It is hard to believe that NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND is approaching its 1,000 blog post. Many of the themes touched in my analysis have had an echo effect. Certain themes have continued to provide trading opportunities over and over. 1. The European financial crisis; 2. The Fed’s destruction of the bond market; 3. The ECB‘s destruction of European sovereign debt markets in an effort to preserve the Maastricht strait jacket. 4. Russian geo-political moves on a timely basis to affect Putin’s desire for an increased role for Moscow on the world stage; 5. Japanese desires to fabricate an inflationary backdrop to ease the burden of debt overhang; 6. Too much or too little growth in the emerging market economies; 7. China’s desire too have an enlarged impact on the global financial system in fact and fiction; and oh so many more.
Archive for the ‘Equity’ Category
Jim Bullard? Now There Is An Unsavory Chap
Today was not like the other days for the break in the equity markets came early. As all the global markets were in sell mode St. Louis Fed President James Bullard hit the airwaves with thoughts about being wrong in his inflation projections. It appears that the selloff in crude oil is providing the Fed hawk with concerns that the SUMMARY of ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS may be softer than the December FOMC meeting revealed. Bullard sounded as if he would not be in favor of the Fed raising rates because of the inflation rate turning away from the spurious 2 percent mandate. The unsavoriness of Bullard’s comment is not that he fears a downturn in inflation, and maybe lower growth, but that Bullard seemed to find his DOVISH posture as the U.S. markets were heading toward the August lows. Bullard in unsavory because he called out CNBC’s Jim Cramer for “cheerleading for low rates twenty-four hours a day.”
WARNING: Put on your life lines, foul weather gear and be ready for the boom to come flying about (thanks Whitewave). There are violent winds blowing in the financial seas as equity markets are giving warning that something is amiss. The 200-day moving averages for the DAX, CAC, Nikkei and SPOOS succumbed to selling pressure in synchronized fashion. The Dow Transportation Index looks atrocious, especially when viewed in terms of the steep drop in energy prices. Lower fuel costs are historically a boon to trains, planes and automobiles and most especially trucks. Lower fuel costs lead to increased profits for freight haulers (h/t American Limey and Professor Waspi).
One of the great contemporary financiers warned on September 29 that the stock market was “extremely overheated ” and was being “supported by an “unsustainable earnings mirage.” Well, since that video release from Carl Icahn, the SPOOS have rallied more than 7 percent, defying the wisdom of Ichan, as well as many other highly regarded investors. Today’s equity rally was in the face of what has been a continuing onslaught of negative economic releases. The market has rallied off the August 21-24 lows but has paused when confronted with weak data, such as September’s unemployment report. But today the weak economic releases failed to dent the powerful rally: a weak Empire State, a weaker-than-expected Philly Fed Manufacturing report.
Before we review Friday’s action, I would like to present a quote from Tolstoy sent from a long-time reader and is representative of the 2+2=5 basis of Notes From Underground. While I have respect for the theoretical basis in the continued search for knowledge, I try to write NOTES with a deeper understanding of the fundamentals that drive markets on a short- and long-term time scale.
As we head into decision day on U.S. interest rates it is important to note that all the major equity indices remain under their 200-day moving averages, despite recent rallies amid short covering (and bargain hunting remains an active sport). The consensus based on the pricing of FED FUNDS futures contract has the odds in favor of a NO CHANGE in policy by the FOMC. I caution that bargain hunters have been on the prowl as the voices of Summers, Lagarde, World Bank and others have given fortitude to those needing to put cash to work. If the FOMC stays the present course the immediate impact MAY be an initial equity rally but be patient to see how the market is reacting after at least 12 hours.
Mao, Deng and Xi, oh my! It seems whenever China releases economic data, the U.S. markets and its developed market cousins either go into an orgasmic paroxysm or a spasm of pain. Readers of Notes know that I have criticized the Chinese economic releases as fiction and my rational was simple. If the Politburo would not allow GOOGLE to operate without restraint within China why should I trust any “official data.” Many times I have referred to GDP and PMI figures hitting the predicted market consensus as a greater feat of financial engineering than Jack Welch’s record of beating Wall Street’s forecast’s for GE earnings by a penny every quarter while Jack was CEO.
As Harry Nilsson sang in “Everybody ‘s Talkin'”: Everybody ‘s talking at me, I don’t hear a word they’re saying, only the echoes of my mind.” This is true of the words from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard as he had the audacity to opine in the middle of Friday’s S&P and equity rout that: 1. “The Fed doesn’t react directly to equity markets”; and 2. “More sanguine than market on global outlook, China.” (source: Bloomberg). This is the very same James Bullard who is credited with halting the significant break in the SPOOS on October 15 when he mentioned that “the Fed should be open to continue its QE on the back of low inflation expectations.”
The global markets were anxious by the action of the 200-day moving averages and their reference points to the global equity markets. As of writing, the DAX, SPOOS and CAC have joined the others that began the week below their 200-days. The NASDAQ 100 futures index is struggling to hold support on the vaunted moving average, currently at 4381.01 on the CQG daily continuation chart. While equity markets have swooned, gold and silver found buyers as investors have momentarily sought refuge from what has been the great haven of the last three years: Large cap, high dividend stocks combined with a growth piece have provided the consummate investment vehicle for investors leaving the REPRESSIVE returns from low-risk credit markets. While volume has been low in typical summer fashion, the breakdown in favored moving averages and strength indicators suggests there is definitely nervousness in global equity markets.
One of my favorite songs by Simon and Garfunkel is “A Simple Desultory Philippic” in which the duo takes the time to mock and criticize the world of culture and politics that surround them. Desultory means lacking a style or plan, while Philippic connotes a word for a tirade or rant. Will my readers entertain my desire to craft my own simple desultory philippic?