Tag: Stock market (page 1 of 15)

Mueller Subpoena Spooks Dollar, Sends European Stocks, US Futures Lower

Yesterday’s torrid, broad-based rally looked set to continue overnight until early in the Japanese session, when the USD tumbled and dragged down with it the USDJPY, Nikkei, and US futures following a WSJ report that Robert Mueller had issued a subpoena to more than a dozen top Trump administration officials in mid October.

And as traders sit at their desks on Friday, U.S. index futures point to a lower open as European stocks fall, struggling to follow Asian equities higher as the euro strengthened at the end of a tumultuous week. Chinese stocks dropped while Indian shares and the rupee gain on Moody’s upgrade. The MSCI world equity index was up 0.1% on the day, but was heading for a 0.1% fall on the week. The dollar declined against most major peers, while Treasury yields dropped and oil rose. 

Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index fluctuated before turning lower as much as 0.3% in brisk volumes, dropping towards the 200-DMA, although about 1% above Wednesday’s intraday low; weakness was observed in retail, mining, utilities sectors. In the past two weeks, the basic resources sector index is down 6%, oil & gas down 5.8%, autos down 4.9%, retail down 3.4%; while real estate is the only sector in green, up 0.1%. The Stoxx 600 is on track to record a weekly loss of 1.3%, adding to last week’s sell-off amid sharp rebound in euro, global equity pullback. The Euro climbed for the first time in three days after ECB President Mario Draghi said he was optimistic for wage growth in the region, although stressed the need for patience, speaking in Frankfurt. European bonds were mixed. The pound pared some of its earlier gains after comments from Brexit Secretary David Davis signaling a continued stand-off in negotiations with the European Union.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 took its time to catch up to the WSJ report that US Special Counsel Mueller has issued a Subpoena for Russia-related documents from Trump campaign officials, although reports pointing to North Korea conducting ‘aggressive’ work on the construction of a ballistic missile submarine helped the selloff. The Japanese blue-chip index rose as much as 1.8% in early dealing, but the broad-based dollar retreat led to the index unwinding the bulk of its gains; the index finished the session up 0.2% as the yen jumped to the strongest in four-weeks. Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.2% with IT, healthcare and telecoms leading the way, as utilities lagged. Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai Comp down circa 0.5% as the PBoC’s reversel in liquidity injections (overnight net drain of 10bn yuan) did little to boost risk appetite, as Kweichou Moutai (viewed as a bellwether among Chinese blue chips) fell sharply. This left the index facing its biggest weekly loss in 3 months, while the Hang Seng rallied with IT leading the way higher. Indian stocks and the currency advanced after Moody’s Investors Service raised the nation’s credit rating.

The dollar was pressured even as tax reform moved a step forward given Trump-Russia probe came back into focus. Two-year Treasury yield hit a fresh high and bonds slipped. The euro stayed on course to its best week in two months as Draghi remains bullish on prospects of higher wages; the kiwi hit its lowest level since June 2016.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury yield curve remained on investors’ radar, reaching its flattest levels in a decade, reflecting a belief that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a tax overhaul expected to boost share prices if it becomes law. The legislative battle now shifts to the Senate. As Bloomberg notes, as “Washington took one step closer to tax reform and China’s central bank injected the most cash since January into its financial system this week, investors have been trying to decide if resilient global growth and strong earnings forecasts warrant sticking it out in equities. Lofty valuations contributed to fund managers paring back some exposure after global shares reached record highs earlier this month.”

As earnings season drew to a close with 90 percent of U.S. and European companies having reported, analysts said results were supportive but weaker than the previous quarters. “While they look good overall, the strong momentum apparent since Q1 is now fading,” said Societe Generale analysts, adding that consensus earnings estimates are no longer being raised for U.S. or euro zone stocks.

As also reported on Thursday, Fed’s Williams suggested that central banks should consider unconventional policy tools for use in the future, including higher inflation targets and income targeting. Williams also suggested that negative rates need to be on list of potential tools if the US enters a recession, even as he said that a December hike, followed by 3 hikes in 2018 is perfectly reasonable. “What really matters is gradual normalisation not timing, should raise rates to around 2.5% in the next couple of years” he said adding that “Low inflation in a way is lucky as it allows strong growth, however, if it does not pick up over the next few years he will re-think the rate path.”

Oil prices were on track for weekly losses, slipping from two-year highs hit last week on signs that U.S. supply is rising and could potentially undermine OPEC’s efforts to tighten the market. U.S. light crude stood at $55.53 a barrel, up 0.7 percent on the day but still within its trading range in the past couple of days. It was down 2.1 percent on the week. Brent futures hit a two-week low of $61.08 a barrel but last stood 0.3 percent higher at $61.53. It was down 3.1 percent for the week.

Economic data today includes housing starts, building permits.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 2,583.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 384.06
  • MSCI Asia up 0.4% to 170.15
  • MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.5% to 558.90
  • Nikkei up 0.2% to 22,396.80
  • Topix up 0.1% to 1,763.76
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.6% to 29,199.04
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.5% to 3,382.91
  • Sensex up 0.8% to 33,377.55
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 5,957.25
  • Kospi down 0.03% to 2,533.99
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.1 bps to 0.387%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.1795
  • Brent Futures up 0.7% to $61.78/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 0.2 bps to 1.572%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to 1.548%
  • Brent Futures up 0.7% to $61.78/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,282.59
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.3% to 93.69

Top Overnight News

  • House Republicans pass tax bill, while Senate Finance Committee approves different version
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is said to have served President Donald Trump’s election campaign a subpoena in mid-October seeking documents related to Russia contacts
  • ECB President Mario Draghi said he was confident for wage growth in the euro area
  • While U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis said there would be some clarity on the Britain’s divorce bill with the European Union in a “a few more weeks,” there are signs that talks with EU leaders are in a new stand-off
  • Japanese PM Shinzo Abe says he will push through initiatives to boost productivity and compile a new economic policy package next month
  • Canada is open to a Mexican proposal to review the North American Free Trade Agreement every five years instead of ending the deal automatically if not renegotiated, which the U.S. had demanded, Reuters reports, citing two unidentified government sources
  • Senate Panel Approves Tax Plan as GOP Leaders Gird for Battle
  • Murdoch Has His Pick of Suitors as He Ponders Fox’s Fate; Sky Rises Most Since June on Interest From Comcast, Verizon
  • Chinese Stocks Tumble as State Media Warning Triggers Selloff
  • India’s First Moody’s Upgrade in 14 Years Bets on Reforms
  • Draghi Says Confidence on Inflation Will Help Drive Wage Gains
  • China Issues Draft Rules to Curb Asset Management Product Risks
  • Bitcoin Flirts With Record $8,000 High, Leaving Sell-Off Behind
  • PDVSA Looks Like a ‘Zero’ to Man Who Ran Elliott’s Argentina Bet
  • Manafort Spent Millions on Home Updates But Numbers Don’t Add Up
  • Tesla Seals Order From Michigan Grocery Chain for Semi Trucks
  • Luxoft Holding Second Quarter Adjusted EPS Beats Estimates
  • JPMorgan’s Gu Sees ‘Very Robust’ Pipeline for Hong Kong IPOs

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 took its time to catch up to a report suggesting that US Special Counsel Mueller has issued a Subpoena for Russia-related documents from Trump campaign officials, although reports pointing to North Korea conducting ‘aggressive’ work on the construction of a ballistic missile submarine probably helped the selloff. The Japanese blue-chip index rose as much as 1.8% in early dealing, but the broad-based dollar retreat led to the index unwinding the bulk of its gains; the index finished the session up 0.2%. Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.2% with IT, healthcare and telecoms leading the way, as utilities lagged. Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai Comp down circa 0.4% as the PBoC’s injections have done little to underscore risk appetite, as Kweichou Moutai (viewed as a bellwether among Chinese blue chips) fell sharply. This left the index facing its biggest weekly loss in 3 months, while  the Hang Seng rallied with IT leading the way higher. The PBoC injected a net CNY 810bln this week, against a net drain of CNY 230bln last week. Japanese PM Abe promised to rid the country of deflation once and for all. He pledged to use all policy tools, including tax reforms and deregulation, to push up wages in order to put an end to the country’s persistent deflation he also noted that he wants to increase pressure on North Korea along with the international community. Japanese Finance Minister Aso stated that Japan is to continue to firmly escape deflation. South Korea’s FX authority warned that the pace of the KRW’s gains has been fast. A BoK official warned that the KRW has appreciated fast in a short time, and reiterates that FX authorities are monitoring the situation. Moody’s raised India’s sovereign rating to Baa2 from Baa3, outlook to stable from positive.

Top Asian News

  • India Rating Raised by Moody’s as Reforms Boost Growth Potential
  • China to Rein Risks in Asset Management Industry
  • China Warning Wipes $6 Billion From Stock Loved by Goldman
  • Erdogan Says Turkey Has Withdrawn Troops From NATO Exercise
  • China Stocks Cap Worst Week Since August as Moutai Battered

European bourses trading modestly lower this morning, with downbeat earnings weighing sentiment, while the spill-over from a soft Asian session has dented risk in Europe. Vivendi shares had been lower as much as 2% after a weak earnings update. FTSE 100 slipping slight amid the strength in GBP, which is back above 1.32 against the greenback. Comments from ECB’s Draghi have sparked some additional movement, as while largely sticking to the post-October 26 policy meeting presser he appeared more confident about the growth and inflation outlook (economic activity more self-propelling, underlying inflation to converge with headline etc). Hence, a decline in Bunds below parity to a 162.50 low, but again not yet posing a real threat to more substantial downside targets/supports. Market contacts suggest that 162.48 needs to be breached from an intraday chart perspective to bring Thursday’s 162.38 Eurex base into contention, and recall there are more/bigger stops anticipated below 162.36. On the upside, assuming 162.48 holds, yesterday’s 162.82 session high is the first proper line of resistance. Gilts have also retreated into negative territory alongside Bunds and USTs, to 124.45 vs 124.77 at best and their 124.72 previous settlement.

Top European News

  • We’ll Wait for U.K. Brexit Concessions, EU Leaders Tell May
  • From EON to Fortum: How to Save Nasdaq’s Fading Power Market
  • Carige Talks With Underwriters Continue as Deadline Looms
  • Elior Plunges Most on Record as Hurricane Irma Wrecks Party
  • Norway Idea to Exit Oil Stocks Is ‘Shot Heard Around the World’

In FX, the USD is down again, but off worst levels seen so far this week as the Index holds within a 93.500-93.900 broad range. Some respite for Dollar from progress on the tax reform bill, but another Russian-related probe into Trump’s election campaign has capped the upside. The Euro was underpinned by upbeat comments from ECB President Draghi, and holding close to 1.1800 vs the Usd. Hefty option expiries still in play from 1.1790-1.1800 through 1.18250 and up to 1.1840-50. The Yen regaining a safe-haven bid amid the latest US political challenge against the President, with Usd/Jpy down to new multi-week
lows sub-112.50. AUD/NZD is the biggest G10 losers on broad risk-off sentiment and the recovering Greenback, with Aud/Usd back below 0.7600 and Nzd/Usd even weaker under the 0.6800 handle. Note, cross flow also weakening the Kiwi as Aud/Nzd trades back at 1.1100+ levels.

In commodities, Brent and WTI crude futures trading higher by 0.4% and 1.3% respectively, the latter making a break above yesterday’s at USD 55.59, however has met resistance at the USD 56 handle. Iraq/Kurd oil flow to Ceyhan rises to 254k bpd, according to Port Agent

Looking at the day ahead, a slightly quieter end to the week although the ECB’s Draghi is due to give a keynote address on “Europe into a new era – how to seize the opportunities”. The Bundesbank’s Weidmann is also slated to speak while the Fed’s Williams speaks in the evening. US housing starts for October and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity index for November are the data highlights.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Housing Starts, est. 1.19m, prior 1.13m; MoM, est. 5.59%, prior -4.7%
  • 8:30am: Building Permits, est. 1.25m, prior 1.22m; MoM, est. 2.04%, prior -4.5%
  • 10am: MBA Mortgage Foreclosures, prior 1.29%; Mortgage Delinquencies, prior 4.24%
  • 11am: Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 20.5, prior 23

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Maybe the S&P 500 will be the new hard currency of the world as nothing seems to break it at the moment. After a very nervous last week (longer in HY and EM) for markets, the S&P 500 closed +0.82% last night (best day since September 11th) and for all the recent fury and angst is only 0.34% off its’ all-time closing high. The Nasdaq gained 1.30% to a fresh all time high and the Stoxx 600 was also up for the first time in eight days. The positive reaction seems to have started in Asia yesterday, in part as commodity prices stabilised somewhat and news that China’s PBoC injected cash with the largest reverse repo operation since January. Then US markets got an additional boost from Cisco guiding to its first revenue gain in eight quarters and Wal-Mart posting its strongest US sales in more than eight years. There was also a little sentiment boost from the House passing its tax bill.

This morning in Asia, markets are strengthening further. The Nikkei (+0.11%), Hang Seng (+0.78%) and Kospi (+0.28%) are all modestly up while the Shanghai Comp. is down 0.55% as we type. Moody’s upgraded India’s sovereign bond rating for the first time since 2004. It’s one notch higher to Baa2/Stable (also one notch higher than S&P’s BBB-) with the agency citing ongoing progress in economic and institutional reforms. India’s 10y bond yields is down c10bp this morning to 6.96%. Elsewhere, UST 10y has partly reversed yesterday’s moves and is trading c2bp lower.

Now back to US tax reforms, which is a small step closer to resolution. The House has voted (227-205) to pass its version of the tax reform bill despite 13 Republicans dissenting. President Trump tweeted “a big step toward fulfilling our promise to deliver historic tax cuts…by the end of the year”. Notably, the more challenging task may now begin in terms of passing the Senate’s version where fiscal constraints are tighter and the Republicans only have 52 of the 100 seats in the Chamber. Overnight, the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve its revised tax package, so a full chamber vote could come as early as the  week after Thanksgiving. If passed, the two versions of the tax bill will need to be somehow reconciled. Our US economist believes there is a decent chance that some version of tax reform can be achieved, but this is likely to be a Q1 event with potential stumbling blocks along the way.

Turning to the various Brexit headlines, PM May flew out last night to Sweden for an informal summit with European leaders seeking to kick start the stalled Brexit talks. She is expected to meet with the Swedish Premier and Irish counterpart before meeting with EU President Tusk on Friday. Following on, the Brexit Secretary Davis noted that we have to “wait a few more weeks” for clarity on how much UK is willing to pay in the divorce settlement. Elsewhere, Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein tweeted “many (fellow business leaders) wish for a confirming vote on (Brexit)…so much at stake, why not make sure consensus still there?”

Moving onto central bankers’ commentaries. In the US, the Fed’s Mester sounded reasonably balanced and remains supportive of continued gradual policy tightening. She noted “anecdotal feedback from business contacts suggest they are increasing wages”, but it’s going to be hard to see strong wage growth because productivity growth is low. Overall, she sees “good reasons” that inflation will rise back to 2% goal, but “it’s going to take a little longer…”

The Fed’s Williams noted one more rate hike this year and three more in 2018 remains a “reasonable guess” subject to incoming data. Finally, the Fed’s Kaplan  reiterated the Fed would continue to make progress towards achieving its 2% inflation target, but noted that the neutral fed funds rate is “not that far away”.

In the UK, BOE Governor Carney reiterated that interest rates would probably rise “a couple of times over the next few years” if the economy evolved in line with the Bank’s projections, but also cautioned that the fundamental economic impacts of Brexit will only be “known over a very long period of time”. That said, he noted the BOE will remain nimble and support the economy no matter what the result of the Brexit negotiations will be. Elsewhere, Chancellor Hammond has confirmed that the Treasury does not plan to change the inflation gauge that the BOE targets from CPI to CPIH – which includes owner occupied housing costs and is the new preferred price measure by the Office for National Statistics.

Now recapping other markets performance yesterday. Within the S&P, only the energy and utilities sector were modestly in the red (-0.58%), partly weighed down by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund plans to sell c$40bln of energy related stocks to make it less vulnerable to the sector. Elsewhere, gains were led by telco, consumer staples and tech stocks. European markets were all higher, with the DAX and CAC up c0.6% while the FTSE 100 was the relative underperformer at +0.19%. The VIX index dropped 10.4% to 11.76.

Over in government bonds, UST 10y yields rose 5.3bp following the House’s approval of the tax plans and a solid beat for industrial production, while Gilts also rose 2.3bp, in part due to slightly stronger retail sales figures. Other core bond yields were little changed (10y Bunds flat, OATs -0.4bp), while Italian yields marginally underperformed (+0.5bp), partly reflecting that Banca Carige has failed to get banks to underwrite its planned share sale – making a bail in more likely, as well as recent polls (eg: Ipsos) showing the 5SM party taking a modest lead versus peers. Elsewhere, some of the recent pressure in the HY space appears to be reversing with the Crossover index 9.2bp tighter.

Key currencies were little changed, with the US dollar index up 0.13% while Sterling gained 0.18% and Euro fell 0.18%. In commodities, WTI oil dipped 0.34% yesterday but is trading marginally higher this morning after Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its willingness to extend oil cuts at the November 30 OPEC meeting. Elsewhere, precious metals were slightly higher (Gold +0.03%; Silver +0.54%) while other base metals continue to softened, although losses are moderating (Copper -0.17%; Zinc -0.84%; Aluminium -0.35%).

Away from the markets, our US economists have published their latest outlook for the US economy. They note the US economy is on good footing for continued above-trend growth in 2018 and beyond. Overall, they believe private sector fundamentals are broadly sound, the labour market has more than achieved full employment and financial conditions are highly supportive of growth. On real GDP growth, their forecast for 2018 is unchanged at 2.3%, but 2019 is up a tenth to 2.1% while growth in 2020 is expected to slow to 1.5% as monetary policy tightening gains traction. The Unemployment rate is expected to fall to 3.5% by early 2019, so although inflation should remain low through year-end, our team’s medium-term view that core inflation should normalise is intact. Hence, in terms of rates outlook, they still expect the next rate increase in December, followed by three hikes in 2018 and four more in 2019. Elsewhere, tax reform is a wild card, though it faces significant political challenges. Conversely, potential disruptions to trade policy would be a negative development. For more detail, refer to their note.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the October IP was above expectations at 0.9% mom (vs. 0.5%) and 2.9% yoy – the highest since January 2015, in part as the post storm recovery efforts gets underway. Aggregate capacity utilization was also beat at 77% (vs. 76.3% expected) – highest since April 2015 and the NAHB housing market index was also above at 70 (vs. 67) – highest since March. Elsewhere, the November Philly Fed index was slightly below expectations but still solid at 22.7 (vs. 24.6 expected), with both the new orders and employment indices above 20. Finally, the weekly initial jobless claims was slightly higher (249k vs. 235k expected), perhaps impacted by the delayed filings following the storms and the Veteran’s day holiday, while continuing claims fell to a new 44 year low (1,860k vs. 1,900k expected).

In the UK, core retail sales (ex-auto fuel) for October slightly beat expectations, at 0.1% mom (vs. flat expected) and -0.3% yoy (vs. -0.4% expected). In the Eurozone, the final reading for October CPI was unrevised at 0.1% mom and 1.4% yoy, but France’s 3Q unemployment was slightly higher than expected at 9.7% (vs. 9.5%).

Looking at the day ahead, a slightly quieter end to the week although the ECB’s Draghi is due to give a keynote address on “Europe into a new era – how to seize the opportunities”. The Bundesbank’s Weidmann is also slated to speak while the Fed’s Williams speaks in the evening. US housing starts for October and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity index for November are the data highlights.

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Despite Massive Liquidity Injection, Chinese Stocks, Commodities Head For Worst Week Of Year

The PBOC stepped up cash injections this week, suggesting authorities are trying to shore up financial markets as a selloff in bonds spreads to equities… but it is not working!

As Bloomberg reports, the central bank has already added a net 510 billion yuan ($77 billion) via open-market operations into the financial system this week, matching the third biggest weekly injection this year.

But, it is not enough…

While bonds did stabilize – managing to avoid closing beyind the crucial 4.00% level…

Stocks did not…

As they head of the worst week in 7 months…

And commodities are getting clobbered

“The increase in cash additions will help soothe market sentiment,” said Qin Han, chief fixed-income analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co. “But the decline will not be reversed, as the market’s biggest concern is not tight liquidity but tougher financial regulation.”

http://WarMachines.com

Einhorn: “None Of The Problems From The Financial Crisis Have Been Solved”

A month ago, a downbeat David Einhorn exclaimed "will this market cycle never turn?"

Despite solid Q3 performance, Einhorn admitted that "the market remains very challenging for value investing strategies, as growth stocks have continued to outperform value stocks. The persistence of this dynamic leads to questions regarding whether value investing is a viable strategy. The knee-jerk instinct is to respond that when a proven strategy is so exceedingly out of favor that its viability is questioned, the cycle must be about to turn around. Unfortunately, we lack such clarity. After years of running into the wind, we are left with no sense stronger than, 'it will turn when it turns'."

Such an open-ended answer, however, is a problem for a fund which famously opened a basket of "internet shorts" several years prior, and which have continued to rip ever higher, detracting from Greenlight's overall performance.

This, in turn, has prompted Einhorn to consider the unthinkable alternative: "Might the cycle never turn?" In other words, is the market now permanently broken.

While the Greenlight founder did not explicitly answer the question, in a speech yesterday at The Oxford Union in England, Einhorn made it extremely clear just how farcical he believes this market, and world, has become, pointing out that the problems that caused the global financial crisis a decade ago still haven’t been resolved.

“Have we learned our lesson? It depends what the lesson was,” Einhorn, the co-founder of New York-based Greenlight Capital, said at the Oxford Union in England on Wednesday.

Infamous for his value investing style and bet against Lehman Brothers that paid off in the crisis, Bloomberg reports that Einhorn said he identified several issues at the time of the crisis, including the fact that institutions that could have gone under were deemed too big to fail.

The scarcity of major credit-rating agencies was and remains a factor, Einhorn said, while problems in the derivatives market “could have been dealt with differently," and in the “so-called structured-credit market, risk was transferred, but not really being transferred, and not properly valued.”

“If you took all of the obvious problems from the financial crisis, we kind of solved none of them,” Einhorn said to a packed room at Oxford University’s 194-year-old debating society.

 

Instead, the world “went the bailout route.”

 

“We sweep as much under the rug as we can and move on as quickly as we can,” he said.

Einhorn didn’t avoid discussing his underperformance, citing several failed bets that companies’ stocks would decline. He didn’t name the stocks he was shorting, but insisted that none of the companies are “viable businesses.”

Value investing has worked over time, but “it’s not working at all right now,” and in fact “the opposite seems to be working,” he said.

Greenlight remains focused on developed markets, and has no plans to change that, he said.

Which reminds us of his exasperated conclusions from the latest Greenlight letter to investors:

Given the performance of certain stocks, we wonder if the market has adopted an alternative paradigm for calculating equity value. What if equity value has nothing to do with current or future profits and instead is derived from a company’s ability to be disruptive, to provide social change, or to advance new beneficial technologies, even when doing so results in current and future economic loss?

 

It’s clear that a number of companies provide products and services to customers that come with a subsidy from equity holders. And yet, on a mark-to-market basis, the equity holders are doing just fine.

Ah yes, the Fed-funded "deflation trade" which lowers prices for goods and services courtesy of ravenous investors who will throw money at any "growth" idea, without considerations for return or profit, because – well – more such investors will emerge tomorrow.  After all, in this day and age of ZIRP, what else will they do with their money.

http://WarMachines.com

UBS Reveals The Stunning Reason Behind The 2017 Stock Market Rally

It’s 2018 forecast time for the big banks. With Goldman unveiling its seven Top Trades for 2018 earlier, overnight it was also UBS’ turn to reveal its price targets for the S&P in the coming year, and not surprisingly, the largest Swiss bank was extremely bullish, so much so in fact that its base case is roughly where Goldman expects the S&P to be some time in the 2020s (at least until David Kostin revises his price forecast shortly).

So what does UBS expect? The bank’s S&P “base case” is 2900, and notes that its upside target of 3,300 assumes a tax cut is passed, while its downside forecast of 2,200 assumes Fed hikes in the face of slowing growth:

We target 2900 for the S&P 500 at 2018 YE, based on EPS of $141 (+8%) and modest P/E expansion to 20.6x.

 

Our upside case of S&P 500 at 3300 assumes EPS gets a further 10% boost driven by a 25% tax rate (+6.5%), repatriation (+2%) and a GDP lift (+1.6%), while the P/E rises by 1.0x. Downside of 2200 assumes the Fed hikes as growth slows, the P/E contracts by 3x and EPS falls 3%. Congress is motivated to act before midterm elections while the Fed usually reacts to slower growth; so we think our upside case is more likely.

Why is UBS’ base case so much higher than what most other banks forecast? According to strategist Keith Parker, the reason is a “Valuation disconnect”: Higher rates are priced in, while higher expected growth is not. He explains:

We model the S&P 500 P/E based on select macro drivers. The S&P P/E is 5x below the model implied level, which points to solid returns. More specifically, the 2.8% Fed rate target is priced in (worth 1.3x) but higher analyst expected 3-5yr growth is not (worth 3.7x). The P/E has been 2-4x above the implied level at the end of each bull market and the model has been a good signal for forward S&P returns (20-25% correlation). High-growth (most expensive) and deep-value (cheapest) stocks are cheap on a relative basis; the price for perceived safety is high. We focus on risk-adjusted growth + yield.

On the earnings side, this is how UBS bridges its 2018 rise to 141:

Following the 2014-16 earnings recession, S&P 500 EPS returned to growth in 2017 on the back of improved economic momentum globally, a commodity recovery, and rising margins. While a tax plan would significantly impact our growth assumptions, our base case EPS forecast excludes any tax upside given the degree of legislative uncertainty.

 

For 2018, we expect the earnings recovery to continue and forecast 8.3% EPS growth, driven by solid economic growth, offsetting margin drivers and higher interest rates. To control for the volatility and different drivers for certain sectors, we model financials and energy separately, with a buyback tailwind applied at the index level (1% assumed in 2018). 

 

We forecast S&P ex Financials & Energy earnings to grow 7% in 2018. Top-line growth is a function of 2.2% US real GDP and 3.8% RoW GDP growth, a relatively stable USD, and slightly higher growth in intellectual property products (“IPP” or tech) plus business equipment spending (less structures spending). Margins are adversely impacted by rising unit labor costs of 1.9% and boosted by a 1% improvement in productivity, with a negative net effect. Finally, flat US GDP growth means that earnings do not benefit much from operating leverage.

 

We expect Financials earnings to grow 7%, with return on assets improving on the back of a rising 3m Libor rate to 2.2% by YE 2018, two Fed hikes in 2018, a stable financing spread (delta between total bond market and Financials OAS spreads) and no rise in delinquencies (modelled using change in unemployment).  Asset growth is estimated using a beta of 1.35 to US real GDP growth.

 

We expect Energy sector earnings to continue to rebound, growing 28%. Energy accounts for less than 4% of total projected S&P 500 net income. Given the inherent volatility in earnings over recent years, we model sales growth as a function of oil and natural gas, which explains 97% of the sector’s top-line growth. We assume that margins recover as D&A and other overhead is leveraged

Here we have some bad news for UBS: none of the above will happen, for one simple reason – the driver of earnings growth in 2017, China’s record credit injections, has slammed shut, and if anything is now in reverse. This is bad news not only for China of course, but for fungible global markets, all of which are reliant on the world’s biggest marginal creator of crerdit in the financial system, Beijing. And, as we discussed yesterday, starting, well, two weeks ago, China is in active deleveraging mode. 

The implications for corporate profits will be adverse.

* * *

Yet as we stated at the beginning, none of the above is surprising, or even remotely remarkable: it’s just another bank’s forecast, and with the benefit of hindsight one year from today, we will have some laughs at its morbid, late cycle optimism.

What is very striking, however, is an little noticed analysis from UBS inside the projection, which seeks to explain where virtually all the market upside in 2017 has come from. In a statement that one would never hear on CNBC, or any other financial medium, as it destroys the narrative of new money entering the market, UBS argues that the entire 2017 rally was just one giant short squeeze! In its own words:

Short covering fuelled the YTD rally; retail and foreign should continue to buy. YTD US equity ETF+MF flows have been -$17bn as short covering in stocks and ETFs of $83bn has supported the rally.

 

 

And as the shorts get decimated, the final buyer emerges before the whole house of cards comes crashing down: the retail investor. Some more details:

US equity demand model: short covering has fuelled the 2017 rally

 

We have developed a simple model of US equity demand, from the major sources of potential buying using higher frequency data. Figure 101 shows the cumulative “demand” since 2010, and the broad US equity market has tracked the measure well. Since the beginning of the year, US equity ETF+MF flows have been -$17bn as short covering in stocks and ETFs of $83bn has supported the rally (Figure 102). We see the rally transitioning to the next phase where inflows into MFs and ETFs need to take over with short interest as a % of market cap near the lows.

 

 

Retail and foreign buyers drive the last phase of a bull market. Following on the point above that flows to MFs and ETFs need to take over, we find that the retail and foreign buyer are typically the marginal buyer during the last phases of a bull market (Figure 103). Indeed, we see that US households have been increasing their ownership of US equities (ex MFs, ETFs, pensions), which has happened at the end of prior cycles. Additionally, the foreign buyer stopped selling and could start becoming a net buyer, with Asia money flow the key with ~$40tr sitting in M2.

 

In UBS’ most bizarre admission, the Swiss bank also notes that “the last part of a bull market is typically fuelled by retail and foreign money, which has been the case of late.” And yet, even more inexplicably, UBS believes that there is enough “dry powder” behind the short squeeze to push the market to not just 2,900 but potentially 3,300.

Which, if UBS is right, means that there will be a lot of suicidal shorts in the coming months as the world’s biggest short squeeze proceeds to its inevitable conclusion. But the worst news is for the last bagholder left: Joe and Jane Sixpack, aka US retail investors, as institutions dump all their equity holdings to the last bid remaining, something JPM first warned about in February when it wrote that “Institutions, Hedge Funds Are Using The Rally To Sell To Retail” and which everyone appears to have forgotten.

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Options Traders Furiously BFTD!

Via Dana Lyons' Tumblr,

Despite the down day yesterday, one indicator from the equity options market recorded a massive spike in bullishness.

We like to track metrics from the various stock options exchanges as a measure of stock market sentiment. Generally, when too many calls are being bought versus puts, it is a warning of overheated bullishness, and when put volume becomes extreme relative to calls, it can be a sign of excessive fear. One particular indicator we used to track closely was the International Securities Exchange’s Call/Put Ratio on equity options (ISEE). For years, the ISEE was particularly helpful in signaling bullish or bearish extremes. We’re not sure what changed, however, in recent years the indicator has been of little to no value in that regard (in our assessment). We do still continue to monitor it, though, just in case it gives readings that raise our antennae. Yesterday’s reading did.

In the past, ISEE readings above 200, i.e., 2 calls bought per every put, have arguably been considered excessively bullish. There have not been nearly as many of these readings in recent years, so yesterday’s number was alarming to say the least. At a reading of 334, it was the highest ISEE recorded in 5 and a half years – and just the 10th ever above 300 since its 2006 inception.

Now, given the fact that we haven’t seen any ISEE readings close to this level in several years, it is possible that this figure was skewed irregularly by activity in a particular stock or stocks. If that’s the case, it may not be a true reflection of trader sentiment, in this case excessively bullish.

However, if we can take this ISEE figure at face value, there are a few potentially concerning aspects to it. First off, as the reading came on a solidly down day in the equity market, it would be concerning that traders are a little too comfortable B.T.D., aka, Buying The Dip. To us, that would be a telltale sign of complacency and a warning that more serious losses may be in store in the market to rid traders of said complacency.

The other concern, obviously, is the sheer magnitude of the reading and what has occurred following similar readings in the past. Again, there have been 9 other readings over 300, all occurring between 2010 and 2012. As the chart shows, a few readings occurred almost precisely at intermediate-term tops, e.g., prior to the Flash Crash in 2010, April 2011 and March 2012. The others occurred during the rally in late 2010 to early 2011, building to the 2011 top.

So, *if* this ISEE reading is to be taken at face value, it is not necessarily a death knell for the rally. But it would suggest that if an intermediate-term top was not at hand, then any further upside may be limited and temporary.

Then again, if the reading is a fluke, long live B.T.D.

*  *  *

If you’re interested in the “all-access” version of our charts and research, please check out The Lyons Share. Find out what we’re investing in, when we’re getting in – and when we’re getting out. Considering that we may well be entering an investment environment tailor made for our active, risk-managed approach, there has never been a better time to reap the benefits of this service. Thanks for reading!

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Art market send important signal to stocks yesterday?

Activity in the art/collectible markets yesterday caught my attention.  A once-lost portrait of Christ by the iconic Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci sold Wednesday at auction for $450 million, roughly triple its anticipated price and the most ever paid for a creative work of human genius.

Bloomberg reported that the largest known fancy intense pink diamond went unsold at Sotheby’s on Wednesday amid jitters in the final round of the Geneva fall auction season. Could this bipolar activity be sending an important message to stocks and the broad markets?

This activity in the art/collectibles markets got me curious to see what the stock pattern of Sotheby’s looked like. See BID below-

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

Sotheby’s peaked in 2007 at the $57 zone at (1). After falling hard during the financial crisis along with the majority of stocks, it has rallied off the 2009 lows to get back to 2007 highs again this past summer at (2). While testing 2007 highs in July, BID created a small bearish reversal pattern (bearish wick). Since creating this pattern, despite the broad market moving higher, BID has not.

While testing the 2007 highs, has BID been creating a head & shoulders topping pattern? It is too early to tell, possible though.

BID remains inside of 2-year rising channel and is testing rising support at (3) above. BID has an unfilled gap near the $30 zone, roughly 30% below current prices. What BID does at (3) could become very important to the intermediate term for this company and could send an important message to this sector and potentially the broad market overall.

 

Why you see chart pattern analysis with brief commentary:   

There is a ton of news and opinions about markets and stocks that make the decision-making process more difficult than it needs to be.   

I believe the Power of the chart Pattern provides all you need to see what is taking place in an asset and determine the action to take. 

This approach has worked well for me and our clients and I encourage you to test it for yourself.

 

 

Send an email if you would like to see sample research and take me up on a trial of our Premium or Weekly Research where I provide actionable alerts on breakouts and reversals in broad market indices, sectors, commodities, the miners and select individual stocks 

 

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Gartman: “We Are Now Short Of One Unit Of The US Equity Market”

So much can change in ten days.

Having entered last week short, “world-renowned commodity guru”, Dennis Gartman, got spooked last Tuesday when faced with the relentless melt-up in global stocks, and admitted that he had “been wrong… badly… in taking even a modestly bearish view of the global equity market and effecting that bearish view via a position in out-of-the-money puts on the US equity market bought a week and one half ago.”  He then said he would immediately cover his short “and covered it shall be” because as he then explained, he was afraid  

“…we are about to enter that violent… and ending… rush to the upside that has ended so many great bull markets of the past. At this point, the buying becomes manic and prices head skyward. Speculation is the order of the day, not investment and when such periods have erupted in the past prices have gone parabolic until such time as the last bears have been brought to heel and the public has thrown investment caution to the wind. We’re there now; this may become wild.”

Fast forward to yesterday when, with nothing but price momentum changing in the interim, Gartman’s flipped 180 degrees, and boldly predicted that “the bear market is upon us we fear”:

Today’s “universal” weakness…only a week from the global market’s all-time high… is a harbinger of further material weakness we fear and sets the stage for the start of what we fear might well be a bear market of some serious vintage. There is concern… very real concern… on our part that one market after another has broken its upward sloping trend line that has heretofore been very well defined. A trend line drawn across the recent lows of the Dow has been broken; a trend line drawn across the recent lows of the S&P has also; trend lines of the Russel… of the Nikkei… of the DAX… of the EUR STOXX 50… of the Tadawul in Saudi Arabia… have all been broken, and we can go of if need be but our point here is made. Something material has happened to the global equity market and only the most fervent of stock market bulls shall not recognize that fact.

 

The equity market, by its very definition, anticipates the change in the economy, rising before the economy rises and falling before the economy falls. We are at the latter tipping point. It has been months in the coming, but it is here and adjustments in one’s investment policies must be made accordingly. The bear is upon is, we fear.

Fast forward to today when all those wondering why not only US equity futures, but markets around the globe have rebounded overnight, may find the answer:

As we said here yesterday, we are certain that we are at a turning point where economic activity is strong and shall likely grow stronger for several months into the future but where stock prices are weaker. Again as we said yesterday, it has always been thus and it shall always be thus. The equity market, by its very definition, anticipates changes in the economy, rising before the economy rises and falling before the economy falls. We are at the latter tipping point:

There was more in the rant, written just one week after Gartman predicted an imminent “violent, panic” rush in stocks, now anticipating a bear market, but it culminated with a new trade recommendation.

Short of One Unit of the US Equity Market: Yesterday… Wednesday, November 15th…we suggested that on any intra-day strength in the indices here in the US … and by strength we meant 8-12 “point” rallies in  the S&P we intended to “sell” the markets short, leaving the actual manner of being short to everyone’s individual preference. Given  that the S&P was 2568 as we wrote, a rally toward what had been support at 2572 would be a reasonable place to sell. It got there… barely… and we are now short a marginal sum.

For the bears out there the wisest thing to do may be to just step away for a bit, and certainly until Gartman’s already underwater position, is stopped out.

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Futures Jump, Global Stocks Rebound From Longest Losing Streak Of The Year

After five consecutive daily losses on the MSCI world stock index and seven straight falls in Europe, there was finally a bounce, as investors returned to global equity markets in an optimistic mood on Thursday, sending US futures higher after several days of losses as global stocks rebounded following a Chinese commodity-driven rout. 

The House is poised to vote, and pass, on tax legislation although what happens in the Senate remains unclear. European shares rebounded for the first time in eight sessions, following Asian stocks higher as the global risk-off mood eased. The euro, Swiss franc and yen all weakened as the dollar edged higher. “After five or six days of steady selling you have got people coming back in looking for bargains,” said CMC Markets' Michael Hewson. “I think it’s temporary though. We haven’t had a significant sell off this year and the fact of the matter is that equity markets have done so much better than anyone dared to envisage.”

As Bloomberg echoes, "investors seem to be regaining their appetite for risk after several days of global declines in stocks and high-yield credit that had many questioning whether the selloff could become a rout."

Still, investor concern over the progress of a massive U.S. tax reform plan showed no sign of abating as two Republican lawmakers on Wednesday criticized the Senate’s latest proposal. U.S. President Donald Trump hit back, tweeting that “Tax cuts are getting close!”

“If we look at what the markets are focusing on, it’s still very much the tax cut debates in the U.S., and how much progress there’s going to be on this front,” Barclays' Mitul Kotecha told Reuters.

Indices in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong and Seoul all rallied overnight, while London, Frankfurt and Paris started 0.3-0.4% higher as cyclical stocks which had driven the sell-off made a comeback. In Japan the Topix index ended its longest losing streak in a year, rising 1% with technology stocks providing the biggest boost, and the Nikkei 225 advances 1.5%. The ASX (+0.2%) also managed to shake off its early losses, closing higher with the energy sector outperforming as consumer staples and utilities weighed. Chinese stocks edged lower despite a massive cash injection by the PBOC, while the Hang Seng moved higher. Hong Kong stocks rebounded from their worst day in four weeks, as insurers led by Ping An Insurance Group Co. jumped on optimism that rising bond yields will boost investment income. Tencent Holdings climbed after posting its fastest revenue growth in seven years.

China’s sovereign bonds finally rebounded, advancing after the central bank boosted cash injections by the most in 10 months, fueling speculation that the authorities are looking to stabilize sentiment after a debt selloff. Having flirted with 4% in recent days, the yield on 10-year government notes dropped 3 basis points to 3.95%; the 5-year yield fell 1 basis point to 3.95%. The 10-year yield surpassed 4% this week for the first time since 2014. The People’s Bank of China added a net 310 billion yuan ($47 billion) through reverse-repurchase agreements on Thursday, bringing this week’s open-market operation additions to 820 billion yuan, also the most since January.

European stocks bounce back from a seven-day rout – the longest losing streak of the year – that had erased almost 400 billion euros ($471 billion) from the value of the region’s benchmark. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index adds 0.7%, following gains in Asia and climbing from a two-month low. All national benchmarks in the region are in the green, except those in Italy and Greece. Most industry groups also rise, with automakers rebounding from an eight-day slump on data showing European car sales grew in October. Financial services firms and builders were among the biggest gainers in the broad advance of the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

There was some relief too that oil prices had pulled out of what had been a near 5 percent drop and that upbeat U.S. data on Wednesday had helped the dollar halt the euro's sharp recent rise.

In currencies, the pound fluctuated as Brexit rhetoric rumbled on, and data showed U.K. retail sales barely rose in October. Concerns about Brexit continue to mount: an article in 'The Sun' newspaper, stated that UK PM May, could increase her divorce bill offer to the EU in December; deal would add GBP 20bln to the GBP 18bln said to already be on offer. Source reports indicate that EU is said to reject UK bid for `bespoke' trade deal, according to Politico. BoE's Carney states that the Bank will do whatever they can to support the UK economy during the Brexit transition period. Chancellor Hammond said to stick to fiscal rules and resist demands for spending surge in upcoming UK budget. Michael Gove is reportedly facing a Conservative party backlash as he is accused of using the cabinet to audition for UK Chancellor

The dollar index was slightly higher on the day at 93.828 having hit four- and five-week lows against the yen and euro. The euro was down around 14 ticks at $1.1760 retreating from a one-month top of $1.1860 on Wednesday. Havens underperformed on Thursday, with gold trading little changed, and the yen and Swiss franc among the worst-performing major currencies. The Swiss franc decreased 0.3 percent to $0.9918, the largest dip in more than two weeks.

Commodities largely stabilized as China’s central bank boosted the supply of cash in the system by the most since January, though oil eventually reversed a gain. Gold edged 0.1% lower to $1,277.29 an ounce. It reached $1,289.09 overnight, its highest since Oct. 20. Oil prices gained despite pressure after the U.S. government reported an unexpected increase in crude and gasoline stockpiles. They had lost ground to this week’s International Energy Agency (IEA) outlook for slower growth in global crude demand.

European government bonds took their cue from the U.S. benchmark, turning lower as the yield on 10-year Treasuries increased. Bond markets saw a broad rise in yields after mostly upbeat U.S. economic news on Wednesday had added to expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates again next month as well as multiple times next year. Two-year Treasury yields US2YT=RR crept to fresh nine-year peaks in European trading, though significantly the U.S. yield curve remained at its flattest in a decade. European yields nudged higher too but the standout there was a fall in the premium investors demand to hold French debt over German peers to its lowest in over two years, almost to record lows.

Wal-Mart, Viacom, Best Buy and Applied Materials are among companies due to release results. Economic data include initial jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 2,574
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.7% to 384.61
  • MSCI Asia up 0.8% to 169.14
  • MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.7% to 555.93
  • Nikkei up 1.5% to 22,351.12
  • Topix up 1% to 1,761.71
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.6% to 29,018.76
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.1% to 3,399.25
  • Sensex up 1% to 33,095.23
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 5,943.51
  • Kospi up 0.7% to 2,534.79
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.3 bps to 0.389%
  • Euro down 0.1% to $1.1779
  • Brent Futures down 0.03% to $61.85/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 0.7 bps to 1.57%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 1.1 bps to 1.561%
  • Brent Futures down 0.03% to $61.85/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.02% to $1,277.91
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 93.91

Top Overnight News

  • After a month of discussions, German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a self-imposed end-of-week deadline to unlock coalition negotiations
  • British PM Theresa May saw some support from officials of her German counterpart Merkel
  • Manfred Weber, who leads Merkel’s Christian Democrats in the European Parliament and is a self-proclaimed skeptic on Brexit, changed his tone dramatically after meeting May saying the U.K. had a “credible” position and there was a “willingness to contribute to a positive outcome”
  • Sterling came under pressure after a Politico report said the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier’s team flatly reject May’s bid for a “bespoke” trade deal
  • Fed officials are pushing for a potentially radical revamp of the playbook for guiding U.S. monetary policy. With inflation and interest rates still low, the central bank has little room to ease policy in a downturn
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is trying to persuade businesses and the Republican faithful to get behind a proposed tax overhaul from the Trump administration that so far lacks broad public support
  • The tax plan has provisions that may affect coverage and increase medical expenses for millions of families
  • President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to publicly resign is stalling plans by Zimbabwe’s military to swiftly install a transitional government after seizing power on Wednesday
  • Tax overhaul update: President Donald Trump is scheduled to head to the House, rallying Republican members before vote on tax bill
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets heads of her Christian Democratic-led bloc, Free Democrats and Green party to kick coalition talks into gear
  • Cisco Sees First Revenue Growth in Eight Quarters; Shares Up
  • Koch Brothers Are Said to Back Meredith Bid to Buy Time Inc.
  • Health Care for Millions at Risk as Tax Writers Look for Revenue
  • Cerberus’s Feinberg Switches Strategy to Shake Up German Banking
  • Mattel Drops on Report That It Rebuffed Approach From Hasbro
  • New SUVs at Peugeot, Ford Offset U.K. Drag on Europe Car Sales
  • Google Sued for Using ‘Bait and Switch’ to Hook Minority Hires
  • Santos Seen Luring More Bids After Rejecting $7.2 Billion Offer
  • AT&T’s Clash With America Movil Slows Nafta Telecom Talks
  • Mobileye’s $15 Billion Deal Masks Drop in Israel Tech M&A
  • Mugabe’s Refusal to Resign Is Said to Stall Zimbabwe Transition

In Asian markets, a modest uptick in US stock index futures helped the Nikkei 225 stem some of its recent losses, with financials and retailers leading the way; as a result, he Japanese blue-chip index closed up 1.5%. The ASX (+0.2%) also managed to shake off its early losses, last closing up, with the energy sector outperforming (although this was on the back of confirmation of a rebuffed Santos takeover offer) as consumer staples and utilities weighed. Chinese stocks edged lower, while the Hang Seng moved higher Treasuries operated in a narrow range throughout the APac session, while JGBs were relatively listless, with a solid 20-year auction the highlight of the session. Aussie bond yields moved to session highs in the wake of the aforementioned labour market release, where they consolidated.

In European markets, equities kicked off the session on the front-foot in a continuation of some of the sentiment seen overnight during Asia-Pac trade (Nikkei 225 +1.5%). Some slight underperformance has been observed in the FTSE 100 with gains capped by a slew of ex-dividends which have trimmed 14.56 points off the index. Notable ex-dividends include both of Royal Dutch Shell’s listings, with the oil-heavyweight subsequently hampering the energy sector as WTI and Brent crude have failed to make any meaningful recovery from Thursday’s losses. Elsewhere, the likes of Fiat Chrysler (+2.5%) and Volkswagen (+2.4%) have been giving a help hand by the latest EU new car registration data. In fixed income, a limited reaction to better than forecast UK consumption data, and clear reservations about retail activity over the key Xmas and New Year period based on bleaker signals from anecdotal surveys and non-ONS data. Hence, Gilts dipped to 124.72 (-15 ticks vs +8 ticks at best), while the Short Sterling strip reversed pre-data gains to stand flat to only 1 ticks adrift before stabilising again. In truth, core bonds were already on the retreat from early highs (ie Bunds down to 162.43 vs 162.71 at best) in what appears to be a broad  retracement within recent ranges rather than anything more meaningful.

 

In FX, GBP has once again been a key source of focus with GBP/USD hit early doors amid reports in Politico that the EU are leaning towards rejecting the UK’s request for a bespoke trade deal. However, sentiment saw a mild recovery after reports in the Sun suggested that PM May could be on the cusp of upping her Brexit settlement offer in an attempt to kick-start trade talks. The main data release of the session thus far came in the form of UK retail sales which painted a less dreary picture of the UK economy than some had feared, although gains were short-lived as Brexit remains the focus. Marginal sterling buying was seen in EUR/GBP, trading around session lows, helped by a stop hunt through yesterday’s lows. Cable too saw a bid later in the session, benefiting from the weaker USD. Elsewhere, EUR/USD is back below 1.1800 vs the USD after topping out just ahead of October’s 1.1880 high, and now in a fresh albeit higher range flanked by big option expiries between 1.1795-1.1800 (913mln) and 1.1815-25 (4.8bln). Another roller-coaster ride for the Antipodeans, with AUD choppy on mixed labour data (headline count miss, but jobless rate and full employment upbeat) and pivoting the 0.7600 handle vs the USD.

In the commodities complex, as mentioned above, WTI and Brent crude futures have failed to make any noteworthy recovery from the sell-off seen on Tuesday with energy newsflow particularly light during today’s session thus far with markets looking ahead to the November 30th OPEC meeting which is set to give nations the instruction to extend oil production cuts. In metals markets, gold prices have traded in a relatively similar manner with prices unable to be granted any reprieve from their latest tumble. Elsewhere, Nickel and Copper have been weighed on, sending prices to multi-week lows as concerns around Chinese growth prospects continue to linger.

Looking at the day ahead, weekly initial jobless claims, Philly Fed PMI for November, import price index for October, industrial production for October and NAHB housing market index for November will be released. The BoE Carney’s, Broadbent and Haldane will all participate at a public plenary session while the ECB’s Villeroy de Galhau and Constancio are due to speak, along with the Fed’s Williams, Mester and Kaplan.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: U.S. Initial Jobless Claims, Nov. 11, est. 235k (prior 239k); Continuing Claims, Nov. 4, est. 1900k (prior 1901k)
  • 8:30am: U.S. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, Nov., est. 24.6 (prior 27.9)
  • 8:30am: U.S. Import Price Index MoM, Oct., est. 0.4% (prior 0.7%); U.S. Export Price Index MoM, Oct., est. 0.4% (prior 0.8%);
  • 9:15am: U.S. Industrial Production MoM, Oct., est. 0.5% (prior 0.3%); Capacity Utilization, Oct., est. 76.3% (prior 76.0%)
  • 9:15am: U.S. Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, Nov. 12, no est. (prior 51.5); Economic Expectations, Nov., no est. (prior 47.5)

Central Bank speakers:

  • 9:10am: Fed’s Mester delivers keynote address at Cato Conference
  • 1:10pm: Fed’s Kaplan speaks to CFA society in Houston
  • 3:00pm: ECB’s Constancio speaks in Ottawa
  • 3:45pm: Fed’s Brainard delivers keynote at OFR FinTech Conference
  • 4:45pm: Fed’s Williams speaks at Asia Economic Policy Conference

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

There has been a lot of noise around the HY market in the past week or so as a combination of macro factors along with some notable earnings misses have weighed on the market. iTraxx Crossover and CDX HY have widened by around 25bps and 30bps respectively from their most recent tights, while the price level of the largest USD HY ETF (HYG US) is basically back to the same level as where it started the year, however this overstates the move in the US cash market and even more so in Europe. Looking in more detail at the cash market US HY has widened by around 60bps and EUR HY is 46bps wider from the  recent cycle tights only a few weeks back but both are still around 25bps and 100bps tighter on the year respectively.

In a broad historic context the recent moves hardly register but in the context of a year that has been headlined by extremely low levels of volatility they are certainly significant. For EUR HY there were two other periods where we saw some sort of correction this year. In March/April (ahead of the French elections) the index widened 27bps in 42 days and then in August/September (after the North Korean escalation) we saw a 29bps widening over 30 days. So the current 46bps of widening in just 12 days has been somewhat more aggressive than anything else we’ve seen this year.

Looking at similar data for the US we have also seen two previous corrections. In March spreads widened 61bps in 20 days and then in July/August we saw 45bps of widening in 15 days. So the current c.60bps widening over 22 days is actually of a similar magnitude to this year’s previous corrections. The moves look even more stark when we focus on single-Bs though. EUR single-Bs have widened by more than 100bps from the most recent tights, more than halving the YTD tightening we had seen. For USD single-Bs the recent widening (65bps) has actually reversed more than 80% of the YTD spread tightening we had seen to the recent tights.

The question from here is whether this recent back-up in spreads is simply going to lead to a fresh buying opportunity or whether it will lead to something more significant. Despite some of the recent profit warnings we think that it is more likely to be the former at the moment. But at the very least the pace of this turn around highlights how quickly market sentiment can change, especially when spreads are so tight. HY was looking very very stretched relative to IG in Europe and this corrects some of that. Overall it certainly provides us with some food for thought as we look to publish our 2018 outlook in the next 10 days.

Even though US HY has been one of the weaker markets of late there’s no doubt that the recent global equity sell off has struggled to gather momentum as the US session has progressed over the last week. Following through on this, Asia has been weak since the Nikkei sudden sell-off last week and Europe has followed with yesterday seeing the 7th successive daily fall in the Stoxx 600 (-0.49%) – the longest losing streak since October/November 2016. Meanwhile yesterday the US (S&P 500 -0.55%) again closed off the early session lows showing that this equity sell-off isn't really being US led. For the record since last Wednesday's close the S&P 500, Stoxx 600 and Nikkei are down -1.15%, -3.17% and -3.86% respectively which helps illustrate this.

Volatility has been on the way up though even in the US over this period. The VIX spiked to 14.51 intraday which was the highest since August 18th. It closed at 13.13 (+13%) which is still the highest since the same period. Meanwhile the VSTOXX index was up +2.25% and is now at the highest level since early September.

This morning in Asia, markets have stemmed losses and are trading higher. The Nikkei (+1.24%), Kospi (+0.52%), Hang Seng (+0.53%) and ASX 200 (+0.30%) are all up as we type. WTI oil is trading marginally higher and after the bell in the US, Cisco was up c6% after guiding to its first revenue gain in eight quarters.

On now to the big data of the yesterday and possibly the month. US Core CPI inflation surprised modestly to the upside in October, rising 0.225% in month-on-month terms (a firmer 0.2% print than DB expected). This raised the year-overyear rate to 1.8% (1.7% expected). The data provide additional evidence that the core inflation trend is firming after a string of very weak prints earlier this year. According to our economists, the three-month annualised change in core CPI inflation is now at 2.4%, the strongest since February 2017. We think inflation is turning a corner and regular consistent misses vs expectations will not be a feature of markets in 2018.

Staying in the US, the House’s version of the tax plan is reportedly on track for a vote on Thursday (local time). In terms of the Senate’s version, rhetoric appears to be heating up as the mark up process continues. The Democrats were reportedly not impressed with the last minute change to add in the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate, to which Republican Senator Collins partly agrees on, noting that it “gravely complicated our efforts to combine tax reform and changes”, although she has not decided whether to vote against the bill or not. Elsewhere, Republican Senator Johnson has publicly confirmed that he is opposed to the revised GOP plan as it stands, in part as it does not do enough to help partnerships relative to the larger tax cuts for corporates.

Quickly recapping other markets performance from yesterday. Bond markets were firmer with core bond yields down 2-5bp (UST 10y -5bp; Bunds -2.1bp; Gilts -3.5bp) while peripherals underperformed with Portugal bonds leading the softness (+2.5bp). Key currencies were little changed, with US dollar index marginally higher, while Euro dipped -0.06% but Sterling rose 0.05%. In commodities, WTI oil fell another -0.70% (-3.2% for the week), in part following reports that Russia believes it’s too early to announce a potential extension of production cuts at OPEC’s meeting at end of the month. Notably, WTI is still up c18% from late August. Elsewhere, precious metals softened a little (Gold -0.16%; Silver -0.14%) and other base industrial metals were little changed (Copper -0.45%; Zinc -0.54%; Aluminium +0.36%).

Away from the markets, there were a deluge of Fed and ECB central bankers commentaries yesterday but overall contained minimal market moving information. In the details, the Fed’s Evans noted he was open-minded regarding policy action at the December FOMC ahead of discussions with fellow colleagues and sounded dovish on inflation, noting “I feel we are facing below target inflations” while reiterating the US labour market is “vibrant” and unemployment rate “could go below 4%”.

In Europe, the ECB’s Hansson was upbeat on the demand side of the economy and “feel more confident that inflation will eventually reach the levels consistent with our aim”. Elsewhere, the ECB’s Praet pointed to the importance of interest rates post QE, noting that “policy rates will eventually regain their status as the main instrument of policy, and our forward guidance will revert to a singular approach”. Finally, the ECB’s Coeure noted that it’s important for the ECB “to ensure that our own measures do not adversely affect the intermediation capacity of repo markets”.

Over in China yesterday, there were more signs that the government may tolerate slower economic growth in 2018. The Economic Daily reported that the deputy head of the Research Office of the State Council Ms Han has flagged that GDP growth at 6.3% in 2018-2020 would be sufficient to achieve the Party's 2020 growth target. As a reminder, our Chinese economists expect GDP growth to slow to 6.3% yoy by 1Q.

Finally, over in Zimbabwe, President Mugabe’s c40 years of power may be coming to an end with Bloomberg reporting the 93 year old was confined to his home, with military forces taking control of state owned  media outlets and sealing offthe parliament and central bank’s offices.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the core retail sales for October (ex-auto & gas) was in line at 0.3% mom, but with the prior reading upwardly revised by 0.1ppt. Elsewhere, the September business inventories was flat and in line for the month. Finally, the November empire manufacturing index fell from a c3 year high of 30.2 to a still solid reading of 19.4. After the recent economic data, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow estimate of 4Q GDP growth has edged 0.1pp lower to 3.2% saar.

In the UK, the September unemployment rate was in line and steady at 4.3% – still at a 42 year low, while the average weekly earnings remains low but was slightly above expectations at 2.2% yoy (vs. 2.1% expected). Elsewhere, jobless claims (1.1k vs. 1.7k previous) and claimant count rate (2.3% vs. same as previous) were broadly similar to prior readings. The Eurozone’s September trade surplus widened to EUR$25bln (vs. EUR$21bln expected), while the final reading for France’s October CPI was unrevised at 0.1% mom and 1.2% yoy.

Looking at the day ahead, the final October CPI report for the Euro area will be out. UK retail sales data for October and Q3 employment data for France will also be released. In the US weekly initial jobless claims, Philly Fed PMI for November, import price index for October, industrial production for October and NAHB housing market index for November will be released. The BoE Carney’s, Broadbent and Haldane will all participate at a public plenary session while the ECB’s Villeroy de Galhau and Constancio are due to speak, along with the Fed’s Williams, Mester and Kaplan.

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The 12-Point List To Identify Value Traps

Submitted by Nick Colas of Datatrek Research

Poor, Poor Pitiful… Value Stocks

"Value trap". That’s a phrase we haven’t heard much in recent years, but GE seems to be bringing it back. And as we looked at the dramatic outperformance of growth stocks over value this year, it is clear that there are many such traps in US markets. Having covered the auto industry for a long time, we are well acquainted with the phenomenon. In today’s note: a 12-point list to help you identify value traps.

The outperformance of growth versus value investing in 2017 is dramatic. A few numbers to frame the discussion:

  • The Russell 1000 Growth Index is up 24.8% YTD, while its Value Index counterpart is only 6.3% higher on the year. Value underperformance: 1,850 basis points.
  • The Russell 2000 Growth index is up 15.7% YTD, but the Value Index version is only 2.1% higher. Value underperformance: 1,360 basis points.
  • The S&P 500 Growth Index is +22.5% on the year, but the Value Index for the 500 is up only 7.3%. Value underperformance: 1,520 basis points.

Any way you cut it, value is profoundly out of favor, and not just in 2017. While proponents of this style are typically patient people, the differential is large enough to be worrisome. Over the last 10 years, growth has outperformed value by more than 2:1.

This leads us to believe that there are a lot of “Value traps” out there – stocks that look cheap on valuation, but never substantially rebound. We got to thinking about this term when we saw it applied to GE today. And as we pulled the growth/value performance data, it became clear that the problem goes a lot deeper than just one company.

Simply put, the value side of the US equity market seems littered with traps. It’s not just GE. It is clearly a minefield out there in value land.

For better or worse, we have a lot of experience in identifying value traps from covering the auto industry for much our professional lives.

So (with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy), here is our list of “You might own a value trap if…”

#1 The company is at the peak of an operating cycle and is still troubled. After +7 years of economic recovery, most public companies should be showing peak earnings. If they are not, something else is wrong. One legitimate exception: commodity sector companies like oil and gas.

#2 Management compensation structures haven’t changed as the stock has declined or underperformed. The old adage “What gets measured gets managed” applies here. If earnings (and/or the stock price) have declined but management comp structures haven’t adapted to address that problem, fundamental changes of behavior in the C-suite are unlikely.

#3 The company or industry dominates a smaller US city. This one is deeply informed by my experience visiting Detroit every 90 days for a decade-plus. Managements have to live somewhere, and if that location is full of like-minded people then change is harder to execute. One GM chairman even thought of moving the company headquarters to Geneva in the early 1990s. It might have helped…

#4 The business keeps losing market share. Value traps often occur with companies that are losing out to new competition. Until market share trends higher, the stock seldom does.

#5 There are other powerful stakeholders. Back to the auto industry for an example. Unions can slow the pace of needed change, as can entire governments (see VW, which is partially owned by the German state where it is headquartered). If return on shareholder capital has to fight with other entrenched interests, the pace of change will be slower. Often, much slower.

#6 The capital allocation process isn’t changing fast enough or is unclear. The funny thing about many value traps is that they still have decent current free cash flow. The “Trap” comes from not using that capital efficiently to reinvigorate the business. By definition, the old ways of allocating capital don’t work any more. So what is management doing differently, and how is that change outlined to shareholders?

#7 The company isn’t changing how it evaluates line managers. This one is deep in the weeds, but it is important. For a company to escape “Value trap” status it has to change its operational DNA. And that means pushing those changes down to the operating level where customers see the difference.

#8 Management’s near term goals are not achievable, and/or they have failed at the majority of prior year goals. Value stocks “Work” when operational results improve according to a predetermined management plan. That’s when investors start to build in a better valuation multiple. But if management sets out unrealistic goals, even modest improvement doesn’t get that bump. That’s why “Underpromise and overdeliver” is so important.

#9 The company has more leverage than it can sustain through a multi-year turnaround. Financial debt is the actual trigger for the most deadly value traps, snapping shut before management can turn things around. This can come in many forms, including working capital requirements, leases, and short term refinancing.

#10 The strategic vision is cloudy. Value traps almost always suffer from fuzzy management strategies. If the whole thing – financial analysis included – doesn’t fit on one page, it probably won’t work.

#11 The CEO and Chairperson of the Board are the same person. Ask any CEO how much time managing their board takes, and the number will likely be 25-40% of their day. Deeply entrenched value traps are by their nature corporate turnarounds, whether the boss realizes it or not. They need 100% of senior management attention.

#12 Even activist investors stay away. In the end, any good value story with non-lethal problems should attract activist shareholders. If it doesn’t, you can scratch an important catalyst off the list.

And finally, for those readers who spotted the Warren Zevon song lyric in the title, a link to the song’s more famous rendition by Linda Ronstadt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd2_LKoTYKw

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‘Hindenburg Omen’ Meets ‘Titanic Syndrome’ For The First Time Since October 2007

Two weeks ago we warned that a cluster of the infamous Hindenburg Omens was forming. Since then stocks have suffered their biggest drop in 3 months…

However, the Hindenberg Omen is not exactly flawless and has false-alerted a number of times in the last few years.

Which is why, John Hussman has adapted the signals and is now warning of a very significant convergence of the 'Hindenberg Omen' and the 'Titanic Syndrome'…

I’ve noted over the years that substantial market declines are often preceded by a combination of internal dispersion, where the market simultaneously registers a relatively large number of new highs and new lows among individual stocks, and a leadership reversal, where the statistics shift from a majority of new highs to a majority of new lows within a small number of trading sessions.

– John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Market Internals Go Negative, July 30, 2007

Just a brief comment on market action.

On Tuesday November 14, the number of NYSE stocks setting new 52-week lows surged above the number of stocks setting new highs, with both figures representing more than 3% of total issues traded.

This “leadership reversal” joins the deterioration in our own measures of market internals last week, as well as ongoing dispersion in market breadth and participation.

As noted in the chart below, this couples a “Hindenburg” with a “Titanic,” and is actually the first time since July 2007 that we’ve seen this particular combination of internal deterioration. Each of the red bars below was also associated with unfavorable market internals on our own measures.

While the names of these indicators may seem silly and overly menacing, they actually get at something very serious.

They capture situations where the major indices are near new highs, yet market internals show much greater divergence. In my view, this type of market behavior is indicative of a subtle shift in the preferences of investors, away from speculation and toward risk-aversion. Coupled with the most extreme “overvalued, overbought, overbullish” syndromes on record, the behavior of market internals warrants close attention. Credit spreads are also worth monitoring, as junk bond yields have surged in recent days.

Importantly, we always have to allow for the possibility that market internals will recruit fresh strength. Our measures of internals reflect current, observable conditions, and suggest increasing investor risk-aversion, but this deterioration is not a “lock” on a negative outlook. We’ll take the evidence as it arrives, but today’s leadership reversal seems worth noting in the context of the other internal deterioration we’ve observed in recent days.

As a sidenote, if we expand the window for a leadership reversal to within 10 days of a 12-month high instead of 7 days, there would be one additional signal on the chart above, in October 2007.

That was also notable in the context of broader internal deterioration, including three “confirmed” Hindenburg signals on Peter Eliades’ criteria (which are more stringent than signals based on new highs and lows alone). Taken alone, I’ve often observed that signals like Hindenburgs and Titanics aren’t nearly as ominous as they sound. However, they are more informative when they are coupled with broader evidence of internal deterioration, particularly following extended periods of overvalued, overbought, overbullish market conditions.

As I noted in real-time, just after the what turned out, in hindsight, to be the 2007 peak:

Though I wouldn’t take the 3 consecutive signals last week as a compelling warning in themselves, I do think they deserve mention because they are occurring so close to unusually overvalued, overbought, overbullish conditions that independently warranted concern last week. With regard to our own measures relating to new highs and new lows, we observed a ‘leadership reversal’ last week – a sudden flip from new highs dominating to new lows dominating, with significant numbers of both, within a few days of a market peak. Those reversals are generally a signal that there is an underlying “turbulence” in market internals, which is a symptom of increasing skittishness by investors.

– John P. Hussman Ph.D., Forget the Lesson, Learn it Twice, October 22, 2007

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European Stocks Suffer Longest Losing Streak In Over A Year (As EU Credit Crashes)

European Stocks are back at 2-month lows after falling for 7 straight days – the longest losing streak since early November last year.

 

This time there is no US election 'surprise' to rescue them!

Given the massive ECB buying program throughout Europe, it is the stock market that is leading the HY bond market lower (after the latter saw spreads crash to a record low 179bps at the start of November)…

 

This is the biggest absolute widening in HY spreads since Jan 2016 (global growth scare)… (and biggest relative widening since Aug 2014)

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Albert Edwards On The Selloff: “Comparisons With October 1987 Are Entirely Justified”

Last week, when equities were still blissfully hitting daily record highs, we showed the one “chart that everyone is talking about, or if they weren’t they soon would be: the sharp, sudden disconnect between the junk bond and stock market …

… a disconnect which – as we showed at the time – was last observed in mid-August 2015, just days before the infamous ETFlash crash. Fast forward to day, with stocks suddenly hitting air pockets around the globe and rapidly catching down to junk yields

… when this enveloping divergence between the conflicting narratives by equities and bonds was the center piece of Albert Edwards latest letter to clients. In it, the SocGen strategist highlights the ZH chart and, ever the pragmatist, wonders why it took not only stocks, but junk bonds so long to react to the steady deterioration in underlying balance sheet quality, a topic discussed most recently by his colleague Andrew Lapthorne

…  who showed that “interest coverage for the smallest 50% of US companies is near record lows, at a time when interest costs are extremely depressed and when profits are at peak.” Lapthorne’s conclusion, which echoed what the IMF said earlier in the year, “It is difficult to envisage a scenario in which this ends well.”

Albert picks up on this theme in his latest note released today, and writes that “investors are beginning to punish the corporate debt and equity of highly indebted US companies. We have highlighted consistently that excess US corporate debt is probably the key area of vulnerability that could bring down the QE inflated pyramid scheme that the central banks have created.”

To demonstrate this point, Edwards shows another bizarre “balance sheet debauchment” divergence, one between surging leverage, and record low junk bond yields, to wit:

… we think the high yield corporate bond market should have been revolting against balance sheet debauchment some time ago. That would be the normal state of things with net debt/profit ratios so very high (see chart below but note bottom-up data shows a far higher peak than this top-down Fed data but peaks normally occur as profits fall in recession).

As the chart above suggests, junk bond yields would have to be double current levels to be aligned with “fair value” as imputed by the current state of the corporate balance sheet, however with the ECB purchasing billions in corporate bonds every month, this clearly won’t happen for a long time.

Edwards also show a chart revealing why the US is unique among the major developed regions: only there has corporate debt bloated to levels last seen during the great financial crisis. As for the reason, we just discussed it earlier: all bond issuance has been used to fund stock buybacks, pushing the S&P to all time highs.

And speaking of the final frontier, i.e. equities, which are always the last to get any memo, Edwards’s biggest concern is the sheer euphoria and that various sentiment indices – such as the record expectations of higher market moves 12 months forward as per UMich – have reached extremes of bullishness which have rarely been seen. One among these is the Investor Intelligence Sentiment Survey.

CNBC reports that “the roaring stock market has professional investors riding high, so much so that it’s rekindling memories of the 1987 crash. In terms of sentiment, the difference between bulls and bears hasn’t been this high in 30 years, according to the latest Investors Intelligence reading… Investor Intelligence editor John Gray noted, sentiment readings have roughly followed their 1987 pattern. Then the bulls  peaked (near 65%) with initial market highs early that year and they returned to above 60% levels months later after more index records. In 1987 stocks crashed a few months after that. A repeat of that scenario suggests potential significant danger for over the remainder of 2017!” – see see chart below. Strangely we only recently compared the current conjuncture with 1987 in terms of valuation excess combined with extreme macro and market bullishness .?

Between the recent reality check for junk bonds, and the sudden decline in equities, Edwards believes that “comparisons with October 1987 are entirely justified.” Still, there have been so many headfakes in the past 9 years, could this be just the latest one? Here are Edwards’ 2 cents on how to decide:

“the market itself can signal a top. For example, I remember in early 2000 our then Japan Strategist, Peter Tasker, warning that the tech heavy Jasdaq index had turned down sharply ahead of the Nasdaq March 2000 peak. I also remember our technical analyst pointing out the significance of the Nasdaq Composite failing to follow the lead of the Nasdaq 10 to make a new high at the end of March 2000. These proved to be early warning signs of the subsequent September peak in the S&P. In short, the 2000 bear market was clearly flagged if you knew how to read the technical and macro runes. The same was true in 2007. Is the market?s current behaviour already ringing a bell to warn investors intoxicated by risk appetite that the party is over and it is time to head to the exits before the stampede starts?”

Not to put too fine a point on it, Albert, but everyone would like to know the answer.

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S&P 500- Could be dangerous place for selling to start!

The trend in the S&P 500 remains up, as it is above long-term moving averages and is in a solid rising channel in the chart below. The little bit of softness that has taken place of late has done nothing to change that trend.

The Power of the Pattern wanted to share with you this morning a key test to the bull trend in the chart below-

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The S&P has remained inside of quality rising channel (1) since the 2009 lows. The top of the channel was touched back in late 2014, where it then embarked on sideways to downtrend until it testing the bottom of the rising channel in 2016.

The strong rally since testing the bottom of the channel in 2016, now has it testing the top of the channel at (2).

This could be a dangerous channel resistance test for the bulls if selling would start, especially as the number of assets invested in the 2X long S&P ETF is near record highs!

 

 

Why you see chart pattern analysis with brief commentary:   

There is a ton of news and opinions about markets and stocks that make the decision-making process more difficult than it needs to be.   

I believe the Power of the chart Pattern provides all you need to see what is taking place in an asset and determine the action to take. 

This approach has worked well for me and our clients and I encourage you to test it for yourself.

 

 

Send an email if you would like to see sample research and take me up on a trial of our Premium or Weekly Research where I provide actionable alerts on breakouts and reversals in broad market indices, sectors, commodities, the miners and select individual stocks 

 

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Gartman: “The Bear Market Is Upon Us We Fear “

With the BTFD algos showing some uncharacteristic hesitancy this morning, Dennis Gartman’s overnight commentary may provide just the catalyst they need to do their sworn duty and ramp stocks into the green within minutes of the cash open for one simple reason: Gartman fears a bear market of “some serious vintage” is now be upon us.

As excerpted from his latest overnight letter to clients:

STOCK PRICES ARE UNIVERSALLY WEAKER THIS MORNING as all ten of the markets comprising our International Index have fallen and as two of the ten… the markets in Japan and in Brazil… have fallen by more than 1% with the former down 1.5% as we write and as we finish TGL and with the latter down a truly material 2.3%. In the end, our Index has fallen 86 “points” or 0.7% and is down 175 “points” from its all-time high of 12,012 on Thursday of last  week, or 1.4% below that high. 

 

We note the “universal” nature of the weakness for having all ten markets moving in the same direction is indeed quite rare and historically this occurs at major turning points; that is, the lows were made back in the spring of ’09 amidst panic, final liquidation of stocks when we had one or two days of universal weakness followed by a day or two of universal strength. That was a major turning point, obviously. Further, the interim lows made in January of this past year were accompanied by one day of “universal” movement, and there are other examples that we can recall when prices moved in “universal” terms and which marked major turning points. Today’s “universal” weakness…only a week from the global market’s all-time high… is a harbinger of further material weakness we fear and sets the stage for the start of what we fear might well be a bear market of some serious vintage.

 

There is concern… very real concern… on our part that one market after another has broken its upward sloping trend line that has heretofore been very well defined. A trend line drawn across the recent lows of the Dow has been broken; a trend line drawn across the recent lows of the S&P has also; trend lines of the Russel… of the Nikkei… of the DAX… of the EUR STOXX 50… of the Tadawul in Saudi Arabia… have all been broken, and we can go of if need be but our point here is made. Something material has happened to the global equity market and only the most fervent of stock market bulls shall not recognize that fact.

 

Interestingly, this incipient stock market weakness is happening just as the world’s economies are in the best synchronous strength we’ve seen or noted in many, many years. “How,” some might ask, “can stocks fall as economic activity is strong and appears likely to continue for some while?” The answer is that all bear markets begin when economic activity is indeed at its peak just as all great bull markets begin at the depths of economic activity because as economic growth is peaking the demand on the part of plant, equipment and labor for capital draws that capital from the equity market where it has been residing for the previous several years. Equity market lows are marked precisely when economic activity is at its worst for the demand for capital on the part of plant, equipment and labor is at its worst and capital moves to the equity market instead, aided of course by the usual imposition of new capital created by the central banks.

 

We are at that former turning point; economic activity is strong and shall likely grow stronger for several months into the future. Employment rates are rising in North America, in Europe and in Asia, demanding capital while new capital projects are being planned and spending plans are being made strong. The “capital” for that labor, for those plans and for that additional labor shall migrate from the equity markets, even now at a time when the monetary authorities are either already erring toward monetary tightness or are seriously considering doing so.

 

It has always been thus and it shall always be thus. The equity market, by its very definition, anticipates the change in the economy, rising before the economy rises and falling before the economy falls. We are at the latter tipping point. It has been months in the coming, but it is here and adjustments in one’s investment policies must be made accordingly. The bear is upon is, we fear.

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“We Have Reached A Turning Point”: Trader Explains Why Today’s CPI Could Send Equities Reeling

From the latest Macro View by Bloomberg commentator and former Lehman trader, Mark Cudmore

Equities Must Fear CPI Now the Fed Put Era Is Over

A surprise in either direction from today’s U.S. consumer price index print is likely to hurt global stocks.

For many years, in the wake of QE, we became used to markets where “good data is good for equities and bad data is good for equities.” The logic was that bad data implied a greater likelihood more liquidity would be pumped into the system, whereas good data inspired confidence that the economic recovery was on track.

Today might mark a turning point where we more frequently trade the opposite dynamic. The Fed has fought so hard to convince investors that the economy can cope with hikes and balance-sheet reduction that it may have boxed itself into a corner. It can’t retreat from its policy path without seriously undermining its credibility.

If CPI misses to the downside, then investors will fear the Fed is making a terrible policy mistake with its determination to raise rates again in December. On the flip-side, if CPI beats, then traders will have to price in a much greater possibility that the Fed follows through on its forecast of three more hikes in 2018.

That level of tightening is still absolutely not priced into asset markets. The acceptance that policy normalization is a sustainable theme would alter the whole trading framework, because forecasts for funding and discount rates would have to be entirely revised.

That’ll be negative for global equities, emerging markets and commodities, but the most acute pain is likely to be in U.S. stocks, where a generation of investors have been programmed to believe the Fed will always have their back.

If inflation slows again and the Fed doesn’t backtrack on its policy tightening, then this trading dynamic might become increasingly similar for all major U.S. data releases. It’ll be an era of “bad data is bad for equities and good data is bad for equities.”

Disappointing data will be portrayed as a sign that the financial-market guardians are sleepwalking toward disaster. Positive data will cause global equity markets to sell-off as they register that rate hikes are coming much quicker than priced.

The new dynamic won’t necessarily sustain for months, let alone years, but we may have reached the crucial point where asset markets will throw a tantrum until we get clarity on whether it’s the Fed or rates markets that need to give ground.

Expect equity pain to continue in the short term while this plays out.

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