Mar 28

- The Bottom’s Not In——Why This Market Is Dumber Than A Mule (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, March 26, 2015):

They were trying to put in a bottom—–again! The sell-off earlier this week amounted to the sixth sizeable “dip” since November 20—-so the market’s ingrained reflex was back at work all afternoon, trying to scoop up the “bargains”.

But the roundtrip to the flat-line shown below is not a classic “wall of worry” and its not a “bottom” that’s being put in. This market is dumber than a mule, and the nation’s central bank and its counterparts around the world have made it so.

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Mar 24

- The Biggest Threat To The S&P 500 In The Next Month: “Biggest Buyer Of Stocks In 2015″ Enters Blackout Period (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2015)

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Mar 23

TIME THE CRASH

- Who Left the Crash Window Open? (OfTwoMinds, March 22, 2015):

Can stocks keep hitting new highs even as sales and profits fall?

Given that we live in a world where a modest 3% decline in the stock market triggers panicky demands for more quantitative easing (QE 4), few observers expect much a correction, regardless of the souring fundamentals such as sales and profits.
A correspondent notified me of a Puetz “crash” window (based on the analysis of Stephen J. Puetz) opening in late March-early April. (Since I am not a subscriber to Puetz’s work, I can’t confirm this.) As I understand it, while these windows do not predict a crash/sharp correction, such moves tend to occur in these windows, which are based on cycles and events such as eclipses.
So I decided to look for any evidence that a sharp correction might be in the offing. Continue reading »

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Mar 21

- “Market Is Hyper Overpriced” Warns Retiring Fed President; “Significiant Correction” Coming (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2015):

Fresh from a well-publicized dollar dispute with Goldman’s Gary Cohn, recently retired Dallas Fed chief Richard Fisher made an appearance on CNBC Friday and spoke with Rick Santelli. There were quite a number of notable exchanges including the following zingers..

Santelli: “If you had to rate the US economy 0-10 where would you peg it?”

Fisher: “We’re #1., we’re a 10. We’re the epicenter of growth and in the sweet spot.”

Santelli: “Do you think any part of the stock market being high has anything to do with the committee you just left and if you didn’t grade the economy on a curve would you still give it a 10?” 

Fisher: “Well, what worries me is how totally lazy investors have gotten, totally dependent on the Federal Reserve and I find this to be a precarious situation.”

Fisher: “Are we vulnerable in my personal opinion to a significant equity market correction? I believe we are.” 

Then Santelli pulls out a Pavlov reference suggesting that the Fed has in fact conditioned retail investors to be lazy prompting Fisher to point out the irony in the fact that global financial markets are depending on a “diminutive woman” (Yellen) to play Atlas. “What worries me is that the people that watch this show are completely dependent on the Fed — look at the volatility. I could see a correction taking place of substantial magnitude.”  Continue reading »

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Mar 19

SnapChat

- Surprise: Tech Company Valuations Are Completely Made Up (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2015):

Talk of a massive bubble in the red hot world of private tech companies is getting louder of late. As we noted last week, Prem Watsa recently highlighted what he called excessive “speculation” in tech stocks and predicted that at the end of the day, habitually slapping billion-dollar valuations on unproven companies that often have little more than an app and a dream will end “very badly.” This comes on the heels of Mark Cuban’s warning that stretched valuations in private tech companies are far more dangerous than any perceived Nasdaq bubble 2.0, as at least with overvalued publicly traded firms there’s liquidity.

Well, now that everyone is jumping on the “there’s no way that app is worth $50 billion” bandwagon, Bloomberg is out with a startling revelation: “Snapchat, the photo-messaging app raising cash at a $15 billion valuation, probably isn’t actually worth more than Clorox.” 

No, probably not, but it sure is more fun than doing laundry, which is why it absolutely makes sense that the number VCs are putting on the app makes absolutely no sense.

Here’s Bloomberg: Continue reading »

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Mar 18

20150319_EOD

- Fed Growth Cut Unleashes Panic Buying Of Everything; Dollar Plunges Most Since 2009 (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2015):

Oil spiked 6% because “The Fed said the economy is slowing”; Stocks are up because “The Fed said the economy is slowing”; USD strength is a signal of the strength of the US economy which “The Fed said is now slowing”; Small Caps hit Record Highs because “The Fed said the economy is slowing”; and Nasdaq Tops 5,000 because “The Fed said the economy is slowing” – really only one thing for it…

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Mar 18

GS1

- Options Market Signals 2007-Like Crash Risk, Goldman Warns (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2015):

Although US equity prices have demonstrated a remarkable propensity to completely disregard apparently unimportant things like macro fundamentals, forward earnings estimates, and top-line growth projections, we’ve long argued that eventually, reality will come calling and the farther stretched valuations become in the meantime, the more painful the correction will be. As we noted on Sunday, the cracks are starting to form as DB became the first sell-side firm to predict that EPS will in fact not grow in 2015, prompting us to remark that “EPS growth in 2015 [is] now a wash (if not negative), which implies the only upside for the S&P 500 will once again come from substantial multiple expansion.” Against this backdrop of declining revenues, declining earnings, and pitiable economic projections (thanks a lot Atlanta Fed Nowcast), we bring you yet another sign that a “correction” may indeed be in the cards: an epic decoupling of put prices and S&P P/E ratios. 

Here’s Goldman:  Continue reading »

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Mar 15

- Michael Lewis is Right “Spoofing” Proves Market Rigged on Daily Basis (ZeroHedge, March 14, 2015):

Accordingly, Michael Lewis is right markets are rigged, but he really is underestimating the extent of market manipulation, financial markets really are the wild west, investors should always be wary of how they are being taken advantage of in financial markets. The phrase Caveat Emptor ‘Let the buyer beware’ applies here.

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Mar 13

Federal-Reserve-Bernanke1


- One American’s Rage Spills Over: Shut Your Mouth & Start Fighting These Political Parasites (ZeroHedge, March 13, 2015):

Warning: NSFW, for the weak of heart, look away…

Submitted by Thad Beversdorf via First Rebuttal blog,

I was shocked today by the absolute gaul of the Fed releasing a statement about Net Worth in America reaching record levels.  Now I get that they are under extreme pressure to sell the story that everything is rainbows and butterflies.  But surely they understand that working class Americans are going along with the story because they really don’t have any say in our nation’s policies anymore.  That doesn’t mean they want it thrown in their faces that the Fed has spent 6 years now inflating the wealth of the top 10% so much that it actually lifts the total wealth of the nation’s citizens to record highs.

The ugly reality is that the bottom 80% of Americans experienced none of that gain.  That’s right a big ole goose egg.  And so when the Fed via its ass pamper boy, Steve Liesman, start banging on about the fact that some sliver of society is being handed extraordinary wealth while the working class has lost 40% of their net worth since 2007, well a big fuck you right back at ya bub!  The Fed is very aware that the bottom 80% of Americans own less than 5% of US equity markets.  And so the Fed is very aware that its manipulation of stock prices such that it creates immense unearned wealth to those in the markets doesn’t reach the bottom 80%.  So why celebrate the results of the stock market price manipulation??

Continue reading »

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Mar 13

20150312_EOD

- Worst Macro Data Since Lehman Sparks Stock Buying Frenzy (ZeroHedge, March 12, 2015)

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Mar 11

From the article:

“Reuters reported that Venezuela’s central bank is in talks with Wall Street banks to create a gold swap that would allow it to monetize some $1.5 billion of the metal held as international reserves, according to government sources familiar with the operation.”

If true, then you know now who really is in control in Venezuela.


Venezuela gold

- Venezuela Begins Liquidating Its Gold (ZeroHedge, March 11, 2015):

Yesterday we reported that in retaliation to the latest Obama executive order which declared Venezuela a national security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials, Maduro promptly took advantage of this “outside threat” to rally his toilet paper-starved population “around the flag”, and while pointing at the “evil imperialist” Obama, granted himself even greater authoritarian powers: “I have put together a special law that gives me special powers to preserve the peace, the integrity and the sovereignty of the country before any situation that presents itself due to this imperialist aggression.Continue reading »

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Mar 09

Stock-Market-Crash

- 7 Signs That A Stock Market Peak Is Happening Right Now (Economic Collapse, March 9, 2015):

Is this the end of the last great run for the U.S. stock market?  Are we witnessing classic “peaking behavior” that is similar to what occurred just before other major stock market crashes?  Throughout 2014 and for the early stages of 2015, stocks have been on quite a tear.  Even though the overall U.S. economy continues to be deeply troubled, we have seen the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq set record after record.  But no bull market lasts forever – particularly one that has no relation to economic reality whatsoever.  This false bubble of financial prosperity has been enjoyable, and even I wish that it could last much longer.  But there comes a time when we all must face reality, and the cold, hard facts are telling us that this party is about to end.

The following are 7 signs that a stock market peak is happening right now:

#1 Just before a stock market crash, price/earnings ratios tend to spike, and that is precisely what we are witnessing.  The following commentary and chart come from Lance Roberts

The chart below shows Dr. Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted P/E ratio. The problem is that current valuations only appear cheap when compared to the peak in 2000. In order to put valuations into perspective, I have capped P/E’s at 30x trailing earnings. The dashed orange line measures 23x earnings which has been the level where secular bull markets have previously ended. I have noted the peak valuations in periods that have exceeded that 30x earnings.

markets-are-cheap

At 27.85x current earning the markets are currently at valuation levels where previous bull markets have ended rather than continued. Furthermore, the markets have exceeded the pre-financial crisis peak of 27.65x earnings. If earnings continue to deteriorate, market valuations could rise rapidly even if prices remain stagnant.

#2 The average bull market lasts for approximately 3.8 years. The current bull market has already lasted for six years.

#3 The median total gain during a bull market is 101.5 percent.  For this bull market, it has been 213 percent.

#4 Usually before a stock market crash we see a divergence between the relative strength index and the stock market itself.  This happened prior to the bursting of the dotcom bubble, it happened prior to the crash of 2008, and it is happening again right now

The first technical warning sign that we should heed is marked by a significant divergence between the relative strength index (RSI) and the market itself. This is noted by a declining pattern of lower highs in the RSI as stocks continue to make higher highs, a sign that the market is “topping out”. In the late ‘90s this divergence persisted for many years as the tech bubble reached epic valuation levels. In 2007 this divergence lasted over a much shorter period (6 months) before the market finally peaked and succumbed to massive selling. With last month’s strong rally to new records, we now have a confirmed divergence between the long-term relative strength index and the market’s price action.

#5 In the past, peaks in margin debt have been very closely associated with stock market peaks.  The following chart comes from Doug Short, and I included it in a previous article

Margin-Debt

#6 As I have discussed previously, we usually witness a spike in 10 year Treasury yields just about the time that the stock market is peaking right before a crash.

Well, according to Business Insider, we just saw the largest 5 week rate rally in two decades…

Lots of guys and gals went home this past weekend thinking about the implications of the recent rise in the 10-year Treasury bond’s yield.

Chris Kimble notes it was the biggest 5-week rate rally in twenty years!

#7 A lot of momentum indicators seem to be telling us that we are rapidly approaching a turning point for stocks.  For example, James Stack, the editor of InvesTech Research, says that the Coppock Guide is warning us of “an impending bear market on the not-too-distant horizon”

A momentum indicator dubbed the Coppock Guide, which serves as “a barometer of the market’s emotional state,” has also peaked, Stack says. The indicator, which, “tracks the ebb and flow of equity markets from one psychological extreme to another,” is also flashing a warning flag.

The Coppock Guide’s chart pattern is flashing a “double top,”  which suggests that “psychological excesses are present” and that “secondary momentum has peaked” in this bull market, according to Stack.

“All of this is just another reason for concern about an impending bear market on the not-too-distant horizon,” Stack writes.

So if we are to see a stock market crash soon, when will it happen?

Well, the truth is that nobody knows for certain.

It could happen this week, or it could be six months from now.

In fact, a whole lot of people are starting to point to the second half of 2015 as a danger zone.  For example, just consider the words of David Morgan

“Momentum is one indicator and the money supply. Also, when I made my forecast, there is a big seasonality, and part of it is strict analytical detail and part of it is being in this market for 40 years. I got a pretty good idea of what is going on out there and the feedback I get. . . . I’m in Europe, I’m in Asia, I’m in South America, I’m in Mexico, I’m in Canada; and so, I get a global feel, if you will, for what people are really thinking and really dealing with. It’s like a barometer reading, and I feel there are more and more tensions all the time and less and less solutions. It’s a fundamental take on how fed up people are on a global basis. Based on that, it seems to me as I said in the January issue of the Morgan Report, September is going to be the point where people have had it.”

Time will tell if Morgan was right.

But without a doubt, lots of economic warning signs are starting to pop up.

One that is particularly troubling is the decline in new orders for consumer goods.  This is something that Charles Hugh-Smith pointed out in one of his recent articles…

The financial news is astonishingly rosy: record trade surpluses in China, positive surprises in Europe, the best run of new jobs added to the U.S. economy since the go-go 1990s, and the gift that keeps on giving to consumers everywhere, low oil prices.

So if everything is so fantastic, why are new orders cratering?New orders are a snapshot of future demand, as opposed to current retail sales or orders that have been delivered.

Posted below is a chart that he included with his recent article.  As you can see, the only time things have been worse in recent decades was during the depths of the last financial crisis…

Charles-Hugh-Smith-New-Orders

To me, it very much appears that time is running out for this bubble of false prosperity that we have been living in.

But what do you think?  Please feel free to contribute to the discussion by posting a comment below…

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Mar 07

You are here

- The Charts That Matter (ZeroHedge, March 6, 2015)

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Mar 06

Investment stupidity just reached new record highs!


- Take Out A 7 Year Car Loan To Buy Stocks, CNBC Experts Advise (ZeroHedge, March 5, 2015):

In what can only be described as a wanton display of absurdity, CNBC dedicated not one, not two, but three segments (and those are just the ones we noticed) to subprime auto lending on Wednesday producing, in the process, three of the most hilarious clips in recent memory.

There was Phil Lebeau with the latest numbers from Experian which show that average monthly payments hit a record high in Q4 at nearly $500 and the average amount being financed is up 4% Y/Y to nearly $24,000. It gets worse. Fully a quarter of new car loans carry terms of at least 73 months. That may sound bad, but Experian’s director of automotive finance Melinda Zabritski — the same Melinda Zabritski who last month said we are looking at a “remarkably stable automotive-loan market” — isn’t ready to pass judgement quite yet. “I haven’t quite made up my mind on 84 month loans,” she noted, although she did say she is “concerned.”  Continue reading »

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Mar 04

- The Problem With The Forward EPS Hockeystick: Millions Of Americans Are About To Lose Their Jobs (ZeroHedge, March 2, 2015):

yes: the S&P may well be “fairly priced” here, if one assumes an 18x (rounded up) forward P/E multiple to be fair – a number which is above the prior 5-year average forward 12-month P/E ratio of 13.6, and above the prior 10-year average forward 12-month P/E ratio of 14.1. And in order to achieve that, not much has to happen: instead of hiring millions, America’s corporations just need to fire about 2-3 million people in order to extract the kinds of net margin efficiencies that are already priced in!

 

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Mar 02

Over the past few weeks, a new piece of equipment has been spotted hanging off the NYSE primary microwave tower. Here it is…

laser 3 - Copy

- Meanwhile, Over At The “New York” Stock Exchange… Lasers (ZeroHedge, March 1, 2015):

The last time we looked at the most important tower in the world, about 4 months ago, it looked as follows:

Continue reading »

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Mar 01

SKY NETsky-net

- Self-Aware? World’s Largest Hedge Fund Shifts Strategy To Artificial Intelligence (ZeroHedge, Feb 28, 2015):

Despite warnings from the likes of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (and of course, Sarah Connor), Ray Dalio’s $165 billion AUM hedge fund Bridgewater will start a new, artificial-intelligence unit next month. Despite the “new normal”‘s total reversal of any and every historical rational trading pattern, the unit will attempt to create trading algorithms that make predictions based on historical data and statistical probabilities, as “machine learning is the new wave of investing for the next 20 years and the smart players are focusing on it.” Does this mean the talking heads of CNBC, with their ‘memes’, ‘myths’, and ‘mumbling’ rationales for it always being a good time to buy are now obsolete? Or did the market just become self-aware?

As Bloomberg reports, The world’s largest hedge fund manager is banking on machines… Continue reading »

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Mar 01

What could possibly go wrong?


- Here Is The Reason Why Stocks Just Had Their Best Month Since October 2011 (ZeroHedge, Feb 28, 2015):

Despite ending the month with a whimper, after Fed vice-chairman’s hawkish words spooked the market on Friday afternoon, February was the best month for equities in over three years - since October of 2011 – driven by a 7% Nasdaq surge on the back of a gigantic move higher in Apple. And yet, as we have shown time and again, none of this reflects the “decoupling” US underlying economy, which if anything has rapidly recoupled with the rest of the world following 38 data “misses” and only 6 “beats”- the worst “surprise” index in 12 months… Continue reading »

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Mar 01

- Spot The Birth Of High-Frequency Trading (ZeroHedge, Feb 28, 2015):

One of these things is not like the other… one of these things just doesn’t belong…

HFT

h/t @NanexLLC

Since the ‘enabling’ of high-freqnecy trading on US equity exchanges, instead of ‘stability’ or ‘liquidity’, the only word this chart screams at us is… ‘noise’.

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Feb 27

Luckily for investors the stock market has nothing to do with the economy, i.e. reality, anymore, …

… until it does (= when Rothschild will press the sell button).


greenspan-cfr

- Greenspan: “The Stock Market Is Great”, But The Economy Feels Like In “The Late Stages Of The Great Depression” (ZeroHedge, Feb 26, 2015):

While conflicting economic data leaves hope for both buills and bears, Alan Greenspan warns that, unlike Yellen, “US economic growth is not strong.” He then slays another pillar – suggesting the exuberant job growth is anything but (as he focuses on weak productivity as he pinpoints entitlements as “crowding out capital investment” in America. The maestro then breaks the golden rule of central bankers and explains how The Fed was, in fact, the main driver of the P/E multiple expansion in stocks; and when asked if this ends as badly as last time? He concludes “It depends…When real interest rates start to move up, that’s when the crisis could hit.” The interview is somewhat stunning in its honesty (for a central banker) as he warns global “effective demand is extraordinarily weak – tantamount to the late stages of the great depression.”

Some other excerpts… Continue reading »

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