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About That Rate Hike...

This is where the Fed. now finds itself. Here they were. Just holding policy lines doing what they in their Ivory Tower contemplated and the so-called “smart crowd” insisted they do. And now the saying of “Between a rock and a hard place” might be an understatement. The world sits atop a tinderbox fueled by monetary policies that created them and awaits a match that could set it off in a blaze of who knows what. All in short order. Unless they don’t do anything except try their best Draghi impersonation and declare, “They too are once again at the ready to do what ever it takes!” Except – just not now.

For Citi, This Is The "Greatest Event Risk" For Markets In 2016

"In the year ahead, geopolitics likely poses the greatest potential to disrupt markets in terms of event risk. There is also the potential for geopolitical risks to intersect with economic fragility in the event of a downturn, amplifying both."

Futures Rebound On Hope Today's "Most Important Ever" Jobs Number Will Not "Draghi" The Market

Optimism in US equity futures appears to have returned, and as of this moment US equity futures are higher by 9 points to 2060 as the attention shifts to what, according to BofA, is truly the most important ever. It is unclear just how the algos would take a second consecutive major disappointment in a row: should today's NFP print be well below the 200,000 consensus, December rate hike odd will tumble and the EUR will surge even more after declining modestly from overnight highs just below 1.10, leading to even more losses in European equities and spilling over to the US. 

Visualizing The Greatest Economic Collapses In History

The very first major economic collapse in recorded history occurred in 218-202 BC when the Roman Empire experienced money troubles after the Second Punic War. As a result, bronze and silver currencies were devalued. As HowMuch.net depicts in the video below economic collapses date back thousands of years. While many countries today still feel the effects of the most recent Global Financial Crisis, it is important to note that economic troubles are not unique to the present-day, but rather date back to some of the oldest civilizations.

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“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.” - Buddha

Paris Is Prologue

The recent attacks in Paris evoke strong emotions for many people, but investors need to look through those feelings to the short, medium, and long-term implications. We believe Paris may mark an important turning point for Europe and the global business cycle... but for different reasons than you may think. There is a chance that the slow disintegration of Europe will drive more capital onto US shores, boosting valuations and fueling a blow-off top in the US equity market; but beware global shocks and take any rally as a chance to get defensive.

Look Out Troika, Portugal Names Socialist Antonio Costa Prime Minister

In a move that ends a weeks-long political stalemate, Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva has named Socialist leader Antonio Costa PM. Due to Costa's alliance with the Left Bloc and the Communists, many worry the stage is now set for a showdown with Brussels, the IMF, and Berlin.

Goldman Releases Its Top 6 Trades For 2016... And The Three Biggest Risks

  1. Top Trade #1: Long USD vs short EUR and JPY
  2. Top Trade #2: Long US 10-year ‘Breakeven’ Inflation
  3. Top Trade #3: Long MXN and RUB versus short ZAR and CLP.
  4. Top Trade #4: Long EM ‘External Demand’ vs. Banks stocks
  5. Top Trade #5: Tighter Spread between Italy and Germany Long Rates
  6. Top Trade #6: Long large-cap US Banks relative to the overall S&P500

Global Markets Surge Overnight On Fed Minutes Optimism; ECB Minutes Set To Keep Rally Going

While it is still unclear just why the FOMC Minutes which are said to have made a December liftoff "more likely" unleashed a dramatic market rally, one which sent both stocks and TSYs higher, the sentiment continued overnight, with both Asian stocks surging on the US momentum, as well as Europe, where the DAX gapped solidly above the 200 DMA as most European shares advanced, led by resources, travel stocks. U.S. futures continue their ramp higher, and at last check were another 8 points, or 0.4%, in the green.  But if the Fed Minutes were enough to unleash the latest leg in this rally, than the ECB's own minutes due also today, should send futures back over 2100 without much difficult, regardless of their actual content.