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3 Downtrodden Stocks to Sell Before It Gets Worse

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Inflation and rising rates are taking a toll on many stocks these days. Here are three stocks to sell before it's too late. The post 3 Downtrodden Stocks to Sell Before It Gets Worse appeared first on InvestorPlace. More From InvestorPlace Stock Prodigy Who Found NIO at $2… Says Buy THIS Now Man Who Called Black Monday: “Prepare Now.” #1 EV Stock Still Flying Under the Radar Interested in Crypto? Read This First........»»

Category: topSource: investorplaceJan 14th, 2022

Markets Scream "Panic" To Powell As 2022"s Tech-Wreck Is Worst In Over 30 Years

Markets Scream 'Panic' To Powell As 2022's Tech-Wreck Is Worst In Over 30 Years The market is sending The Fed some very clear signals as it prices in an aggressive rate-hiking trajectory this year (just as the economic data starts to gravely disappoint) warning that it is 'panicking' and deserves 'more'... Panic Signals include.... 1) Indices puking hard This the 3rd straight weekly loss for the S&P (its longest weekly losing streak since Sept 2020) with every bounce hit hard. Nasdaq and Small Caps were the hardest hit this week with The Dow the best of a bad bunch. This was the worst week for Nasdaq Since March 2020, Russell 2000's worst week since June 2020, and S&P and Dow's worst since Oct 2020... Nasdaq is now suffering its worst start to a year in at least 30 years (it is very slightly worse than 2008) The Nasdaq Composite is down 14% from its highs, but the Russell 2000 is worst, down over 18% from its highs (S&P -8.1% from its highs and Dow -6.75%) 2) Headline stock names have been clubbed like a baby seal (PTON, NFLX, ZM, etc...)... ...Retail Favorite stocks have been routed... ...and Bubble markets (unprofitable tech, SPACs, Crypto...) all monkeyhammered... All of which looks like this... 3) VIX term structure inverted. While typically projected as a 'bottom' indicator, this inversion seems particularly focused into The Fed meeting next week... 4) HY Bond prices at 14 month lows. Credit leads, equities follow... 5) Fed rate expectations pricing in 4 hikes by Dec 2022. ...and given that 2Y yields dropped back below 1.00% today, the market is exclaiming to The Fed that a reversal in their policy is imminent... 6) The market is implying The Fed will fold by the end of 2025... Not a good sign for Powell and his pals when the market is screaming at them not to even start because they'll be forced to lose all credibility with a year or two... 7) Yield Curve inverting hard (policy error warning). The yield curve is the flattest since April 2020, screaming out to The Fed that they won't be hiking rates like they think for long... 8) Fed Repo facility usage hits YTD high. Yes, there is $1.7 trillion in excess liquidity being thrown into this facility and not being leveraged to buy any dips... Source: Bloomberg 9) Put-Call ratios are surging. We suspect a lot of this is hedging into The Fed (but also note that today's OpEx would have wiped out some of the P/C strength)... 10) 'Panic' is accelerating (but has more to go yet before it reaches the scariest levels)... Source: Bloomberg TICK was really ugly the last two days with the biggest 'sell programs' since Sept 2021... Source: Bloomberg All signals that the market knows The Fed looks at for signs of stress as they put pressure on Powell to fold and strike his Put... “Into the open today, we were looking for indications of panic readings for a more tradeable bottom ahead,” said Alon Rosin, Oppenheimer & Co.’s head of institutional equity derivatives. “Between the TICK/TRIN readings during the morning flush and VIX inversions, it is possible that fear, panic has finally arrived.” The problem - of course - is, as we noted earlier, the hope that this is a resumption of the Q4 2018 playbook - i.e. Fed tries to tighten, market pukes and forces Powell to fold) - is missing the fact that this time, with just so much more extensive speculative & valuation excess as a starting point the problem is the inflation issue - now a political imperative too - means the “Fed Put” is now struck much lower below spot... ...meaning no “dovish pivot” relief unless things get much, much worse from the markets-side. Some more thoughts... A violent intraday reversal like the Nasdaq’s yesterday is rare and most often happens during a crisis. This was the 21st time since 1972 that the benchmark rose more than 2% during the session only to decline 1% or more at the close. The majority of those episodes occurred during the bursting of the Internet bubble and during the 2008 financial crisis. Before yesterday, the most recent example was in early days of the Covid pandemic in March 2020. It takes time for volatility to wane. On average the index fell the following day and traded sideways in the next five days. The S&P 500 closed below its 200DMA. As Jim Bianco notes, this ends a 409 trading day streak above it - the longest streak in 8 years... In fact, all the US majors closed below their 200DMAs... FAAMG-T stocks puked this week - the worst week since March 2020 (AMZN is in a bear market)... Source: Bloomberg Bank stocks had an ugly week with GS and JPM now significantly lower YTD... Source: Bloomberg Value stocks continued to outperform (this is the 4th straight week of outperformance and Value just broke above the downtrend relative to Growth... Source: Bloomberg Treasury yields ended lower on the week (apart from 2Y) with 30Y outperforming... Source: Bloomberg 2Y Yields dropped back below 1.00%... Source: Bloomberg The dollar ended the week higher - its best week in the last 5 - finding resistance at the YTD unchanged line once again... Source: Bloomberg Cryptos cratered this week, with Ethereum underperforming (-17%, the worst week for ETH since Jun 2021) and Bitcoin the least bad horse in the glue factory (-11%)... Source: Bloomberg Pushing Bitcoin's RSI into deeply oversold territory that marked a local low last time... Source: Bloomberg Oil rallied for the 5th straight week with WTI topping $87 (highest since 2014)... Gold rallied for the 5th week in the last 6, holding above $1800... Finally, if you think you had a bad week, take a look at Biden's approval rating (now barely better than Trump's was)... Source: Bloomberg But worse still, Trump has overtaken Biden as the most 'favored' politician in America... Source: Bloomberg US Macro data disappointed this week again and has dropped back into negative territory... Source: Bloomberg And Stagflation is imminent... Source: Bloomberg We suspect more than just Ed Norton need a hug after this week... I don’t keep pictures from films around home. But I have this one in my office in a frame bc it makes me smile every time. It’s engraved ‘Love and Hugs, Meat’ it sums him up well. He was so funny. And gentle. And warm to everyone. A sweet soul. RIP Meat Loaf pic.twitter.com/aMrIgXByEc — Edward Norton (@EdwardNorton) January 21, 2022 RIP Meatloaf. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/21/2022 - 16:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 21st, 2022

Howard Marks January 2022 Memo: Selling Out

Howard Marks memo to Oaktree clients for the month of January 2022, titled, “Selling Out.” Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more As I’m now in my fourth decade of memo writing, I’m sometimes tempted to conclude I should quit, because I’ve covered all the relevant topics. Then a new idea for a memo […] Howard Marks memo to Oaktree clients for the month of January 2022, titled, “Selling Out.” if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more As I’m now in my fourth decade of memo writing, I’m sometimes tempted to conclude I should quit, because I’ve covered all the relevant topics. Then a new idea for a memo pops up, delivering a pleasant surprise. My January 2021 memo Something of Value, which chronicled the time I spent in 2020 living and discussing investing with my son Andrew, recounted a semi-real conversation in which we briefly discussed whether and when to sell appreciated assets. It occurred to me that even though selling is an inescapable part of the investment process, I’ve never devoted an entire memo to it. The Basic Idea Everyone is familiar with the old saw that’s supposed to capture investing’s basic proposition: “buy low, sell high.” It’s a hackneyed caricature of the way most people view investing. But few things that are important can be distilled into just four words; thus, “buy low, sell high” is nothing but a starting point for discussion of a very complex process. Will Rogers, an American film star and humorist of the 1920s and ’30s, provided what he may have thought was a more comprehensive roadmap for success in the pursuit of wealth: Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it. The illogicality of his advice makes clear how simplistic this adage – like many others – really is. However, regardless of the details, people may unquestioningly accept that they should sell appreciated investments. But how helpful is that basic concept? Origins Much of what I’ll write here got its start in a 2015 memo called Liquidity. The hot topic in the investment world at that moment was the concern about a perceived decline in the liquidity provided by the market (when I say “the market,” I’m talking specifically about the U.S. stock market, but the statement has broad applicability). This was commonly attributed to a combination of (a) the licking investment banks had taken in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09 and (b) the Volcker Rule, which prohibited risky activities such as proprietary trading on the part of systemically important financial institutions. The latter constrained banks’ ability to “position” securities, or buy them, when clients wanted to sell. Maybe liquidity in 2015 was less than it had previously been, and maybe it wasn’t. However, looking beyond the events of the day, I closed that memo by stating my conviction that (a) most investors trade too much, to their own detriment, and (b) the best solution for illiquidity is to build portfolios for the long term that don’t rely on liquidity for success. Long-term investors have an advantage over those with short timeframes (and I think the latter describes the majority of market participants these days). Patient investors are able to ignore short-term performance, hold for the long run, and avoid excessive trading costs, while everyone else worries about what’s going to happen in the next month or quarter and therefore trades excessively. In addition, long-term investors can take advantage if illiquid assets become available for purchase at bargain prices. Like so many things in investing, however, just holding is easier said than done. Too many people equate activity with adding value. Here’s how I summed up this idea in Liquidity, inspired by something Andrew had said: When you find an investment with the potential to compound over a long period, one of the hardest things is to be patient and maintain your position as long as doing so is warranted based on the prospective return and risk. Investors can easily be moved to sell by news, emotion, the fact that they’ve made a lot of money to date, or the excitement of a new, seemingly more promising idea. When you look at the chart for something that’s gone up and to the right for 20 years, think about all the times a holder would have had to convince himself not to sell. Everyone wishes they’d bought Amazon at $5 on the first day of 1998, since it’s now up 660x at $3,304. But who would have continued to hold when the stock hit $85 in 1999 – up 17x in less than two years? Who among those who held on would have been able to avoid panicking in 2001, as the price fell 93%, to $6? And who wouldn’t have sold by late 2015 when it hit $600 – up 100x from the 2001 low? Yet anyone who sold at $600 captured only the first 18% of the overall rise from that low. This reminds me of the time I once visited Malibu with a friend and mentioned that the Rindge family is said to have bought the entire area – all 13,330 acres – in 1892 for $300,000, or $22.50 per acre. (It’s clearly worth many billions today.) My friend said, “I’d like to have bought all of Malibu for $300,000.” My response was simple: “you would have sold it when it got to $600,000.” The more I’ve thought about it since writing Liquidity, the more convinced I’ve become that there are two main reasons why people sell investments: because they’re up and because they’re down. You may say that sounds nutty, but what’s really nutty is many investors’ behavior. Selling Because It’s Up “Profit-taking” is the intelligent-sounding term in our business for selling things that have appreciated. To understand why people engage in it, you need insight into human behavior, because a lot of investors’ selling is motivated by psychology. In short, a good deal of selling takes place because people like the fact that their assets show gains, and they’re afraid the profits will go away. Most people invest a lot of time and effort trying to avoid unpleasant feelings like regret and embarrassment. What could cause an investor more self-recrimination than watching a big gain evaporate? And what about the professional investor who reports a big winner to clients one quarter and then has to explain why the holding is at or below cost the next? It’s only human to want to realize profits to avoid these outcomes. If you sell an appreciated asset, that puts the gain “in the books,” and it can never be reversed. Thus, some people consider selling winners extremely desirable – they love realized gains. In fact, at a meeting of a non-profit’s investment committee, a member suggested that they should be leery of increasing endowment spending in response to gains because those gains were unrealized. I was quick to point out that it’s usually a mistake to view realized gains as less transient than unrealized ones (assuming there’s no reason to doubt the veracity of the unrealized carrying values). Yes, the former have been made concrete. However, sales proceeds are generally reinvested, meaning the profits – and the principal – are put back at risk. One might argue that appreciated securities are more vulnerable to declines than new investments in assets currently deemed to be attractively priced, but that’s far from a certainty. I’m not saying investors shouldn’t sell appreciated assets and realize profits. But it certainly doesn’t make sense to sell things just because they’re up. Selling Because It’s Down As wrong as it is to sell appreciated assets solely to crystalize gains, it’s even worse to sell them just because they’re down. Nevertheless, I’m sure many people do it. While the rule is “buy low, sell high,” clearly many people become more motivated to sell assets the more they decline. In fact, just as continued buying of appreciated assets can eventually turn a bull market into a bubble, widespread selling of things that are down has the potential to turn market declines into crashes. Bubbles and crashes do occur, proving that investors contribute to excesses in both directions. In a movie that plays in my head, the typical investor buys something at $100. If it goes to $120, he says, “I think I’m onto something – I should add,” and if it reaches $150, he says, “Now I’m highly confident – I’m going to double up.” On the other hand, if it falls to $90, he says, “I’m going to think about increasing my position to reduce my average cost,” but at $75, he concludes he should reconfirm his thesis before averaging down further. At $50, he says, “I’d better wait for the dust to settle before buying more.” And at $20 he says, “It feels like it’s going to zero; get me out!” Just like those who are afraid of surrendering gains, many investors worry about letting losses compound. They might fear their clients will say (or they’ll say to themselves), “What kind of a lame-brain continues to hold a security after it’s gone from $100 to $50? Everyone knows a decline like that can foreshadow further declines. And look – it happened.” Do investors really make behavioral errors such as those I’ve described? There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence. For example, studies have shown that the average mutual fund investor performs worse than the average mutual fund. How can that be? If she merely held her positions, or if her errors were unsystematic, the average fund investor would, by definition, fare the same as the average fund. For the studies’ findings to occur, investors have to on balance reduce the amount of capital they have in funds that subsequently do better and increase their allocation to funds that go on to do worse. Let me put that another way: on average, mutual fund investors tend to sell the funds with the worst recent performance (missing out on their potential recoveries) in order to chase the funds that have done the best (and thus likely participate in their return to earth). We know that “retail investors” tend to be trend-followers, as described above, and their long-term performance often suffers as a result. What about the pros? Here the evidence is even clearer: the powerful shift in recent decades toward indexing and other forms of passive investing has taken place for the simple reason that active investment decisions are so often wrong. Of course, many forms of error contribute to this reality. Whatever the reason, however, we have to conclude that, on average, active professional investors held more of the things that did less well and less of the things that outperformed, and/or that they bought too much at elevated prices and sold too much at depressed prices. Passive investing hasn’t grown to cover the majority of U.S. equity mutual fund capital because passive results have been so good; I think it’s because active management has been so bad. Back when I worked at First National City Bank 50 years ago, prospective clients used to ask, “What kind of return do you think you can make in an equity portfolio?” The standard answer was 12%. Why? “Well,” we said (so simplistically), “the stock market returns about 10% a year. A little effort should enable us to improve on that by at least 20%.” Of course, as time has shown, there’s no truth in that. “A little effort” didn’t add anything. In fact, in most cases, active investing detracted: most equity funds failed to keep up with the indices, especially after fees. What about the ultimate proof? The essential ingredient in Oaktree’s investments in distressed debt – bargain purchases – has emanated from the great opportunities sellers gave us. Negativity reaches a crescendo during economic and market crises, causing many investors to become depressed or fearful and sell in panic. Results like those we target in distressed debt can only be achieved when holders sell to us at irrationally low prices. Superior investing consists largely of taking advantage of mistakes made by others. Clearly, selling things because they’re down is a mistake that can give the buyers great opportunities. When Should Investors Sell? If you shouldn’t sell things because they’re up, and you shouldn’t sell because they’re down, is it ever right to sell? As I previously mentioned, I described the discussions that took place while Andrew and his family lived with Nancy and me in 2020 in Something of Value. That experience truly was of great value – an unexpected silver lining to the pandemic. That memo evoked the strongest reaction from readers of any of my memos to date. This response was probably attributable to (a) the content, which mostly related to value investing; (b) the personal insights provided, and especially my confession regarding my need to grow with the times; or (c) the recreated conversation that I included as an appendix. The last of these went like this, in part: Howard: Hey, I see XYZ is up xx% this year and selling at a p/e ratio of xx. Are you tempted to take some profits? Andrew: Dad, I’ve told you I’m not a seller. Why would I sell? H: Well, you might sell some here because (a) you’re up so much; (b) you want to put some of the gain “in the books” to make sure you don’t give it all back; and (c) at that valuation, it might be overvalued and precarious. And, of course, (d) no one ever went broke taking a profit. A: Yeah, but on the other hand, (a) I’m a long-term investor, and I don’t think of shares as pieces of paper to trade, but as part ownership in a business; (b) the company still has enormous potential; and (c) I can live with a short-term downward fluctuation, the threat of which is part of what creates opportunities in stocks to begin with. Ultimately, it’s only the long term that matters. (There’s a lot of “a-b-c” in our house. I wonder where Andrew got that.) H: But if it’s potentially overvalued in the short term, shouldn’t you trim your holding and pocket some of the gain? Then if it goes down, (a) you’ve limited your regret and (b) you can buy in lower. A: If I owned a stake in a private company with enormous potential, strong momentum and great management, I would never sell part of it just because someone offered me a full price. Great compounders are extremely hard to find, so it’s usually a mistake to let them go. Also, I think it’s much more straightforward to predict the long-term outcome for a company than short-term price movements, and it doesn’t make sense to trade off a decision in an area of high conviction for one about which you’re limited to low conviction. . . . H: Isn’t there any point where you’d begin to sell? A: In theory there is, but it largely depends on (a) whether the fundamentals are playing out as I hope and (b) how this opportunity compares to the others that are available, taking into account my high level of comfort with this one. Aphorisms like “no one ever went broke taking a profit” may be relevant to people who invest part-time for themselves, but they should have no place in professional investing. There certainly are good reasons for selling, but they have nothing to do with the fear of making mistakes, experiencing regret and looking bad. Rather, these reasons should be based on the outlook for the investment – not the psyche of the investor – and they have to be identified through hardheaded financial analysis, rigor and discipline. Stanford University professor Sidney Cottle was the editor of the later versions of Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd’s Security Analysis, “the bible of value investing,” including the edition I read at Wharton 56 years ago. For that reason, I knew the book as “Graham, Dodd and Cottle.” Sid was a consultant to the investment department at First National City Bank in the 1970s, and I’ve never forgotten his description of investing: “the discipline of relative selection.” In other words, most of the portfolio decisions investors make are relative choices. It’s patently clear that relative considerations should play an enormous part in any decision to sell existing holdings. If your investment thesis seems less valid than it did previously and/or the probability that it will prove accurate has declined, selling some or all of the holding is probably appropriate. Likewise, if another investment comes along that appears to have more promise – to offer a superior risk-adjusted prospective return – it’s reasonable to reduce or eliminate existing holdings to make room for it. Selling an asset is a decision that must not be considered in isolation. Cottle’s concept of “relative selection” highlights the fact that every sale results in proceeds. What will you do with them? Do you have something in mind that you think might produce a superior return? What might you miss by switching to the new investment? And what will you give up if you continue to hold the asset in your portfolio rather than making the change? Or perhaps you don’t plan to reinvest the proceeds. In that case, what’s the likelihood that holding the proceeds in cash will make you better off than you would have been if you had held onto the thing you sold? Questions like these relate to the concept of “opportunity cost,” one of the most important ideas in financial decision-making. Switching gears, what about the idea of selling because you think a temporary dip lies ahead that will affect one of your holdings or the whole market? There are real problems with this approach: Why sell something you think has a positive long-term future to prepare for a dip you expect to be temporary? Doing so introduces one more way to be wrong (of which there are so many), since the decline might not occur. Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, points out that selling for market-timing purposes actually gives an investor two ways to be wrong: the decline may or may not occur, and if it does, you’ll have to figure out when the time is right to go back in. Or maybe it’s three ways, because once you sell, you also have to decide what to do with the proceeds while you wait until the dip occurs and the time comes to get back in. People who avoid declines by selling too often may revel in their brilliance and fail to reinstate their positions at the resulting lows. Thus, even sellers who were right can fail to accomplish anything of lasting value. Lastly, what if you’re wrong and there is no dip? In that case, you’ll miss out on the ensuing gains and either never get back in or do so at higher prices. So it’s generally not a good idea to sell for purposes of market timing. There are very few occasions to do so profitably and very few people who possess the skill needed to take advantage of these opportunities. Before I close on this subject, it’s important to note that decisions to sell aren’t always within an investment manager’s control. Clients can withdraw capital from accounts and funds, necessitating sales, and the limited lifespan of closed-end funds can require managers to liquidate holdings even though they’re not ripe for selling. The choice of what to sell under these conditions can still be based on a manager’s expectations regarding future returns, but deciding not to sell isn’t among the manager’s choices. How Much Is Too Much to Hold? Certainly there are times when it’s right to sell one asset in favor of another based on the idea of relative selection. But we mustn’t do this in a mechanical manner. If we did, at the logical extreme, we would put all of our capital into the one investment we consider the best. Virtually all investors – even the best – diversify their portfolios. We may have a sense for which holding is the absolute best, but I’ve never heard of an investor with a one-asset portfolio. They may overweight favorites to take advantage of what they think they know, but they still diversify to protect against what they don’t know. That means they sub-optimize, potentially trading off some of their chance at a maximal return to increase the likelihood of a merely excellent one. Here’s a related question from my reconstructed conversation with Andrew: H: You run a concentrated portfolio. XYZ was a big position when you invested, and it’s even bigger today, given the appreciation. Intelligent investors concentrate portfolios and hold on to take advantage of what they know, but they diversify holdings and sell as things rise to limit the potential damage from what they don’t know. Hasn’t the growth in this position put our portfolio out of whack in that regard? A: Perhaps that’s true, depending on your goals. But trimming would mean selling something I feel immense comfort with based on my bottom-up assessment and moving into something I feel less good about or know less well (or cash). To me, it’s far better to own a small number of things about which I feel strongly. I’ll only have a few good insights over my lifetime, so I have to maximize the few I have. All professional investors want good investment performance for their clients, but they also want financial success for themselves. And amateurs have to invest within the limits of their risk tolerance. For these reasons, most investors – and certainly most investment managers’ clients – aren’t immune to apprehension regarding portfolio concentration and thus susceptibility to untoward developments. These considerations introduce valid reasons for limiting the size of individual asset purchases and trimming positions as they appreciate. Investors sometimes delegate the decision on how to weight assets in portfolios to a process called portfolio optimization. Inputs regarding asset classes’ return potential, risk and correlation are fed into a computer model, and out comes the portfolio with the optimal expected risk-adjusted return. If an asset appreciates relative to the others, the model can be rerun, and it will tell you what to buy and sell. The main problem with these models lies in the fact that all the data we have regarding those three parameters relates to the past, but to arrive at the ideal portfolio, the model needs data that accurately describes the future. Further, the models need a numerical input for risk, and I absolutely insist that no single number can fully describe an asset’s risk. Thus, optimization models can’t successfully dictate portfolio actions. The bottom line: we should base our investment decisions on our estimates of each asset’s potential, we shouldn’t sell just because the price has risen and the position has swelled, there can be legitimate reasons to limit the size of the positions we hold, but there’s no way to scientifically calculate what those limits should be. In other words, the decision to trim positions or to sell out entirely comes down to judgment . . . like everything else that matters in investing. The Final Word on Selling Most investors try to add value by over- and underweighting specific assets and/or through well-timed buying and selling. While few have demonstrated the ability to consistently do these things correctly (see my comments on active management on page 4), everyone’s free to have a go at it. There is, however, a big “but.” What’s clear to me is that simply being invested is by far “the most important thing.” (Someone should write a book with that title!) Most actively managed portfolios won’t outperform the market as a result of manipulation of portfolio weightings or buying and selling for purposes of market timing. You can try to add to returns by engaging in such machinations, but these actions are unlikely to work at best and can get in the way at worst. Most economies and corporations benefit from positive underlying secular trends, and thus most securities markets rise in most years and certainly over long periods. One of the longest-running U.S. equity indices, the S&P 500, has produced an estimated compound average return over the last 90 years of 10.5% per year. That’s startling performance. It means $1 invested in the S&P 500 90 years ago would have grown to roughly $8,000 today. Many people have remarked on the wonders of compounding. For example, Albert Einstein reportedly called compound interest “the eighth wonder of the world.” If $1 could be invested today at the historic compound return of 10.5% per year, it would grow to $147 in 50 years. One might argue that economic growth will be slower in the years ahead than it was in the past, or that bargain stocks were easier to find in previous periods than they are today. Nevertheless, even if it compounds at just 7%, $1 invested today will grow to over $29 in 50 years. Thus, someone entering adulthood today is practically guaranteed to be well fixed by the time they retire if they merely start investing promptly and avoid tampering with the process by trading. I like the way Bill Miller, one of the great investors of our time, put it in his 3Q 2021 Market Letter: In the post-war period the US stock market has gone up in around 70% of the years... Odds much less favorable than that have made casino owners very rich, yet most investors try to guess the 30% of the time stocks decline, or even worse spend time trying to surf, to no avail, the quarterly up and down waves in the market. Most of the returns in stocks are concentrated in sharp bursts beginning in periods of great pessimism or fear, as we saw most recently in the 2020 pandemic decline. We believe time, not timing, is the key to building wealth in the stock market. (October 18, 2021. Emphasis added) What are the “sharp bursts” Miller talks about? On April 11, 2019, The Motley Fool cited data from JP Morgan Asset Management’s 2019 Retirement Guide showing that in the 20-year period between 1999 and 2018, the annual return on the S&P 500 was 5.6%, but your return would only have been 2.0% if you had sat out the 10 best days (or roughly 0.4% of the trading days), and you wouldn’t have made any money at all if you had missed the 20 best days. In the past, returns have often been similarly concentrated in a small number of days. Nevertheless, overactive investors continue to jump in and out of the market, incurring transactions costs and capital gains taxes and running the risk of missing those “sharp bursts.” As mentioned earlier, investors often engage in selling because they believe a decline is imminent and they have the ability to avoid it. The truth, however, is that buying or holding – even at elevated prices – and experiencing a decline is in itself far from fatal. Usually, every market high is followed by a higher one and, after all, only the long-term return matters. Reducing market exposure through ill-conceived selling – and thus failing to participate fully in the markets’ positive long-term trend – is a cardinal sin in investing. That’s even more true of selling without reason things that have fallen, turning negative fluctuations into permanent losses and missing out on the miracle of long-term compounding. * * * When I meet people for the first time and they find out I’m in the investment business, they often ask (especially in Europe) “what do you trade?” That question makes me bristle. To me, “trading” means jumping in and out of individual assets and whole markets on the basis of guesswork as to what prices will do in the next hour, day, month or quarter. We don’t engage in such activity at Oaktree, and few people have demonstrated the ability to do it well. Rather than traders, we consider ourselves investors. In my view, investing means committing capital to assets based on well-reasoned estimates of their potential and benefitting from the results over the long term. Oaktree does employ people called traders, but their job consists of implementing long-term investment decisions made by portfolio managers based on assets’ fundamentals. No one at Oaktree believes they can make money or advance their career by selling now and buying back after an intervening decline, as opposed to holding for years and letting value lift prices if fundamental expectations prove out. When Oaktree was formed in 1995, the five founders – who at that point had worked together for nine years on average – established an investment philosophy based on what we’d successfully done in that time. One of the six tenets expressed our view on trying to time markets when buying and selling: Because we do not believe in the predictive ability required to correctly time markets, we keep portfolios fully invested whenever attractively priced assets can be bought. Concern about the market climate may cause us to tilt toward more defensive investments, increase selectivity or act more deliberately, but we never move to raise cash. Clients hire us to invest in specific market niches, and we must never fail to do our job. Holding investments that decline in price is unpleasant, but missing out on returns because we failed to buy what we were hired to buy is inexcusable. We’ve never changed any of the six tenets of our investment philosophy – including this one – and we have no plans to do so. January 13, 2022 Updated on Jan 14, 2022, 12:38 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 14th, 2022

Futures Flat Ahead Of Another Scorching PPI Print

Futures Flat Ahead Of Another Scorching PPI Print US futures were little changed on Thursday one day after the highest CPI print since 1982 and just minutes before another red hot PPI print is expected (9.8%, up from 9.6%), as investors tried to gauge the timing and pace of monetary tightening. S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.1% as investors waited for the next trading signal. 10Y yields were flat around 1.74%, and the dollar edged lower as a growing tide of investors bet the world’s reserve currency has reached a peak with rate hikes largely priced-in to the market with Fed tightening likely to lead to an economic slowdown. “Markets in 2022 have been volatile as the reality of inflation set in, and this reaction mainly reflects relief that the print did not exceed already lofty expectations,” Geir Lode, head of global equities at the international business of Federated Hermes, said in an email. Inflation hitting 7% could force a quicker move by the Federal Reserve, with the market now pricing four rate hikes this year starting no later than March, according to technical analyst Pierre Veyret at ActivTrades in London. “Investors still struggle with one crucial question: how will the Fed manage to tackle rising price pressure without derailing the fragile post-pandemic economic recovery?” Sure enough, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly and her Philadelphia peer Patrick Harker added their voices to the chorus in interviews published yesterday evening and this morning, calling for a rate hike as soon as March when odds of a rate hike have hit a new high of 90%. Attention today will be on the confirmation hearing of Lael Brainard in the Senate. The vice-chair nominee, who last publicly commented on the economic outlook in September, said in prepared remarks that tackling inflation is the bank’s “most important task.” In premarket trading, shares in Delta Air Lines rose more than 2% even though the carrier missed revenue and EPS expectations, after the company said the omicron variant won’t derail its expectation to remain profitable for the rest of the year, as it released fourth-quarter financial results. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: U.S. chip stocks are mixed in premarket trading after sector bellwether TSMC gave a 1Q sales outlook that beat estimates and raised its projected annual capex versus last year. Equipment stock Applied Materials (AMAT US) +2% premarket, while TSMC customers are mixed with Apple (AAPL US) -0.1%, Nvidia (NVDA US) +0.7% and AMD (AMD US) +0.6%. Puma Biotechnology (PBYI US) shares surge 13% in U.S. premarket trading, after the company said that its Nerlynx treatment was included in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) clinical practice guidelines in oncology for the treatment of breast cancer. KB Home (KBH US) shares rise 6.2% in premarket trading after the homebuilder’s 4Q EPS beat estimates, with Wells Fargo calling the results and guidance “solid.” Planet Labs (PL US) shares rise 1.6% in U.S. premarket trading, after the satellite data provider said that it plans to launch 44 SuperDove satellites on Thursday on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Adagio Therapeutics (ADGI US) said ADG20 has neutralization activity against omicron and cites recent findings from three publications on ADG20. Shares jumped 30% in post-market trading. Discussing yesterday's scorching CPI print, DB's Jim Reid writes that "if you did an MRI scan of US inflation yesterday you’d find things to support both sides of the debate which is surprising when it hit 7% YoY and the highest since 1982 when Fed Funds were more than 13% rather than close to zero as they are today. So a slightly different real rate to back then. In fact the real rate is through any level seen in the 1970s and is only comparable to WWII levels. Back to CPI and the YoY number was in line with expectations, but core and MoM figures were all a bit firmer than expected. However, the beats were small enough that the data didn’t significantly change the outlook for monetary policy, with Fed funds futures still pricing in an 89% chance of a March hike, which is roughly around where it’d been over the preceding days." In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index paused after a two-day advance, erasing early declines of as much as 0.3% to trade little changed, with technology and automotive shares offsetting losses in consumer products and health care. CAC 40 underperforms, dropping as much as 0.6%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Technology sub-index is up 1.1%, getting a boost from chip stocks which gained after sector bellwether TSMC gave a 1Q sales outlook that beat estimates and raised its projected annual capex versus last year. Geberit dropped as much as 4.5% to a seven-month low after the Swiss producer of sanitary installations reported fourth-quarter sales. Bloomberg Dollar Spot dips into the red pushing most majors to best levels of the session. NZD, AUD and GBP are the best G-10 performers. Crude futures maintain a relatively narrow range. WTI is flat near $82.70, Brent stalls near $84.84. Spot gold dips before finding support near $1,820/oz. Most base metals are in the red with LME zinc lagging peers.  Asian stocks were little changed after capping their biggest rally in a year, with health-care and software-technology names retreating while financials advanced. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fluctuated between a drop of 0.3% and a gain of 0.2% on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index lost 1.8% after rising the most in three months in the previous session. Benchmarks in China and Japan were the day’s worst performers, while the Philippines and Australia outperformed.   “The market rose a bit too much yesterday,” said Mamoru Shimode, chief strategist at Resona Asset Management in Tokyo. “Investors keep shifting back and forth from value stocks to growth names and vise versa. It’s because we don’t know yet where U.S. long-term yields will end up settling around.”  The Asian stock measure jumped 1.9% Wednesday on views that the Federal Reserve’s anticipated rate hikes will help curb inflation and allow the global recovery to chug along. U.S. inflation readings overnight, at an almost four-decade high, were in line with expectations and helped investors keep previous bets Japanese stocks fell after Tokyo raised its Covid-19 alert to the second-highest level on a four-tier system. The Topix dropped 0.7% to 2,005.58 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 declined 1% to 28,489.13. Recruit Holdings Co. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, decreasing 4%. Out of 2,181 shares in the index, 500 rose and 1,604 fell, while 77 were unchanged. HIS, Japan Airlines and other travel shares fell. Tokyo’s daily cases jumped more than fivefold on Wednesday to 2,198 compared with 390 a week earlier. India’s benchmark equity index eeked out gains to complete its longest string of advances since mid-October, buoyed by the nation’s top two IT firms after their earnings reports. The S&P BSE Sensex rose for a fifth day, adding 0.1% to close at 61,235.30 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index climbed 0.3%. Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services were among the biggest boosts to both measures. Of the 30 shares in the Sensex index, 19 rose and 11 fell. Thirteen of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of metal companies.  Infosys’ quarterly earnings beat and bellwether Tata Consultancy Services’s better-than-expected sales offer some hope that the rally in India’s technology sector has further room to run, according to analysts. Still, Wipro sank the most in a year after its profit missed estimates Fixed income is relatively quiet, with changes across major curves limited to less than a basis point so far. The 10-year yield stalled around 1.75%, slightly cheaper on the day, and broadly in line with bunds and gilts. Eurodollar futures bear steepen a touch after a round of hawkish Fedspeak during Asian hours. Treasuries were steady with yields broadly within a basis point of Wednesday’s close.  Eurodollars are slightly lower across green- and blue-pack contracts after Fed’s Daly and Harker sounded hawkish tones during Asia hours. Across front-end, eurodollar strip steepens out to blue-pack contracts (Mar25-Dec25), which are lower by up to 4bp. 30-year bond reopening at 1pm ET concludes this week’s coupon auction cycle.$22b 30-year reopening at 1pm ET follows 0.3bp tail in Wednesday’s 10-year auction, and large tails in last two 30-year sales. The WI 30-year yield at ~2.095% is above auction stops since June and ~20bp cheaper than last month’s, which tailed the WI by 3.2bp. In FX, the pound advanced to its highest level since Oct. 29 amid calls for U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign over a “bring your own bottle” party at the height of a lockdown meant to stem the first wave of coronavirus infections in 2020. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index held a two-month low as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers, and the euro rallied a third day as it approached the $1.15 handle. Implied volatility in the major currencies over the two- week tenor, that now captures the next Fed meeting, comes in line with the roll yet investors are choosing sides. The Australian dollar extended its overnight gain as the greenback declined following as-expected U.S. inflation. Iron ore supply concern also supported the currency. The yen hovered near a two-week high as long dollar positions were unwound. Japanese government bonds traded in narrow ranges. In commodities, cude futures maintain a relatively narrow range. WTI is flat near $82.70, Brent stalls near $84.50. Spot gold dips before finding support near $1,820/oz. Most base metals are in the red with LME zinc lagging peers. Bitcoin traded around $44,000 as the inflation numbers rekindled the debate about whether the cryptocurrency is a hedge against rising consumer prices. Expected data on Thursday include producer prices, an early indicator of inflationary trends, and unemployment claims. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,715.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 485.67 MXAP little changed at 196.79 MXAPJ up 0.1% to 643.93 Nikkei down 1.0% to 28,489.13 Topix down 0.7% to 2,005.58 Hang Seng Index up 0.1% to 24,429.77 Shanghai Composite down 1.2% to 3,555.26 Sensex up 0.1% to 61,220.38 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,474.36 Kospi down 0.3% to 2,962.09 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.04% Euro up 0.2% to $1.1465 Brent Futures down 0.1% to $84.58/bbl Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,820.68 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.83 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Mary Daly and her Philadelphia Fed peer Patrick Harker joined the ranks of officials publicly discussing an interest-rate increase as early as March as the central bank seeks to combat the hottest inflation in a generation Global central banks will diverge on the way they respond to inflation this year, creating risks to economies everywhere, Bank of England policy maker Catherine Mann said Norway’s race to appoint a new central bank governor is reaching a finale mired in controversy at the prospect of a political ally and friend of Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store getting the job Italy’s government is working on a spending package that won’t require revising its budget to expand the deficit, people familiar with the matter said Several of China’s largest banks have become more selective about funding real estate projects by local government financing vehicles, concerned that some are taking on too much risk after they replaced private developers as key buyers of land, people familiar with the matter said A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following the choppy session in the US where major indices eked mild gains as markets digested CPI data in which headline annual inflation printed at 7.0%. ASX 200 (+0.5%) was underpinned as the energy and mining related sectors continued to benefit from the recent upside in underlying commodity prices, while Crown Resorts shares outperformed after Blackstone raised its cash proposal for Crown Resorts following due diligence inquiries. Nikkei 225 (-1.0%) declined with the index hampered by unfavourable currency flows and with Tokyo raising its COVID-19 alert to the second-highest level. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.1%) were initially subdued, but did diverge later, after the slight miss on loans and aggregate financing data, while there is a slew of upcoming key releases from China in the days ahead including trade figures tomorrow, as well as GDP and activity data on Monday. In addition, the biggest movers were headline driven including developer Sunac China which dropped by a double-digit percentage after it priced a 452mln-share sale at a 15% discount to repay loans and cruise operator Genting Hong Kong wiped out around half its value on resumption of trade after it warned of defaults due to insolvency of its German shipbuilding business. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded rangebound and were stuck near the 151.00 level following the indecisive mood in T-notes which was not helped by an uninspiring 10yr auction stateside, while the lack of BoJ purchases in the market also added to the humdrum tone. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Steady After Best Rally in a Year; Financials Gain Country Garden Selloff Shows Chinese Developer Worries Spreading China Banks Curb Property Loans to Local Government Firms China’s True Unemployment Pain Masked by Official Data Bourses in Europe now see a mixed picture with the breadth of the price action also narrow (Euro Stoxx 50 Unch; Stoxx 600 -0.10%). The region initially opened with a modest downside bias following on from a mostly negative APAC handover after Wall Street eked mild gains. US equity futures have since been choppy within a tight range and exhibit a relatively broad-based performance with no real standout performers. Back in Europe, sectors are mixed and lack an overarching theme. Tech remains the outperformer since the morning with some follow-through seen from contract-chip manufacturer TSMC (ADR +4.3% pre-market), who beat on net and revenue whilst upping its 2022 Capex to USD 40bln-44bln from around USD 30bln the prior year, whilst the CEO expects capacity to remain tight throughout 2022. Tech is closely followed by Autos and Parts and Travel & Leisure, whilst the other end of the spectrum sees Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Retail and Personal & Household goods among the straddlers – with Tesco (-1.5%) and Marks & Spencer (-5.3%) weighing on the latter two following trading updates. In terms of other individual movers, BT (+0.5%) trades in the green amid reports DAZN is nearing a deal to buy BT Sport for around USD 800mln, a could be reached as soon as this month but has not been finalized. Turning to analyst commentary: Morgan Stanley’s clients have aligned themselves to the view that European equities will likely perform better than US counterparts. 45% of respondents see Financials as the top-performing sector this year, 14% preferred Tech which would be the lowest score in over six years. Top European News Johnson Buys Time With Apology But U.K. Tory Rage Simmers U.K. Retailers Slide as Updates Show Lingering Impact of Virus Wood Group Plans Sale of Built Environment Unit Next Quarter Just Eat Advisers Pitching Grubhub Sale or Take-Private: Sources In FX, the Dollar has weakened further in wake of Wednesday’s US inflation data as ‘buy rumour sell fact’ dynamics are compounded by more position paring and increasingly bearish technical impulses to outweigh fundamental factors that seem supportive, on paper or in theory. Indeed, the index only mustered enough recovery momentum to reach 95.022 on the back of hawkish Fed commentary and some short covering before retreating through the psychological level, then yesterday’s 94.903 low and another trough from late 2021 at 94.824 (November 11 base) to 94.710, thus far and leaving little bar the 100 DMA, at 94.675 today, in terms of support ahead of 94.500. However, the flagging Greenback could get a fillip via PPI and/or IJC, if not the next round of Fed speakers and final leg of this week’s auction remit in the form of Usd 22 bn long bonds. NZD/AUD - A change in the running order down under where the Kiwi has overtaken the Aussie irrespective of bullish calls on the Aud/Nzd cross from MS, with Nzd/Usd breaching the 50 DMA around 0.6860 on the way to 0.6884 and Aud/Usd scaling the 100 DMA at 0.7288 then 0.7300 before fading at 0.7314. GBP/EUR/CHF/CAD/JPY - Also extracting more impetus at the expense of the Buck, but to varying degrees as Sterling continues to shrug aside ongoing Tory party turmoil to attain 1.3700+ status and surpass the 200 DMA that stands at 1.3737, while the Euro has overcome Fib resistance around 1.1440, plus any semi-psychological reticence at 1.1450 to reach 1.1478 and the Franc is now closer to 0.9100 than 0.9150. Elsewhere, crude is still providing the Loonie with an incentive to climb and Usd/Cad has recoiled even further from early 2022 peaks beneath 1.2500 as a result, and the Yen is around 114.50 with scope for a stronger retracement to test the 55 DMA, at 114.22. SCANDI/EM - Some signs of fatigue as the Nok stalls on the edge of 9.9000 against the Eur in tandem with Brent just a few cents over Usd 85/brl, but the Czk has recorded fresh decade-plus highs vs the single currency following remarks from CNB chief Rusnok on the need to keep tightening and acknowledging that this may culminate in Koruna appreciation. The Cnh and Cny are firmer vs the Usd pre-Chinese trade and GDP data either side of the weekend, but the Rub is lagging again as the Kremlin concludes that there was no progress in talks between Russia and the West, but the Try is underperforming again with headwinds from elevated oil prices and regardless of a marked pick up in Turkish ip. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month contracts have conformed to the indecisive mood across the markets, although the benchmarks received a mild uplift as the Dollar receded in early European hours. As it stands, the WTI Feb and Brent Mar contract both reside within USD 0.80/bbl ranges near USD 82.50/bbl and USD 84.50/bbl respectively. News flow for the complex has been quiet and participants are on the lookout for the next catalyst, potentially in the form of US jobless claims/PPI amid multiple speakers, although the rise in APAC COVID cases remains a continuous headwind on demand for now – particularly in China. On the geopolitical front, Russian-backed troops have reportedly begun pulling out of the 1.6mln BPD Kazakh territory, but Moscow’s tensions with the West do not seem to abate. Russia's Kremlin suggested talks with the West were "unsuccessful" – which comes after NATO’s Secretary-General yesterday suggested there is a real risk of a new armed conflict in Europe. Elsewhere, spot gold has drifted off best levels as the DXY found a floor, for now – with the closest support yesterday’s USD 1,813/oz low ahead of the 50 and 21 DMAs at USD 1,807/oz and USD 1,806.50/oz respectively. LME copper has also pulled back from yesterday’s best levels to levels under USD 10,000/t as the mood remains cautious, although, copper prices in Shanghai rose to over a two-month high as it played catch-up to LME yesterday. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Dec. PPI Final Demand YoY, est. 9.8%, prior 9.6%; MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.8% 8:30am: Dec. PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 8.0%, prior 7.7%; MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.7% 8:30am: Jan. Continuing Claims, est. 1.73m, prior 1.75m 8:30am: Jan. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 200,000, prior 207,000 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Today I have a first. I have two MRI scans. A fresh one on my back and one on my right knee which gave way as I was rehabbing (squats and lunges) the left knee after recent surgery. In my fifth decade of playing sport averagely, but vigorously, it’s all catching up with me very quickly. I’ve exhausted all strengthening exercise routines and injections on my back and the pain gets worse. My surgeon does not want to operate but we will see if he changes his mind after today. If he says play less golf I will walk out mid-meeting even if he may be medically correct. In contrast my knee surgeon is an avid skier and he keeps on doing things to prolong my skiing career even though I’ve said to him that I just really care about golf. So I’ll soon be looking for an avid golfer who just happens to be a back surgeon. Talking of confirmation bias, if you did an MRI scan of US inflation yesterday you’d find things to support both sides of the debate which is surprising when it hit 7% YoY and the highest since 1982 when Fed Funds were more than 13% rather than close to zero as they are today. So a slightly different real rate to back then. In fact the real rate is through any level seen in the 1970s and is only comparable to WWII levels. Back to CPI and the YoY number was in line with expectations, but core and MoM figures were all a bit firmer than expected. However, the beats were small enough that the data didn’t significantly change the outlook for monetary policy, with Fed funds futures still pricing in an 89% chance of a March hike, which is roughly around where it’d been over the preceding days. Looking at the details of the release, (our US econ team’s full wrap here) headline month-on-month number came in at +0.5% in December (vs. +0.4% expected), which is the 8thtime in the last 10 months that the print has come in above the consensus expectations on Bloomberg. However, that does still mark a deceleration from the +0.9% and +0.8% monthly growth in October and November respectively. The core CPI reading was also a touch stronger than anticipated, with the monthly print at +0.6% (vs. +0.5% expected), thus sending the annual core CPI measure up to +5.5% (vs. +5.4% expected) and its highest since 1991. Diving into some of the key sub-components, Covid-era favorite used cars and trucks grew +3.5% MoM. More concerning for policymakers, is the continued growth in persistent measures such as shelter, with primary and owners’ equivalent rent both increasing +0.4% MoM. If you were expecting Omicron to slow down American holiday travel, think again, lodging away from home and airfares both posted large increases, +1.2% and +2.7%, respectively. Most forecasters think the peak for inflation is sometime soon, but the pace of the glide path is open to debate. This is a topic we covered in yesterday’s CoTD, found here. Even though Treasuries had rallied strongly in the immediate aftermath of the report, with the 10yr yield falling back to 1.709% at the intraday low, yields pared back those losses to end the session basically unchanged at 1.74% (+0.7bps). CPI was expected to be bad and therefore the ability to shock was relatively low. However this tame overall move masked a divergence between a sharp bounceback in the 10yr real yield (+7.5bps) and a decline in inflation breakevens (-7.5bps) as the worst fears from the report weren’t realised. Over in Europe however, there was a more sustained rally, with yields on 10yr bunds down -3.2bps to -0.06%, having come very close in recent days to moving back into positive territory for the first time since May 2019. Furthermore, there was a continued divergence between the two regions at the front end of the curve, with the gap between 2yr yields on Treasuries and bunds widening to 153bps yesterday, which is the biggest since the pandemic began. Staying with bonds, our US econ and Rates strategy team published a joint piece last night outlining their early expectations for QT, here. For equities, the lack of an inflation surprise meant that they got a continued reprieve following last week’s selloff, with the S&P 500 (+0.28%) advancing for a 2nd day running for the first time this year, whilst in Europe the STOXX 600 (+0.65%) posted an even stronger advance. Megacap tech stocks were a noticeable outperformer, with the FANG+ index gaining +1.25%, whilst in Europe the STOXX Banks index (+1.22%) hit a fresh 3-year high. On the topic of inflationary pressures, one asset that continued its upward march was oil yesterday, with Brent Crude (+1.13%), just missing its first close above $85/bbl since October yesterday. Bear in mind it was only 6 weeks earlier that Brent hit its post-Omicron closing low, just beneath $69/bbl, so it’s now up by more than $16/bbl over that period. WTI (+1.75%) saw a similar increase yesterday, which won’t be welcome news to those who’d hoped the recent decline in energy prices late last year would offer some relief on the inflation front. That said, WTI oil is making a great case to be the top-performing major asset for a second year running at the minute, having advanced by over +10% since the start of the year.. This morning, Asian markets are mostly trading lower. The Nikkei (-0.91%) is leading losses in the region, followed by the CSI (-0.55%), Shanghai Composite (-0.31% ) and Kospi (-0.19%). Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index (+0.07%) is swinging between gains and losses. In stock news, Cruise operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd nosedived by a record 56%, after it resumed trading today following last week's suspension as the company indicated the possibility of default. Looking forward, US equity futures are indicating a weak start with the S&P 500 (-0.15%), Nasdaq (-0.26%) and Dow Jones (-0.11%) contracts trading in the red. On the Covid front, there was further good news from the UK as the latest wave showed further signs of ebbing. For the UK as a whole, the total number of reported cases over the last 7 days is now down -19% compared with the previous 7 day period, whilst in England the number of Covid patients in a mechanical ventilation bed has dropped to its lowest in almost 3 months, before we’d even heard of the Omicron variant. For those following credit, our colleagues in the European Leveraged Finance Research team have just published their quarterly top trade ideas. You can find the report here. Looking at yesterday’s other data, Euro Area industrial production grew by +2.3% in November (vs. +0.3% expected), although the October reading was revised down to show a -1.3% contraction. To the day ahead now, and one of the highlights will be Fed Governor Brainard’s nomination hearing at the Senate Banking committee to become Fed Vice Chair. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Evans, ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Elderson, along with the BoE’s Mann. Separately, data releases from the US include December’s PPI and the weekly initial jobless claims, whilst there’s also Italy’s industrial production for November. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/13/2022 - 08:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 13th, 2022

Expect A "Blue Wave Of Gun Control" In 2022

Expect A "Blue Wave Of Gun Control" In 2022 Submitted by The Machine Gun Nest (TMGN)., Governing By Executive Fiat.  It's something that the Biden Administration knows quite well. Not even a week into the new year, Merrick Garland, Attorney General at the Department of Justice, announced a new "rule" for Federal Firearms Licensees, also known as FFLs.  The "Rule" is as follows: FFLs must have "safe storage" options for sale. The government is mandating that FFLs sell locks and safes. It also changes the definition of an antique firearm; you can read the change here.  While this might sound wholly bland and harmless, keep in mind that the DOJ can use the 1968 Gun Control Act to add new rules and regulations to gun ownership without passing any laws. This change means that unelected bureaucrats in executive branch positions can usurp federal power to make "law" as they see fit.  It is precisely this attitude that we've seen throughout 2021 from the Biden Administration, the Department of Justice, and the ATF. There's no reason to expect that they would shift their plans for 2022.  Just because gun owners were able to make their voices heard and stop the disastrous nomination of David Chipman to head the ATF doesn't mean that it's all over. 2021 has been full of significant accomplishments; we've added more constitutional carry states and 2nd amendment sanctuaries. Support for gun control has hit its lowest point, and almost 8 million new gun owners have decided to exercise their constitutional rights. That being said, we're headed into year number two of one of the most hostile administrations to gun rights in recent history.  We can make a few predictions about what the Biden admin may do (and to a lesser extent blue state governors as well) but let's take a look at some recent actions first.  In 2020, the ATF raided a company called Diversified Machine. Diversified Machine sells Solvent Traps. The ATF now considers these devices to be Suppressors. Since they raided Diversified Machine, the ATF has a list of all of Diversified Machine's customers.  A few days ago, the ATF sent customers of Diversified Machine letters saying that they were actually in possession of a suppressor and that those needed to be turned in immediately or those customers would face felony charges.  What separated Diversified Machine's solvent traps from any other solvent trap on the market? Well, their solvent traps were dimpled on the end caps.  Prior to these letters, the ATF offered no guidance on what they did/did not consider to be a suppressor, or solvent trap, dimpled end caps or not. Solvent traps are popular with Form 1 Suppressor groups online, as they can be purchased, an ATF Form 1 can be filed, and then said solvent trap can be converted into a suppressor.  This behavior is par for the course with the ATF and should come as no surprise for long-time gun owners. In 2021 we saw them change rules on 80% kits, pistol braces, and the Rare Breed Forced-Reset-Trigger.  What's interesting about this letter to Diversified Machine customers, though, is that the ATF states explicitly that the customer is in possession of a suppressor. Even though the words "readily convertible" are used in conjunction, we can only infer that the ATF is considering these solvent traps as sold to be actual suppressors, making the purchase of a solvent trap a violation of the 1968 GCA and the National Firearms Act, or NFA.  We should expect a forthcoming "rule" on solvent traps that will turn millions of Americans into felons overnight. What's worse is the ATF hasn't stopped at solvent traps; they've started investigating people who have bought fuel filters online. According to Ammoland, Federal Agents visited an unnamed Florida resident who had purchased fuel filters online. The Agents demanded that he hand over the filters, even though he did not own firearms. Another example of wackiness, a YouTuber named "Truck Master" was told to turn over the diesel truck filters he was using for his truck builds under suspicion that they were illegal suppressors. The question we have to ask is, how far is too far? The ATF has decided on a whim that fuel filters and solvent traps fit their definition of a suppressor, even though both items have legitimate uses beyond being firearm suppressors.  In 2022, we should expect the ATF and DOJ to march forward with the idea that anything that is "readily convertible" to be a firearm, is in fact, a firearm in the eyes of the Feds. It's looking grim for 80% kits like Polymer80. How long until it's an NFA/GCA violation if you have a block of metal and CNC knowledge. There's not much separating those two things.  We should also expect a "Blue Wave" of gun control legislation and proposals on the state and federal level, with politicians and governors doubling down on unpopular gun policy. Considering how low Biden is currently polling and the 2022 midterms fastly approaching, gun control is an easy issue for the President to pull out and energize his base. Doubling down on gun control will also keep his major donors like Bloomberg and Soros from the anti-gun lobby happy. Blue state governors will, of course, follow suit. We saw Gavin Newsom of CA recently propose gun control as a way to spit in the face of gun owners and one-up the Texas abortion law at the same time.  Expect the Biden Admin to try and move forward with already proposed rules regarding pistol braces as well. Currently, the DOJ has asked for delays on the final rule's implementation as they try to figure out a way to get around all the impending lawsuits from the pro-gun lobby.  I also expect Biden to nominate a Gun Czar, as an appeasement to the Gun Control lobby, after being such a disappointment that the mainstream media have run headlines like this. So, what can we do to stop this? Right now, because of the way that the ATF is using current law to add additional regulations, our best bet of stopping the ATF from continuing to be able to act in this manner is the bump stock case currently making its way to the supreme court. The case is Aposhian v. Garland, and it tackles why the ATF has been able to, on a whim, decide that items are illegal. That being a legal doctrine called the "Chevron Deference." This is a legal test in which a court may not substitute its own interpretation for a reasonable interpretation made by an administrative agency.  The question isn't if Aposhian v. Garland makes it to the supreme court; it's when. A panel of 16 judges on the 6th circuit just had a tie vote (8-8) on the case, making it even more necessary for the Supreme Court to weigh in on this hotly debated issue.  We've seen a clear pathway that the anti-gun lobby is taking in our coverage of gun control issues. Using the NFA, 1968 GCA, FOPA, and other gun control laws on the books, they've managed to ban bump stocks and inch closer and closer to regulating semi-automatic firearms under the NFA or outright ban them. This Case, Aposhian v. Garland, would put a significant roadblock in front of the ATF by taking away their ability to regulate items without congressional approval. With hotly contested midterms and Presidential approval ratings plummeting, The Biden Administration will be looking for any scapegoat to rally their base back to vote. Gun control will likely be that issue, and gun owners should be ready to get out and once again make their voices heard. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/06/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 7th, 2022

Here"s The One Thing Traders Want To Know After Biggest "Rate Shock" Selloff Since 2016

Here's The One Thing Traders Want To Know After Biggest "Rate Shock" Selloff Since 2016 Just how bad was yesterday's market rout? According to quants at Morgan Stanley, it was worse than every selloff in the past 5 years, including the March 2020 crash. As Morgan Stanley's QDS team notes, flows were aggressively for sale post 2pm when the FOMC Minutes hit, with signs of selling from both institutions and retail:  as shown in the chart below, S&P 500 futures Trade Pressure hit negative $13 billion, the most for sale since at least 2016... ... and QDS also estimates retail supply post 2pm was the 4th largest for that time frame in the last two years, with most of the retail selling in Tech, where daily supply was the biggest of the last year, perpetuating the painful rotations even as the stress spilled into the S&P 500. So while yesterday's selling was clearly panicked, furious and indiscriminate, the question on all traders' minds is simple: is the rout finally over? In response, Morgan Stanley's quants write that whether investors overreacted today or there is more to come will depend on whether yields continue to rise... and if rates do move higher, the drawdowns in equity indices could only be 40 to 50% done if history is a guide.  QDS calculates that in five prior "rate shocks" over the last five years, the S&P 500 typically moved down ~5%, while right now SPX is only 2% off the highs. That said, some corners of the market may be reaching selling exhaustion, notably baskets like MSXXCRWD (crowded longs) and MSXXEVSA (expensive Tech) which are currently down 80 to 85% as much as in prior rate shocks – and that is only accounting for the moves since yields started to rise since mid-December (when MSXXCRWD was already down 18% and MSXXEVSA was already down 24% from the highs), supporting a view that broader indices could have more downside than the underperformers of the last few months (alternatively, the trade here is to short the S&P or Nasdaq while going long the most beaten down stocks). A detailed breakdown of trough-to-peak increases in yields and corresponding drawdowns is shown below. While history suggests more pain at the index level, a similar picture emerges when looking at flows and positioning where there is a risk of further supply from both institutions and retail from here, according to Morgan Stanley's quants. For institutions, QDS estimates systematic strategies will have $15 to $20bn for sale over the next week on the back of yesterday’s gap lower – not a particularly significant amount, but this can build if realized vol rises further (see slide below).  And the continued weakness in crowded longs and long duration Tech (MSXXCRWD -6% YTD, MSXXUPT -11%, MSXXEVSA -12%) is a drag on HF P/L, where according to Goldman, hedge funds had already undergone some of the biggest selling (and degrossing) in the past decade ahead of the FOMC minutes. This matters because as QDS notes, the early year hits to P/L are having a big impact on sentiment and investors’ likelihood of adding or even holding risk, particularly coming off the poor alpha of 2021. This leaves Morgan Stanley concerned about overall equity exposures having to come down, particularly given that US L/S nets came into today in the 70th %ile per the MS PB Content Team even while grosses are at a relatively light 36th 5-year percentile. What about retail traders? Here, flows have been choppy: Tuesday was a strong buy day but retail was light both today and Monday.  This comes on the back of the lightest buying in December since March 2020 (and all of the buying was in ETFs while stocks have been for sale), plus negative P/L in many names retail is active in. And while retail flows can be volatile and could quickly turn positive again - after all JPM's Marko Kolanovic has often turned bullish expecting strong retail inflows -  so far retail flows are not following the normal strong January seasonality, which to MS suggests retail will be slower to buy this dip than they have been historically. One place where there was a surprisingly calm response was in vol: despite the sharp spot moves lower after the Minutes, implied volatility was relatively well behaved, and VIX rose just 2.82 points, relatively in-line with the normal 1.5x ratio of VIX moves vs SPX returns.  One reason for this is that market makers remain short downside vega, a byproduct of cliquet flows, but end user demand for volatility was relatively light so those short vega positions weren’t squeezed. According to QDS, for vol to gap higher the market will likely need sharper moves lower to force a scramble from investors to buy hedges. For now dealer long gamma balances which remain > $5bn / 1% help cushion against sharper moves, but as seen several times last year, that gamma can evaporate quickly in a down market. Putting it all together, Morgan Stanley's QDS says that much will depend on what yields do going forward but at this stage its base case is for modest further downside in SPX and NDX over the next ~2 weeks, and believes that rallies should be sold: "The Fed is steadfast in telegraphing a hawkish tone which is unlikely to change in the very near-term, while there is little in terms of positive catalysts for investors to latch on to" according to the MS quants, which also note that "earnings may provide some respite if growth proves strong enough to pair off against the Fed’s hawkishness (but isn’t too strong…), but again that is still several weeks away." That leaves technical and positioning to play a larger role near-term, and given the negative P/L to start the year, it may be easier for investors (both institutional and retail) to sell rather than buy.   Finally, the QDS desk notes that while near-term technicals are worrisome, returning to the impact of prior rate spikes on equities, the bank notes that all of those events were relatively brief, and also had relatively modest impact on stocks (with the exception of 4Q18, which also coincided with slowing growth expectations and was followed by rate cuts).  So unless growth quickly slows at the same time, QDS expects similar modest drawdowns as equities absorb this rate shock as well, and hence continues to favor put spreads in SPX or NDX to hedge downside over the next few weeks. On the other hand, a slowdown now appears increasingly likely since the US consumer is once again largely tapped out (most if not all excess savings for the middle class have been spent) and we expect this to materialize in economic data, forcing the Fed to comprehensively rethink its tightening bias. Tyler Durden Thu, 01/06/2022 - 15:21.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 6th, 2022

US stocks trade mixed as investors try to stage a recovery after Fed minutes spark big sell-off

Tech stocks regained some ground after the 10-year yield pulled back from its highest level since March 2021. Brendan McDermid/Reuters US stocks traded mixed on Thursday following a large selloff in the previous session.  The Dow opened lower despite Walgreens shares up after beating earnings expectations. The 10-year Treasury yield touched 1.75% for the first time since March 2021.  US stocks traded mixed Thursday, after stocks tumbled in the previous session as the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes signaled the central bank will draw down more support for the economy than investors had anticipated this year. The Dow dipped despite Walgreens Boots Alliance shares rising after the drug store company's quarterly earnings surpassed expectations, bolstered by customers coming in for COVID vaccines and testing.Tech-concentrated Nasdaq Composite opened higher after sliding more than 3% on Wednesday as the Fed minutes suggested policy makers may reduce its balance sheet rather than just pulling back on its emergency asset buying. The 10-year Treasury yield on Thursday touched 1.75% for the first time since March 2021. Here's where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday:   S&P 500: 4,705.57, up 0.11%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 36,387.27, down 0.05% (19.84 points)Nasdaq Composite: 15,137.99 (up 0.25%)Stocks had been lower ahead of the bell before weekly jobless claims showed a rise of 7,000 claims to 207,000. That was worse than expectations of 195,000. "The fundamentals haven't changed; the labor market remains extremely tight, and firms won't let staff go unless they have no other choice," said Pantheon Macroeconomics in a note. "It's possible that an extended Omicron wave would change that, but the initial impact likely is to make firms even more keen to keep people, as absenteeism due to Covid rockets."Around the markets, Mark Mobius says the tech sell-off is a good time to load up on FAANG stocks.The growth of cryptocurrency markets in 2021 also came with an 80% rise in crypto crimes, new analysis shows.  Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude added on 1.9%, at $79.24 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained 1.7% to trade at $82.15.Gold dropped 1.9% to $1,790.30 per ounce. The 10-year yield was up 2 basis points to 1.729%. Bitcoin lost 1.5% to $43,014.11.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 6th, 2022

Futures Tread Water With Traders Spooked By Spike In Yields

Futures Tread Water With Traders Spooked By Spike In Yields After futures rose to a new all time high during the Tuesday overnight session, the mood has been decided more muted after yesterday's sharp rates-driven tech selloff, and on Wednesday U.S. futures were mixed and Nasdaq contracts slumped as investors once again contemplated the effect of expected rate hikes on tech stocks with lofty valuations while waiting for the release of Federal Reserve minutes at 2pm today. At 730am, Nasdaq 100 futures traded 0.3% lower amid caution over the impact of higher yields on equity valuations, S&P 500 Index futures were down 0.1%, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 gauge traded near a record high. The dollar weakened, as did bitcoin, while Brent crude rose back over $80. “The sharp rise in U.S. yields this week has sparked a move from growth to value,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific. “Wall Street went looking for the winners in an inflationary environment and as a result, loaded up on the Dow Jones at the expense of the Nasdaq.” Concerns related to the pandemic deepened as Hong Kong restricted dining-in, closed bars and gyms and banned flights from eight countries including the U.S. and the U.K. to slow the spread of the omicron variant. Meanwhile, a selloff in technology stocks extended to Asia, where the Hang Seng Tech Index tumbled as much as 4.2%, sending the gauge toward a six-year low. Traders are now caught in a quandary over deepening fears on global growth combined with a faster tightening by the Federal Reserve. “Earlier we thought that rate hikes wouldn’t be on the table until mid-2022 but the Fed seems to have worked up a consensus to taper faster and hike sooner rather than later,” Steve Englander, head of global G-10 FX research at Standard Chartered, said in a note. “But we don’t think inflation dynamics will support continued hiking. We suspect the biggest driver of asset markets will be when inflation and Covid fears begin to ebb.” Data on Tuesday showed mixed signs on U.S. inflation. Prices paid by manufacturers in December came in sharply lower than expected. However, figures showing a faster U.S. job quit rate added to concerns over wage inflation. With 4.5 million Americans leaving their jobs in November, compared with 10.6 million available positions, the odds increased the Fed will struggle to influence the employment numbers increasingly dictated by social reasons. The data came before Friday’s monthly report from the Labor Department, currently forecast to show 420,000 job additions in December. In premarket trading, tech giants Tesla, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices were among the worst performers. Pfizer advanced in New York premarket trading after BofA Global Research recommended the stock. Shares of Chinese companies listed in the U.S. extended their decline after Tencent cut its stake in gaming and e-commerce company Sea, triggering concerns of similar actions at other firms amid Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on the technology sector. Alibaba (BABA US) falls 1.2%, Didi (DIDI US) -1.8%. Here are the other notable premarket movers: Shares in electric vehicle makers fall in U.S. premarket trading, set to extend Tuesday’s losses, amid signs of deepening competition in the sector. Tesla (TSLA US) slips 1.1%, Rivian (RIVN US) -0.6%. Beyond Meat (BYND US) shares jump 8.9% premarket following a CNBC report that Yum! Brands’ KFC will launch fried chicken made with the company’s meat substitute. Recent selloff in Pinterest (PINS US) shares presents an attractive risk/reward, with opportunities for the social media company largely unchanged, Piper Sandler writes in note as it upgrades to overweight. Stock gains 2.3% in premarket trading. Senseonics Holdings (SENS US) shares rise 15% premarket after the medical technology company said it expects a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision in weeks on an updated diabetes- monitoring system. MillerKnoll (MLKN US) shares were down 3.1% in postmarket trading Tuesday after reporting fiscal 2Q top and bottom line results that missed analysts’ estimates. Annexon (ANNX US) was down 23% postmarket Tuesday after results were released from an experimental therapy for a fatal movement disorder called Huntington’s disease. Three patients in the 28- person trial discontinued treatment due to drug-related side- effects. Wejo Group (WEJO US) shares are up 34% premarket after the company said it’s developing the Wejo Neural Edge platform to enable intelligent handling of data from vehicles at scale. Smart Global (SGH US) falls 6% postmarket Tuesday after the computing memory maker forecast earnings per share for the second quarter. The low end of that forecast missed the average analyst estimate. Beyond Meat (BYND) shares surge premarket after CNBC KFC launch report UBS cut the recommendation on Adobe Inc. (ADBE US) to neutral from buy, citing concerns over the software company’s 2022 growth prospects. Shares down 2% in premarket trading. Oncternal Therapeutics (ONCT US) shares climb 5.1% premarket after saying it reached consensus with the FDA on the design and major details of the phase 3 superiority study ZILO-301 to treat mantle cell lymphoma. In Europe, the energy, chemicals and car industries led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up 0.2% to near an all-time high set on Tuesday. The Euro Stoxx 50 rises as much as 0.6%, DAX outperforms. FTSE 100 lags but rises off the lows to trade up 0.2%. Nestle dropped 2.4%, slipping from a record, after Jefferies cut the Swiss food giant to underperform. Utilities were the worst-performing sector in Europe on Wednesday as cyclical areas of the market are favored over defensives, while Uniper and Fortum fall following news of a loan agreement.  Other decliners include RWE (-2.4%), Endesa (2.1%), Verbund (-1.3%), NatGrid (-1.2%), Centrica (-1.2%). Earlier in the session, technology shares led a decline in Asian equity markets, with investors concerned about the prospects of higher interest rates and Tencent’s continued sale of assets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as much as 0.6%, the most in two weeks, dragged down by Tencent and Meituan. The rout in U.S. tech spilled over to Asia, where the Hang Seng Tech Index plunged 4.6%, the most since July, following Tencent’s stake cut in Singapore’s Sea. Declines in tech and other sectors in Hong Kong widened after the city tightened rules to curb the spread of the omicron variant. Most Asian indexes fell on Wednesday, with Japan an exception among major markets as automakers offered support. The outlook for tighter monetary policy in the U.S. and higher Treasury yields weighed on the region’s technology shares, prompting a rotation from growth to value stocks.   Read: China Tech Selloff Deepens as Tencent Sale Spooks Traders Asian equities have underperformed U.S. and European peers amid slower recoveries and vaccination rates in the past year. With omicron rapidly gaining a foothold in Asia, there is a risk of “any further restriction measures, which could cloud the services sector outlook, along with disruption to supply chains,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a strategist at IG Asia Pte.  Philippine stocks gained as trading resumed following a one-day halt due to a systems glitch. North Korea appeared to have launched its first ballistic missile in about two months, just days after leader Kim Jong Un indicated that returning to stalled nuclear talks with the U.S. was a low priority for him in the coming year. India’s key equity gauges posted their longest run of advances in more than two moths, driven by a rally in financial stocks on hopes of revival in lending on the back of capex spending in the country. The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.6% to 60,223.15 in Mumbai, its highest since Nov. 16, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 0.7%. Both benchmarks stretched their winning run to a fourth day, the longest since Oct. 18. All but six of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. climbed, led by a gauge of banking firms. “I believe from an uncertain, volatile environment, the Nifty is now headed for a directional move,” Sahaj Agrawal, a head of derivative research at Kotak Securities, writes in a note. The Nifty 50 crossed a significant barrier of the 17,800 level and is now expected to trade at 19,000-19,500 level in the medium term, Agrawal added. HDFC Bank contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 2.4%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex, 18 rose, while 12 fell In FX, Bloomberg Dollar Spot index slpped 0.2% back toward Tuesday’s lows, falling as the greenback was weaker against most of its Group-of-10 peers, SEK and JPY are the best performers in G-10, CAD underperforms. Scandinavian currencies and the yen led gains, though most G-10 currencies were trading in narrow ranges. Australia’s dollar reversed an Asia-session loss in European trading. The yen rebounded from a five-year low as investors trimmed short positions on the haven currency and amid a decline in Asian stock markets. Treasuries were generally flat in overnight trading, with the curve flatter into early U.S. session as long-end outperforms, partially unwinding a two-day selloff to start the year with Tuesday witnessing a late block sale in ultra-bond futures. 10-year yields traded as high as 1.650% ahead of the US open after being mostly flat around 1.645%; yields were richer by up to 2bp across long-end of the curve while little change from front-end out to belly, flattening 2s10s, 5s30s spreads by 0.5bp and 1.8bp; gilts outperformed in the sector by half basis point. Focus expected to continue on IG issuance, which has impacted the market in the past couple of days, and in U.S. afternoon session FOMC minutes will be released. IG dollar issuance slate includes EIB $5B 5-year SOFR and Reliance Ind. 10Y/30Y/40Y; thirteen borrowers priced $23.1b across 30 tranches Tuesday, making it the largest single day volume for U.S. high-grade corporate bonds since first week of September. European peripheral spreads widen to core. 30y Italy lags peers, widening ~2bps to Germany with order books above EU43b at the long 30y syndication. Ten-year yields shot up 8bps in New Zealand as its markets reopened following the New Year holiday. Aussie yields advanced 4bps. A 10-year sale in Japan drew a bid-cover ratio of 3.46. In commodities, crude futures were range-bound with WTI near just below $77, Brent nearer $80 after OPEC+ agreed to revive more halted production as the outlook for global oil markets improved, with demand largely withstanding the new coronavirus variant. Spot gold puts in a small upside move out of Asia’s tight range to trade near $1,820/oz. Base metals are mixed. LME nickel lags, dropping over 2%; LME aluminum and lead are up ~0.8%.  Looking at the day ahead, data releases include the December services and composite PMIs from the Euro Area, Italy, France, Germany and the US. On top of that, there’s the ADP’s December report of private payrolls from the US, the preliminary December CPI report from Italy, and December’s consumer confidence reading from France. Separately from the Federal Reserve, we’ll get the minutes of the December FOMC meeting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,783.25 MXAP down 0.4% to 193.71 MXAPJ down 0.9% to 626.67 Nikkei up 0.1% to 29,332.16 Topix up 0.4% to 2,039.27 Hang Seng Index down 1.6% to 22,907.25 Shanghai Composite down 1.0% to 3,595.18 Sensex up 0.7% to 60,300.47 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,565.85 Kospi down 1.2% to 2,953.97 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.1% to 494.52 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.09% Euro up 0.2% to $1.1304 Brent Futures down 0.4% to $79.72/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,819.73 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.13% to 96.13 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The U.S. yield curve’s most dramatic steepening in more than three months has little to do with traders turning more optimistic on the economy or betting on a more aggressive timetable for raising interest rates The surge in euro-area inflation that surprised policy makers in recent months is close to its peak, according to European Central Bank Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau Some Bank of Japan officials say it’s likely the central bank will discuss the possible ditching of a long-held view that price risks are mainly on the downward side at a policy meeting this month, according to people familiar with the matter Turkish authorities are keeping tabs on investors who are buying large amounts of foreign currency and asked banks to deter their clients from using the spot market for hedging-related trades as they struggle to contain the lira’s slide Italy is trying to lock in historically low financing costs at the start of a year where inflationary and political pressures could spell an end to super easy borrowing conditions North Korea appears to have launched its first ballistic missile in about two months, after leader Kim Jong Un indicated he was more interested in bolstering his arsenal than returning to stalled nuclear talks with the U.S. A More detailed breakdown of overnight news from Newsquawk Asia-Pac equities traded mostly in the red following the mixed handover from Wall Street, where the US majors maintained a cyclical bias and the NDX bore the brunt of another sizeable Treasury curve bear-steepener. Overnight, US equity futures resumed trade with mild losses and have since been subdued, with participants now gearing up for the FOMC minutes (full Newsquawk preview available in the Research Suite) ahead of Friday’s US jobs report and several scheduled Fed speakers. In APAC, the ASX 200 (-0.3%) was pressured by its tech sector, although the upside in financials cushioned some losses. The Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) was kept afloat by the recent JPY weakness, whilst Sony Group rose some 4% after its chairman announced EV ambitions. The KOSPI (-1.2%) was dealt a blow as North Korea fired a projectile that appeared to be a ballistic missile, but this landed outside of Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Hang Seng (-1.6%) saw its losses accelerate with the Hang Seng Tech Index tumbling over 4% as the sector tackled headwinds from Wall Street alongside domestic crackdowns. China Huarong Asset Management slumped over 50% as it resumed trade following a nine-month halt after its financial failure. The Shanghai Comp. (-1.0%) conformed to the mostly negative tone after again seeing a hefty liquidity drain by the PBoC. In the debt complex, the US T-note futures held a mild upside bias since the resumption of trade, and the US curve was somewhat steady. Participants also highlighted large short-covering heading into yesterday’s US close ahead of the FOMC minutes. Top Asian News Asian Stocks Slide as Surging Yields Squeeze Technology Sector China’s Growth Forecast Cut by CICC Amid Covid Outbreaks BOJ Is Said to Discuss Changing Long-Held View on Price Risks Gold Holds Gain With Fed Rate Hikes and Treasury Yields in Focus European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.1%) trade mixed in what has been a relatively quiet session thus far with the final readings of Eurozone services and composite PMIs providing little in the way of fresh impetus for prices. The handover from the APAC region was predominantly a soft one with Chinese bourses lagging once again with the Hang Seng Tech Index tumbling over 4% as the sector tackled headwinds from Wall Street alongside domestic crackdowns. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Comp. (-1%) conformed to the mostly negative tone after again seeing a hefty liquidity drain by the PBoC. Stateside, the ES and RTY are flat whilst the NQ lags once again after yesterday bearing the brunt of another sizeable treasury curve bear-steepener. In terms of house views, analysts at Barclays expect “2022 to be a more normal yet positive year for equities, looking for high single-digit upside and a broader leadership”. Barclays adds that it remains “pro-cyclical (Industrials, Autos, Leisure, reopening plays and Energy OW), and prefer Value to Growth”. Elsewhere, analysts at Citi stated that “monetary tightening may push up longer-dated nominal/real bond yields, threatening highly rated sectors such as IT or Luxury Goods. Alternatively, higher yields could help traditional value trades such as UK equities and Pan-European Financials”. Sectors in Europe are mostly higher, with auto names leading as Renault (+3.4%) sits at the top of the CAC, whilst Stellantis (+0.6%) has seen some support following the announcement that it is planning for a full battery-electric portfolio by 2028. Elsewhere, support has also been seen for Chemicals, Oil & Gas and Banking names with the latter continuing to be supported by the current favourable yield environment. To the downside, Food and Beverage is the clear laggard amid losses in Nestle (-2.6%) following a broker downgrade at Jefferies. Ocado (+5.5%) sits at the top of the Stoxx 600 after being upgraded to buy at Berenberg with analysts expecting the Co. to sign further deals with new and existing grocery e-commerce partners this year. Finally, Uniper (-2.4%) sits near the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after securing credit facilities totalling EUR 10bln from Fortum and KfW. Top European News U.K. Weighs Dropping Covid Test Mandate for Arriving Travelers German Energy Giant Uniper Gets $11 Billion for Margin Calls European Gas Extends Rally as Russian Shipments Remain Curbed Italian Inflation Hits Highest in More Than a Decade on Energy In FX, notwithstanding Tuesday’s somewhat mixed US manufacturing ISM survey and relatively hawkish remarks from Fed’s Kashkari, the week (and year) in terms of data and events really begins today with the release of ADP as a guide for NFP and minutes of the December FOMC that confirmed a faster pace of tapering and more hawkish dot plots. As such, it may not be surprising to see the Buck meandering broadly and index settling into a range inside yesterday’s parameters with less impetus from Treasuries that have flipped from a severe if not extreme bear-steepening incline. Looking at DXY price action in more detail, 96.337 marks the top and 96.053 the bottom at present, and from a purely technical perspective, 96.098 remains significant as a key Fib retracement level. JPY/EUR/AUD/GBP/NZD - All taking advantage of the aforementioned Greenback fade, and with the Yen more eager than others to claw back lost ground given recent underperformance. Hence, Usd/Jpy has retreated further from multi-year highs and through 116.00 to expose more downside potential irrespective of latest reports via newswire sources suggesting the BoJ is expected to slightly revise higher its inflation forecast for the next fiscal year and downgrade the GDP outlook for the year ending in March. Similarly, the Euro is having another look above 1.1300 even though EZ services and composite PMIs were mostly below consensus or preliminary readings and German new car registrations fell sharply, while the Aussie is retesting resistance around 0.7250 and its 50 DMA with some assistance from firm copper prices, Cable remains underpinned near 1.3550 and the 100 DMA and the Kiwi is holding mainly above 0.6800 in the face of stronger Aud/Nzd headwinds. Indeed, the cross is approaching 1.0650 in contrast to Eur/Gbp that is showing signs of changing course following several bounces off circa 0.8333 that equates to 1.2000 as a reciprocal. CHF/CAD - The Franc and Loonie appear a bit less eager to pounce on their US peer’s retrenchment, as the former pivots 0.9150 and latter straddles 1.2700 amidst a downturn in crude pre-Canadian building permits and new house prices. SCANDI/EM - Little sign of any fallout from a slowdown in Sweden’s services PMI as overall risk sentiment remains supportive for the Sek either side of 10.2600 vs the Eur, but the Nok is veering back down towards 10.0000 in line with slippage in Brent from Usd 80+/brl peaks reached on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the Zar is shrugging off a sub-50 SA PMI as Gold strengthens its grip on the Usd 1800/oz handle and the Cnh/Cny are still underpinned after another PBoC liquidity drain and firmer than previous midpoint fix on hopes that cash injections might be forthcoming through open market operations into the banking system from the second half of January to meet rising demand for cash, according to China's Securities Journal. Conversely, the Try has not derived any real comfort from comments by Turkey’s Finance Minister underscoring its shift away from orthodox policies, or insistence that budget discipline will not be compromised. In commodities, crude benchmarks are currently little changed but have been somewhat choppy within a range shy of USD 1/bbl in European hours, in-spite of limited fresh newsflow occurring. For reference, WTI and Brent reside within USD 77.26-76.53/bbl and USD 80.25-79.56/bbl parameters respectively. Updates for the complex so far include Cascade data reporting that gas flows via the Russian Yamal-Europe pipeline in an eastward direction have reduced. As a reminder, the pipeline drew scrutiny in the run up to the holiday period given reverse mode action, an undertaking the Kremlin described as ‘operational’ and due to a lack of requests being placed. Separately, last nights private inventories were a larger than expected draw, however, the internals all printed builds which surpassed expectations. Today’s EIA release is similar expected to show a headline draw and builds amongst the internals. Elsewhere, and more broadly, geopolitics remain in focus with Reuters sources reporting that a rocket attack has hit a military base in proximity to the Baghdad airport which hosts US forces. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are once again fairly contained though the yellow metal retains the upside it derived around this point yesterday, hovering just below the USD 1820/oz mark. US Event Calendar 7am: Dec. MBA Mortgage Applications -5.6%, prior -0.6% 8:15am: Dec. ADP Employment Change, est. 410,000, prior 534,000 9:45am: Dec. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 56.9 9:45am: Dec. Markit US Services PMI, est. 57.5, prior 57.5 2pm: Dec. FOMC Meeting Minutes DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap As you may have seen from my CoTD yesterday all I got for Xmas this year was Omicron, alongside my wife and two of our three kids (we didn’t test Bronte). On Xmas Day I was cooking a late Xmas dinner and I suddenly started to have a slightly lumpy throat and felt a bit tired. Given I’d had a couple of glasses of red wine I thought it might be a case of Bordeaux-2015. However a LFT and PCR test the next day confirmed Covid-19. I had a couple of days of being a bit tired, sneezing and being sniffly. After that I was 100% physically (outside a of bad back, knee and shoulder but I can’t blame that on covid) but am still sniffly today. I’m also still testing positive on a LFT even if I’m out of isolation which tells me testing to get out of isolation early only likely works if you’re completely asymptomatic. My wife was similar to me symptom wise. Maybe slightly worse but she gets flu badly when it arrives and this was nothing like that. The two kids had no real symptoms unless being extremely annoying is one. Indeed spending 10 days cooped up with them in very wet conditions (ie garden activity limited) was very challenging. Although I came out of isolation straight to my home office that was still a very welcome change of scenery yesterday. The covid numbers are absolutely incredible and beyond my wildest imagination a month ago. Yesterday the UK reported c.219k new cases, France c.272k and the US 1.08 million. While these are alarming numbers it’s equally impressive that where the data is available, patients on mechanical ventilation have hardly budged and hospitalisations, while rising, are so far a decent level below precious peaks. Omicron has seen big enough case numbers now for long enough that even though we’ve had another big boost in cases these past few days, there’s nothing to suggest that the central thesis shouldn’t be anything other than a major decoupling between cases and fatalities. See the chart immediately below of global cases for the exponential recent rise but the still subdued levels of deaths. Clearly there is a lag but enough time has passed that suggests the decoupling will continue to be sizeable. It seems the main problem over the next few weeks is the huge number of people self isolating as the variant rips through populations. This will massively burden health services and likely various other industries. However hopefully this latest wave can accelerate the end game for the pandemic and move us towards endemicity faster. Famous last words perhaps but this variant is likely milder, is outcompeting all the others, and our defences are much, much better than they have been (vaccines, immunity, boosters, other therapeutic treatments). Indeed, President Biden directed his team to double the amount of Pfizer’s anti-covid pill Paxlovid they order; he called the pill a game changer. So a difficult few weeks ahead undoubtedly but hopefully light at the end of the tunnel for many countries. Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted yesterday that Britain can ride out the current Omicron wave without implementing any stricter measures, suggesting that learning to live with the virus is becoming the official policy stance in the UK. The head scratcher is what countries with zero-covid strategies will do faced with the current set up. If we’ve learnt anything from the last two years of covid it is that there is almost no way of avoiding it. Will a milder variant change such a stance? Markets seem to have started the year with covid concerns on the back burner as day 2 of 2022 was a lighter version of the buoyant day 1 even if US equities dipped a little led by a big under-performance from the NASDAQ (-1.33%), as tech stocks got hit by higher discount rates with the long end continuing to sell off to start the year. Elsewhere the Dow Jones (+0.59%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (+0.82%) both climbed to new records, with cyclical sectors generally outperforming once again. Interestingly the STOXX Travel & Leisure index rose a further +3.11% yesterday, having already surpassed its pre-Omicron level. As discussed the notable exception to yesterday’s rally were tech stocks, with a number of megacap tech stocks significantly underperforming amidst a continued rise in Treasury yields, and the rotation towards cyclical stocks as investors take the message we’ll be living with rather than attempting to defeat Covid. The weakness among that group meant that the FANG+ index fell -1.68% yesterday, with every one of the 10 companies in the index moving lower, and that weakness in turn meant that the S&P 500 (-0.06%) came slightly off its record high from the previous session. Showing the tech imbalance though was the fact that the equal weight S&P 500 was +0.82% and 335 of the index rose on the day. So it was a reflation day overall. Staying with the theme, the significant rise in treasury yields we saw on Monday extended further yesterday, with the 10yr yield up another +1.9bps to 1.65%. That means the 10yr yield is up by +13.7bps over the last 2 sessions, marking its biggest increase over 2 consecutive sessions since last September. Those moves have also coincided with a notable steepening in the yield curve, which is good news if you value it as a recessionary indicator, with the 2s10s curve +11.3bps to +88.7bps over the last 2 sessions, again marking its biggest 2-day steepening since last September Those moves higher for Treasury yields were entirely driven by a rise in real yields, with the 10yr real yield moving back above the -1% mark. Conversely, inflation breakevens fell back across the board, with the 10yr breakeven declining more than -7.0bps from an intraday peak of 2.67%, the highest level in more than six weeks, which tempered some of the increase in nominal yields. The decline in breakevens was aided by the release of the ISM manufacturing reading for December, since the prices paid reading fell to 68.2, some way beneath the 79.3 reading that the consensus had been expecting. In fact, that’s the biggest monthly drop in the prices paid measure in over a decade, and leaves it at its lowest level since November 2020. Otherwise, the headline reading did disappoint relative to the consensus at 58.7 (vs. 60.0 expected), but the employment component was above expectations at 54.2 (vs. 53.6 expected), which is its highest level in 8 months and some promising news ahead of this Friday’s jobs report. Staying with US employment, the number of US job openings fell to 10.562m in November (vs. 11.079m expected), but the number of people quitting their job hit a record high of 4.5m. That pushed the quits rate back to its record of 3.0% and just shows that the labour market continues to remain very tight with employees struggling to hire the staff needed. This has been our favourite indicator of the labour market over the last few quarters and it continues to keep to the same trend. Back to bonds and Europe saw a much more subdued movement in sovereign bond yields, although gilts were the exception as the 10yr yield surged +11.7bps as it caught up following the previous day’s public holiday in the UK. Elsewhere however, yields on bunds (-0.2bps), OATs (-1.1bps) and BTPs (+0.9bps) all saw fairly modest moves. Also of interest ahead of tonight’s Fed minutes, there was a story from the Wall Street Journal late yesterday that said Fed officials are considering whether to reduce their bond holdings, and thus beginning QT, in short order. Last cycle, the Fed kept the size of its balance sheet flat for three years after the end of QE by reinvesting maturing proceeds before starting QT. This iteration of QE is set to end in March, so any move towards balance sheet rolloff would be a much quicker tightening than last cycle, which the article suggested was a real possibility. As this cycle has taught us time and again, it is moving much faster than historical precedent, so don’t rely on prior timelines. Balance sheet policy and the timing of any QT will be a major focus in tonight’s minutes, along with any signals for the timing of liftoff and path of subsequent rate hikes. Overnight in Asia markets are trading mostly lower with the KOSPI (-1.45%), Hang Seng (-0.85%), Shanghai Composite (-0.81%) and CSI (-0.67%) dragged down largely by IT stocks while the Nikkei (+0.07%) is holding up better. In China, Tencent cut its stake in a Singapore based company yesterday by selling $ 4 billion worth shares amidst China's regulatory crackdown with investors concerned they will do more. This has helped push the Hang Seng Tech Index towards its lowest close since its inception in July 2020 with Tencent and companies it invested in losing heavily. Moving on, Japan is bringing forward booster doses for the elderly while maintaining border controls in an effort to contain Omicron. Futures are indicating a weaker start in DM markets with the S&P 500 (-0.25%) and DAX (-0.11%) both tracking their Asian peers. Oil prices continued their ascent yesterday, with Brent Crude (+1.20%) hitting its highest level since the Omicron variant first emerged on the scene. Those moves came as the OPEC+ group agreed that they would go ahead with the increase in output in February of 400k barrels per day. And the strength we saw in commodities more broadly last year has also continued to persist into 2022, with copper prices (+1.12%) hitting a 2-month high, whilst soybean prices (+2.49%) hit a 4-month high. Looking at yesterday’s other data, German unemployment fell by -23k in December (vs. -15k expected), leaving the level of unemployment at a post-pandemic low of 2.405m in December. Finally, the preliminary French CPI reading for December came in slightly beneath expectations on the EU-harmomised measure, at 3.4% (vs. 3.5% expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases include the December services and composite PMIs from the Euro Area, Italy, France, Germany and the US. On top of that, there’s the ADP’s December report of private payrolls from the US, the preliminary December CPI report from Italy, and December’s consumer confidence reading from France. Separately from the Federal Reserve, we’ll get the minutes of the December FOMC meeting. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/05/2022 - 08:07.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 5th, 2022

2021 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead

2021 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead One year ago, when looking at the 20 most popular stories of 2020, we said that the year would be a very tough act to follow as there "could not have been more regime shifts, volatility moments, and memes than 2020." And yet despite the exceedingly high bar for 2021, the year did not disappoint and proved to be a successful contender, and if judging by the sheer breadth of narratives, stories, surprises, plot twists and unexpected developments, 2021 was even more memorable and event-filled than 2020. Where does one start? While covid was the story of 2020, the pandemic that emerged out of a (Fauci-funded) genetic lab team in Wuhan, China dominated newsflow, politics and capital markets for the second year in a row. And while the biggest plot twist of 2020 was Biden's victory over Trump in the presidential election (it took the pandemic lockdowns and mail-in ballots to hand the outcome to Biden), largely thanks to Covid, Biden failed to hold to his biggest presidential promise of defeating covid, and not only did he admit in late 2021 that there is "no Federal solution" to covid waving a white flag of surrender less than a year into his presidency, but following the recent emergence of the Xi, pardon Omicron variant, the number of covid cases in the US has just shattered all records. The silver lining is not only that deaths and hospitalizations have failed to follow the number of cases, but that the scaremongering narrative itself is starting to melt in response to growing grassroots discontent with vaccine after vaccine and booster after booster, which by now it is clear, do nothing to contain the pandemic. And now that it is clear that omicron is about as mild as a moderate case of the flu, the hope has finally emerged that this latest strain will finally kill off the pandemic as it becomes the dominant, rapidly-spreading variant, leading to worldwide herd immunity thanks to the immune system's natural response. Yes, it may mean billions less in revenue for Pfizer and Moderna, but it will be a colossal victory for the entire world. The second biggest story of 2021 was undoubtedly the scourge of soaring inflation, which contrary to macrotourist predictions that it would prove "transitory", refused to do so and kept rising, and rising, and rising, until it hit levels not seen since the Volcker galloping inflation days of the 1980s. The only difference of course is that back then, the Fed Funds rate hit 20%. Now it is at 0%, and any attempts to hike aggressively will lead to a horrific market crash, something the Fed knows very well. Whether this was due to supply-chain blockages and a lack of goods and services pushing prices higher, or due to massive stimulus pushing demand for goods - and also prices - higher, or simply the result of a record injection of central bank liquidity into the system, is irrelevant but what does matter is that it got so bad that even Biden, facing a mauling for his Democratic party in next year's midterm elections, freaked out about soaring prices and pushed hard to lower the price of gasoline, ordering releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and vowing to punish energy companies that dare to make a profit, while ordering Powell to contain the surge in prices even if means the market is hit. Unfortunately for Biden, the market will be hit even as inflation still remain red hot for much of the coming year. And speaking of markets, while 2022 may be a year when the piper finally gets paid, 2021 was yet another blockbuster year for risk assets, largely on the back of the continued global response to the 2020 covid pandemic, when as we wrote last year, we saw "the official arrival of global Helicopter Money, tens of trillions in fiscal and monetary stimulus, an overhaul of the global economy punctuated by an unprecedented explosion in world debt, an Orwellian crackdown on civil liberties by governments everywhere, and ultimately set the scene for what even the World Economic Forum called simply "The Great Reset." Yes, the staggering liquidity injections that started in 2020, continued throughout 2021 and the final tally is that after $3 trillion in emergency liquidity injections in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to stabilize the world, the Fed injected almost $2 trillion in the subsequent period, of which $1.5 trillion in 2021, a year where economists were "puzzled" why inflation was soaring. This, of course, excludes the tens of trillions of monetary stimulus injected by other central banks as well as the boundless fiscal stimulus that was greenlighted with the launch of helicopter money (i.e., MMT) in 2020. It's also why with inflation running red hot and real rates the lowest they have ever been, everyone was forced to rush into the "safety" of stocks (or stonks as they came to be known among GenZ), and why after last year's torrid stock market returns, the S&P rose another 27% in 2021 and up a staggering 114% from the March 2020 lows, in the process trouncing all previous mega-rallies (including those in 1929, 1938, 1974 and 2009)... ... making this the third consecutive year of double-digit returns. This reminds us of something we said last year: "it's almost as if the world's richest asset owners requested the covid pandemic." A year later, we got confirmation for this rhetorical statement, when we calculated that in the 18 months since the covid pandemic, the richest 1% of US society have seen their net worth increase by over $30 trillion. As a result, the US is now officially a banana republic where the middle 60% of US households by income - a measure economists use as a definition of the middle class - saw their combined assets drop from 26.7% to 26.6% of national wealth as of June, the lowest in Federal Reserve data, while for the first time the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. Yes, the 1% now own more wealth than the entire US middle class, a definition traditionally reserve for kleptocracies and despotic African banana republics. It wasn't just the rich, however: politicians the world over would benefit from the transition from QE to outright helicopter money and MMT which made the over monetization of deficits widely accepted in the blink of an eye. The common theme here is simple: no matter what happens, capital markets can never again be allowed to drop, regardless of the cost or how much more debt has to be incurred. Indeed, as we look back at the news barrage over the past year, and past decade for that matter, the one thing that becomes especially clear amid the constant din of markets, of politics, of social upheaval and geopolitical strife - and now pandemics -  in fact a world that is so flooded with constant conflicting newsflow and changing storylines that many now say it has become virtually impossible to even try to predict the future, is that despite the people's desire for change, for something original and untried, the world's established forces will not allow it and will fight to preserve the broken status quo at any price - even global coordinated shutdowns - which is perhaps why it always boils down to one thing - capital markets, that bedrock of Western capitalism and the "modern way of life", where control, even if it means central planning the likes of which have not been seen since the days of the USSR, and an upward trajectory must be preserved at all costs, as the alternative is a global, socio-economic collapse. And since it is the daily gyrations of stocks that sway popular moods the interplay between capital markets and politics has never been more profound or more consequential. The more powerful message here is the implicit realization and admission by politicians, not just Trump who had a penchant of tweeting about the S&P every time it rose, but also his peers on both sides of the aisle, that the stock market is now seen as the consummate barometer of one's political achievements and approval. Which is also why capital markets are now, more than ever, a political tool whose purpose is no longer to distribute capital efficiently and discount the future, but to manipulate voter sentiments far more efficiently than any fake Russian election interference attempt ever could. Which brings us back to 2021 and the past decade, which was best summarized by a recent Bill Blain article who said that "the last 10-years has been a story of massive central banking distortion to address the 2008 crisis. Now central banks face the consequences and are trapped. The distortion can’t go uncorrected indefinitely." He is right: the distortion will eventually collapse especially if the Fed follows through with its attempt rate hikes some time in mid-2020, but so far the establishment and the "top 1%" have been successful - perhaps the correct word is lucky - in preserving the value of risk assets: on the back of the Fed's firehose of liquidity the S&P500 returned an impressive 27% in 2021, following a 15.5% return in 2020 and 28.50% in 2019. It did so by staging the greatest rally off all time from the March lows, surpassing all of the 4 greatest rallies off the lows of the past century (1929,1938, 1974, and 2009). Yet this continued can-kicking by the establishment - all of which was made possible by the covid pandemic and lockdowns which served as an all too convenient scapegoat for the unprecedented response that served to propel risk assets (and fiat alternatives such as gold and bitcoin) to all time highs - has come with a price... and an increasingly higher price in fact. As even Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett admits, Fed's response to the the pandemic "worsened inequality" as the value of financial assets - Wall Street -  relative to economy - Main Street - hit all-time high of 6.3x. And while the Fed was the dynamo that has propelled markets higher ever since the Lehman collapse, last year certainly had its share of breakout moments. Here is a sampling. Gamestop and the emergence of meme stonks and the daytrading apes: In January markets were hypnotized by the massive trading volumes, rolling short squeezes and surging share prices of unremarkable established companies such as consoles retailer GameStop and cinema chain AMC and various other micro and midcap names. What began as a discussion on untapped value at GameStop on Reddit months earlier by Keith Gill, better known as Roaring Kitty, morphed into a hedge fund-orchestrated, crowdsourced effort to squeeze out the short position held by a hedge fund, Melvin Capital. The momentum flooded through the retail market, where daytraders shunned stocks and bought massive out of the money calls, sparking rampant "gamma squeezes" in the process forcing some brokers to curb trading. Robinhood, a popular broker for day traders and Citadel's most lucrative "subsidiary", required a cash injection to withstand the demands placed on it by its clearing house. The company IPOed later in the year only to see its shares collapse as it emerged its business model was disappointing hollow absent constant retail euphoria. Ultimately, the market received a crash course in the power of retail investors on a mission. Ultimately, "retail favorite" stocks ended the year on a subdued note as the trading frenzy from earlier in the year petered out, but despite underperforming the S&P500, retail traders still outperformed hedge funds by more than 100%. Failed seven-year Treasury auction:  Whereas auctions of seven-year US government debt generally spark interest only among specialists, on on February 25 2021, one such typically boring event sparked shockwaves across financial markets, as the weakest demand on record hit prices across the whole spectrum of Treasury bonds. The five-, seven- and 10-year notes all fell sharply in price. Researchers at the Federal Reserve called it a “flash event”; we called it a "catastrophic, tailing" auction, the closest thing the US has had to a failed Trasury auction. The flare-up, as the FT put it, reflects one of the most pressing investor concerns of the year: inflation. At the time, fund managers were just starting to realize that consumer price rises were back with a vengeance — a huge threat to the bond market which still remembers the dire days of the Volcker Fed when inflation was about as high as it is today but the 30Y was trading around 15%. The February auaction also illustrated that the world’s most important market was far less liquid and not as structurally robust as investors had hoped. It was an extreme example of a long-running issue: since the financial crisis the traditional providers of liquidity, a group of 24 Wall Street banks, have pulled back because of higher costs associated with post-2008 capital requirements, while leaving liquidity provision to the Fed. Those banks, in their reduced role, as well as the hedge funds and high-frequency traders that have stepped into their place, have tended to withdraw in moments of market volatility. Needless to say, with the Fed now tapering its record QE, we expect many more such "flash" episodes in the bond market in the year ahead. The arch ego of Archegos: In March 2021 several banks received a brutal reminder that some of family offices, which manage some $6 trillion in wealth of successful billionaires and entrepreneurs and which have minimal reporting requirements, take risks that would make the most serrated hedge fund manager wince, when Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management imploded in spectacular style. As we learned in late March when several high-flying stocks suddenly collapsed, Hwang - a former protege of fabled hedge fund group Tiger Management - had built up a vast pile of leverage using opaque Total Return Swaps with a handful of banks to boost bets on a small number of stocks (the same banks were quite happy to help despite Hwang’s having been barred from US markets in 2013 over allegations of an insider-trading scheme, as he paid generously for the privilege of borrowing the banks' balance sheet). When one of Archegos more recent bets, ViacomCBS, suddenly tumbled it set off a liquidation cascade that left banks including Credit Suisse and Nomura with billions of dollars in losses. Conveniently, as the FT noted, the damage was contained to the banks rather than leaking across financial markets, but the episode sparked a rethink among banks over how to treat these clients and how much leverage to extend. The second coming of cryptos: After hitting an all time high in late 2017 and subsequently slumping into a "crypto winter", cryptocurrencies enjoyed a huge rebound in early 2021 which sent their prices soaring amid fears of galloping inflation (as shown below, and contrary to some financial speculation, the crypto space has traditionally been a hedge either to too much liquidity or a hedge to too much inflation). As a result, Bitcoin rose to a series of new record highs that culminated at just below $62,000, nearly three times higher than their previous all time high. But the smooth ride came to a halt in May when China’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency and its production, or “mining”, sparked the first serious crash of 2021. The price of bitcoin then collapsed as much as 30% on May 19, hitting a low of $30,000 amid a liquidation of levered positions in chaotic trading conditions following a warning from Chinese authorities of tighter curbs ahead. A public acceptance by Tesla chief and crypto cheerleader Elon Musk of the industry’s environmental impact added to the declines. However, as with all previous crypto crashes, this one too proved transitory, and prices resumed their upward trajectory in late September when investors started to price in the launch of futures-based bitcoin exchange traded funds in the US. The launch of these contracts subsequently pushed bitcoin to a new all-time high in early November before prices stumbled again in early December, this time due to a rise in institutional ownership when an overall drop in the market dragged down cryptos as well. That demonstrated the growing linkage between Wall Street and cryptocurrencies, due to the growing sway of large investors in digital markets. China's common prosperity crash: China’s education and tech sectors were one of the perennial Wall Street darlings. Companies such as New Oriental, TAL Education as well as Alibaba and Didi had come to be worth billions of dollars after highly publicized US stock market flotations. So when Beijing effectively outlawed swaths of the country’s for-profit education industry in July 2021, followed by draconian anti-trust regulations on the country's fintech names (where Xi Jinping also meant to teach the country's billionaire class a lesson who is truly in charge), the short-term market impact was brutal. Beijing’s initial measures emerged as part of a wider effort to make education more affordable as part of president Xi Jinping’s drive for "common prosperity" but that quickly raised questions over whether growth prospects across corporate China are countered by the capacity of the government to overhaul entire business models overnight. Sure enough, volatility stemming from the education sector was soon overshadowed by another set of government reforms related to common prosperity, a crackdown on leverage across the real estate sector where the biggest casualty was Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer. The company, whose boss was not long ago China's 2nd richest man, was engulfed by a liquidity crisis in the summer that eventually resulted in a default in early December. Still, as the FT notes, China continues to draw in huge amounts of foreign capital, pushing the Chinese yuan to end 2021 at the strongest level since May 2018, a major hurdle to China's attempts to kickstart its slowing economy, and surely a precursor to even more monetary easing. Natgas hyperinflation: Natural gas supplanted crude oil as the world’s most important commodity in October and December as prices exploded to unprecedented levels and the world scrambled for scarce supplies amid the developed world's catastrophic transition to "green" energy. The crunch was particularly acute in Europe, which has become increasingly reliant on imports. Futures linked to TTF, the region’s wholesale gas price, hit a record €137 per megawatt hour in early October, rising more than 75%. In Asia, spot liquefied natural gas prices briefly passed the equivalent of more than $320 a barrel of oil in October. (At the time, Brent crude was trading at $80). A number of factors contributed, including rising demand as pandemic restrictions eased, supply disruptions in the LNG market and weather-induced shortfalls in renewable energy. In Europe, this was aggravated by plunging export volumes from Gazprom, Russia’s state-backed monopoly pipeline supplier, amid a bitter political fight over the launch of the Nordstream 2 pipeline. And with delays to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, analysts say the European gas market - where storage is only 66% full - a cold snap or supply disruption away from another price spike Turkey's (latest) currency crisis:  As the FT's Jonathan Wheatley writes, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once a source of strength for the Turkish lira, and in his first five years in power from 2003, the currency rallied from TL1.6 per US dollar to near parity at TL1.2. But those days are long gone, as Erdogan's bizarre fascination with unorthodox economics, namely the theory that lower rates lead to lower inflation also known as "Erdoganomics", has sparked a historic collapse in the: having traded at about TL7 to the dollar in February, it has since fallen beyond TL17, making it the worst performing currency of 2021. The lira’s defining moment in 2021 came on November 18 when the central bank, in spite of soaring inflation, cut its policy rate for the third time since September, at Erdogan’s behest (any central banker in Turkey who disagrees with "Erdoganomics" is promptly fired and replaced with an ideological puppet). The lira recovered some of its losses in late December when Erdogan came up with the "brilliant" idea of erecting the infamous "doom loop" which ties Turkey's balance sheet to its currency. It has worked for now (the lira surged from TL18 against the dollar to TL12, but this particular band aid solution will only last so long). The lira’s problems are not only Erdogan’s doing. A strengthening dollar, rising oil prices, the relentless covid pandemic and weak growth in developing economies have been bad for other emerging market currencies, too, but as long as Erdogan is in charge, shorting the lira remains the best trade entering 2022. While these, and many more, stories provided a diversion from the boring existence of centrally-planned markets, we are confident that the trends observed in recent years will continue: coming years will be marked by even bigger government (because only more government can "fix" problems created by government), higher stock prices and dollar debasement (because only more Fed intervention can "fix" the problems created by the Fed), and a policy flip from monetary and QE to fiscal & MMT, all of which will keep inflation at scorching levels, much to the persistent confusion of economists everywhere. Of course, we said much of this last year as well, but while we got most trends right, we were wrong about one thing: we were confident that China's aggressive roll out of the digital yuan would be a bang - or as we put it "it is very likely that while 2020 was an insane year, it may prove to be just an appetizer to the shockwaves that will be unleashed in 2021 when we see the first stage of the most historic overhaul of the fiat payment system in history" - however it turned out to be a whimper. A big reason for that was that the initial reception of the "revolutionary" currency was nothing short of disastrous, with Chinese admitting they were "not at all excited" about the prospect of yet one more surveillance mechanism for Beijing, because that's really what digital currencies are: a way for central banks everywhere to micromanage and scrutinize every single transaction, allowing the powers that be to demonetize any one person - or whole groups - with the flick of a switch. Then again, while digital money may not have made its triumphant arrival in 2021, we are confident that the launch date has merely been pushed back to 2022 when the rollout of the next monetary revolution is expected to begin in earnest. Here we should again note one thing: in a world undergoing historic transformations, any free press must be throttled and controlled, and over the past year we have seen unprecedented efforts by legacy media and its corporate owners, as well as the new "social media" overlords do everything in their power to stifle independent thought. For us it had been especially "personal" on more than one occasions. Last January, Twitter suspended our account because we dared to challenge the conventional narrative about the source of the Wuhan virus. It was only six months later that Twitter apologized, and set us free, admitting it had made a mistake. Yet barely had twitter readmitted us, when something even more unprecedented happened: for the first time ever (to our knowledge) Google - the world's largest online ad provider and monopoly - demonetized our website not because of any complaints about our writing but because of the contents of our comment section. It then held us hostage until we agreed to implement some prerequisite screening and moderation of the comments section. Google's action was followed by the likes of PayPal, Amazon, and many other financial and ad platforms, who rushed to demonetize and suspend us simply because they disagreed with what we had to say. This was a stark lesson in how quickly an ad-funded business can disintegrate in this world which resembles the dystopia of 1984 more and more each day, and we have since taken measures. One year ago, for the first time in our 13 year history, we launched a paid version of our website, which is entirely ad and moderation free, and offers readers a variety of premium content. It wasn't our intention to make this transformation but unfortunately we know which way the wind is blowing and it is only a matter of time before the gatekeepers of online ad spending block us again. As such, if we are to have any hope in continuing it will come directly from you, our readers. We will keep the free website running for as long as possible, but we are certain that it is only a matter of time before the hammer falls as the censorship bandwagon rolls out much more aggressively in the coming year. That said, whether the story of 2022, and the next decade for that matter, is one of helicopter or digital money, of (hyper)inflation or deflation: what is key, and what we learned in the past decade, is that the status quo will throw anything at the problem to kick the can, it will certainly not let any crisis go to waste... even the deadliest pandemic in over a century. And while many already knew that, the events of 2021 made it clear to a fault that not even a modest market correction can be tolerated going forward. After all, if central banks aim to punish all selling, then the logical outcome is to buy everything, and investors, traders and speculators did just that armed with the clearest backstop guarantee from the Fed, which in the deapths of the covid crash crossed the Rubicon when it formally nationalized the bond market as it started buying both investment grade bonds and junk bond ETFs in the open market. As such it is no longer even a debatable issue if the Fed will buy stocks after the next crash - the only question is when. Meanwhile, for all those lamenting the relentless coverage of politics in a financial blog, why finance appears to have taken a secondary role, and why the political "narrative" has taken a dominant role for financial analysts, the past year showed vividly why that is the case: in a world where markets gyrated, and "rotated" from value stocks to growth and vice versa, purely on speculation of how big the next stimulus out of Washington will be, the narrative over Biden's trillions proved to be one of the biggest market moving events for much of the year. And with the Biden stimulus plan off the table for now, the Fed will find it very difficult to tighten financial conditions, especially if it does so just as the economy is slowing. Here we like to remind readers of one of our favorite charts: every financial crisis is the result of Fed tightening. As for predictions about the future, as the past two years so vividly showed, when it comes to actual surprises and all true "black swans", it won't be what anyone had expected. And so while many themes, both in the political and financial realm, did get some accelerated closure courtesy of China's covid pandemic, dramatic changes in 2021 persisted, and will continue to manifest themselves in often violent and unexpected ways - from the ongoing record polarization in the US political arena, to "populist" upheavals around the developed world, to the gradual transition to a global Universal Basic (i.e., socialized) Income regime, to China's ongoing fight with preserving stability in its gargantuan financial system which is now two and a half times the size of the US. As always, we thank all of our readers for making this website - which has never seen one dollar of outside funding (and despite amusing recurring allegations, has certainly never seen a ruble from the KGB either, although now that the entire Russian hysteria episode is over, those allegations have finally quieted down), and has never spent one dollar on marketing - a small (or not so small) part of your daily routine. Which also brings us to another critical topic: that of fake news, and something we - and others who do not comply with the established narrative - have been accused of. While we find the narrative of fake news laughable, after all every single article in this website is backed by facts and links to outside sources, it is clearly a dangerous development, and a very slippery slope that the entire developed world is pushing for what is, when stripped of fancy jargon, internet censorship under the guise of protecting the average person from "dangerous, fake information." It's also why we are preparing for the next onslaught against independent thought and why we had no choice but to roll out a premium version of this website. In addition to the other themes noted above, we expect the crackdown on free speech to accelerate in the coming year when key midterm elections will be held, especially as the following list of Top 20 articles for 2021 reveals, many of the most popular articles in the past year were precisely those which the conventional media would not touch out of fear of repercussions, which in turn allowed the alternative media to continue to flourish in an orchestrated information vacuum and take significant market share from the established outlets by covering topics which the public relations arm of established media outlets refused to do, in the process earning itself the derogatory "fake news" condemnation. We are grateful that our readers - who hit a new record high in 2021 - have realized it is incumbent upon them to decide what is, and isn't "fake news." * * * And so, before we get into the details of what has now become an annual tradition for the last day of the year, those who wish to jog down memory lane, can refresh our most popular articles for every year during our no longer that brief, almost 11-year existence, starting with 2009 and continuing with 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. So without further ado, here are the articles that you, our readers, found to be the most engaging, interesting and popular based on the number of hits, during the past year. In 20th spot with 600,000 reads, was an article that touched on one of the most defining features of the market: the reflation theme the sparked a massive rally at the start of the year courtesy of the surprise outcome in the Georgia Senate race, where Democrats ended up wining both seats up for grabs, effectively giving the Dems a majority in both the House and the Senate, where despite the even, 50-seat split, Kamala Harris would cast the winning tie-breaker vote to pursue a historic fiscal stimulus. And sure enough, as we described in "Bitcoin Surges To Record High, Stocks & Bonds Battered As Dems Look Set To Take Both Georgia Senate Seats", with trillions in "stimmies" flooding both the economy and the market, not only did retail traders enjoy unprecedented returns when trading meme "stonks" and forcing short squeezes that crippled numerous hedge funds, but expectations of sharply higher inflation also helped push bitcoin and the entire crypto sector to new all time highs, which in turn legitimized the product across institutional investors and helped it reach a market cap north of $3 trillion.  In 19th spot, over 613,000 readers were thrilled to read at the start of September that "Biden Unveils Most Severe COVID Actions Yet: Mandates Vax For All Federal Workers, Contractors, & Large Private Companies." Of course, just a few weeks later much of Biden's mandate would be struck down in courts, where it is now headed to a decision by SCOTUS, while the constantly shifting "scientific" goal posts mean that just a few months later the latest set of CDC regulations have seen regulators and officials reverse the constant drone of fearmongering and are now even seeking to cut back on the duration of quarantine and other lockdown measures amid a public mood that is growing increasingly hostile to the government response. One of the defining political events of 2021 was the so-called "Jan 6 Insurrection", which the for America's conservatives was blown wildly out of proportion yet which the leftist media and Democrats in Congress have been periodically trying to push to the front pages in hopes of distracting from the growing list of failures of the Obama admin. Yet as we asked back in January, "Why Was Founder Of Far-Left BLM Group Filming Inside Capitol As Police Shot Protester?" No less than 614,000 readers found this question worthy of a response. Since then many more questions have emerged surrounding this event, many of which focus on what role the FBI had in organizing and encouraging this event, including the use of various informants and instigators. For now, a response will have to wait at least until the mid-term elections of 2022 when Republicans are expected to sweep one if not both chambers. Linked to the above, the 17th most read article of 2021 with 617,000 views, was an article we published on the very same day, which detailed that "Armed Protesters Begin To Arrive At State Capitols Around The Nation." At the end of the day, it was much ado about nothing and all protests concluded peacefully and without incident: perhaps the FBI was simply spread too thin? 2021 was a year defined by various waves of the covid pandemic which hammered poor Americans forced to hunker down at home and missing on pay, and crippled countless small mom and pop businesses. And yet, it was also a bonanza for a handful of pharma companies such as Pfizer and Moderna which made billions from the sale of "vaccines" which we now know do little if anything to halt the spread of the virus, and are instead now being pitched as palliatives, preventing a far worse clinical outcome. The same pharma companies also benefited from an unconditional indemnity, which surely would come in useful when the full side-effects of their mRNA-based therapies became apparent. One such condition to emerge was myocarditis among a subset of the vaxxed. And while the vaccines continue to be broadly rolled out across most developed nations, one place that said enough was Sweden. As over 620,000 readers found out in "Sweden Suspends Moderna Shot Indefinitely After Vaxxed Patients Develop Crippling Heart Condition", not every country was willing to use its citizens as experimental guniea pigs. This was enough to make the article the 16th most read on these pages, but perhaps in light of the (lack of) debate over the pros and cons of the covid vaccines, this should have been the most read article this year? Moving on to the 15th most popular article, 628,000 readers were shocked to learn that "Chase Bank Cancels General Mike Flynn's Credit Cards." The action, which was taken by the largest US bank due to "reputational risk" echoed a broad push by tech giants to deplatform and silence dissenting voices by literally freezing them out of the financial system. In the end, following widespread blowback from millions of Americans, JPMorgan reversed, and reactivated Flynn's cards saying the action was made in error, but unfortunately this is just one example of how those in power can lock out any dissenters with the flick of a switch. And while democrats cheer such deplatforming today, the political winds are fickle, and we doubt they will be as excited once they find themselves on the receiving end of such actions. And speaking of censorship and media blackouts, few terms sparked greater response from those in power than the term Ivermectin. Viewed by millions as a cheap, effective alternative to offerings from the pharmaceutical complex, social networks did everything in their power to silence any mention of a drug which the Journal of Antibiotics said in 2017 was an "enigmatic multifaceted ‘wonder’ drug which continues to surprise and exceed expectations." Nowhere was this more obvious than in the discussion of how widespread use of Ivermectin beat Covid in India, the topic of the 14th most popular article of 2021 "India's Ivermectin Blackout" which was read by over 653,000 readers. Unfortunately, while vaccines continue to fail upward and now some countries are now pushing with a 4th, 5th and even 6th vaccine, Ivermectin remains a dirty word. There was more covid coverage in the 13th most popular article of 2021, "Surprise Surprise - Fauci Lied Again": Rand Paul Reacts To Wuhan Bombshell" which was viewed no less than 725,000 times. Paul's reaction came following a report which revealed that Anthony Fauci's NIAID and its parent, the NIH, funded Gain-of-Function research in Wuhan, China, strongly hinting that the emergence of covid was the result of illicit US funding. Not that long ago, Fauci had called Paul a 'liar' for accusing him of funding the risky research, in which viruses are genetically modified or otherwise altered to make them more transmissible to humans. And while we could say that Paul got the last laugh, Fauci still remains Biden's top covid advisor, which may explain why one year after Biden vowed he would shut down the pandemic, the number of new cases just hit a new all time high. One hope we have for 2022 is that people will finally open their eyes... 2021 was not just about covid - soaring prices and relentless inflation were one of the most poignant topics. It got so bad that Biden's approval rating - and that of Democrats in general - tumbled toward the end of the year, putting their mid-term ambitions in jeopardy, as the public mood soured dramatically in response to the explosion in prices. And while one can debate whether it was due to supply-issues, such as the collapse in trans-pacific supply chains and the chronic lack of labor to grow the US infrastructure, or due to roaring demand sparked by trillions in fiscal stimulus, but when the "Big Short" Michael Burry warned that hyperinflation is coming, the people listened, and with over 731,000 reads, the 12th most popular article of 2021 was "Michael Burry Warns Weimar Hyperinflation Is Coming."  Of course, Burry did not say anything we haven't warned about for the past 12 years, but at least he got the people's attention, and even mainstream names such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey agreed with him, predicting that bitcoin will be what is left after the dollar has collapsed. While hyperinflation may will be the endgame, the question remains: when. For the 11th most read article of 2021, we go back to a topic touched upon moments ago when we addressed the full-blown media campaign seeking to discredit Ivermectin, in this case via the D-grade liberal tabloid Rolling Stone (whose modern incarnation is sadly a pale shadow of the legend that house Hunter S. Thompson's unforgettable dispatches) which published the very definition of fake news when it called Ivermectin a "horse dewormer" and claimed that, according to a hospital employee, people were overdosing on it. Just a few hours later, the article was retracted as we explained in "Rolling Stone Issues 'Update' After Horse Dewormer Hit-Piece Debunked" and over 812,000 readers found out that pretty much everything had been a fabrication. But of course, by then it was too late, and the reputation of Ivermectin as a potential covid cure had been further tarnished, much to the relief of the pharma giants who had a carte blanche to sell their experimental wares. The 10th most popular article of 2021 brings us to another issue that had split America down the middle, namely the story surrounding Kyle Rittenhouse and the full-blown media campaign that declared the teenager guilty, even when eventually proven innocent. Just days before the dramatic acquittal, we learned that "FBI Sat On Bombshell Footage From Kyle Rittenhouse Shooting", which was read by over 822,000 readers. It was unfortunate to learn that once again the scandal-plagued FBI stood at the center of yet another attempt at mass misinformation, and we can only hope that one day this "deep state" agency will be overhauled from its core, or better yet, shut down completely. As for Kyle, he will have the last laugh: according to unconfirmed rumors, his numerous legal settlements with various media outlets will be in the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.  And from the great US social schism, we again go back to Covid for the 9th most popular article of 2021, which described the terrifying details of one of the most draconian responses to covid in the entire world: that of Australia. Over 900,000 readers were stunned to read that the "Australian Army Begins Transferring COVID-Positive Cases, Contacts To Quarantine Camps." Alas, the latest surge in Australian cases to nosebleed, record highs merely confirms that this unprecedented government lockdown - including masks and vaccines - is nothing more than an exercise in how far government can treat its population as a herd of sheep without provoking a violent response.  The 8th most popular article of 2021 looks at the market insanity of early 2021 when, at the end of January, we saw some of the most-shorted, "meme" stocks explode higher as the Reddit daytrading horde fixed their sights on a handful of hedge funds and spent billions in stimmies in an attempt to force unprecedented ramps. That was the case with "GME Soars 75% After-Hours, Erases Losses After Liquidity-Constrained Robinhood Lifts Trading Ban", which profiled the daytrading craze that gave an entire generation the feeling that it too could win in these manipulated capital markets. Then again, judging by the waning retail interest, it is possible that the excitement of the daytrading army is fading as rapidly as it first emerged, and that absent more "stimmies" markets will remain the playground of the rich and central banks. Kyle Rittenhouse may soon be a very rich man after the ordeal he went through, but the media's mission of further polarizing US society succeeded, and millions of Americans will never accept that the teenager was innocent. It's also why with just over 1 million reads, the 7th most read article on Zero Hedge this year was that "Portland Rittenhouse Protest Escalates Into Riot." Luckily, this is not a mid-term election year and there were no moneyed interests seeking to prolong this particular riot, unlike what happened in the summer of 2020... and what we are very much afraid will again happen next year when very critical elections are on deck.  With just over 1.03 million views, the 6th most popular post focused on a viral Twitter thread on Friday from Dr Robert Laone, which laid out a disturbing trend; the most-vaccinated countries in the world are experiencing  a surge in COVID-19 cases, while the least-vaccinated countries were not. As we originally discussed in ""This Is Worrying Me Quite A Bit": mRNA Vaccine Inventor Shares Viral Thread Showing COVID Surge In Most-Vaxxed Countries", this trend has only accelerated in recent weeks with the emergence of the Omicron strain. Unfortunately, instead of engaging in a constructive discussion to see why the science keeps failing again and again, Twitter's response was chilling: with just days left in 2021, it suspended the account of Dr. Malone, one of the inventors of mRNA technology. Which brings to mind something Aaron Rogers said: "If science can't be questioned it's not science anymore it's propaganda & that's the truth." In a year that was marked a flurry of domestic fiascoes by the Biden administration, it is easy to forget that the aged president was also responsible for the biggest US foreign policy disaster since Vietnam, when the botched evacuation of Afghanistan made the US laughing stock of the world after 12 US servicemembers were killed. So it's probably not surprising that over 1.1 million readers were stunned to watch what happened next, which we profiled in the 5th most popular post of 2021, where in response to the Afghan trajedy, "Biden Delivers Surreal Press Conference, Vows To Hunt Down Isis, Blames Trump." One person watching the Biden presser was Xi Jinping, who may have once harbored doubts about reclaiming Taiwan but certainly does not any more. The 4th most popular article of 2021 again has to do with with covid, and specifically the increasingly bizarre clinical response to the disease. As we detailed in "Something Really Strange Is Happening At Hospitals All Over America" while emergency rooms were overflowing, it certainly wasn't from covid cases. Even more curiously, one of the primary ailments leading to an onslaught on ERs across the nation was heart-related issues, whether arrhytmia, cardiac incidents or general heart conditions. We hope that one day there will be a candid discussion on this topic, but until then it remains one of the topics seen as taboo by the mainstream media and the deplatforming overlords, so we'll just leave it at that. We previously discussed the anti-Ivermectin narrative that dominated the mainstream press throughout 2021 and the 3rd most popular article of the year may hold clues as to why: in late September, pharma giant Pfizer and one of the two companies to peddle an mRNA based vaccine, announced that it's launching an accelerated Phase 2/3 trial for a COVID prophylactic pill designed to ward off COVID in those may have come in contact with the disease. And, as we described in "Pfizer Launches Final Study For COVID Drug That's Suspiciously Similar To 'Horse Paste'," 1.75 million readers learned that Pfizer's drug shared at least one mechanism of action as Ivermectin - an anti-parasitic used in humans for decades, which functions as a protease inhibitor against Covid-19, which researchers speculate "could be the biophysical basis behind its antiviral efficiency." Surely, this too was just another huge coincidence. In the second most popular article of 2021, almost 2 million readers discovered (to their "shock") that Fauci and the rest of Biden's COVID advisors were proven wrong about "the science" of COVID vaccines yet again. After telling Americans that vaccines offer better protection than natural infection, a new study out of Israel suggested the opposite is true: natural infection offers a much better shield against the delta variant than vaccines, something we profiled in "This Ends The Debate' - Israeli Study Shows Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta." We were right about one thing: anyone who dared to suggest that natural immunity was indeed more effective than vaccines was promptly canceled and censored, and all debate almost instantly ended. Since then we have had tens of millions of "breakout" cases where vaccinated people catch covid again, while any discussion why those with natural immunity do much better remains under lock and key. It may come as a surprise to many that the most read article of 2021 was not about covid, or Biden, or inflation, or China, or even the extremely polarized US congress (and/or society), but was about one of the most long-suffering topics on these pages: precious metals and their prices. Yes, back in February the retail mania briefly targeted silver and as millions of reddit daytraders piled in in hopes of squeezing the precious metal higher, the price of silver surged higher only to tumble just as quickly as it has risen as the seller(s) once again proved more powerful than the buyers. We described this in "Silver Futures Soar 8%, Rise Above $29 As Reddit Hordes Pile In", an article which some 2.4 million gold and silver bugs read with hope, only to see their favorite precious metals slump for much of the rest of the year. And yes, the fact that both gold and silver ended the year sharply lower than where they started even though inflation hit the highest level in 40 years, remains one of the great mysteries of 2021. With all that behind us, and as we wave goodbye to another bizarre, exciting, surreal year, what lies in store for 2022, and the next decade? We don't know: as frequent and not so frequent readers are aware, we do not pretend to be able to predict the future and we don't try despite endless allegations that we constantly predict the collapse of civilization: we leave the predicting to the "smartest people in the room" who year after year have been consistently wrong about everything, and never more so than in 2021 (even the Fed admitted it is clueless when Powell said it was time to retire the term "transitory"), which destroyed the reputation of central banks, of economists, of conventional media and the professional "polling" and "strategist" class forever, not to mention all those "scientists" who made a mockery of the "expertise class" with their bungled response to the covid pandemic. We merely observe, find what is unexpected, entertaining, amusing, surprising or grotesque in an increasingly bizarre, sad, and increasingly crazy world, and then just write about it. We do know, however, that after a record $30 trillion in stimulus was conjured out of thin air by the world's central banks and politicians in the past two years, the attempt to reverse this monetary and fiscal firehose in a world addicted to trillions in newly created liquidity now that central banks are freaking out after finally getting ot the inflation they were hoping to create for so long, will end in tears. We are confident, however, that in the end it will be the very final backstoppers of the status quo regime, the central banking emperors of the New Normal, who will eventually be revealed as fully naked. When that happens and what happens after is anyone's guess. But, as we have promised - and delivered - every year for the past 13, we will be there to document every aspect of it. Finally, and as always, we wish all our readers the best of luck in 2022, with much success in trading and every other avenue of life. We bid farewell to 2021 with our traditional and unwavering year-end promise: Zero Hedge will be there each and every day - usually with a cynical smile - helping readers expose, unravel and comprehend the fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that defines every aspect of our increasingly broken system. Tyler Durden Sun, 01/02/2022 - 03:44.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 2nd, 2022

JPMorgan says don"t fear a sharp sell-off even with record concentration in stocks — and recommends 2 downtrodden areas to buy now

"In our view, conditions for a large sell-off are not in place right now," says JPMorgan equity strategists as the market heads into 2022. Johannes Eisele/Getty Images The S&P 500 has pushed to record highs but conditions for a big selloff aren't in place, says JPMorgan.  The benchmark's gain has been narrowly concentrated in mega-cap stocks.  Investors are "too bearish" about Omicron and central banks, and the time is right to consider riskier stocks, analysts said.   Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. The S&P 500's climb to record highs has been concentrated on a narrow group of stocks, suggesting investors have been cautious amid Omicron's emergence, but the time is right for investors to take on more risk, according to JPMorgan. The S&P 500 ended last week with its 68th record closing high, putting its year-to-date gain at nearly 26% and surpassing the investment bank's 2021 target of 4,700.The move has been largely anchored on a rotation into "pseudo-bonds," with investors paying a premium for low-volatility stocks such as mega-caps as they've dealt with the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, hawkishness among central banks, and poor year-end liquidity, among other factors, the investment bank said in a note Monday. At the same time, the rotation has contributed to an outright bear market in high beta, or riskier, value and growth stocks."In particular, outside of the Big 10 stocks in the US, equity drawdowns and multiple de-rating have been severe," said JPMorgan equity analysts led by Dubravko Lakos-Bujas.They noted that the Nasdaq Composite has declined by 7% from 12-month highs but that the average drawdown for its constituents was 38%. "Some argue this price action is a harbinger of late-cycle dynamics or at least an intra-cycle 10-20% market correction. In our view, conditions for a large sell-off are not in place right now given already low investor positioning, record buybacks, limited systematic amplifiers, and positive January seasonals," wrote Lakos-Bujas. The strategists said investor positioning has been too bearish and has taken hawkish central bank and Omicron narratives too far.They added that the current setup in the market is "very attractive" for high beta stocks. On the value and cyclical side, they see reopening stocks such as travel, leisure, hospitality and experiences, as well as energy stocks worthy of consideration.  On the secular growth side, the analysts suggested looking at e-commerce, gaming, payments, cybersecurity and biotech shares. Those stocks "have already seen significant multiple de-rating (i.e., -30% to -70%), yet fundamentals for many of these themes remain intact with continued strong secular growth and large addressable market sizes," they said. Historical trends of more than 30 years show the largest outperformance for high-beta stocks tends to be in January. "We expect the upcoming 'January effect' to be even more pronounced this time around given extreme positioning and sentiment," with funding likely to come from increasingly crowded low-volatility stocks where investors are paying a record premium for shelter, said JPMorgan.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 27th, 2021

JPMorgan says don"t fear a sharp sell-off even with record concentration in stocks -- and recommends 2 downtrodden areas to buy now

"In our view, conditions for a large sell-off are not in place right now," says JPMorgan equity strategists as the market heads into 2022. Johannes Eisele/Getty Images The S&P 500 has pushed to record highs but conditions for a big selloff aren't in place, says JPMorgan.  The benchmark's gain has been narrowly concentrated in mega-cap stocks.  Investors are "too bearish" about Omicron and central banks, and the time is right to consider riskier stocks, analysts said.   Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. The S&P 500's climb to record highs has been concentrated on a narrow group of stocks, suggesting investors have been cautious amid Omicron's emergence, but the time is right for investors to take on more risk, according to JPMorgan. The S&P 500 ended last week with its 68th record closing high, putting its year-to-date gain at nearly 26% and surpassing the investment bank's 2021 target of 4,700.The move has been largely anchored on a rotation into "pseudo-bonds," with investors paying a premium for low-volatility stocks such as mega-caps as they've dealt with the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, hawkishness among central banks, and poor year-end liquidity, among other factors, the investment bank said in a note Monday. At the same time, the rotation has contributed to an outright bear market in high beta, or riskier, value and growth stocks."In particular, outside of the Big 10 stocks in the US, equity drawdowns and multiple de-rating have been severe," said JPMorgan equity analysts led by Dubravko Lakos-Bujas.They noted that the Nasdaq Composite has declined by 7% from 12-month highs but that the average drawdown for its constituents was 38%. "Some argue this price action is a harbinger of late-cycle dynamics or at least an intra-cycle 10-20% market correction. In our view, conditions for a large sell-off are not in place right now given already low investor positioning, record buybacks, limited systematic amplifiers, and positive January seasonals," wrote Lakos-Bujas. The strategists said investor positioning has been too bearish and has taken hawkish central bank and Omicron narratives too far.They added that the current setup in the market is "very attractive" for high beta stocks. On the value and cyclical side, they see reopening stocks such as travel, leisure, hospitality and experiences, as well as energy stocks worthy of consideration.  On the secular growth side, the analysts suggested looking at e-commerce, gaming, payments, cybersecurity and biotech shares. Those stocks "have already seen significant multiple de-rating (i.e., -30% to -70%), yet fundamentals for many of these themes remain intact with continued strong secular growth and large addressable market sizes," they said. Historical trends of more than 30 years show the largest outperformance for high-beta stocks tends to be in January. "We expect the upcoming 'January effect' to be even more pronounced this time around given extreme positioning and sentiment," with funding likely to come from increasingly crowded low-volatility stocks where investors are paying a record premium for shelter, said JPMorgan.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 27th, 2021

Cathie Wood Is Playing With Fire

Cathie Wood Is Playing With Fire Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance If you read Cathie Wood’s letter on December 17, 2021 and were excited to invest because it suggested that Wood was assuring investors in her ARKK fund a 40% compounded annual return, you already need to realign your expectations. Wood has updated her now infamous December 17, 2021 blog post/standup comedy skit in which she argued that “innovation stocks” were in “deep value territory” and in which she estimated specifically that their “flagship strategy” could deliver "a 40% compound annual rate of return during the next five years”. Cathie Wood’s December 17, 2021 Letter, via Wayback Machine If you invested in the hours after that letter, based on Wood’s statements, it would be a great time to revisit the letter as it stands today. The same section of the letter now reads: Cathie Wood’s December 17, 2021 Letter, as it stands today The change is explained in a footnote where Wood says it didn’t apply to “any particular product or fund”, despite the fact that she references their “flagship strategy” in the first example: In addition, the newer version of the letter has realigned Wood’s expectations from “40%” to “30-40%” and has added a lot of qualifier language, not the least of which is directing the return expectation away from their “flagship strategy” and onto - well, some vague benchmark of ARK Invest, in general. What could have possibly changed in your investment outlook in 48 hours that would result in such a massive 10% delta, compounded annually, that you had just days prior? Cathie Wood’s December 17, 2021 Letter, as it stands todayIn other words, in 48 hours, Wood has gone from an expectation of 40% from her “flagship” fund to a 30-40% expectation of her “strategies broadly”. Did something profound happen in markets? Or, are you just throwing shit to the wall and checking to see what sticks? Surely these numbers aren’t coming out of thin air - right Cathie? I chose not to place today’s article behind a paywall because I believe it to be for the good of the cause. If you enjoy the content, I’d love to have you as a subscriber and am offering 20% off as a holiday sale: Get 20% off forever I mean, there’s something to be said about active managers who admit they are underperforming instead of simply making excuses for their poor performance before doubling down. The former is behavior that I see as congruent with a responsible capital manager. The latter is behavior I associate with the pissed off old men who used to spend their days at the Turf Club/Off Track Betting before coming into the Irish pub I used to work at to guzzle $1 mugs of Budweiser and prattle on about how they missed a $0.10 superfecta by one horse, and how they’re certain next Saturday they’ll have the winner. In fact, I remember years ago, both David Einhorn and Bill Ackman penning hedge fund letters while they were underperforming. Both managers basically threw their hands in the air, apologizing profusely to their limited partners and attempting to humbly take responsibility for their less-than-stellar performance without hiding behind excuses. “Over the past three years, our results have been far worse than we could have imagined, and it’s been a bull market to boot,” Einhorn wrote back in Q2 2018. “Yes, we have made some obvious mistakes – the worst of which was not assessing that SunEdison was a fraud in 2015 – but there have been others,” his letter said. “Right now the market is telling us we are wrong, wrong, wrong about nearly everything,” he wrote. Einhorn and Ackman (Photo: CNBC)Ackman, after falling 6% on the year following two years of double digit losses, wrote in an investor letter around the same time in 2018: “It is much worse to generate losses for shareholders who are relying on our efforts for their needs. You can be assured that we are working very hard to deliver the results that you expect from us." “While the overall record is satisfactory for early investors, it has been disappointing for PSH investors who invested in recent years,” Ackman acknowledged in 2018. I remember reading these letters at the time and thinking to myself: what else is there left to say? At some point, when your fund is taking on water or your strategies aren’t working, you have to suck it up and serve up the cold hard truth. Once the damage has already been done, excuses - and as I’ll note today - rosy sounding promises for the future are meaningless. In fact, they can add insult to injury. And let’s just get it out there: I have been a strident critic of Cathie Wood over the last few months, writing about her ARKK innovation fund numerous times. The Tesla And ARK Saga Keeps Getting Weirder Cathie Wood’s Sweet Superficial Success It’s not because I wake up every day obsessing about ARKK, it’s because Wood keeps making headlines, and I find her and her ilk to be somewhat of a bizarre psychological symptom of what has gone terrible wrong with capital markets over the last decade. It’s not like I just started being critical of Wood for no reason. I have been quietly confused and befuddled about stock selections she has made over the course of years. To me, it appears Wood wishes to have her hand in almost every bloated IPO (Robinhood, Coinbase), every trendy over-valued Covid play (Teledoc, Zoom) and even companies that have been accused of wrongdoing and don’t even have steady revenue streams yet (Workhorse). Photo: CMCMarkets.comShe harps on the prowess of her analysts and her team’s ability to model out situations and scenarios, yet I can’t fathom her investment decisions reflecting any type of modeling, let alone simply cracking open a couple of Form 10-Ks and reading them. The “models” she has released publicly have drawn intense scrutiny. But it has only been recently that I have started to write down my thoughts about why investors may want to exercise caution while investing with Wood. As of the morning of December 21, 2021, pre-market, ARKK is -23.9% for the year while the NASDAQ is up 16.2%. Yet, instead of taking to media and humbly admitting that she has under performed, Wood seems hell-bent on “doubling down” on her strategies. As a reminder, Wood’s double-speak and optimistic projects come during an environment where I believe tech stocks are set to crash heading into 2022. You can read about that here: Why We Could Be Staring Down The Barrel of A Catastrophic NASDAQ Crash And Not Even Know It I also believe the market in general is going to continue to be volatile heading through the Holidays, the New Year and into 2022: It's The Taper, Stupid! If the luster wears out for ARKK names or we see a tech wreck, as I have predicted might happen, there’s no doubt that Wood’s “Innovation Fund” will wind up facing more volatility, possibly disproportionately. Investors should be aware of this before clinging to whatever promise Wood has edited her investor letter to contain this hour. It’s not bothersome that Wood made her equity selection the way she did. After all, one way or another, they led to her “success”. Far be it for me to not give credit where it is due. But now, it appears she’s clinging to this strategy is a tapering environment instead of reassessing it. That, I believe, could be a mistake. Even worse than the claims in her letter changing is the fact that she has made similar claims before and is rarely challenged by the financial media, who instead is content sniffing Wood’s throne. Source: CNBCHave things been “spectacular” for ARKK this year? In fact, one could argue that a lot of Wood’s success (inflows) hasn’t just come from the everything bubble increasing in value, but also from endless appearances in media. Let us just remember over the next couple of years, while supposedly entering into a period of Fed hawkishness, who has enabled Wood. In other words, if Wood doesn’t perform up to the 30-40% compounded rate of return she has touted, not only should investors hold her feet to the fire, they should also blame those in the financial media that listened to Wood pontificate about why the world’s worst stocks were “deep value” with a straight face, and without losing their lunch on live TV. -- As always, Zerohedge readers get a 20% discount to my blog at any time, that lasts forever, by clicking here: Get 20% off forever Disclaimer: I own ARKK, QQQ, IWM, TSLA puts. I may add any name mentioned in this article and sell any name mentioned in this piece at any time. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. These positions can change immediately as soon as I publish this, with or without notice. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot.  Tyler Durden Tue, 12/21/2021 - 09:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 21st, 2021

Dollar’s Warning Signal

S&P 500 fading the FOMC rally went a bit too far – credit markets aren‘t panicking, so I doubt a fresh lasting downtrend is starting here. Chop, yes – the 4,720 area is proving a tough nut to crack, but it would be overcome. If there are two arguments in favor, it‘s the financials and […] S&P 500 fading the FOMC rally went a bit too far – credit markets aren‘t panicking, so I doubt a fresh lasting downtrend is starting here. Chop, yes – the 4,720 area is proving a tough nut to crack, but it would be overcome. If there are two arguments in favor, it‘s the financials and HYG – the likely rebound in the former, and Friday‘s resilience in the latter. Given that Thursday‘s spurt to 4,750 evaporated so fast, I‘m not looking for a stellar year end. Positive given where we‘re trading currently, sure. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Markets are now grappling with faster Fed tapering (which has opened the way to a rate hike in Q2 2022), getting slowly more afraid of fresh corona restrictions, and dealing with inflation that‘s not going anywhere. Outpacing wage growth, with real yields being deeply negative (no, 10-year Treasury yield at even 2% doesn‘t cut it – that‘s my 2022 target, by the way), the administration would be hard pressed in the year of midterms to counter the corrosive inflation effects on poll numbers. And the Fed expects to keep tightening when the real economy is already suffering from contracting liquidity as seen also in strengthening dollar? The central bank will have a hard time taming inflation, and in my view won‘t succeed – the persistently high inflation rates are going to be with us for years to come, and outpacing wages. Corona response is another uncertainty, and given the APT performance, the odds of seeing economic activity (just at a time when supply chains would need to keep working off prior setbacks) restricted, have increased. Similar to the recent high PPI reading, this is one more argument for why inflation isn‘t receding in the short run – not when demand isn‘t likewise being destroyed. As if consumer sentiment weren‘t struggling already... Still, equities are poised to extend gains in 2022, and I‘m looking for a volatile but positive year. 5,200 in Dec 2022 isn‘t out of the question – with large cap tech, financials and energy doing particularly fine. Real rates would remain negative, and precious metals would love the Fed slamming on the tightening breaks, and bringing back the punch bowl somewhat. If you look at the flattening yield curve, it‘s clear evidence of market fears (I call that certainty as that‘s what they excel at – the 1995 soft landing was a notable exception) of the Fed overdoing the tapering & rate hikes. Given all the inflation still ahead, and the expected fiscal-monetary policies working against each other (yes, more handouts), commodities would have another great year. So much for the big picture 2022 predictions. Let‘s move right into the charts (all courtesy of www.stockcharts.com). S&P 500 and Nasdaq Outlook S&P 500 on the defensive, but the bullish case isn‘t lost. Some sideways trading of today‘s volatility is likely to preceed the upswing – we aren‘t rolling over to a 5-10% correction now. Credit Markets HYG retreat could have been a lot worse, and it‘s a good sign bonds aren‘t panicking. Just the junk ones would need to outperform the quality ones to drive a good stock market day. For now, bonds remains on guard. Gold, Silver and Miners Precious metals decided to make a measured upswing – this isn‘t a real reversal. Pressure to go higher is building up, and rates rising a little before the Fed moves, won‘t cut it. When liquidity conditions and corona fears ease a little, look for a much steeper upswing. Crude Oil Crude oil is trapped in the omicron uncertainty – quite resilient, which is a testament to the overwhelming pressure for prices to keep rising. Waiting for some fears to be removed before the fundamentals sink in again. Copper Copper is leaning to the bullish side of the spectrum – it certainly isn‘t disappointing. The low volume hints at little willingness to sell – an attempt to spike shouldn‘t be surprising next. Bitcoin and Ethereum Bitcoin and Ethereum weakness today is there, mirroring commodities – but the decline isn‘t in the disastrous category. Wait and see with a whiff of preliminary caution – that‘s all. Summary S&P 500 and oil are feeling the omicron response pinch – the worries boosted by Netherlands lockdown Sunday. Corona remains the wildcard, and markets are ignoring its relatively mild symptoms while focusing on case count. Tech is likely to do better than most of value while yields aren‘t pressured to rise fast. For a moment, inflation is receding from the spotlight, but I‘m looking for it to come back. Thank you for having read today‘s free analysis, which is available in full at my homesite. There, you can subscribe to the free Monica‘s Insider Club, which features real-time trade calls and intraday updates for all the five publications: Stock Trading Signals, Gold Trading Signals, Oil Trading Signals, Copper Trading Signals and Bitcoin Trading Signals. Thank you, Monica Kingsley Stock Trading Signals Gold Trading Signals Oil Trading Signals Copper Trading Signals Bitcoin Trading Signals www.monicakingsley.co mk@monicakingsley.co All essays, research and information represent analyses and opinions of Monica Kingsley that are based on available and latest data. Despite careful research and best efforts, it may prove wrong and be subject to change with or without notice. Monica Kingsley does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. Her content serves educational purposes and should not be relied upon as advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks and options are financial instruments not suitable for every investor. Please be advised that you invest at your own risk. Monica Kingsley is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading her writings, you agree that she will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make. Investing, trading and speculating in financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Monica Kingsley may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in her writings, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice. Updated on Dec 20, 2021, 11:49 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 20th, 2021

Gold Technicals: Yet Another Battle At $1800

Gold Technicals: Yet Another Battle At $1800 Via SchiffGold.com, Gold looked very strong through mid-November. Recent trends in September and October had been pointing to a breakout. The market delivered sending gold up through $1870. Unfortunately, hard resistance kept the bulls in check, despite repeated attempts to breakthrough. The previous price analysis presumed that a Brainard nomination at the Fed would be the catalyst needed to break through $1880. It also assumed that a Powell nomination, though expected, would bring gold back down some. Unfortunately, the gold market took the Powell news harder than expected. It dropped like a rock. The announcement occurred prior to market open which is when liquidity is lighter. This caused the price to fall quickly. Newly formed and fragile support was shattered and by the time the market opened, gold was falling quickly. Eventually, it settled back into the $1750-$1800 range where it has been trapped for months. Late this week, gold made another attempt to break through but failed to hold gains in the face of a rising dollar and closed the week just a shade under $1800 at $1798 (note: official Comex close was $1804). Will gold regain its footing and finally put $1800 in the rearview mirror or will it stay range-bound in the near term? Current charts are fairly neutral. This could be the quiet before the storm really hits in 2022! Resistance and Support Gold As mentioned, gold has been stuck around $1800 for months. A “buy the rumor sell the fact” unfolded this week as the Fed had its most hawkish meeting in years. Gold bounced hard off the $1750 area but has now gotten trapped at $1800. It needs to break through soon or will face selling pressure. Hedge Funds are driving the price, but will only make so many attempts before retreating and closing longs. Outlook: Neutral Silver Silver is lagging gold and is at the lower end of the consolidation pattern between $22 and $25. The current downside looks limited, but there is nothing that is showing strength. Aside from a sharp rebound off the Fed meeting. The market must build on this move or see the gains lost. Outlook: Neutral Figure: 1 Gold and Silver Price Action Daily Moving Averages (DMA) Gold A golden cross formed on Dec 3 as the 50 DMA crossed above the 200 DMA. While this is technically bullish, it lacks conviction. The chart below also shows the current range-bound period. The blue and green lines haven’t been this close for this long since 2014. At the time, gold was consolidating from a big down move before another leg lower. It’s possible the opposite is occurring now (consolidation before an up move) but needs confirmation. Outlook: Slightly Bullish Figure: 2 Gold 50/200 DMA Silver Silver has an uglier chart. The 50 DMA is still trapped well below the 200 DMA. The 200 DMA is now following the 50 DMA lower, which is not usually a good sign based on history (2011, 2013, 2014, and 2017). Outlook: Bearish Figure: 3 Silver 50/200 DMA Comex Open Interest The two charts below show the open interest compared to the price in both gold and silver. The overlap is not perfect, but major moves in one generally occur in tandem with the other as speculators push and pull the price around with paper contracts. Gold Traders got excited about gold, but then bailed at the first sign of trouble. Now open interest sits at the lower range compared to recent history. This would indicate there are more longs on the sidelines waiting for the right moment to jump in. Outlook: Bullish, if gold regains momentum traders will be ready to follow Figure: 4 Gold Price vs Open Interest Silver Silver open interest is much lower than its recent history. Some of this is due to the higher price. The chart below has been modified to show notional open interest (accounts for price). As shown, it’s hovering right around the 4-year average but well below the more recent average. Based on the pattern, it looks more likely the market sees an increase in OI that could push the price higher. Outlook: Slightly Bullish Figure: 5 Silver Price vs Open Interest Margin Rates Most traders use margin to maximize their leverage. When Comex margin requirements are lower, it means the same dollars can get greater exposure. This tends to create more contracts and drive the price higher. Conversely, when requirements are raised, it forces traders to liquidate their positions which keeps a lid on prices. Generally, when margin is low, it can be assumed that any rally will be met with higher margin requirements to slow down a price advance. This can be seen in the chart below, specifically in 2016 and 2020. As the gold price moved up, margin requirements increased which prompted a sell-off. Margin requirements are currently higher than the 10-year average but have come down quite a bit from recent highs and sit at $7,500. Recent drops in margin have not been enough to push gold higher, but it has come down enough that any big price move up could be met with higher margin requirements, keeping a lid on prices. Outlook: Neutral Figure: 6 Gold Margin Dollar Rate The situation in silver is similar to gold, but the negative correlation looks much stronger. Margin requirements spiked again in February of this year which took the wind out of silvers sail during the Q1 silver squeeze. Requirements have come down some, giving ample room for them to be raised again in the face of a big move (see 2011). If margin requirements continue falling though, it should support silver prices. Outlook: Neutral Figure: 7 Silver Margin Dollar Rate Gold Miners The price movement in mining companies tends to precede a move in the metal itself. Stocks are forward-looking and the sell-off or price spike in the miners indicate the market anticipating the future movement in gold. Below are two charts showing the historical and more recent trends. Historically, the HUI is extremely undervalued. The HUI would have to increase 4x to reach the highs seen in the 1990s and 2000s. The sector has never really recovered from the gold price sell-off in 2008. Figure: 8 HUI to Gold Historical Trend Looking at the more recent trend shows how the miners typically lead the price movement in gold (e.g., Mar 2020, July 2020, Mar 2021, May 2021, Aug 2021, Oct 2021). There are exceptions such as April 2020, but lately the gold stocks are front-running the price moves in gold. The current ratio has recovered some in recent days after a big move down. Perhaps the miners were a bit too bearish going into the Fed meeting. That being said, if the miners cannot recover in the coming weeks, it could mean momentum in gold is stalling. Outlook: Bearish until the ratio improves more Figure: 9 HUI to Gold Current Trend Trade Volume Love or hate the traders/speculators in the paper futures market, but it’s impossible to ignore the impact they have on price. The charts below show that the more active they are, the more prices tend to move up. After the November run-up, trade volume spiked down hard and fast. It now sits back at the lower range over the past two years. This is the case in both gold and silver. Given there is less room to go down, it means there is more room to go up. Neutral to slightly bullish in both Figure: 10 Gold Volume and Open Interest Figure: 11 Silver Volume and Open Interest Other drivers USD and Treasuries Price action can be driven by activity in the Treasury market or US Dollar exchange rate. A big move up in gold will often occur simultaneously with a move down in US debt rates (a move up in Treasury prices) or a move down in the dollar. This relationship can also be seen over longer time periods as the chart below demonstrates. While gold magnifies the move, the pops and dips tend to move in the same direction. Please note: IEF is the 7–10-year iShares ETF (a move up represents falling rates) and the Dollar return is inverted in this chart to show a positive correlation. They are also plotted on the right y-axis to better show the price movement. Figure: 12 Price Compare DXY, GLD, 10-year Last month highlighted how the dollar and gold were moving together (shown above as the blue and green lines converge in November). This was raised as the biggest area of caution across all the metrics because it was more likely the currency markets were correctly pricing the next move. The two are now back in sync which means if the dollar weakens further in the aftermath of the December Fed meeting, gold should benefit. Outlook: Neutral Gold Silver Ratio Gold and silver are very highly correlated but do not move in perfect lockstep. The gold/silver ratio is used by traders to determine relative value between the two metals. Historically, the ratio averages between 40 and 60, so outside this ban can indicate a coming reversion to the mean. Silver closed the gap some in the November run-up but has since given up all its gains relative to gold. On Dec 15 (Fed meeting day), the ratio (81.9) was the highest it had been since the silver price spike last July. Silver still has more ground to make up relative to gold. Outlook: Silver Bullish relative to Gold Figure: 13 Gold Silver Ratio Bringing it all together The table below shows a snapshot of the trends that exist in the plots above. It compares current values to one month, one year, and three years ago. It also looks at the 50 and 200 daily moving averages. While DMAs are typically only calculated for prices, the DMA on the other variables can show where the current values stack compared to recent history. Almost all the charts above painted a neutral picture. Not bearish, but not immediately bullish either. Below, the one-month and one-year views show nearly every variable as being worse in the current period. Given that gold has held up relatively well and is still challenging $1800 is a good sign. It means there is dry powder on the sidelines should gold and silver regain their momentum. Other takeaways: Gold and silver prices are down 3.5% and a massive 10.5% Silver led the sell-off in gold which differed from last month The HUI gold ratio collapsed by 6.6% this month and is off 12.7% from one year ago Either the miners need to catch up or gold needs to fall Volume is down by 23% in gold and 40% in silver compared to last month The open interest ratio in silver actually increased. This is because OI only fell by 7.8% but the price fell by 10.5% Gold only fell 3.5% compared to a fall of 17.7% in open interest Most current values are also below the 50 day and 200-day averages In gold, the 50 DMAs are all above the 200 DMAs. The opposite is true in silver.   Figure: 14 Summary Table The analysis last month concluded noting that the bullish setup was so extreme it could almost be viewed as bearish. Looking back, it appears the market was hoping for a big move higher on an unexpected Brainard nomination. Trades were unwound when this failed to materialize. This month is very different. Almost all metrics look neutral. Does this mean gold will continue its range bound moves around $1800? Or is this the quiet before the storm? The data shows a market looking for a catalyst. The new year should bring an abundance of new catalysts (Inflation/Jobs data, USD, Fed meetings, etc.) The market has become entirely Fed-dependent, and the Fed is beating a hawkish drum now. Thus, upside action may be limited in gold until the market realizes the Fed will not actually be hawkish. Tyler Durden Sun, 12/19/2021 - 09:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 19th, 2021

Markets Stay Red: Time for a Little Xmas Shopping?

It's shaping up like a down week in the markets overall, despite a nice push higher following the most recent Fed policy adjustment mid-week. Friday, December 17, 2021We’re continuing pre-market indexes where we left them yesterday afternoon: under pressure, especially on the tech side. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down -150 points at the hour, with the Dow -70 points and the S&P 500 -24. It’s shaping up like a down week in the markets overall, despite a nice push higher following the most recent Fed policy adjustment mid-week.That adjustment, while promising to dry up the cheap money that’s been accommodating the markets for nearly two years, has answered plenty of questions about the near-term economy — and as we know, the market abhors very little worse than uncertainty. Also, the Fed made clear that ending its asset buyback program by the end of winter does not necessarily equate immediately rising interest rates.However, the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is becoming a problem in Europe, and has even spread to regions in the U.S. This highly infectious strain promises to be with us for a lot longer, which helps add more uncertainty to the market. Two very important things should keep panic-selling at bay, though: 1) Omicron has not yet asserted itself as a more lethal strain of coronavirus, in fact it may be less so than the Delta variant, and 2) vaccinations work, at least for keeping away serious disease, hospitalizations and death.Thus, even with a new Covid-19 outbreak on a global scale throughout the winter months of early 2022, no shutdowns appear in the offing. Recall that Pfizer PFE is also working to get its antiviral pill to market, which would diminish effects of Covid the way Theraflu works for someone who contacts influenza. There are still risks things might not be as hunky dory elsewhere in the world, but that’s pretty constant. There’s also increasing China-Taiwan tensions, if we’re looking for things to worry about.In any case, we’re not looking at today’s sell-off meaning much — except, perhaps, a good time to go shopping. If a preferred company in a strong industry with a good Zacks Rank has sold off 10% or more, it may be worth it to take another look today.Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc. DRI beat estimates on both top and bottom lines in its fiscal Q2 earnings report this morning: earnings of $1.48 per share on $2.27 billion in sales outpaced the $1.43 per share and $2.22 billion in the Zacks consensus. Full-year revenue guidance of between $9.55-9.70 billion is higher than our $9.54 billion estimate, but full-year earnings guidance of between $7.35-7.60 per share is notably below the $7.62 in the Zacks consensus. Also, CEO Gene Lee is stepping down from May 2022, succeeded by the company’s COO Rick Cardenas.Questions or comments about this article and/or its author? Click here>> Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 17th, 2021

Tech-Stocks Under Pressure in the Pre-Markets

Tech-Stocks Under Pressure in the Pre-Markets We’re continuing pre-market indexes where we left them yesterday afternoon: under pressure, especially on the tech side. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down -150 points at the hour, with the Dow -70 points and the S&P 500 -24. It’s shaping up like a down week in the markets overall, despite a nice push higher following the most recent Fed policy adjustment mid-week.That adjustment, while promising to dry up the cheap money that’s been accommodating the markets for nearly two years, has answered plenty of questions about the near-term economy — and as we know, the market abhors very little worse than uncertainty. Also, the Fed made clear that ending its asset buyback program by the end of winter does not necessarily equate immediately rising interest rates.However, the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is becoming a problem in Europe, and has even spread to regions in the U.S. This highly infectious strain promises to be with us for a lot longer, which helps add more uncertainty to the market. Two very important things should keep panic-selling at bay, though: 1) Omicron has not yet asserted itself as a more lethal strain of coronavirus, in fact it may be less so than the Delta variant, and 2) vaccinations work, at least for keeping away serious disease, hospitalizations and death.Thus, even with a new Covid-19 outbreak on a global scale throughout the winter months of early 2022, no shutdowns appear in the offing. Recall that Pfizer Inc. PFE is also working to get its antiviral pill to market, which would diminish effects of Covid the way Theraflu works for someone who contacts influenza. There are still risks things might not be as hunky dory elsewhere in the world, but that’s pretty constant. There’s also increasing China-Taiwan tensions, if we’re looking for things to worry about.In any case, we’re not looking at today’s sell-off meaning much — except, perhaps, a good time to go shopping. If a preferred company in a strong industry with a good Zacks Rank has sold off 10% or more, it may be worth it to take another look today.Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI beat estimates on both top and bottom lines in its fiscal Q2 earnings report this morning: earnings of $1.48 per share on $2.27 billion in sales outpaced the $1.43 per share and $2.22 billion in the Zacks consensus. Full-year revenue guidance of between $9.55-9.70 billion is higher than our $9.54 billion estimate, but full-year earnings guidance of between $7.35-7.60 per share is notably below the $7.62 in the Zacks consensus. Also, CEO Gene Lee is stepping down from May 2022, succeeded by the company’s COO Rick Cardenas. Bitcoin, Like the Internet Itself, Could Change Everything Blockchain and cryptocurrency has sparked one of the most exciting discussion topics of a generation. Some call it the “Internet of Money” and predict it could change the way money works forever. If true, it could do to banks what Netflix did to Blockbuster and Amazon did to Sears. Experts agree we’re still in the early stages of this technology, and as it grows, it will create several investing opportunities. Zacks’ has just revealed 3 companies that can help investors capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly. See 3 crypto-related stocks now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 17th, 2021

Turkey Halts All Stock Trading As Currency Disintegrates, Central Bank Powerless To Halt Collapse

Turkey Halts All Stock Trading As Currency Disintegrates, Central Bank Powerless To Halt Collapse Another day, another collapse in the Turkish lira, only this time there was a twist: as the hyperinflating currency implodes, Erdogan has finally had enough of the relentless pummeling, and is starting to shut down Turkey's markets. But first, let's back up: heading into Friday, the lira accelerated its historic descent, weakening past the 16 per-dollar mark for the first time ever, as the central bank's pledge to end a four-month cycle of interest rate cuts on Thursday failed to convince investors that inflation can be brought to heel. That was just the start however, and the currency plunge only accelerated crashing as low as 17.14 just hours later, bringing declines this week to 17%. YTD the currency has lost more than half of its value! As a reminder, the central bank yesterday cut its benchmark one-week repo rate by a further 100 basis points to 14%, its fourth reduction since September spurred by demands from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lower borrowing costs in the face of surging consumer prices as part of his batshit insane monetary policy Erdoganomics whose only possible outcome is the collapse of Turkey's economy and hyperinflation. The resulting sell-off accelerated a 54% plunge in the currency so far this year as real rates fall further below zero with inflation now standing at an annual 21.3%. Erdogan then responded to the economic pain caused by rising prices by ordering a 50% increase in the minimum wage next year, guaranteeing even more inflation as it will increase production costs that will see inflation accelerate by a further 2% to 8% next year, Erkin Isik, chief economist at QNB Finansbank, wrote in a note to clients. In any case, once the lira plunged to 17, the central bank spent another billion or so intervening, its 5th intervention just in December. Needless to say, this intervention like all those preceding it, had a half-life of just a few minutes, and shortly after the USDTRY was trading back at just shy of all time highs. And then, a stunning new development: as Bloomberg reports, all trades on Turkey’s benchmark stock index Borsa Istanbul 100 were halted after a sudden plunge in stocks - which until now were trading gingerly higher as one would expect in a time of runaway inflation - triggering a market-wide circuit breaker. Trading of equities, equity derivatives and debt repo transactions were “halted temporarily” at 4:24 p.m. in Istanbul after the index reversed gains and fell as much as 5%, according to a public filing. Trading was scheduled to restart at 4:54 p.m, however we are confident it will only lead to more selling. And this is what the realization that hyperinflation has arrived and may not be good for stocks looks like: Of course, such attempts to halt a panic only make it worse, and sure enough, the furious selling only accelerate after the reopen, leading to another halt... ... and headlines such as these: HSBC MSCI TURKEY UCITS ETF SINKS TO RECORD LOW TURKISH STOCK INDEX CRASHES 9%, MOST SINCE MARCH The bottom line, as Delphine Arrighi from Guardcap Asset Management, said “Turkey has entered some uncharted territories here by responding to rampant inflation with rate cuts. As long as real rates remain negative, dollarization will continue to add pressure on the currency.” For what it's worth, our view is clear and what is happening is very much charted: it is our view that Erdogan is purposefully hoping to spark economic collapse and hyperinflation... Is Erdogan trying to singlehandedly destroy the Turkish economy to deflect attention from the billions he has pillaged — zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 16, 2021 ... to deflect from the historic pillaging he and his cronies have done over the years. And the only way to do that is with a broad economic collapse that he can pin on "foreign intervention" and in the ensuing chaos, quietly sneak out of the country. A few coup or two should help. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/17/2021 - 09:06.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 17th, 2021

Time As Friend Or Foe To The Greatest Traders

Time As Friend Or Foe To The Greatest Traders By Nick Colas of DataTrek Research Long time readers know I (Nick) left Credit Suisse in the late 1990s to go to SAC Capital and work for Steve Cohen. No surprise, but there was a vast difference between the 2 environments. At Credit Suisse, I had a lovely private office overlooking Madison Square Park, 2 research associates and an administrative assistant. At SAC, I was on my own in a windowless, cramped trading room with just 4 linear feet of desk space to call home. Then there were my co-workers. Credit Suisse had retained much of the staff from the old First Boston, a white shoe firm managed by Ivy League-educated WASPs. They valued hard work, deep intellectual rigor, and the ability to succinctly summarize complex ideas. Those three attributes are what makes an investment banker or sell-side research analyst efficient and therefore productive at their job. SAC was staffed by gritty day-traders, and their approach to work was entirely different. One of their favorite sayings was “when the bank cashes your bonus check they don’t ask how smart you are”. All this group cared about was honing a process to deliver a profitable outcome. It might appear ill-informed, even naïve … All that mattered was that it worked well enough. Being able to elegantly verbalize a trade idea was worse than unnecessary; it was a waste of precious time. The thing that struck me hardest about how truly great traders (and that was the overwhelming majority in the room) go about their daily process is they are generally LEAST busy from 10am to 3pm. Everyone was at their desk by 7am, reading, taking broker calls, and talking amongst themselves. These activities informed the day’s trade ideas, which went on the sheet pre-market or at the open. By 10am, that work was done. The conversation would shift to lunch (traders truly love discussing food), big picture ideas, and a whole range of random activities. The tempo of the room would only pick up again going into the close, as traders took profits or cut losses to set up a preliminary set of positions for overnight and the next morning. At first, I was surprised – I thought traders would be trading all day – but I slowly began to understand what was happening: time is both the trader’s best friend and worst enemy. Here’s what I mean: Even the best traders only have a 55-60 percent win rate. Over a third of their ideas are clunkers. Good trades take time to work in their entirety. Even if you’re up 5 percent on a great idea at the open, there may be another +5 percent move coming over the course of the day or the next few trading sessions. Loss-making positions quickly get cut down or sold/covered. Collectively, this means the trick to successful trading is keeping winners long enough to fully exploit that relatively meager 5–10-point edge mentioned in the first point. Time is also the enemy because it can tempt you into ill-considered trades. If all you do is stare at the tape through the day, the temptation to take a shot at a name or two on some random call can be strong indeed. Great traders know “don’t just do something, sit there” is often good advice. I think much of the “time and friend or foe” idea also applies to investing. A few months ago, for example, we covered an academic paper which described how even highly successful hedge funds sell winners too early. So much of their “brand” is based on idea generation that their investment process suffers from ditching winning positions before they’ve fully run their course in favor of the latest hot new idea. But … Just waiting for stocks to perform doesn’t always work as one might expect, even over the long term. American investors are a bit spoiled, because the S&P 500 has been a generally reliable wealth compounding machine for almost 100 years and impressively so over the last decade. By contrast, non-US equities have lagged significantly over the last 10 years (data through Q3 2021): S&P 500: 16.6 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last 10 years Russell 2000: 14.6 pct 10-year CAGR Average: 15.6 percent 10-year CAGR   MSCI EAFE (non-US developed economies) Index: 8.0 pct 10-year CAGR MSCI Emerging Markets: 6.1 pct 10-year CAGR Average: 6.8 percent 10-year CAGR   MSCI Germany: 8.5 percent 10-year CAGR MSCI United Kingdom: 5.4 pct 10-year CAGR MSCI France: 9.3 pct 10-year CAGR MSCI Japan: 8.4 pct 10-year CAGR Average: 7.9 percent 10-year CAGR   MSCI China: 8.7 pct 10-year CAGR MSCI South Korea: 7.2 pct 10-year CAGR MSCI Taiwan: 13.3 pct 10-year CAGR MSCI Brazil: -1.7 pct 10-year CAGR Average: 6.9 percent 10-year CAGR Simply put, a decade should be enough time to judge the relative long-run investment merits of different geographies and the data clearly shows non-US equities structurally underperform the S&P 500 or Russell 2000. US stocks have compounded twice as quickly as both developed and emerging market equities over this period. For all of Europe’s aggressive monetary policies since the Financial Crisis or Emerging Market’s faster economic growth, it is American equities that have powered global stock market returns. The most important question for global asset allocators just now is “how will the next decade develop in terms of US/non-US equity returns?” Will time force a relative performance reversion to the mean between the two asset classes, or will it shove them even further apart? While it is mathematically true that international diversification helps reduce portfolio risk, it is equally valid to question the cost of that feature in terms of lost returns. They are quite simply too large to ignore. My answer to that question is grounded in what I learned at SAC: stick with winners as long as they continue to win. Yes, there are many wonderful reasons to overweight Europe (cheap valuations, high quality companies, dividend yields) or Emerging Markets (economic growth, mostly). But here’s the thing: those reasons haven’t worked for a decade, and they are not working in 2021. Is there a catalyst for capital to suddenly shift out of the US and go elsewhere? If there is, it still sits over the horizon. I’ll close with another version of “time as friend or foe” I learned at SAC from a veteran trader shortly after I got there. We were having a heated discussion about whether to short GM. I had many reasons to be long and laid them out in a cleverly succinct fashion consistent with my training. He had (maybe) 2 reasons to go short and one of them was “it’s GM … they’re awful … why not be short?”. He won the argument, at least in my eyes, when he said “Look… you have to decide right now if you want to sound smart or get rich, because you’re not Soros or Druckenmiller - you can’t do both.” I heard that as “you don’t have the time to do both”, and he was right. Oh, and the GM short worked out well. Very well, in fact. Tyler Durden Mon, 12/13/2021 - 06:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 13th, 2021

Blain: The Problem With Money Is...

Blain: The Problem With Money Is... Authored by Bill Blain via MorningPorridge.com, “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” The problem with money is there is just too much of it, and all the wrong people have got it. No particular theme to the porridge this morning. Just some observations on what looks a very confusing market. I’m not in the UK at present, but if I was I’d be shaking my head in horror at the latest noises out of Downing Street. As an Irish chum put it: “If Boris was football team manager, he’d be gone by the weekend,” but this is Politics. Despite all the indications Omicron will not decimate the population, and vaccinations mean we’re most likely to survive, there is nothing like a bit of gold old fashioned panic. It sounds like lockdown is just around the corner to show just how much the Tories care. (Or is it because a furious Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty read the riot act to them?) Working from Home has very clear economic implications – and kills the December party season. Consequences, consequences. More and more the UK feels like a struggling health service with a inefficient nation attached. It’s not a good look. The stalling UK outlook and the political shenanigans explain why Sterling is looking a tad Turkish this morning. Meanwhile global markets take it all in their stride – convinced Omicron is a distraction and central banks will keep the liquidity juice flowing. What’s the problem? Higher, higher, higher scream the pundits! But it’s all noise. Look at the detail – the flows are all into the story stocks, the big tech, the big names, or the latest stocks picked for their Covid resilience, or those that look best placed to benefit from a turnaround. Markets feel frothy and unconvinced – rushing like the ball in a pinball machine between the buffers looking for the high score. The economic reality is markets are no longer functioning to efficiently distribute capital. Headlines about the collapse of small stocks, funding issues for developing nations and the lack of available capital for early stage alternative energy firms sit uneasy with future growth. I suspect the problem with everything, and particularly markets, is there is just far too much money around, and all the wrong people have got it… They are pushing that too-much-money in all the wrong directions. It’s very difficult to be coldly analytical about company fundamentals or the future economic outlook and direction when it would appear the world has lost sight of any value metrics. This morning is no exception. Fantabulous valuations based on an utter absence of reality has changed finance and way economic decisions are made. In the FT I read about how the computing power now expended on bitcoin mining has risen to a record high, with more and more expensive tech dedicated to digging out digital gold to sell to digital marks. China has banned bitcoin mining, and now the miners have moved elsewhere and brought in more powerful machines. The carbon footprint is huge – but hey-ho, that apparently doesn’t matter because it doesn’t. (Yes it does – whatever US miners say about how they’ve built a renewable energy site in Texas to accommodate more green miners. The bottom line is buttcon mining is an obscene waste of energy.) A chum sent me a story from The Byte: Someone paid $650,000 for a nonexistent yacht in the metaverse. The “yacht” is called The Metaflower Super Mega Yacht. It was “built” by a firm called Republic Realm. The buyer bought the digital asset with a digital currency. An imaginary thing buys an imaginary thing… Wow. The porridge readership will be split on this one: A majority of readers will shake their head in disbelief and wonder what madness drives someone to part with the price of a decent home for what is, perhaps, the fugliest yacht ever designed. (Seriously, it’s horrible. Boxy, sharp corners, and straight lines. A 10-year old playing Minecraft, or opening CAD for the first time would have done better.) A smaller number of readers will delve deeper and try to figure out the potential value of the digital asset in Ethereum will perform. Maybe it will be used in a computer game to hold virtual boat parties and earn returns that way? A very small number will twig it. They will be developing a bigger Metaflower II and looking for the greater fool to sell it to. It all sounds a bit bogus to me. The yacht was sold on The Sandbox, which is described as an “also-ran Metaverse platform” in the story. I am sure someone can tell me what it’s all about. Users of the Sandbox metaverse platform can also buy jet skis, speedboats, private islands and all the other paraphernalia a successful Mexican cartel boss requires in the real world.  They all look horrendous – worse than SIMs 20 years ago.. If I want to live out my days in opulence in the Metaverse, I’d like something a little more real please. That is developing… Apparently. As more and more people experience life in a/the metaverse they’ll want to digitally clothe their avatars, have them driving expensive digital cars, and wear expensive digital watches. I bet the most lucrative part of the metaverse will end up being digital sex and porn. Or, maybe I might care to start a digital property empire in Decentraland..? Someone just paid $2.4 million for a 6000 square foot plot of digital land in the Metaverse called Decentreland… whatever it is.. Land? Space? Venue? Our chums Republic Realm (the Metaflower 1 yacht makers) have bought 260 plots to build a virtual shopping mall where buyers can purchase digital wearables. Apparently fashion chains are queuing up to open virtual shops. Sotheby’s has built a digital auction house to auction NFTs! The great attraction of real land, as opposed to digital land, is they really aren’t making much more of it. (Except here in Dubai, where the most luxury hotels are the ones furthest out on the Palm, but that’s a whole different story for another day… !) More to the point a real Aston Martin is expensive because it’s difficult to make and they are a scarce commodity. A digital Aston costs exactly the same to mock up as a Lada. I really can’t get my head around digital possessions except in terms of what they might be worth when I wish to sell. I learnt an important lesson earlier this year when my mother passed away. Her house was full of beautiful things she and Dad collected over their life together. We’ve now emptied the house – and despite all the treasured memories, none of us has the space for it all. Most of it has gone to charity. Treasured and beautiful, but without her they are just things. Appreciate today what you have and treasure… I have a fondness for early 20th Century Scottish Art. I’ve bought paintings I’d fallen in love with. My wife wasn’t so keen. I’ve tried to sell them, and been told.. “ah, these just aren’t fashionable anymore, your mother’s generation bought them..” I bought them for love rather than market value. I wonder who will cherish them when I’ve gone..? I suspect one day a great grandchild will find a Mackintosh-Patrick up in the loft and discover its worth billions…. In contrast, will they bother searching my obsolete hard-drives to see if there might be some NFTs stashed away? Doubt it. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/09/2021 - 09:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 9th, 2021

Crypto Could Become "A True Competitor" To The U.S. Dollar: Jon Najarian

Crypto Could Become "A True Competitor" To The U.S. Dollar: Jon Najarian Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance This is an interview with Jon “Dr. J” Najarian. Jon was a linebacker for the Chicago Bears before he turned to trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He then became a member of the CBOE, NYSE, CME and CBOT and worked as a floor trader for some 25 years. Today, he is a professional investor that specializes in options. He is also a cast member of the “Halftime Report” and “Fast Money” shows on CNBC. Jon and his brother Pete invest in and work with start-ups via Rebellion Partners, a venture consulting firm they launched in 2015. In 2016 Jon and Pete co-founded Market Rebellion, a company focused on educating the individual investor. Q: Hi Jon, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for my Fringe Finance readers. Right off the bat - I have been asking this question of everyone I interview and want your perspective on what the biggest threat facing the market is right now, and why? I think the biggest threat is that the Fed knows the inflation genie is out of the bottle and that they have this Sophie's choice of which to address; inflation by raising rates, or a stagnating economy and new [Covid] variant. I'm not as worried about Iran, Russia or China as I am about how the Fed deals with inflation and the economy. A fast rise in rates will absolutely kneecap the economy and take the stock market with it.  Have you and your brother ever considered crypto to be a multi trillion trojan horse that could cause systemic problems? When China exits the crypto market, could it be because they are worried about a crash - or do you think it's just so it doesn't compete with the digital yuan? I know you're not a big crypto fan Chris, but I truly believe that fiat currencies need the discipline of a legitimate competitor. Not a competitor in transactions, although that is coming, but a competitor in a store of value. The main reason Bitcoin was created was that someone or some group (Satoshi Nakamoto) saw that governments were taking advantage of their printing presses and [their] ability to create more money out of thin air. As crypto hovers near $3 trillion in market cap, I believe we are close to creating that true competitor to the dollar. If we have failures of repaying of debt and or other monetary issues, people, especially young people will get deeper into crypto. Could that end badly? Sure. But I think crypto has the potential to discipline central bankers.  What stocks would you avoid at all costs right now? Sadly, much as I love our meme stock brethren, I think the GameStops and AMCs are dead money. I think they are the modern equivalent of the emperor's new clothes.  I asked this to a respected trader last week and want your take. Listening to the Cathie Woods of the world, I have to wonder: is it truly "different" this time? Meaning, will we normalize at these PE ratios and this balance of growth vs. value? Or will PEs eventually crash back under 10 and will value be a virtue again? I think it will be a while before we see normalized PEs. I think stuff like the metaverse will keep this party going a while longer. Perhaps a year or more. But past that, yes I think we need an adjustment back to normalcy.  You guys are options experts. What do you make of the option volume and activity in Tesla? I think we're both surprised by the volatile moves TSLA makes on a weekly basis. The costs of the calls and puts is among the highest among active options, as it is not uncommon to see a call or put that is trading $15 or $20 trade 20,000 or 30,000 contracts. That's a ton of volume for a stock 1/10th the price of TSLA's $1100. I guess overall the reason we see so much activity is that so few people cannot afford to buy shares, so they have one choice: trade options. Just like that other Wall Street adage, TINA , there is no alternative.  Do you think options are being weaponized to create gamma squeezes in the NASDAQ? Why or why not? And if so, what consequences could there be for this? I think options have always been used by shrewd traders to "bully" stocks up or down. We witnessed this in the infamous Herbalife fight between Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman. Carl didn't have a dog in the hunt, but when he saw that Ackman was short big in HLF, he bought OTC calls and paid for them by selling OTC puts in HLF. That effectively put the squeeze on Ackman and any shorts that had joined him. So I do think people on Reddit or Twitter could gang up, buy a bunch of calls and like GameStop (GME), never sell them. and thus, very effectively squeeze shorts like Melvin Capital.  What sectors interest you the most for long-term investments from this point, whether or not we wind up having  a pullback. Is there anything cheap anymore? I think given all the hype and dollars chasing the EV space that the best opportunities are in components for lithium ion batteries. Full disclosure, I am long one of my favorite names in the space; American Battery Tech (ABML). They recycle lithium and repurpose the lithium, cobalt and nickel from used batteries and do so without the brute force and heat that China uses to accomplish this. I also like ALB, LAC and PLL as plays to be in the cat bird's seat for the massive demand for lithium.  How do you feel about the strength of the USD and confidence in treasuries currently? I think the dollar actually gets stronger, not weaker over time. The reasons are that the European Union is in worse shape, China is likely to flex more, meaning they will push things in Taiwan pretty close, but not to the point of war, which will likely make investors nervous and that nervousness [will push] them into the dollar.  Does the Fed and the Biden administration have a handle on the inflation problem? Why or why not? That's the easiest question of all. NO! The administration has cut pipelines like they did with XL Pipeline and then they wonder why oil producers are not producing as much? It's crazy how the administration doesn't recognize cause and effect. You cut leases for oil and gas, you reduce transport (pipelines) and you wonder why our prices spike? I wonder how these people even tie their shoes.  Thanks Jon.   --  This is subscriber only content. To subscribe and gain access to all my archives, as well as support my work, you can use this link for 20% off if you subscribe today: Get 20% off forever Disclaimer: As Jon says, he is long ABML, ALB, LAC and PLL. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Positions can always change immediately as soon as I publish this, with or without notice. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot.  Tyler Durden Tue, 12/07/2021 - 21:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 8th, 2021

Hedge Funds Are Liquidating At A Furious Pace.... And Retail Investors Are Buying It All

Hedge Funds Are Liquidating At A Furious Pace.... And Retail Investors Are Buying It All Over the weekend, and then again on Monday we reported that It had been a catastrophic week for hedge funds: heading into Black Red Friday, losses were staggering with Goldman Prime reporting that many hedge funds were caught off-guard by news of the Omicron variant as they had bought Reopen stocks and sold Stay-at Home names in the past week. As a result, in the week ending Nov 25, GS Equity Fundamental L/S Performance Estimate fell -1.57% between 11/19 and 11/25, driven by alpha of -1.12% which was "the worst alpha drawdown in nearly six months" and beta of -0.45% (from market exposure and market sensitivity combined). It only got worse on Friday and then again Monday, when Moderna - the 3rd most popular short in the hedge fund universe with some $4.5BN of the stock held short by the 2 and 20 crowd... ... exploded higher, resulting in massive double-digits losses for funds who were aggressively short the name... and just in general as the following P&L charts from Goldman Prime show. So having been hammered one too many times in just a few days, perhaps the "smart money" finally learned its lesson, and as the S&P 500 suffered its biggest two-day rout since October 2020, hedge funds went risk off big time, because according to the latest update from Goldman Prime, net leverage fell to a one-year low this week. A similar analysts from BofA also confirmed the deleveraging trend of deleveraging - the firm’s hedge-fund clients dumped more than $2 billion of stocks last week, exiting the market at the fastest pace since April. While it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out why hedge funds were rapidly derisking, among the reasons for the mass exodus were both tax-loss harvesting ahead of the end of the year, as well as locking in profits that despite the recent turmoil remain more than 20% for 2021. But the most proximal catalyst remains the sharp change in tone from the Fed where Powell now appears hell bent to consummate the worst policy mistake since Jean-Claude Trichet's ECB hiked right into a recession: “We’ve seen inflation be more persistent. We’ve seen the factors that are causing higher inflation to be more persistent,”  Powell told lawmakers Wednesday after decommissioning the term transitory to describe higher prices a day earlier. This has led to a rush to reprice assets with the prospect of higher interest rates sooner than investors had been anticipating. Confirming our recent observations, Dennis DeBusschere, founder of 22V Research, told Bloomberg that “many have mentioned hedge fund pain leading to weird internal moves” among speculative tech stocks. “This latest negative omicron news leads to just closing the books up and moving on.” Yet while hedge funds puked stocks, aggressively deleveraging into Wednesday's rout, retail investors did just the opposite and bought what HFs had to sell like there is no tomorrow: as we noted earlier, retail stock purchases rose to a new record on Tuesday of $2.2 billion, after reaching $2.1 billion during Friday’s rout, according to Vanda Research. The firm flagged big retail buying in cyclical stocks like airlines and energy on Friday, versus Tuesday’s tech-heavy flows, and noted that institutional investors did the opposite, selling cyclicals on Friday and then tech on Tuesday. In other words, retail investors were busy bidding up everything hedge funds had to sell. Professional managers are often quicker to sell because of pressure to deliver returns, said Mark Freeman, CIO at Socorro Asset Management LP. After their concentrated bets on expensive technology shares backfired last week, hedge funds now face a fast-closing window to bolster a year of spotty performance. That aversion to risk probably underlined the latest rout in unprofitable tech shares, a group that usually sells off when long-end Treasury  yields spike. On Wednesday, however, 10-year yields slipped and a Goldman basket of extremely expensive software stocks plunged 7.1%. Yet while Vanda sees strong retail demand persisting, and limiting the downside to equities in December, Nomura advises caution when buying this dip. As Bloomberg reports, strategists Chetan Seth and Amit Phillips wrote in a note that investors need to carefully assess if “buy the dip” will prove to be a good strategy, because elevated inflation implies the bar is higher for central banks to suppress volatility by providing policy support, if omicron does become a major threat. A combination of a hawkish Fed and virus uncertainty implies that stocks are likely to be volatile until at least the FOMC's December meeting. But hey, as former Dallas Fed head Richard Fisher warned previously, retail BTFD investors are "getting ahead of itself, because the market is dependent on Fed largesse... and we made it that way...but we have to consider, through a statement rather than an action, that we must wean the market off its dependency on a Fed put." Fisher went on... "The Fed has created this dependency and there's an entire generation of money-managers who weren't around in '74, '87, the end of the '90s, anbd even 2007-2009.. and have only seen a one-way street... of course they're nervous." "The question is - do you want to feed that hunger? Keep applying that opioid of cheap and abundant money?" Blasphemy? Or perhaps just once, Jay Powell has got religion. And while we would have once upon a time said that hedge funds will have the last laugh, performance from the last decade has made it clear that when it comes to dumb money, there is nobody dumber than those getting paid millions to underperform the market year after year. Or maybe this time will be different: as the last chart shows, have dramatically outperformed hedge funds for much of 2021, the retail favorite stocks are suddenly in danger of wiping out most if not all of their YTD gains... Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 08:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021