Author Archive for Zero Hedge

UN Warns Of Slowbalisation As Economic Growth In 2019 Plunged To Lowest In Decade

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The U.N.'s annual report, the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020, has said the global economy recorded its lowest growth in a decade in 2019, falling to 2.3% as a result of the U.S. and China trade war and sharp pullbacks in investment. 

The report warns of slowbalisation will define the global economy in the early 2020s. Growth is expected to pick up slightly across the world from 2.3% last year to 2.5% in 2020, but that depends on the effectiveness of monetary policy and if all trade disputes can be resolved. 

The U.N. warned that if trade disputes aren't resolved this year, geopolitical tensions spiral out of control, and for whatever reason, central banking monetary policies are ineffective in stimulating growth, then the global economy could register a depressing 1.8%.

It said that slowbalisation "threatens to undermine progress towards eradicating poverty, raising living standards, and creating a sufficient number of decent jobs."

To give readers a sense of the below-trend growth seen across the world, actually starting before the trade war. The U.N. had global growth forecasts of 3.2% in 2017, 3% in 2018, and 3% in both 2019 and 2020. Obviously, that's not the case today, and the global economy is rapidly slowing as central banks are freaking out with over $1 trillion in money printing in the last four months and 80 rate cuts over the previous 12 months

The report noted that 2019 was the slowest year in global growth since the financial crisis a little over a decade ago, with all major economies sharply slowing except Africa. 

"This slowdown is occurring alongside growing discontent with the social and environmental quality of economic growth, amid pervasive inequalities and the deepening climate crisis," it said.

The U.N. said the epicenter of the slowdown is the "global manufacturing" recession that spread across most G20 countries. 

It said the shift in trade policies between the U.S. and China also led to declining investment in major economies and will lead to slower economic growth in

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Angry 17-Year-Old Girl Threatens World Leaders In Davos: “You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Never one to miss an opportunity to grab some attention and tell grown-ups how mean they are, Great Thunberg – the 17-year-old figurehead of environmentalism – addressed a large crowd (organizers claimed 15,000) in Switzerland, warning world leaders ahead of next week's Davos meetings that "you haven't seen anything yet."

The so-called eco-warrior repeated her oft-heard comments that:

" So far during this decade we are seeing no sign whatsoever that real climate action is coming.

That has to change. This is just the beginning. You haven't seen anything yet. We assure you of that."

Her fearmongering appears to be working as the young people in the crowd held up terrified-sounding signs including:

"Fear for our glaciers"

"HELP the Koalas"

"One, two, three degrees! It's a crime against humanity!"

"Let's Change The System, Not the Climate"

"There Is No Planet B"

"I Have a Green Dream"

"We Want A Cooler Planet"

Thunberg is due to address the summit in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos next week with a call on governments and financial institutions to stop investing in fossil fuels.

She will reportedly  tell her corporate audience that it is 'madness' to continue investing in fossil fuels as disasters such as the wave of wildfires in Australia focus new attention on the baleful effects of rising temperatures

Does anyone else look at the image below and think of Monty Python's Life Of Brian: "she's not the messiah, she's a very naughty girl"?

Labor Market Hits A Brick Wall: Job Openings Crater The Most Since The Financial Crisis

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

While one wouldn't know it by looking at the BLS' jobs report, which in November showed that a whopping 256K jobs were added, the JOLTS report issued moments ago showed a vastly different picture, one which if one didn't know better would suggest that the US labor market hit a brick wall. Why? Because according to JOLTS, traditionally Janet Yellen's favorite labor market report, job openings in November plunged by a massive 561K, from an upward revised 7.361MM to 6.800MM, the lowest monthly total since February 2018…

… the biggest sequential drop since August 2015…

and the biggest annual drop since the financial crisis!

Is it possible that the BLS was simply caught fabricating data? Certainly: as a reminder, it was back in September 2013 that we caught the BLS lying about labor market data precisely when looking at the JOLTS report, although it is just as likely that after overrepresenting the strength of the labor market for the past two years, the BLS decided to finally catch down to reality at the end of 2019.

Commenting on the data, the BLS said that the job openings level decreased for total private (-520,000) and edged down for government (-42,000). The largest decreases in job openings were in retail trade (-139,000) and construction (-112,000). The number of job openings fell in the South and Midwest regions.

That said, there was a silver lining to today's report: even at 6.8MM job openings this was still well above the total number of unemployed workers; in fact in November was the 21st consecutive month in which job openings surpassed unemployed workers.

Some more good news: the number of hires in November actually rose by 39K, and remains slightly above where the cumulative change in payrolls over the past 12 months suggests it should be.

Still, despite these two offsets, the near record plunge in job openings is a very loud, and very clear signal that something is breaking in the labor market, and if this trend continues, then the next logical escalation is a surge in layoffs as US employers retrench and force their existing workers to boost their productivity further.

Needless to say, a nearly 600K drop in job openings is not something one would see if the economy was firing on all cylinders as the stock market represents every single day.


US Industrial Production Suffers Worst Year Since 2015

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

After surging in November (by the most since Oct 2017), Industrial production was expected to contract modestly in December.

November's big jump was revised lower and the headline production printed a 0.3% MoM contraction (worse than expected), leaving US industrial production down 1.01% YoY – the worst since Oct 2016.

Source: Bloomberg

That makes 7 of the 12 months with contraction in 2019 and ends up being the worst year since 2015.

  • Utilities fell 5.6% in Dec. after rising 1% in Nov.

  • Mining rose 1.3% in Dec. after falling 0.2% in Nov.

Capacity utilization fell to 77% from 77.4% in Nov., revised up from 77.3%.

Manufacturing actually surprised to the upside in December (rising 0.2% MoM vs -0.1% exp), but year-over-year saw a 1.3% contraction…

Source: Bloomberg

And of course, the Dow Jones INDUSTRIAL Average continues to soar despite INDUSTRIAL Production remaining relatively stagnant…

Source: Bloomberg

And that's what The Fed is for.

China Growth Slows To 29 Year Low In 2019 Despite Q4 Rebound

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

With phase-one talks completed in October (and signed this week), tonight's Q4 GDP and December smorgasbord of data is being keenly watched by the market for any signs that China's massive credit stimulus has actually done any good at all.

Ahead of tonight's key China data dump, State Grid, China's largest utility company, has warned the rate of economic growth in the country could plunge to 4% within the next four years, according to internal forecasts.

"We were upbeat about China's power demand five years ago because the economy was still robust and 7 or 8 percent GDP growth was the bottom line," the official said. "No one expected growth to decelerate so sharply." He warned that 4% growth by 2024 was the utility's worst-case scenario. 

And despite a YoY rise in China's credit impulse, shadow financing continues to contract, while loans in the banking sector expanded, but not enough, expectations are for 6.0% GDP growth in Q4, the same as Q3…

Source: Bloomberg

The jump in credit is a year-end headfake however, and thus is not expected to be sustained…

Source: Bloomberg

But expectations for the rest of the China data is to slide from impressive November data (that lifted the ECO surprise index)…

Source: Bloomberg

Despite plenty of volatility, Q4's average for offshore yuan was modestly weaker than Q3…

Source: Bloomberg

But the Chinese stock market refuses to play along with the credit impulse…

Source: Bloomberg

Ahead of the print, we note that the two manufacturing purchasing-manager indexes indicated that activity was picking up that month; and exports and imports also both gained.

So, with the trade-deal finally signed (whatever that means), are tonight's December (and Q4 data) signaling optimism?

  • China Q4 GDP YoY MEET +6.0% vs +6.0% exp and +6.0% prior.

  • China Dec Industrial Production YoY BEAT

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Amazon Juggernaut Forces Retail Giants To Flee Times Square

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Is Amazon's monopoly of online retailing about to transform Times Square into a ghost town? 

As online sales cannibalize ever more traffic – and sales – from legacy brick and mortar stores, even such traditional foot traffic meccas as Times Square are starting to feel the heat, as brand name retailers flee, leading to what Bloomberg called "turmoil" at one of the world's busiest locations.

Take Gap and Cover Girl, which are among merchants looking to leave stores in the district, where companies have historically been willing to swap high rent payments for daily exposure to hundreds of thousands of tourists and commuters.

But as more shopping moves online and bricks-and-mortar spaces shrink, Bloomberg reports that real estate brokers are on the hunt for new tenants to occupy a pair of adjacent flagship stores at 1530 and 1532 Broadway – one for Gap and one for its discount brand Old Navy.

Additionally, new space is also available right next door, at 30 Times Square, where beauty giant Coty opened its first-ever Cover Girl store a little more than a year ago, and which now appears to be on the way out. Those come on top of a four-story flagship at 1551 Broadway that American Eagle Outfitters may depart.

“Some retail is just antiquated,” said Brett Herschenfeld, who oversees the retail unit of SL Green Realty Corp. It “hasn’t evolved with the times and they either fix it to the meet the consumer segment or they’re closing stores.”

To be sure, while Times Square hasn’t been hit as hard as other neighborhoods by mushrooming vacancies, asking rents have slipped and some of the district’s largest merchants, including Toys “R” Us, have shuttered stores in recent years. Others are evaluating whether their outsized spaces are the best way to generate sales while giving shoppers the experiences they flock to the area for.

“The most successful approach to Times Square will be to think outside of the large box,” said Phil Granof, chief marketing officer of NewStore, operator of a mobile e-commerce platform that works with physical stores. “Breaking it down into smaller pieces, there might be more

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Lebanese ‘Week Of Wrath’ Sees Banks Physically Attacked On Large Scale

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Lebanese banks are limiting account holders to withdrawing a mere $100 of their own money at a time (and just $200 total a week) after the country's banking crisis due to eroding liquidity and central bank's looming default have been at the center of mass anti-corruption street protests since October of last year.

"There is a lot of anger," one Lebanese protester told the AFP on Thursday. "You have to go to the bank twice to withdraw just $200." 

Banks across Beirut have been targeted for physical attack this week. Image source: AFP

These latest imposed capital controls now include limiting withdrawals to less than $200 a week, according to Lebanon's Daily Star

Violent clashes between mostly young protesters and policed have raged in the upscale commercial hub of Hamra district in Beirut over the last two nights. Local reports described the scene as looking like a war zone, with burning tires in debris and glass strewn streets — much of that glass from smashed bank windows.

Several bank fronts attacked by enraged protesters prevented from accessing their accounts amid a broader political and financial crisis:

The Daily Star reports the crowd attempted to storm the Central Bank building in the district

After a month of rain, Tuesday’s protests saw the highest turnout in weeks. Following an extended stand-off in front of the headquarters of the Central Bank, protesters came into conflict with security forces that resulted in at least seven wounded.

Several people attempted to storm the Central Bank building, breaking through the outer fence and calling for “the fall of the rule of the bank” and the resignation of Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh

A reported 59 were arrested during the mayhem, which is likely set to continue, and has for months witnessed frustrated Lebanese physically attacking bank fronts in their efforts to get their own money out.

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What Could Spoil 2020?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Anatole Kaletsky, op-ed via Project Syndicate,

The traditional January game of economic forecasting for the year ahead hardly seems worth playing when the predictions have been the same for a decade. In 2020, it is even more likely than it has been every year since the financial crisis that the global economy will continue growing, interest rates will remain at rock-bottom levels, and stock markets will keep rising.

So, instead of predicting the most probable scenario, which is fairly obvious, it is more useful to consider unlikely events that would alter the likely benign scenario.

I believe ten risks could cause the most economic and financial trouble in 2020. These are not predictions: continuing global expansion is more probable than any combination of these setbacks. And they are not “surprises,” which, by definition, are impossible to foresee. Rather, they are “known unknowns,” arranged from the lowest risk to the highest, in my view.

The smallest risk is the one that many economists predict every year: a global recession, caused by the United States or China. A recession is inevitable, but less likely in 2020 than in any of the previous ten years. While investment and manufacturing worldwide have suffered from the US-China trade war, macroeconomic policies in both countries have boosted housing, services, and public spending. The world economy will continue to benefit this year from a tailwind from last year’s US interest-rate cuts and China’s efforts to support roughly 6% growth. Absent some powerful new shock, recession in 2020 is therefore extremely unlikely.

Likewise, there is a negligible risk of higher interest rates. Many investors and businesses are worried that today’s low-interest-rate environment may soon end, at least in the US. Inflation and long-term interest rates will probably rise somewhat this year, but it is almost out of the question that central banks will tighten monetary policy. The Fed would lead this process, and it will not raise rates in an election year.

In Europe, instead of triggering an epidemic of Euroskepticism, Brexit has acted like a vaccination. Even the populist leaders in Italy, France, and Germany seem deterred by the Brexit experience, and this year’s negotiations on a

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China’s Mobile Phone Shipments Plunge 6.2% In 2019 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The Chinese economy continues to slow with new data via the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) that shows the country's mobile phone market suffered its worst month in nearly one year as phone shipments plunged 14.7% in December, contributing to a full-year 6.2% decline, reported Xinhua News Agency.

Full-year phone shipments totaled 389 million, with at least 90% were from domestic brands including Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, according to CAICT.

Shipments of domestic brands dropped 17.4% Y/Y in December. Apple bucked the trend in China last month, recorded an 18% increase.

Apple shipped 3.2 million iPhones in China in December, CAICT said, adding that it was up from 2.7 million a year earlier.

Chinese sales of iPhones peaked in 2015 due to longer upgrade cycles and increased domestic competition.

The trade war has also sparked patriotism in the country, and more citizens are opting for domestic phone brands than foreign ones.

In 3Q19, Huawei controlled 42% of all new phone shipments in China, according to research firm IDC.

Despite a continued slowdown in the overall phone industry, 5G phone shipments continued to increase, accounting for 17% of all phones shipped last month.

Sluggish phone shipments in China is another warning that the global economy is stuck in a low growth period.


Trump Insists Farmers Are”Really Happy” With Trade Deal

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Update: As criticism of Trump's trade deal from the farming community echoes across the American business press, President Trump has stepped up to insist that farmers are actually "really happy" with both the China deal and USMCA.

Of course, as we pointed out yesterday, farmers have good reason to be upset with the deal, even though the trade war with China has been devastating for growers of soybeans and other farm products primarily exported to China.

From the BBC:

Loser: Farmers and manufacturers

The new deal commits China to boost purchases in manufacturing, services, agriculture and energy from 2017 levels by $200bn over two years.

Mr Trump has said that could include as $50bn worth of agricultural goods a year.

But other officials have put the figure lower and analysts are sceptical. So far, the primary effect on business has been pain.

Farmers, who have been targeted by China's tariffs, have seen bankruptcies soar, prompting a $28bn federal bailout.

Among manufacturers, the Federal Reserve has found employment losses, stemming from the higher import costs and China's retaliation.

Over the long-term, American firms may reroute supply chains away from China to avoid the tariffs – but that's an expensive prospect.

As Bloomberg's Tracy Alloway adds: "A lot of American farmers are going to be disappointed with this trade agreement. Soybean prices are plummeting after the deal failed to include a specific $ amount for China's purchases of U.S. soy. All this just a few months before planting season!"

* * *

If you thought yesterday's 90-minute press conference bukkake – where President Trump demanded that a senior JPM executive thank him for the bank's record profits – would be the…
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Phil's Favorites

Is This As Good As It Gets For the Stock Market?


Is This As Good As It Gets For the Stock Market?

Courtesy of 

Josh and I spoke recently  about the slow grind higher, the lack of volatility, and all the recent stock market records. The very first response in the comment section was, “market overdue for a pullback.”

This seems to be the prevailing narrative and I gotta be honest, I agree. I’m just as surprised as anyone that the market keeps grinding higher.

Here are a few data points, by way of the S&am...

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Zero Hedge

Neel Kashkari Appeals To "QE Conspiracists": Show Me How The Fed Is Moving Stock Prices... So Here It Is

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Things are starting to get surprisingly heated at the Fed, now that not only Wall Street strategists, and traders but also Fed presidents are starting to tell the truth about how the Fed's "NOT QE", which sorry but we will call it by its real name QE 4, is pus...

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The Technical Traders

Energy Continues Basing Setup - Breakout Expected Near January 24th

Courtesy of Technical Traders

After watching Crude Oil fall from the $65
ppb level to the $58 ppb level (-10.7%) over the past few weeks, we still
believe the energy sector is setting up for another great trade for skilled

We are all keenly aware that Winter is still
here and that heating oil demands may continue to push certain energy prices
higher.  Yet Winter is also a time when
people don’t travel as much and, overall, energy prices tend to weaken
throughout Winter.

Over the past 37 years, the historical monthly breakdown for Crude Oil is as follows:

December: Generally l...

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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Citigroup lifted Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) price target from $145 to $170. Caterpillar closed at $147.87 on Thursday.
  • UBS cut Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) price target from $37 to $35. Twitter shares closed at $34.19 on Thursday.
  • Morgan Stanley boosted the price target for Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) from $113 to $118. Yum! Brands closed at $102.16 on Thursday.
  • Jefferies lifted the price target on Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: ... more from Insider

Kimble Charting Solutions

Tesla About To Run Out Of Energy Here? Short-Term Peak Possible?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Tesla (TSLA) has been screaming higher of late, as very impressive gains have taken place.

Is Tesla about to run out of energy/take a break/experience some selling pressure? A unique price setup is in play, that bulls might want want to be aware of.

This chart applies Fibonacci to the 2016 lows and 2017 highs at each (1). The impressive rally of late has it testing its 161% extension level, based upon those price points.

At the same time, it is hitting its 161% extension level, it finds itself at the top of a 7-year rising channel, with momentum hitting the highest ...

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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The new year of 2020 has gold is poised to break out higher. Why is gold going higher? Maybe the FED's economists can explain .... or not.

Maybe these could be on the list:

- FED repo hundreds of billions a day.
- ECB made up tools to keep the European banks solvent.
- A sugar high stock market with Apple Inc and Microsoft looking like Bitcoin 2017.
- The US bond market is NOT confirming a strong stock market.
- Corporate profits have flat lined for 3 years while stocks soared each year.
- Knowing an US election year needs stimulus, and a lower US dollar is a first choice.
- China deal, will have a currency element to make it easier to do business. Lower US dollar.

Gold Gann Angle ...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires


Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:


The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Have Surged Since Soleimani Death, Bitcoin Tops $8,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin is up over 15% since the assassination of Iran General Soleimani...

Source: Bloomberg

...topping $8,000 for the first time since before Thanksgiving...

Source: Bloomberg

Testing its key 100-day moving-average for the first time since October...


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Members' Corner

Tobin Smith: Foxocracy, the 2020 Election, and the Stock Market


For decades, Fox News has been spreading false information and hooking its audience into an angry, xenophobic and paranoid worldview. It's no mystery that Fox was instrumental in the 2016 election -- but how did it do it? How did it gain so much influence? Tobin Smith, CEO of Transformity Research, Inc. and former Fox News contributor and talk show host, explores this phenomenon and discusses Fox News’ emotionally predatory and partisan propaganda media strategies and tactics in his new book, ...

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Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people ...

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:


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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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