At the end of last month we noted that stocks were entering a dangerous period: the "buyback blackout" that surrounds earnings. As we've documented exhaustively, stocks have benefited handsomely from the corporate share repurchase bid and so in the absence of demand from cost-insensitive corporate management teams, and with households and institutions both selling as outlined here, the following chart, which shows that equity flows are aggresively negative, comes as no surprise. Having said that, stocks are at record highs begging the question: "who is buying?"
Big decoupling in recent weeks between US equity flows and prices (new highs today –...correction risks will grow in absence of fresh inflows in coming weeks.
We might ask the following: is there someone (or some central planning agency) out there buying ES or spoofing to push the market higher without ever actually buying anything? One never knows — perhaps Kuroda's plunge protection is now operating outside of Tokyo.