Jeffrey Gundlach, the chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said on Tuesday that the rally in U.S. stocks, which began on Monday, feels like a short squeeze and characterized U.S. stocks as "dead money." He added that "all that matters is Yellen. She is still there. I feel like we are back in December again, where everyone thinks that there is a super secret that some Fed officials have this knowledge that the economy is really good."
Steen Jakobsen, chief economist and CIO of Saxo Bank, says the US Federal Reserve is on the verge of making a mistake about its projected rate hikes. The Fed has given itself the option of hiking interest rates at its June meeting; but Jakobsen says he is sceptical about the proposals, arguing that the Fed is taking the recent improvement in US economic data as an uptick in overall momentum. Jakobsen says the economy is still performing significantly below its potential, but thinks the Fed wants to hike interest rates now so it can lower them at a later date.
After yesterday's algo-driven mad dash to close the S&P green both for the day and for the year following Fed minutes that came in shocking hawkish, the selling has continued overnight, led by the commodity complex as rate hike fears have pushed oil back down some 2% from yesterday's 7 month highs, which in turn has dragged global stocks lower to a six-week low, while pushing bond yields higher across developed nations as the market suddenly reprices the probability of a June/July rate hike.
After last week's key event, the retail sales number, which the market discounted as being too unrealistic (and overly seasonally adjusted) after printing at a 13 month high and attempting to refute the reality observed by countless retailers, this week has a quiet start today with no data of note due out of Europe and just Empire manufacturing (which moments ago missed badly) and the NAHB housing market index of note in the US session this morning.
"My fear is that central banks are now taking this too far through negative interest rates in particular and that they’re going to literally destroy their own banking systems. If they’re actually successful in generating higher inflation, then they’re going to destroy their own bond markets... our government officials, and I will include the Federal Reserve in that, have failed the American people."
The overnight session has been one of alternative weakness and strength: it started in China where stocks tumbled 2.8% to a two month low following some unexpected warnings in the official People's Daily newspaper and poor trade data. Concerns about China, however, were promptly forgotten and certainly not enough to keep global assets lower, with European stocks gapping higher at the open and rallying from a one-month low, driven by a "surprising" surge in the USDJPY which has moved nearly 200 pips higher since its post-payrolls low. Another driver is the jump in oil, which rallied just shy of $46 a barrel, buoyed by Canadian wildfires that are curbing production and speculation that the Saudi Arabian oil minister succession will be bullish for oil prices.
Prices are actually falling faster than the official CPI number indicates, and have not picked up as oil has stabilized. In fact, the US has been in deflation for the past five months. So it’s no surprise that people who are actually buying the stuff that’s falling in price would register this fact and answer surveys with deflationary sentiments. It’s also no surprise that central banks, which presumably see the same data, would be looking for ways to ease even further (Japan and Europe) or walk back their previous threats to tighten (the US Fed) - apparently in the hope that increasing the dose will cure the credit addiction.
The problem with forward earnings estimates is that they consistently overestimate reality by roughly 33% historically. The illusion of“permanent liquidity,” and the belief of sustained economic growth, despite slowing in China, Japan, and the Eurozone, has emboldened analysts to continue push estimates of corporate profit growth higher. Even now, as the earnings recession deepens, hopes of a sharp rebound in profitability remains ebullient despite the lack of any signs of economic re-acceleration.
While the market is still enjoying the post-NFP weekly data lull, economic data starts to pick up again in the coming days, alongside the start of the reporting season. Below are this week's key events.
Caution is called for because of Fed’s limited ability to reduce policy rate, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley says, Dudley comments in text of speech in Bridgeport, CT. “Although the downside risks have diminished since earlier in the year, I still judge the balance of risks to my inflation and growth outlooks to be tilted slightly to the downside”
There is an inherent, overarching, problem within this now stated “international development” meme that I’m not sure the Fed. has really thought through. And it’s this... If “international developments” (i.e. China) have now taken first position over U.S. data, one can only summarize that the Fed. is now following, as well as, instituting a policy as the self-anointed mop-up team for the sins and/or consequences of spill over of a communist run economy.
Fed President and Assistant Treasury Secretary Says What Everyone Knows: We Need to Break Up the Big BanksSubmitted by George Washington on 02/16/2016 15:07 -0400
Top Economists, Financial Experts and Bankers Say Giant Banks Are Hurting Economy
Central bankers regularly lie to us to obscure the larger, ongoing globalization of finance. We're not supposed to notice what's going on behind the curtain. But we better start.
Americans in their 50s, 60s and 70s - the Baby Boom generation - are carrying unprecedented amounts of debt, a shift which according to the WSJ "reflects both the aging of the baby boomer generation and their greater likelihood of retaining mortgage, auto and student debt at much later ages than previous generations." While aggregate debt of Gen-Xers has admirably declined by 12% in the past 12 years, the aggregate debt of the average Baby Boomer has soared by an unprecedented 169%!
Instead of allocating capital to expensive tail risk bets on direct asset class collapse (in equities, credit, and commodities), it appears, just as we detailed previously, the 'smartest money in the room' is "betting" indirectly on a stock market crash through eurodollar options.