The Fed has been supporting the market since the late 1980s. But there is an important difference between the actions of the Fed under Yellen versus Greenspan and Bernanke. In 2008, the Fed allowed Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers to fail. Given the massive wipeout that followed, this decision is now viewed as a dangerous mistake. Having learned their lesson, the Fed is now rushing in to support the market in response to even routine 20% drops. In this way, the Fed is acting like a value investor who demands a small margin of safety before investing.... Since 2010, however, the Fed has changed tactics. The Fed is now reacting far more quickly. Small market selloffs are followed by immediate responses. By quickly riding to the rescue, the Fed is effectively front-running value investors.
In case you wonder who, why or what did it - perhaps this will help: how they did it before ...defendants developed a scheme by which Optiver, having accumulated a large net TAS (defined below) position, traded a significant volume of futures contracts in the opposite direction, before and during the Close
It's not because - everything is awesome again. Some are claiming ISIS rumors were responsible but the size and veolocty suggest otherwise (and insta-stop at the NYMEX close)
Amid the collapse in crude oil prices, the Norwegian central bank cut rates in December (after 1000 days on hold) and is likely to cut again as economic growth stalls. However, the country's financial regulator is warning falling interest rates risk pushing the Norwegian housing market beyond its breaking point into a "self-augmenting spiral." With prices up 8.1% YoY, and up 85% nationwide in the last decade, even Robert Shiller warned of Norway's housing bubble in 2012 - and since then household debt (and home prices) have surged. As Bloomberg reports, Morten Baltzersen, head of Norway’s Financial Supervisory Authority stressed "continued rapid growth in debt and house prices isn’t sustainable." Unintended consequences?
Remember how exuberant yesterday's small gains in Crude Oil were perceived to be? Yeah - that's all over, with WTI back near a $44 handle - following a large 12.7 million barrel inventory build according to API (EIA reports the 'main event' at 1030ET today - which Saxo Bank warns "a bigger-than-expected build would likely push the mkt over the cliff edge.") Additional weakness overnight is also likely due to Goldman's shift to a 'sell' for the next 3 months.
- Fed seen remaining patient with rate guidance amid global turmoil (Reuters)
- National Weather Service apologizes for blizzard forecast miss (CBS)
- Greek PM Tsipras pushes on with radical change, markets tumble (Reuters)
- Obama Drops Plan to Raise Taxes on ‘529’ College Savings Accounts (WSJ)
- Hard Choices on Easy Money Lie Ahead for Fed Chief (Hilsenrath)
- Debt That Once Boosted Its Cities Now Burdens China (WSJ)
- Skymark Said to File for Bankruptcy After Airbus Deal Flops (BBG)
- Heavy Fighting Drains Ukraine Government’s Options and Finances (WSJ)
While all the algos are programmed and set to scan today's FOMC statement for whether both "patient" and "considerable time" are still there (as it did last time when it supposedly sent a pseudo-hawkish message while telling Virtu and Getco to buy, buy, buy), the market is torn between the trends observed in recent days: on one hand finally succumbing to the adverse impact of USD strength, which overnight also saw the Singapore Dollar admit defeat in the ongoing currency wars, is crushing both revenues and EPS, as well as outlooks, for the bulk of US companies, even as millennials - long since given up on buying a house - allocate their meager savings to the annual incarnation of Apple's flagship product as seen in yesterday's record, blowout numbers by AAPL which is up 8% in the premarket and sending Nasdaq futures soaring compared to the stagnant DJIA or S&P. And then there is Europe where the mood is decidedly sour this morning, with Greece imploding on fears Tsipras really means business and concerns the Greek "virus" may spread to other peripheral nations whose bonds have also seen a lack of a bond bid this morning.
The Swiss-Franc-inspired spike in crude oil (crazy but true) as Europe opened has seen its highs broken as WTI Crude tests $46 once again following reports of Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi meeting with Rolf Willy Hansen - ambassador of Norway, Oleg Ozerov - ambassador of Russia, and Pekka Voutilainen, ambassador of Finland; to discuss "market stability." Why would that spike oil prices? Because the three are plotting the final destruction of US shale... just as Obama makes an appearance at Abdullah's funeral?
With the Ruble having plunged 3 handles today alone, it appears perhaps more than a few could see this coming...
- RUSSIAN FEDERATION RATINGS CUT TO JUNK BY S&P
- RUSSIAN FEDERATION CUT TO BB+ FROM BBB- BY S&P; OUTLOOK NEG
Putting it below investment grade for the first time in a decade. Of course, this happens just 6 days after the news first leaked that S&P would pay a $1.5 billion settlement to the US DoJ over downgrading America: one wonders just what else was in the small print?
With crude oil prices once again testing cycle (multi-year) lows this morning - following a brief bounce on the death of Saudi King Abdullah - we thought it intriguing that for the 4th month in a row fund flows into the iPath Oil ETN have surged to almost six year highs. As Bloomberg Briefs reports, "the kind of flows that we're seeing can only be explained by 'catch the falling knife' behavior, where people are trying to call the bottom," as December and Jnauary flows now top $400 million - the most in 6 years for a 2-month period (as price plummet further). But 'investors' are piling into double- and triple- levered "up" oil bets too...
Euro Crash Continues Sending Stocks Higher, Yields To Record Lows; Crude Stabilizes On New King's CommentsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2015 07:03 -0500
Today's market action is largely a continuation of the QE relief rally, where - at least for the time being - the market bought the rumor for over 2 years and is desperate to show it can aslo buy the news. As a result, the European multiple-expansion based stock ramp has resumed with the Eurostoxx advancing for a 7th day to extend their highest level since Dec. 2007. As we showed yesterday, none of the equity action in Europe is based on fundamentals, but is the result of multiple expansion, with the PE on European equities now approaching 20x, a surge of nearly 70% in the past 2 years. But the real story is not in equities but in bonds where the perfectly expected frontrunning of some €800 billion in European debt issuance over the next year, taking more than 100% of European net supply, has hit new record level.
The ongoing 'isolation' of Russia took another turn for the un-isolated-er today when, as Bloomberg reports, China will build a 7,000-kilometer (4,350-mile) high-speed rail link from Beijing to Moscow, at a cost of 1.5 trillion yuan ($242 billion), Beijing’s city government said. The rail-link - which will bring travel time between Beijing and Moscow down from 5 days to 30 hours - signals a 10-year partnership between the two nations and follows the dropping of the French company, Alstom, from the project.
There is virtually nothing which is on the level in today’s financial markets. According to the Fed’s PR firm, Hilsenramp & Blackstone, one quarter of the $7 trillion in bonds issued by euro zone government are trading at negative yields. And this drastic financial repression prevails across the yield curve, not just on the short end. Yes, the juxtaposition is entirely reasonable that a state drifting toward insolvency and/or ruinous taxation should be able to borrow 10-year money at 0.70%. That is, when the fix is in, the central bank printing press is open to buy, the apparatchiks are terrified and one of history’s greatest monetary charlatans is in charge - the speculators have nothing to do but harvest their haul. So now begins the greatest heist since Bernanke bailed out Wall Street in September 2008.