If you think you’re hearing a wee bit of a mixed message emanating from households and businesses, you’re not losing your marbles. If the stars don’t align perfectly, if the sequel doesn’t best the original, smaller investors might want to wise up to the fact that they’re being hustled by the equivalent of professional gamblers.
Confirming the pessimistic outlook on this holiday's spending season, Reuters reports that according to its own spot checks as well as those of reporters and industry officials, "store traffic remained subdued across the country."
With October, the worst month for stocks since January, now in the history books S&P futures are eager to telegraph that the streak of five consecutive will end, with a modest gain of 0.3% in overnight trading, coupled with mixed global markets as the global bond selloff returned after strong Chinese economic data prompted concerns about rising global inflation.
Gold consolidated after the gains of last week when gold rose 0.25% from $1324/oz to $1328.80/oz. Indeed, it was gold’s second consecutive weekly higher close which is bullish from a technical perspective. Markets being sentiment and momentum driven this could mean the recent correction is over as technical driven traders are likely to take signal from this and go long gold.
On the verge of running out of bond to monetize, the ECB has engaged in something fed had expected: it is buying bonds from itself. But according to a troubling Reuters "trial balloon" that may be just the beginning: as Reuters writes, the "ECB may soon be forced to follow the Bank of Japan's example and buy equities as part of any expanded stimulus programme."
Despite mainstream economists hopes that somehow “this time will be different,” the ongoing massaging of economic data through seasonal adjustments to obtain better headlines did not translate into actual prosperity. Of course, “reality” is a cruel mistress and despite ongoing hopes and overstatements, “fantasy” eventually gives way.
The largest U.S. banks got permission from regulators to return profits to investors, but the U.S. banking units of Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander were held back again as the Federal Reserve released the final results of its 2016 "stress tests."
While hardly coming as a surprise to anyone, moments ago the Fed announced that all 33 banks have enough capital to withstand a severe economic shock, though Morgan Stanley trailed the rest of Wall Street in a key measure of leverage, Bloomberg reports. The biggest bank cleared the most severe scenario handily, with the exception of Morgan Stanley whose projected 4.9% leverage ratio tied for last place alongside a Canadian bank’s U.S. unit, falling within a percentage point of the 4 percent minimum. As a result of today's "test result" many banks will likely win regulators' approval next week to boost dividends.
Hedge funds attracted a net $44 billion in assets globally last year, the smallest amount since 2012. As these increasingly desperate funds try to change that in 2016, one enormous target has been identified in Australia.
HSBC’s main gold vault in London regularly comes under the media spotlight for a number of reasons. These reasons include: a) the HSBC London vault stores a very large amount of gold on behalf of the well-known SPDR Gold Trust (GLD); b) along with the Bank of England vaults and JP Morgan vault, the HSBC vault is one of the 3 largest gold vaults in London; c) the location of the HSBC vault in London is not publicised and so the secrecy creates intrigue; d) HSBC every so often throws out some visual or audio-visual media bait about the vault, most famously in the case of CNBC’s Bob Pisani; Despite all of the above, no one seems to have ever tried to figure out where this gold vault is actually located. Until now.
Something happened this week that has never happened before. While outflows from equity ETFs soared, the $3.6 billion redemptions from high yield bond ETF HYG this last few days is the largest ever - almost twice as big as the previous largest outflows (seen in May last year). As Bloomberg reports, the withdrawals from equity and credit funds highlighted the lack of faith in the rally that helped stocks briefly erase their annual losses last month. Equity traders have remained on the sidelines, with volume down in recent weeks as investors sought safer assets such as gold.