It appears that the world is awash with Schadenfreude as analysts and pundits are experiencing great satisfaction and joy in the misery of others. Today the European automakers released sales data for March and the numbers were much weaker than the markets had expected. Registrations fell 10 percent and German auto sales dropped 17 percent. It appears that European auto sales in the passenger market are expected to hit 1993 levels. Ford and Peugeot also saw double-digit falls in sales. The euro rally against the YEN is dramatically biting into German car sales and the proof is in the fact that Japanese auto production has increased, and Toyota, Honda and Nissan stock prices have performed very well during the last six months.
Posts Tagged ‘S&P’
I make a distinct reference to the CASH HIGH S&Ps versus the S&P FUTURES has made an all-time high. According to the CQG charts, the all-time high in the S&P futures front month is 1586.75 and the high daily close is 1576.25. The CASH high is 1576.09 and the previous high CASH daily close was 1565.15, which was surpassed on Friday’s close. Here is a significant chart that shows the important difference between Friday’s close and the last record high close of October 9, 2007.
There is not much news that needed to be dissected so I think it is time for a quick look at yield curves. For simplicities sake I will keep the analysis to the generic 2/10 curves in the countries that have sophisticated capital markets. Why are the curves important? In looking back at the crisis that forced the ECB‘s Mario Draghi to announce “there will be no TABOOS and we will do whatever it takes” to sustain the euro currency and the entire European project. It was the 2/10 curves in Europe that were providing so much of the problem. The talking heads in the media continue to point to the 10-year debt instruments in Europe as being the most significant element. The Italian auction did this. The Spanish auction did that. I urge us to be more attentive to the shorter end of the curve and especially the two-year note.
Notes From Underground: Friday Is the All-Important U.S. Employment Data, But Why Was European Employment Glossed Over?March 7, 2013
The February jobs data has been compiled and is now ready for public consumption. The consensus is for 165,000 (revised upward from 160,000) nonfarm payroll jobs being added and the rate to hold steady at 7.9%. This may be a difficult number to trade because the equity markets have already sloughed off so much negative news to keep the rally in tact–Italian elections, sequestration and economic malaise throughout Europe. The weekly jobless claims numbers have surprised on the downside during the last few weeks so a 200,000 NFP number would not be a surprise. It will be more important to watch average hourly earnings and the length of the work week–earnings are expected to be up by 0.2% per hour.
The unemployment was right on the market forecasts, except that the unemployment rate rose to 7.9%. In this world of central bank activism, tepid economic performance is what the global equity markets desire right now as deleveraging continues to plague the world’s developed economies. The moderate unemployment numbers–with some upward revisions to the two previous months job growth–allowed the U.S. S&P and DOW JONES equity indices to rally to five-year highs. Those who continue to argue that the PE ratio is high are missing the point: How do you value any asset class in a zero interest rate environment? Again, a global financial system awash in liquidity is an anomalous situation in which it is more than difficult to measure valuations based on historical levels. The FED wanted investors to enhance their risk profiles and that is certainly being accomplished.
The ideas CNBC is spreading about the FISCAL CLIFF is just absurd. The addiction to higher stock prices has meant that a failure to get the equity market to rally due to falling off the “CLIFF” prevents quality policy from being attained. Going over the “CLIFF” will at least put spending front and center for we are all sure that taxes are going higher so the discussion must get to a genuine discussion about spending, and yes, that means serious cuts in the bloated defense sector. The FED‘s policy means that monetary policy will support the economy into the medium term and alleviate some of the pain from government spending cuts. It’s not drastic austerity but a realistic plan for dealing with rampant profligacy.
Notes From Underground: S&P Downgrades Spanish Sovereign Debt to BBB+ (Another Example of Grade Inflation)April 26, 2012
The rating agencies are in play again as a late afternoon press release stated that Spain’s DEBT IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT WAS YESTERDAY. Hard to believe it … S&P is really on top of their game. Again, you don’t have to be A WEATHERMAN TO KNOW WHICH WAY THE WIND IS BLOWING. This action, of course, will be the beginning of serial downgrades. As good collateral dwindles, it will put further pressure on the GERMAN BUNDS AND 2-YEAR SCHATZ as REPO TRADERS WILL GRAB THE BEST COLLATERAL. It explains why the SCHATZ TRADED TO A RECORD LOW YIELD OF 8 BASIS POINTS.
The tale of the first quarter tape is in and evidenced by the large gains of the equity markets, global investors have benefited from the sea of liquidity provided by the CENTRAL BANKS OF THE DEVELOPED WORLD. Global stock markets have been calmed by the massive liquidity injections provided by the BOJ, ECB, FED and BOE.The German DAX closed the quarter up more than 15%. The long dormant NIKKEI was up almost 20% powered, by the new inflation mandate of the BOJ/MOF; and, of course, the S&Ps were up almost 12%, while the tech-ladened NASDAQ climbed more than 20%.
It is startling to think that the S&P downgrades could have any sort of effect on the markets. The sovereign debt markets have been telling those who are attentive that not all countries in the European Union are equal. Several of the GIIPS have had interest rate yields far above those of the German benchmark for almost two years. Even the French 10-year note has widened to 150 BASIS POINTS over the German 10-year BUND during the last six months. DO WE REALLY NEED S&P OR OTHER RATING AGENCIES TO CERTIFY WHAT THE MARKETS HAVE BEEN SAYING?
For many years the carry trade has been the mainstay of the RISK-ON profile. For some periods the ZERO INTEREST RATE POLICY of Japan forced money out of its system and in search of high-yield currencies in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and other attractive venues. One of the best carry trades ever was LONG BRAZILIAN REAL/SHORT YEN as investors could fund the trade by borrowing YEN at very low rates and placing it in high yielding Brazilian bank accounts. As the Brazilian currency attained status as a commodity currency and, thus, a proxy for the China growth story, the BRAZILIAN REAL soared and the carry trade was a major win/win. When the U.S. FED went to an extreme low interest rate, the U.S. DOLLAR became a funding currency as the U.S. became a much less attractive place for global capital flows.