Posts Tagged ‘credit markets’

Has the Fed Painted Itself Into a Corner?

Has the Fed Painted Itself Into a Corner?

Courtesy of Yves Smith

[unclescrooge.jpg]A couple of articles in the Wall Street Journal, reporting on a conference at the Boston Fed, indicates that some people at the Fed may recognize that the central bank has boxed itself in more than a tad.

The first is on the question of whether the Fed is in a liquidity trap. A lot of people, based on the experience of Japan, argued that resolving and restructuring bad loans was a necessary to avoid a protracted economic malaise after a severe financial crisis. But the Fed has consistently clung to the myth that the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 was a liquidity, not a solvency crisis. So rather than throw its weight behind real financial reform and cleaning up bank balance sheets (which would require admitting the obvious, that its policies prior to the crisis were badly flawed), it instead has treated liquidity as the solution to any and every problem.

Some commentators were concerned when the Fed lowered policy rates below 2%, but there we so many other experiments implemented during the acute phases that this particular shift has been pretty much overlooked. But overly low rates leaves the Fed nowhere to go if demand continues to be slack, as it is now.

Note that the remarks by Chicago Fed president John Evans still hew to conventional forms: the Fed needs to create inflation expectations, and needs to be prepared to overshoot.

This seems to ignore some pretty basic considerations. First, the US is suffering from a great deal of unemployment and excess productive capacity. The idea that inflation fears are going to lead to a resumption of spending (ie anticipatory spending because the value of money will fall in the future) isn’t terribly convincing. Labor didn’t have much bargaining power before the crisis, and it has much less now. Some might content the Fed is already doing a more than adequate job of feeding commodities inflation (although record wheat prices are driven by largely by fundamentals).

From the Wall Street Journal, “Fed’s Evans: U.S. in ‘Bona Fide Liquidity Trap’”:

The Federal Reserve may have to let inflation overshoot levels consistent with price stability as part of a broader attempt to help stimulate the economy, a U.S. central bank official said Saturday.

“The U.S. economy is best described as being in a bona


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THE IMPORTANCE OF SHORT-TERM DEBT MARKETS

THE IMPORTANCE OF SHORT-TERM DEBT MARKETS

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Excellent analysis here from Peter Eisenhardt at ICMA.  Mr. Eisenhardt describes why the short-term credit markets are so important and why the recent seizure in the credit markets is an important indicator to keep an eye on:

ICMA THE IMPORTANCE OF SHORT TERM DEBT MARKETS

Source: Reuters Insider


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AN INVERTED DEATH CROSS IN INVESTMENT GRADE CREDIT

AN INVERTED DEATH CROSS IN INVESTMENT GRADE CREDIT

Skull

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

As we’ve previously described the primary differentiating factor between this sell-off and every sell-off since March 2009 has been the action in the credit markets.  For the first time in over year we are seeing substantial deterioration across credit markets.  This has been notable in IG credit.  Spreads have started blowing out again as the sovereign debt fears raise memories of Lehman Brothers.

The action in yesterday’s market was notable due to the strong technical movement we saw in spreads.  The 50 day moving average moving upward crossed the 200 day moving average moving downward.  In a typical market this would be known as a “golden cross”, but as widening spreads are a negative indicator this is actually an inverse “death cross”.  It sounds very phony as most technical analysis chart patterns do, but this is one that is worth noting.  The crossing of the moving averages is a very rare event and generally indicates the beginning of a very strong directional trend.  We have noted similar patterns in several markets over the last few years including the golden cross in the S&P 500 in June 2009 at S&P 900 and the death cross in Chinese equities just prior to their  recent 20% decline.

From a purely simplistic technical perspective IG credit’s death cross is forecasting more difficult days ahead in the credit markets and that is certain to coincide with more difficulty in the equity markets.  Investors would be wise to take note.

IG AN INVERTED DEATH CROSS IN INVESTMENT GRADE CREDIT

(Chart Courtesy of CDR)

Source: Tim Backshall at CDR 


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THE MULTIPLICATION OF MONEY

THE MULTIPLICATION OF MONEY

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline 

Business people filling pockets and bag with fallen money

Where Is All that Greek Gold? 
The Greeks Write Back 
The Euro and a Conspiracy of Hedge Funds 
So Where’s the Inflation? 
No Help for Homebuilders 

The economy grew in the fourth quarter by 5.9%, the most in years. The adjusted monetary base is exploding. Bank reserves are literally through the roof. The Fed is flooding money into the system in an effort to get banks to lend. An historically normal response by banks (to increase lending) would have been massively inflationary, causing the Fed to stomp on the brakes. Despite raising the almost meaningless discount rate (as who uses it?), this week Ben Bernanke assured Congress of an easy monetary policy, with rates remaining low for a long time. Many ask, how can this not be inflationary?

This week we look at some fundamentals of money supply and the economy. If you understand this, you won’t get misled by people selling investments, telling you to buy this or that based on some chart that shows whatever they are selling to be what you absolutely have to have to protect your portfolio and/or make massive profits. And we touch on a few odds and ends. And yes, I can’t resist, a few more thoughts on Greece. It will make for an interesting letter, as I’m writing on a plane to San Jose. And it will print a bit longer than usual, because there are a lot of charts.

Before we get into the
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SHOULD YOU SHORT THE TREASURY MARKET?

SHOULD YOU SHORT THE TREASURY MARKET?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Good thoughts on the credit markets from this week’s episode of Wealth Track.  Nassim Taleb has described treasuries as a “no brainer” short position.  Marc Faber refers to treasuries as junk bonds.  Bond experts David Darst and Robert Kessler provide their outlooks for obtaining yield in a de-leveraging world:

Source: Wealth Track 


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Corporate Bond Spreads Key To Continued S&P Rally

Corporate Bond Spreads Key To Continued S&P Rally

Courtesy of Mish

Want to know where the S&P 500 (SPY) is headed? The corporate bond market likely holds the answer.

So far this year, investment grade debt sales are on a record pace according to the article Blackstone Group to Sell Debt as Investment-Grade Spreads Widen.

Bloommberg notes that Blackstone (BX) joined Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker, in making a debut offer this year and that investment-grade debt sales of $774 billion are on pace to reach a record.

Meanwhile yield spreads on corporate debt vs. treasuries have declined from 603 basis points on Jan. 2, to 254 basis points today according to Merrill Lynch & Co.’s U.S. Corporate Master index.

Access To Debt Markets Keeps Zombie Corporations Alive

Ability to raise cash now will keep many zombie corporations alive. GM went under when its borrowing dried up. Ford (F) stayed in business because it had a bigger pile of cash relative to its burn rate.

Thus it’s no wonder that stocks are rallying in the face of record demand for debt, demand that has dramatically reduced long term corporate borrowing costs.

“Liquidity is the name of the game for financial-related firms,” said Guy Lebas, chief economist and fixed-income strategist with Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. “Many issuers as well as buyers realize that the improvement we’ve had in spreads over the last eight weeks marks the final step in the credit rally for 2009.”

23 Day Rally In Corporates

The question now is where to from here? The article notes the investment grade bond rally lasted 23 consecutive days, ending two days ago. The widening today is a statistically irrelevant 1 basis point.

Evidence of a pullback is more readily apparent in junk bonds.

Yields on high-yield, high-risk, bonds relative to benchmark rates widened 14 basis points yesterday to 878 basis points, the third straight day of increases after 16 consecutive days of tightening, according to Merrill Lynch & Co’s U.S. High-Yield Master II index. High-yield notes are rated below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s and less than Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service.

S&P 500 During Corporate Bond Rally

click on chart for sharper image

Keep an Eye on Bonds!

As long as corporate bonds fetch a good bid, which in turn allows companies to raise cash at decreasing costs, the


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Are They Smarter Than You?

Are They Smarter Than You? 

Einstein, CEOs and CFOsCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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Wall Street’s Gains Equal Main Street’s Loss?

My Latest Huffington Post Column: ‘Wall Street’s Gains Equal Main Street’s Loss?’

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon

Below is my latest column for the Huffington Post, entitled "Wall Street’s Gains Equal Main Street’s Loss?":

Stock prices have been on a tear lately, bolstered by quarterly earnings reports that have in many cases outpaced expectations and growing optimism that the worst of the crisis-cum-downturn is behind us.

The S&P 500 index, for instance, is up more than 40 percent since its early-March lows, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite has scored a 13 percent gain — and, through yesterday, a 12-session winning streak — in the last two weeks alone.

Ordinarily, a bull run like this would be cause for optimism, on the belief that savvy investors see a light at the end of the tunnel. But in the currrent environment, could the good news that is powering share prices be bad news for the economy?

Consider the following recent reports from a cross-section of corporate America:

  • Microsoft announced that revenues declined more than 17 percent amid falling global demand for PCs and servers. According to the Financial Times, the world’s largest software company "sounded a far more cautious note about the prospects for a recovery in the second half of 2009" and its CFO said ‘it’s going to be difficult for the rest of the year….We’re really still not sure we’re out of the woods.’"
  • The CFO of UPS, the 100-year old package delivery giant with a presence in 200 countries, warned the company didn’t have "any confidence that either demand or activity is going to pick up substantially" in the next several months.
  • Diversified manufacturer 3M, with operations in 60 countries, cautioned that it’s "still facing a challenging sales environment with no meaningful improvement in demand yet from several major industrial customers," the Wall Street Journal reported. "He added there is a risk that recent upticks in orders could be a ‘false dawn’ caused by an over-correction in inventory levels earlier this year by 3M’s customers rather than a sustainable recovery in demand."
  • Texas Instruments, the second largest U.S. chipmaker, said "there’s little evidence yet that real growth — based on an improving market for cell phones, computers and other tech products, instead of inventory corrections


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Zero Hedge

One Bank Asks How Historians Will Judge A Second Round Of COVID Lockdowns

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

With France and Germany heading into a new round of partial (at first) lockdowns over the next 48 hours DB's Jim Reid says that


"it’s fair to say that most of the Western World continues to struggle with how to handle this virus other than try to periodically restrict economic/social activity and wait for a vaccine or better treatment/testing."

As Reid continues, asking a question he ...



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ValueWalk

Microsoft And Mastercard Exhibit Bearish Post-Earnings Behavior

By Gorilla Trades. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Commenting on the bearish post-earnings behavior of Microsoft and Mastercard, and today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The major indices are all trading significantly lower at midday following another volatile and bearish morning session on Wall Street, with the deteriorating COVID picture weighing on global risk assets. European stocks, currencies, and crude oil all fell sharply overnight amid fears of another lockdown period in Europe, and the negative sentiment affected U.S. inde...



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Phil's Favorites

Where the President Goes, Coronavirus Follows: Analysis Shows Spike in Covid-19 Cases After Numerous Trump Rallies

 

Where the President Goes, Coronavirus Follows: Analysis Shows Spike in Covid-19 Cases After Numerous Trump Rallies

"These rallies offer a boost to the president's ego but risk leaving behind a trail of sickness and increased strain on local public health departments and medical systems."

By Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally at Altoona-Blair County Airport in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania on October 26, 2020. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Ha...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Where the President Goes, Coronavirus Follows: Analysis Shows Spike in Covid-19 Cases After Numerous Trump Rallies

 

Where the President Goes, Coronavirus Follows: Analysis Shows Spike in Covid-19 Cases After Numerous Trump Rallies

"These rallies offer a boost to the president's ego but risk leaving behind a trail of sickness and increased strain on local public health departments and medical systems."

By Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally at Altoona-Blair County Airport in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania on October 26, 2020. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Ha...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Are the U.S. Stock Market Indices Facing Double Top Deja Vu?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Stock market volatility has turned higher as the month of October has wore on. And now that we are just one week away from the elections, it appears that investors are showing their uncertainty through the price action on the major U.S. stock market indices.

In today’s chart 2-pack, we look at “weekly” charts of the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 Index. Though not the same, they have a similar developing pattern. Perhaps one that leads to a 15%+ decline back in 2018.

Could History Be Repeating Itself?

Just as we saw in 2018, momentum is forming a bearish divergence this year at (1). Tha...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Monday, 18 May 2020, 03:35:21 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Ooh so pretty, so pretty, ooh so!



Date Found: Thursday, 21 May 2020, 01:03:17 AM

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Comment: Charlie Lee: All Things Litecoin (#MimbleWimble, ...



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Politics

How to track your mail-in ballot

 

How to track your mail-in ballot

Make sure you know when your ballot is arriving, and whether it’s been accepted for counting back at your election office. erhui1979/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

Courtesy of Steven Mulroy, University of Memphis

Many voters who want to participate in the election by mail are concerned about when they’ll receive their ballot – and whether it will get back in time to be counted.

The pandemic has caused interest in ...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading - here's why it's not yet a big deal

 

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading – here's why it's not yet a big deal

Where there’s a bit there’s a writ. Novikov Aleksey

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, University of Liverpool

The sale and promotion of derivatives of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to amateur investors is being banned in the UK by the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is a...



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Mapping The Market

COVID-19 Forces More Than Half of Asset Management Firms to Accelerate Adoption of Digital Marketing Technology

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

There is no doubt that the use of technology to support client engagement initiatives brings both opportunities and threats but this has been brought into sharp focus this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has brought to the fore the need for firms to enable flexibility in client engagement – the expectation that providers will communicate to clients on their terms, at their speed and frequency and on their preferred channels, is now a given. This is even more critical when clients are experiencing unparalleled anxiety from both market conditions and their own personal circumstances.

...

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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

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Feb. 26, 1pm EST

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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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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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