Data Won't Change Decision"

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).

Case-Shiller Home Prices Dip In June, Miss For 3rd Month In A Row

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.

Frontrunning: August 21

  • 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"

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 Minutes

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.

Building Permits Plunge After NYC Property Tax Break Expires, Housing Starts Stable

After 3 months of exploding building permits - driven almost exclusively by the Northeast region (due to expiration of property tax breaks in NYC) - reality bit in July as permits plunged 16.3% to the lowest since March (biggest drop since June 2008). This was the biggest miss on record for permits. Housing Starts rose less than expected but thanks to a dramatic upward revision are stable at around 1.2 million units SAAR (driven by a rise in single-family units trumping multi-family units).

China Stocks Crash, More Than Half Of Market Halted Limit Down; PBOC Loss Of Control Spooks Global Assets

Just hours after the PBOC announced a modestly "revalued" fixing in the CNY, which curiously led to weaker trading in the onshore Yuan for most of the day before a forceful last minute intervention by the central bank pushed it back down to 6.39 it was the local stock market spinning plate - which had been relatively stable during the entire FX devaluation process - that China lost control over, and after 7 days of margin debt increases the Shanghai Composite plunged by 6.2% in late trade, tumbling 245 points to 3748, just 240 points above its recent trough on July 8, a closing level some 27% off its June peak.

Homebuilder Confidence Jumps To 10 Year Highs As Lumber Prices, New Home Sales Slump

NAHB Sentiment jumped to 61 - the highest since 2005 - despite weakening new home sales and collapsing lumber prices. Housing Starts also remain tepid (especially compared to 2005 levels) but hope springs eternal for an industry almost 100% reliant on hope. Prospective buyer traffic rose 2 points as Northeast saw a drop as West and South saw modest increases.

Key Events In The Coming Week: FOMC, Housing Starts, CPI, TIC Data

It was a quiet start to the week today with just the June Euro area trade balance (which rose €21.9bn vs €23.1 bn expected, up from €21.3 bn) in the European timezone and Empire manufacturing and NAHB housing market index for August this afternoon in the US. Under the radar, but perhaps the most news today, is the June TIC data which will likely confirm the ongoing liquidation of "FX Reserves" aka TSYs by "Belgium" aka China. Expect another $15-20 billion drop in Belgian Treasury holdings in the month of June.