Venezuela's crude oil basket price collapsed to as low as $20.20 yesterday, according to the socialist utopia's President Maduro. Having already "passed the point of no return," Maduro rages that OPEC producers appear to be "finally waking up" to what they have unleashed noting that, according to him, Russia's Putin has agreed to "work on oil price issues."
With all eyes on the overnight spike in crude oil prices (up 5% and back over $30, this must be the bottom right?), OPEC remains far from impressed with its basket price hovering at (or near) record low levels at $22.48. In fact, the collapse of the OPEC basket price in the last 3 weeks has been the fastest drop since October 2008. However, no matter the chaos occurring various oil instruments (OIL 40% premium to NAV), Citi has decided this is it and dubbed being long oil from here "the trade of the year."
- Stocks, oil soar as Draghi the dove tames global bears (Reuters)
- Massive snowstorm poised to wallop U.S. East Coast (Reuters)
- Oil Rises in Biggest Rally Since August Amid Volatility Surge (BBG)
- Nikkei spikes more than 900 points after rebounds overseas (Japan Times)
- China's Working-Age Population Sees Biggest-Ever Decline (WSJ)
- Oil Is `Trade of the Year' for Citigroup After Iran Export Surge (BBG)
- U.S. Payment of $1.7 Billion to Iran Raises Questions of Ransom (WSJ)
"There is hope of more stimulus in March and potential for even more stimulus in Japan and China, so if we get concrete positive economic news the rebound could last into next week,” said John Plassard, senior equity- sales trader at Mirabaud Securities. “I told my clients to fasten their seatbelts and wait for better news, and this is finally happening."... "The turnaround in sentiment came amid signs central banks may be prepared to act after $7.8 trillion was erased from the value of global equities this year on China’s slowdown and oil’s crash."
According to stocks, a half-recession is precisely where the US was as of roughly noon yesterday, when the S&P touched an intraday low of 1812. This represents a 15% drop from the all time high close of 2,131 last summer. It also represents half the post-World War II average peak to trough decline around recession, which amounts to roughly 30%.
The machines are in control. On the day when inventories surge, demand tumbles, production surges, and credit risk spikes, "traders" are panic-buying crude oil with both hands and feet... except they just ran the stops to the post-Iran open...
WTI Crude has ramped into this morning's DOE data back to the scene of the crime from last night's API ugly data dump. With API reporting a build that doubled expectations, DOE reports a 3.6mm build but worse still yet another major (4.6mm barrel) build in gasoline stocks for the largest 3-week build in history. Crude initially tumbled but the algos took over and ramped to yesterday's highs...running stops (but how long will that last?)
Things are looking increasingly shaky for central planners around the globe.
Faber warns that the S&P 500, which fell to 1,881 on the 19th of January, could drop to its 2011 low below 1,200.
Unfortunately, what we are facing now is a predicament, rather than a problem. There is quite likely no good solution. This is a worry. During the last 18 months we have read incessantly that low oil prices, for example, $30 per barrel oil, will stimulate the economy, and the economy will soon bounce back. What is wrong with this story? A lot of things, as we see it...
The robo-machines are now having a grand old time hazing the August lows at 1870 on the S&P, and may succeed in ginning up another dead-cat bounce or two. But this market is going down for the count owing to a perfect storm.
- Oil slump rocks markets again in equity rout (Reuters)
- Global Stocks on Brink of Bear Market as Oil Slides; Ruble Drops (BBG)
- Global Stocks Slide on Oil Rout (WSJ)
- Emerging Markets Roiled as Stock Selloff Surpasses Asian Crisis (BBG)
- Rising Debt in Emerging Markets Poses Global Threat (WSJ)
- China shares slip as oil slides, outweighing stimulus hopes (Reuters)
One thing policy makers should have learned after watching Greece unravel last summer is that capital controls almost always backfire. Once the market (not to mention the populace) senses panic, it's all downhill from there and make no mistake, there's blood in the water here.