Merrill Lynch

NatGas Crashes To April 2012 Lows On Weather, Inventories

For once, blaming the weather is not a 'joke'. Natural gas futures fell to the lowest since April 2012 as traders reacted to near-record inventories and mild weather that’s pushing back the start of winter demand for the heating fuel.

Dell Buys EMC In Record $67BN Deal: Creates "World's Largest Private Integrated Tech Company"

Just when you thought the M&A boom is over after a surge in bond yields that Goldman has repeatedly dubbed as "recessionary", and which will make the debt cost of any funding so high that there is barely any room for execution error, moments ago as had been extensively leaked previously, private Dell announced it would acquire tech giant EMC in a deal valued roughly $67 billion, while maintaining VMWare as a publicly-traded corporation. Good luck with raising the tens of billions in debt the deal will require: our best wish to Barclays, BofA, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, RBC who will all be underwriting the required debt financing to Dell.

Frontrunning: October 9

  • Global stocks eye biggest rally in four years on Fed relief (Reuters)
  • FOMC Minutes Sap Confidence in Fed's 2015 Rate Hike Resolve (BBG)
  • Glencore to cut annual zinc production by a third (FT)
  • Tea Party wave that lifted Republicans threatens to engulf them (Reuters)
  • Why Kevin McCarthy Came to Quit Speaker Race (WSJ)
  • A U.S. Recession Just Got a Little More Likely (BBG)

Weekend Reading: Capacious Cognitions

With the Federal Reserve still hinting at raising interest rates, but trapped by weak economic growth, will the next big move by the Fed be another form of monetary accommodation instead? Or, are the underlying dynamics of the economy and market really strong enough to shake off the recent weakness and continue its bullish ascent?

This Is When Junk Bonds Go Kaboom!

We have been warning for months that high-yield bonds have decoupled from equity markets, just as they did in 2007/8, and the credit cycle's turning will inevitably flow through to crush the only thing left supporting stock valuations - the irrational non-economic corporate buyback-er. However, as we detail below, time's running out and it’s getting tougher out there for our QE and ZIRP-coddled corporate junk-bond heroes.

Suddenly The Bank Of Japan Has An Unexpected Problem On Its Hands

By monetizing more than the entire Japanese budget deficit, the BOJ is running of out willing sellers. Without those, Japan's QE, just like that of the ECB, will grind to a halt. Better yet, this creates a vicious loop, because with every passing month, the inevitable D-Day when the BOJ has no more TSYs on the offer gets closer, which in turn will force those who bought stocks to sell in anticipation of the end of QE, and to seek the safety of bonds themsleves, in effect precipitating the next inevitable Japanese stock market crash.

"Rough Summer" For Small Caps Set To Continue

Small Cap stocks are in the middle of their worst summer doldrums since 2011 - and in fact for many individual stocks, worst summer since the collapse in 2008/9. While talking heads proclaim these smaller (supposedly more domestically-oriented) stocks a must-own, they have underperformed significantly as the credit cycle turns (thanks to their higher sensitivity to funding costs, among other things). Judging by this week's farce, the supposedly high-beta small caps are being BTFD'd aggressively either and perhaps that is because, since 1926, on average, September and October are the only months in which small-capitalization stocks have posted losses.

Margin Calls Mount On Loans Against Stock Portfolios Used To Buy Homes, Boats, "Pretty Much Everything"

 

"In a securities-based loan, the customer pledges all or part of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and/or other securities as collateral. But unlike traditional margin loans, in which the client uses the credit to buy more securities, the borrowing is for other purchases such as real estate, a boat or education..." The result was "dangerously high margin balances,' - the products became “the vehicle of choice for investors looking to get cash for anything.” Mr. Sica and others say the products were aggressively marketed to investors by banks and brokerages.

 

MS Boosts TSLA Price Target To $465, Days After Underwriting Stock Offering; Sees Tesla Bigger Than Ford And GM

Moments ago, Morgan Stanley did it again just as expected, only this time it at least followed protocol when it announced it is raising its price target on TSLA from $280 to a whopping $465, or just shy of $61 billion in implied market cap. Incidentally at this price TSLA would be the biggest US automaker, surpassing not only GM's $50bn in market capo, but also Ford's $60 billion.

Yuan Devaluation Sparks Biggest Crash In US Corporate Bonds Since Lehman

Just two days ago we warned of the dramatic disconnect between equity insurance and credit insurance markets - at levels last seen before Bear Stearns collapse. As the Yuan devaluation shuddered EURCNH carry traders and battered European assets, US equity markets stumbled onwards and upwards, impregnable in their fortitude with The Fed at their back no matter what. However, US corporate bond markets were a bloodbath...

TSLA Confirms Cash Burn Fears, Sells $500 Million In Stock

Over the weekend, when looking carefully at Tesla's cash burn, pardon cash inferno we said that at "the current cash burn rate, TSLA can only fund just two more quarters of cash burn at which point, and most likely well before it, the company will have to aggressively raise new capital." It wasn't 1-2 quarters. It was barely 3 days. Moments ago TSLA announced that, just as we expected, it would dilute its shareholder by just under 2% by issuing $500 million in equity.

Frontrunning: August 4

  • Unhappy Voters Shake Up Presidential Race (WSJ)
  • China stock exchanges step up crackdown on short-selling (Reuters)
  • China Dethroned as World’s Most Liquid Stock Market After Curbs (BBG)
  • Xiaomi retakes the smartphone lead in China as Apple slips (Engadget)
  • Impact of EPA’s Emissions Rule on Industry to Vary (WSJ)
  • Citadel’s Ken Griffin Leaves 2008 Tumble Far Behind (WSJ)
  • Greece says expects bailout deal by Aug 18 (Reuters)