Markit

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Frontrunning: April 13





  • As reported here first a month ago: The $9 Trillion Short That May Send the Dollar Even Higher (BBG)
  • As an instant target for foes, Clinton may struggle to get message heard (Reuters)
  • Emerging Stocks Rally 11th Day as Aussie Weakens on China (BBG)
  • Puerto Rico, Investors Enlist Ex-IMF Officials (WSJ)
  • Dollar’s Rise Reshuffles Global Economy (BBG)
  • Indonesia eyes regular navy exercises with U.S. in South China Sea (Reuters)
  • Banca Monte dei Paschi Breaches Exposure Limits to Nomura (WSJ)
  • European Bond Buyers Find Negative Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Bad (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: April 8





  • Shell Will Buy BG Group for $70 Billion in Cash and Shares (BBG)
  • IMF warns of long period of lower growth (FT)
  • Wall Street sanguine as it heads into worst earnings season in six years (Reuters)
  • Switzerland First With 10-Year Bond at Negative Yield (WSJ)
  • U.S. Dot-Com Bubble Was Nothing Compared to Today’s China Prices (BBG)
  • Rahm Emanuel Re-Elected as Mayor of Fiscally Ravaged Chicago (BBG)
  • Oil falls on U.S. stock build, record Saudi output (Reuters)
  • White South Carolina policeman charged with murdering black man (Reuters)
  • German Factory Orders Drop for Second Month (BBG)
  • A third of Republicans support Iran nuclear deal (Reuters)
 
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US Services Confusion: Good (PMI 7 Mo Highs), Bad (ISM 9 Mo Lows), & Ugly (Business Activity 12 Mo Lows)





Amid collapsing macro data and earnings expectations, Markit's US Services PMI smashed expectations and surged to 59.2 (its highest in 7 months) - just like Markit's Manufacturing PMI 'surprised'. Against the worst payrolls data in over 2 years, Markit's employment index rose by most since June. Furthermore, the business outlook tumbled to 8-month lows. And then following ISM Manufacturing's miss and tumble to near 2-year lows, ISM Services met expectations at its lowest since June... as Business Activity tumbled to one-year lows.

 
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Stock Futures Keep Losses, Gold Near Highs After Worst Jobs Report Since 2013





As market participants slowly make their way back to trading desks around the post-Easter world, and especially the US where a truncated session on Friday morning ended in tears for anyone hoping for a 2015 US recovery following an abysmal March nonfarm payrolls print, they find that unlike on previous occasions, the equity futures liftathon is nowhere to be found this morning, with the S&P set to resume trading in the red for 2015. Away from Greece, whose future remains in limbo, the biggest development over the holiday weekend was a Goldman note in which the central-bank friendly firm said that "the right policy would be to put hikes on hold for now."

 
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Payrolls Preview - Weakness Pre-Emptively Blamed On Weather





When all else fails, pre-emptively blame the weather...

 
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Frontrunning: April 1





  • Oil holds around $55 as Iran nuclear talks drag on (Reuters)
  • Bob Diamond’s African Banking Venture Runs Into Problems (WSJ)
  • Iran Nuclear Talks Resume With Lavrov Saying Deal at Hand (BBG)
  • Wal-Mart Ratchets Up Pressure on Suppliers to Cut Prices (WSJ)
  • Renegades of Junk: The Rise and Fall of the Drexel Empire (BBG)
  • Explosion at Yemen factory kills at least 25: residents, medics (Reuters)
  • Macerich Rejects Simon Property’s $16.8 Billion Takeover Bid (WSJ)
  • Reckoning Arrives for Cash-Strapped Oil Firms Amid Bank Squeeze (BBG)
 
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Whiplash Session Sees Furious Buying Of Futures To Defend 50-DMA As New Quarter Begins





It has been another whiplash, rollercoaster, illiquid session which saw US equity futures tumble early overnight driven by a bout of USDJPY and Nikkei selling, only to regain all losses as European, and BIS, traders walked in, and promptly BTFD. In fact at last check, it was as if all the fireworks that took place just a few short hours ago and sent the ES as low as 2037, and below what has become the key support level, the 50-DMA never happened.

 
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US Services PMI Surges To 6-Month Highs, Decouples From Hard Data Reality





Who could have seen that coming? Markit reports that US Services PMI surged to 58.6 in March (considerably better than the 57.0 exp) and the highest in 6 months. Despite the total collapse in US Macro data, the survey says... everything is awesome.

 
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Futures Tumble As Yemen War Starts; Oil, Gold Surges





In a somewhat surprising turn of events, this morning's futures reaction to last night's shocking start of a completely unexpected Yemen proxy war, which has seen an alliance of Gulf State launch an air, and soon land, war against Yemen's Houthi rebels, is what one would expect: down, and down big. This is surprising, because on previous occasions one would expect the NY Fed, or its pet hedge fund, Citadel, or the BOJ or ECB (via the CME's "Central Bank Incentive Program") to aggressively buy ES to prevent a slide, something has changed, and for the BTFDers, that something may be very fatal with the e-Mini rapidly approaching a 1-handle yet again. The offset to tumbling stocks, as previously observed, is oil, with WTI soaring over 6% in a delayed algo response to the Qatar headlines.

 
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US Manufacturing PMI 'Survey' Defies Every Hard Data Print In Last 7 Weeks, Jumps To 5-Month Highs





Markit just issued the results of their Manufacturing PMI survey... and it shows everything is awesome again. Printing at 55.3 - the highest since October 2014 - it is utterly incredulous that this represents any reality as US macro data has completely collapsed in the last 2 months. Exports are down for the first time since November, but Markit is very excited, pitching deflation as good and careful to not be too sanguine about the rise for fear of sparking some Fed action...

 
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Frontrunning: March 24





  • Germanwings Airbus crashes in France, 148 feared dead (Reuters)
  • Greece promises list of reforms by Monday to unlock cash (Reuters)
  • Merkel Points Tsipras Toward Deal With Greece’s Creditors (BBG)
  • Banks Shift Bond Portfolios -Move to ‘held to maturity’ category aims to guard against rising rates, shield capital  (WSJ)
  • Beijing to Shut All Major Coal Power Plants to Cut Pollution (BBG)
  • As Silence Falls on Chicago Trading Pits, a Working-Class Portal Also Closes (NYT)
  • Oil below $56 as Saudi output near record, China activity slows (Reuters)
 
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Futures At Overnight Highs On China PMI Miss, Europe PMI Beat





It is a centrally-planned "market" and everyone is merely a bystander. Last night, following a dramatic China PMI miss, which as previously reported tumbled to the worst print since early 2014 and is flashing a "hard-landing" warning, the Shanghai Composite first dipped then spiked because all a "hard-landing" means is even more liquidity by the PBOC (which as we suggested a month ago will be the last entrant into the QE party before everyone falls apart). Then, this morning, a surprise beat by the German (and Eurozone) PMI was likewise interpreted by the algos as a catalyst to buy, and at this moment both European stock and US equity futures are their session highs. So, to summarize, for anyone confused: both good and bad data is a green light to buy stocks. In fact, all one needs is a flashing red headline to launch the momentum igniting algos into a buying spasm.

 
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China Lands Hard: Rail Volume Plunges, PMI Tumbles Into Contraction, Employment Worst Since Lehman





Chinese rail freight collapses 9.1% YoY; China Manufacturing PMI tumbled back to a contractionary 49.2 - lowest in 11 months; and the Employment sub-index plunged to its lowest since Lehman ... yeah but apart from that, everything is awesome. And for those excited about just how disastrous Chinese data is (and thus how huge the next stimulus unleashing will be), think again - China now sees exactly where the last trillion dollar QE went... a de minimus and unsustained blip in the economy and liquidity-fueled rampage in stocks (which is not what a corruption-crackdown politburo wants to encourage).

 
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Ridiculous-er And Ridiculous-er





Since the start of February, 48 US macro data items have missed expectations and 8 have beaten. Since then the S&P 500 has risen over 5.5% (and the Nasdaq even more) and 10Y yields are up 50bps. Bloomberg's US Macro Surprise index is now as weak as it was just after Lehman and is falling at the fastest pace since Summer 2012. While everyone is well aware that markets can stay irrational longer than a trader can stay liquid, one has to wonder just how long this farce can continue before even the most effusive talking head has to admit... things ain't great.

 
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Despite Hard Data Collapse, US Services Surveys Point To Modest Bounce In February





US Services PMI rose and beat very modestly from 57.0 to 57.1 in February (this is a flash print). This is the highest Services PMI print since October but Markit warns not to get excited, data "is up only slightly compared to the fourth quarter of last year, meaning growth this year is running at a rate similar to the 2.2% annualised pace seen late last year." ISM Services (survey) confirmed this modest improvement in February (despite all the hard data collapsing) boucing very modestly from 56.7 to 56.9 in Feb despite a drop in BusinessActivity and New Orders.

 
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