229
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S&P Futures Explode 40 Points Higher In One Tick On $7 Billion Market On Close Imbalance

zerohedge News futures explode points higher tick billion market close imbalance All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
S&P Futures Explode 40 Points Higher In One Tick On $7 Billion Market On Close Imbalance

How do you make sure that an extremely illiquid market trades like a penny stock? By accumulating enough shares to build up a market on close imbalance of over $7 billion, and wait for the exchange to disclose what the MOC was.



Here is a chart of what happened at precisely 3:50pm when we learned that there was a $7 billion market on close imbalance, most lik

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ely the result of the previously discussed $850 billion in month and quarter end pension fund rebalance.





And now you know just how much "liquidity" there is in this market.



Will this move stick, or will it be faded once it emerges that this was just a headline-scanning algos sweeping all the offers for 40 ES points? Find out right after the close.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 16:01
203
48 Views

Stocks Scream Higher On Greatest Short-Squeeze In History, Bonds & Bullion Shrug

zerohedge News stocks scream higher greatest short-squeeze history bonds bullion shrug All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Stocks Scream Higher On Greatest Short-Squeeze In History, Bonds & Bullion Shrug

"Fear" is almost over according to the market's "Virus Fear" trade...





Source: Bloomberg



The Dow is up by almost 18% in the last 2 days - the biggest 2-day surge since March 1933...





Source: Bloomberg



And Dow futures are up a stunning 20% from the limit-down l

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ows on Sunday night...





But bonds ain't buying it...





Source: Bloomberg



So, with stocks roaring higher once again, this seemed appropriate...





"Most Shorted" stocks are up a stunning 21% in the last two days - the greatest short-squeeze in history...





Source: Bloomberg



Dow futures show the insane scale of today's moves best - a 1000 point surge into yesterday's close, a failed 1000 point surge overnight (on the "deal"), another failed 1000 point surge into and through the cash open, and then a 1500 points surge that held into the close...



BUT - Things "went a little bit slightly turbo" into the close as Bernie Sanders spoiled the party by threatening to hold up the vote on the bill...





Knocking stocks lower and sending Nasdaq red on the day...





AAPL also did not help as reports came out that it may delay its 5G phone...





However, on the last two days, stocks are up strong...





Airlines, Cruise operators, and restaurants all soared massively today again...





Source: Bloomberg



Boeing was the most ridiculous of all stocks...





Source: Bloomberg



There's nothing like a government handout to make everything better! What a farce!



VIX and stocks have decoupled (are people seriously buying calls to lever-up into this rebound? Or is this hedgers?). VIX was unchanged today as stocks soared...





Source: Bloomberg



Treasury yields were mixed today - short-end bid (less than 5Y -2bps), long-end offered (30Y +2bps), belly flat but relative to stocks huge moves, bonds basically shrugged...





Source: Bloomberg



Starting at around 1400ET, someone decided to dump the long-bond hard...





Source: Bloomberg



US T-Bills have negative yields out to the end of the year...





Source: Bloomberg



Both HY and IG bonds rallied today (thogh HYG rolled over late on as LQD was bid into the close)...





Source: Bloomberg



Before we leave bond-land, it is worth pointing out that the number of bonds trading at a spread over 1,000 bps (the barometer of distress) neared 1,900 this week - the highest since 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It was less than 300 at the start of March.





Source: Bloomberg



As Bloomberg noted, the spread on the entire junk bond index flipped above 1,000 bps on Friday, and strategists expect it to exceed 1,200 bps soon. In addition, there’s a whole world of grief in the $1 trillion leveraged-loan market, which is trading on average below 80 cents on the dollar, a level typically associated with distress.



But, HYG - the HY Bond ETF - has screamed higher today, back into a huge premium to underlying NAV...





Source: Bloomberg



The Dollar tumbled for the second day in a row (after 11 days straight up)...





Source: Bloomberg



Cryptos broadly slipped lower today...





Source: Bloomberg



Someone was bidding oil again during the US session...





Source: Bloomberg



Spot Gold and futures remain decoupled though the spread did compress from their extremes yesterday...





Source: Bloomberg



Palladium exploded higher today (though all PMs are notably higher since The Fed went "all-in")...





Source: Bloomberg



After surging Tuesday, Palladium futures in New York skyrocketed 26% Wednesday, the biggest gain in records dating back to 1986.



Finally, we've seen this all before... As Bloomberg details, historically expectations are low after a big rally. The 9.4% jump in the S&P 500 yesterday was the 10th largest in history. The benchmark S&P fell seven of the previous nine times with an average loss of 0.7%.





While the most intense sell-off may be behind us, there’s still room for the markets to fall. For one, the current drawdown is 34%. It is less than the peak-to-trough falls in the previous crises, including the 57% slump in 2008-2009, the 49% drop after the burst of the dot.com bubble and the 48% retreat during the 1973 oil crisis.



And for now, it appears the 1929 analog is holding up...





Source: Bloomberg



It’s certainly good news that the fiscal stimulus of more than $2 trillion is on the verge of getting passed in Congress. But the stimulus and various Fed actions are necessary but insufficient conditions for the market to bottom, and worse still, the dollar funding crisis is rapidly re-accelerating as month-end looms... having erased all of the 'improvement' offered by The Fed...





Source: Bloomberg



And don't forget - tomorrow is jobless claims and it's going to be a doozy!



If all of that doesn't scare you - this should - the sovereign credit risk of the USA is surging higher since helicopter money began to creep into reality...





Source: Bloomberg




Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 16:03
246
50 Views

Oil, Stocks Rip Higher After Trump Promises "Very Dramatic" Actions To Support The Economy

zerohedge News stocks higher after trump promises very dramatic actions support economy All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Oil, Stocks Rip Higher After Trump Promises "Very Dramatic" Actions To Support The Economy

After almost the biggest single-day drop since Black Monday, it is hardly surprising that markets are bouncing back a little and all it took was the promise of 'very very substantial' relief to hard-working Americans hurt by the impact of the virus.





During the daily virus update press conference, President Donald Trump said his administ

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ration will discuss a possible payroll tax cut with the U.S. Senate, saying they would seek “very very substantial relief” for the economy that has been roiled by the outbreak of coronavirus.



Trump, speaking at a White House news conference, added his administration plans to speak with lawmakers on Tuesday, seeking the aid to help hourly wage earners “so they don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault.”



The president also said he that he plans to announce “very dramatic” actions to support the economy at a press conference on Tuesday.



And just like that WTI is up 4%...





And Dow futures are up over 400 points...





We wouldn't hold our breath however, as we noted previously, the idea that Democrat-controlled Congress would 'help' is beyond a joke and in fact it could corner the President. If he comes asking for a payrolls tax-cut "for the people," Democrats can easily respond "sure, just unwind the corporate tax cuts to pay for it and it's a done deal."



But of course that will crush the stock market - which is the only thing really matters - and so Trump will refuse and Dems can play the "see, he doesn't work for the 'little people' card."



Meanwhile, Daily Caller reporter Chuck Ross asked an excelent question:




"Confused why, from an expectations management standpoint, the White House isn’t letting public know that there will be a spike in COVID cases as testing ramps up."




We can only imagine what that sudden jump will do markets.



Additionally, it appears Mnuchin 'made the call' again...





As CNBC's Wilfred ZFrost reports that I can confirm that the White House meeting with bank CEO's will be on Wednesday at 3p ET. The nation's biggest 7 banks have all been invited - maybe more too. I know at least 2 will send their CEO - I imagine all (other than JPM) will do so. Some industry bodies like ABA invited.




Tyler Durden

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 20:06
203
57 Views

"Gold Is Going A Lot Higher" - DoubleLine's Gundlach Warns Of "Seizure In The Corporate Bond Market"

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"Gold Is Going A Lot Higher" - DoubleLine's Gundlach Warns Of "Seizure In The Corporate Bond Market"


"The bond market is rallying because The Fed has reacted the seizure in the corporate bond market - which is not getting enough attention."




That was the sentence that sparked a chin hitting the table moment for anyone watching DoubleLine CEO's Jeff Gundlach being interviewed on CNBC t

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oday. Until now, amid all this equity market carnage, various talking heads - who clearly are not 'in' the bond market - have confidently claimed 'yeah, but it's different this time, there's loads of liquidity and credit markets are not showing any signs of pain'... Well that all changed today as the world was told the truth.





Credit spreads have exploded wider in recent days... "the junk bond market is widening out massively..."





Gundlach noted that Powell's background in the private equity world - rather than academic economist land - has meant that his reaction function is driven by problems in the corporate bond market as "this will be problematic for the buyback aspect of the stock market."



The Fed cut rates, he added, "in reaction to even the investment being shutdown for 7 business days."



So the DoubleLine CEO said that Powell "cutting rates was justified" but didn't like the way it was done as it signaled "panic."



The reason for his disdain is clear:




"The Fed in their most recent press conference, took a victory lap, talking about how they had finally reached a stable place in policy and that they could be on hold for the foreseeable future, maybe even the entire world. That we are in a good place. That policy rates were appropriate. And I don't know, I thought it was a little bit of hubris at this time."




And reminds watchers that historically, "when The Fed has cut 50bps in an emergency intra-meeting such as this, they typically cut pretty quickly after once again."



And sure enough the market is already pricing in another 50bps cut at the March meeting...





However, unlike Guggeheim's Scott Minerd - who sees 10Y yields at 25bps - Gundlach believes "we are pretty near the low right now...maybe we get to 80 basis points on the ten year."



Well we are at 85bps now...





However, while his view is that long-rates are starting to floor, he notes that "short rates are definitely going lower. There is absolutely no upward pressure on short rates."



Gundlach agrees with Jim Bianco that short-rates are going back to zero, but stopped short of expectations for negative rates:




"I think Jay Powell understands that negative rates are fatal to global financial system. If we go to negative rates, there will be capital destruction en masse."




But more easing is coming, as Gundlach reflects on those calling for v-shaped recoveries:




"I think it is foolhardy to think anything other than this [pandemic] is going to take a major hit to short-term economic growth."




His perspective on the financial and societal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is refreshingly honest on CNBC:




"...obviously, the airlines are in free fall for good reason. And small business activity is going to contract. Maybe grocery store sales will go up on a short-term spike. But all other kind of social activity is grinding to a standstill."




Warning that "the two sectors that are just falling knives are financials and transports. And I don't see anything that's going the reverse that until we get through the other side this valley of this sort of travel shutdown."



Finally, Gundlach ends on an even more ominous note:




"...the President and the physicians, on top of this coronavirus situation, and they are saying that they might have a vaccine in like a year, year and a half.



So, nobody knows what is happening here. And so, caution is appropriate."




So no more buy the dip?



As former Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher noted, that means a generation of money-managers are about to losae their security blankets!



And that's why Gundlach is long gold:




"I turned bullish on gold in the summer of 2018 on my Total Return webcast when it was at 1190. And it just seems to me, as I talked about my Just Markets webcast, which is up on DoubleLine.com on a replay, that the dollar is going to get weaker.



And the dollar getting weaker seems to be a policy. And the Fed cutting rates, slashing rates is clearly going to be dollar negative. And that means that gold is going to go higher."




Watch the full interview below:






Tyler Durden

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 21:45
248
21 Views

Stocks & Gold Surge Higher After 'Emergency' 50bps Fed Rate-Cut

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Stocks & Gold Surge Higher After 'Emergency' 50bps Fed Rate-Cut

Trump wins?



Shortly after the G-7 meeting promised to do whatever it takes, and the biggest demand for Fed repo liquidity since the program began...





A desperate Fed has met market expectations, The Fed has just announced an emergency 50bps rate-cut.




The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. However,

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strong>the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity.



In light of these risks and in support of achieving its maximum employment and price stability goals, the Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower the target range for the federal funds rate by 1/2 percentage point, to 1 to 1‑1/4 percent.



The Committee is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook and will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.




This is the largest rate-cut since the fall of 2008, and just the ninth emergency rate cut in history...





Stocks are spiking...





But, we note, that stocks are losing their initial gains...





Gold is jumping...





And the dollar is dumping...





It seems the current Fed is ignoring the risks that former Dallas Fed head warned of last week...




"Does The Fed really want to have a put every time the market gets nervous? ...Coming off all-time highs, does it make sense for The Fed to bail the markets out every single time... creating a trap?"



"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?"



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."




At 11amET, Powell will hold a press conference.






Tyler Durden

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 10:04
233
70 Views

China Central Bank Orders Lenders To "Tolerate" Higher Bad Debt Levels To Avoid Financial Cataclysm

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China Central Bank Orders Lenders To "Tolerate" Higher Bad Debt Levels To Avoid Financial Cataclysm

Last week we reminded readers that unless Beijing manages to contain the coronavirus epidemic, China faces a fate far worse than just reported its first ever 0% (or negative) GDP print in history. For those who missed it, here it is again: back in November, we reported that as part of a stress test conducted by China's central bank in the first half of 2019, 30 med

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ium- and large-sized banks were tested; In the base-case scenario, assuming GDP growth dropped to 5.3% - nine out of 30 major banks failed and saw their capital adequacy ratio drop to 13.47% from 14.43%. In the worst-case scenario, assuming GDP growth dropped to 4.15%, some 2% below the latest official GDP print, more than half of China's banks, or 17 out of the 30 major banks failed the test. Needless to say, the implications for a Chinese financial system - whose size is roughly $41 trillion - having over $20 trillion in "problematic" bank assets, would be dire.



Well, with GDP set to print negative if Goldman is right (with risk clearly to the downside as China's economy remains completely paralyzed)...





... every single Chinese bank is set to fail a "hypothetical" stress test, and the immediate result is an exponential surge in bad debt. The result, as we discussed in detail last week, is that the bad loan ratio at the nation's 30 biggest banks would soar at least five-fold, and potentially far, far more, flooding the country with trillions in non-performing loans, and unleashing a tsunami of bank defaults.



Of course, regular readers are well aware that China's banks are already suffering record loan defaults as the economy last year expanded at the slowest pace in three decades while bankruptcies soared. As extensively covered here previously, the slump tore through the nation’s $41 trillion banking system, forcing not only the first bank seizure in two decades as Baoshang Bank was nationalized , but also bailouts at  Bank of Jinzhou, China's Heng Feng Bank, as well as two very troubling bank runs at China's Henan Yichuan Rural Commercial Bank at the start of the month, and then more recently at Yingkou Coastal Bank.





All that may be a walk in the park compared to what is coming next.



"The banking industry is taking a big hit," You Chun, a Shanghai-based analyst at National Institution for Finance & Development told Bloomberg. "The outbreak has already damaged China’s most vibrant small businesses and if it prolongs, many firms will go under and be unable to repay their loans."



According to a recent Bloomberg report, S&P estimates that a worst-case scenario (one which however saw GDP remain well in positive territory) would cause bad debt to balloon by 5.6 trillion yuan ($800 billion), for an NPL ratio of about 6.3%, adding to the already daunting 2.4 trillion yuan of non-performing loans China’s banks are sitting on (a number which, like the details of the viral epidemic, is largely massaged lower and the real number is far higher according to even conservative skeptics).



S&P also expects that banks with operations concentrated in Hubei province and its capital city of Wuhan, the epicenter and the region worst hit by the virus, will likely see the greatest increase in problem loans. The region had 4.6 trillion yuan of outstanding loans held by 160 local and foreign banks at the end of 2018, with more than half in Wuhan. The five big state banks had 2.6 trillion yuan of exposure in the region, followed by 78 local rural lenders, according to official data.



Meanwhile, exposing the plight of small bushiness, most of which are indebted to China's banks, a recent nationwide survey showed that about 30% said they expect to see revenue plunge more than 50% this year because of the virus and 85% said they are unable to maintain operations for more than three months with cash currently available. Perhaps they were exaggerating in hopes of garnering enough sympathy from Beijing for a blanket bailout; or perhaps they were just telling the truth.



Finally, the market is increasingly worried that all this bad debt will have a dire impact on bank assets: consider that the “big four” state-owned lenders, which together control more than $14 trillion of assets, currently trade at an average 0.6 times their forecast book value, near a record low. This also means that in the eyes of the market, as much as $6 trillion in bank assets are currently worthless.



All of this led us to conclude last week that "nothing short of a coronavirus cataclysm faces both China's banks and small businesses if the coronavirus isn't contained in the coming weeks."



In retrospect, there is one thing we forgot to footnote, and that is that China could buy some extra time if the central bank suspend financial rules and moves the goalposts once again.



And so, just three days after our first article on China's looming bad debt catastrophe, that's precisely what the PBOC has opted to do, because as Reuters writes, on Saturday the PBOC said that the country's lenders will tolerate higher levels of bad loans, part of efforts to support firms hit by the coronavirus epidemic.



"We will support qualified firms so that they can resume work and production as soon as possible, helping maintain stable operations of the economy and minimizing the epidemic's impact," Fan Yifei, a vice governor at the People's Bank of China, told a news conference.



He added that the problem will be manageable as China has a relatively low bad loan ratio.



What the PBOC really means is that China's zombie companies are about to take zombification to a preciously unseen level, as neither the central bank nor its SOE-commercial bank proxies will demand cash payments amounting to billions if not trillions of dollars from debtors, who will plead "force majeure" as part of their debt default explanation. In other words, we may be about to see the biggest "under the table" debt jubilee in history, as thousands of companies are absolved from the consequences of having too much debt.



Separately, during the same briefing, Liang Tao, vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said that lending for key investment projects will be sped up, while Xuan Changneng, vice head of the country's foreign exchange regulator, said China was expected to maintain a small current account surplus and keep a basic balance in international payments. We wouldn't hold our breath for a surplus if China is indeed producing nothing as real-time indicators suggest.



And just so the message that debt will flow no matter what is heard loud and clear, on Friday, said Liang Tao, vice-chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said that financial institutions in the banking sector had provided more than 537 billion yuan ($77 billion) in credit to fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak as of noon on Friday.



"The regulator will soon launch more measures to give stronger credit support to various industries," said Liang at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office on Saturday. "It will continue to lead banks' efforts on increasing loans to small and micro enterprises, making loans accessible to a larger number of small businesses, and further lowering their lending costs."



Hilariously, Liang highlighted the importance for banks to take accurate measures to renew loans for small businesses to reduce their financial pressure. It wasn't clear just how burdening the small businesses with even more debt they will never be able to repay reduces financial pressure, but we can only assume that this is what is known as financial strategy with Chinese characteristics.



The bottom line is simple: no matter how or when the coronavirus epidemic ends, the outcome for China - which already toils under an gargantuan 300% debt/GDP burden...





... will be devastating as more companies are encumbered by even more debt which they will never be able to repay, and once rates jump or the Chinese economy hits another pothole - viral or otherwise - the avalanche in defaults will be a sight to behold.




Tyler Durden

Sun, 02/16/2020 - 20:30
222
42 Views

Tesla Explodes Higher After Crushing Expectations, Guiding Above 500,000 Deliveries In 2020

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Tesla Explodes Higher After Crushing Expectations, Guiding Above 500,000 Deliveries In 2020

With Tesla stock nearly tripling in the past four months and closing at an all time high of $581 on Wednesday...





... as euphoric expectations for unprecedented demand in China triggering a Volkswagen-like short squeeze, and ironically surpassing the world's largest automaker, Volkswagen, in valuation in the process, everyone was looking

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forward to today's earnings report, and specifically the company's guidance, to see just how much of the massive runup was justified. To be sure, the rally that prompted a scramble amid Wall Street analysts to boost their price targets on the stock, may not have left room for any mistakes and as Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy said, "expectations are likely highly elevated into the print, and at first glance any miss could lead the stock to some correction from its lofty level."



So what Tesla deliver? At first glance the answer is yes with solid beats on the top and bottom line, as well as a surprising early start to the production ramp of the Model Y:



  • Q4 Rev. $7.38B, 4.5% above the Wall Street est. of $7.06B

  • Non-GAAP Q4 EPS $2.14, Est. $1.74, even though basic EPS was just $0.58

  • Record vehicle deliveries of 112,095 in Q4, which was disclosed previously

  • Model Y production ramp started in January 2020, ahead of schedule

Here are the results summarized:





And visually:





That said, Tesla skeptics were quick to note that compared to Q4 2019, Tesla reported:



  • just 1% automotive revenue growth ($6.368BN vs $6.323BN)

  • a 7% drop in Automotive gross profit ($1.434BN vs $1.536BN Y/Y), and

  • 25% lower GAAP Net Income ($105MM vs $140MM),

Meanwhile, Tesla’s automotive gross margin, closely as the company sells more and more of its lower-priced Model 3 sedan, dropped to 22.5% in Q4, down from 24.3% the previous year.



More importantly, Tesla unveiled that in the quarter, Free Cash Flow soared above $1 billion, rising to $1.013BN from $371BN in Q3, more than double the $446MM estimate, and up from $910MM a year ago, as a result of $1.425BN in net cash from operations less $412MM in CapEx, well below the $574.3MM estimate, making one wonder just how long can Tesla continue with such low Capex spending.





In its earnings presentation, Tesla for the first time added a chart proudly showing vehicle deliveries juxtaposed against Free Cash Flow:





The surge in FCF helped lift the company's cash by $930MM to $6.27BN in Q4, up 18% Q/Q and over $1 billion above the $5.06 billion consensus estimate, certainly further alleviating the company's cash burn concerns.



Just as importantly, looking ahead, Tesla said that it now expects full year 2020 vehicle deliveries to "comfortably exceed 500,000 units." It also expects Model Y Production in Shanghai to Begin in 2021 and noted that the production ramp of Model Y in Fremont has begun. As a reminder, on the last earnings call from Q3, Musk predicted Model Y would hit volume production, in other words more than 1,000 units per week, by the middle of 2020.



And while Tesla talked about producing the Tesla Semi, Roadster and Cybertruck in North America, it did not disclose where, especially since the Fremont factory will likely be filled with Model 3 and Model Y.



Below is a summary of the Company's key projections:



  • Volume: For full year 2020, vehicle deliveries should comfortably exceed 500,000 units. Due to ramp of Model 3 in Shanghai and Model Y in Fremont, production will likely outpace deliveries this year. Both solar and storage deployments should grow at least 50% in 2020.

  • Cash Flow: Tesla expects "positive quarterly free cash flow going forward, with possible temporary exceptions", particularly around the launch and ramp of new products. Musk adds that he believes the business has grown to the point of being self-funding.

  • Profitability: Tesla expects positive GAAP net income going forward, with possible temporary exceptions, particularly around the launch and ramp of new products. Continuous volume growth, capacity expansion, and cash generation remain the main focus.

  • Product: Production ramp of Model Y in Fremont has begun, ahead of schedule. Model 3 production in Shanghai is continuing to ramp while Model Y production in Shanghai will begin in 2021. Tesla also plans to produce limited volumes of Tesla Semi this year.

Tesla also said its vehicles have driven 3 billion miles in Autopilot mode to date, adding that all Tesla vehicles equipped with a full self driving computers have now also been updated with the latest software: "We are currently validating this functionality before releasing to customers, and we look forward to its gradual deployment."



The company also reported that in Q4, it continued to ramp its Solarglass Roof production and installations, and in addition to Tesla installers, it partnered with several roofing companies to support installations to fulfill demand for Solarglass Roof. In regard to this, Tesla said that "solarglass tiles are made in our Gigafactory New York, and we are hiring hundreds of  employees at this facility."



In kneejerk response to the earnings, primarily the company's profit and cash flow boost, and the news that production on the Model Y has begun, TSLA stock exploded 7% higher, rising to a new all time high, and trading at $620 per share last, its market cap now nearing $110 billion, $10 billion more than Volkswagen.





And just a few minutes later it is already $40 higher as the furious short squeeze decimates shorts, the stock rising above $660, now up 13% after hours.






Tyler Durden

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 17:11


Tags

Business Finance

239
58 Views

Martenson: The Risk Of A True Pandemic Is Higher Than We're Being Told

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Martenson: The Risk Of A True Pandemic Is Higher Than We're Being Told

Via PeakProsperity.com,



OK, there’s a LOT of uncertainty and confusing/conflicting information currently circulating right now about the new coronavirus outbreak that has suddenly erupted out of Wuhan, China.





What’s really going on? What exactly is the ‘coronavirus’?



And

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most important: How worried do we need to be?



Given the poor communication so far by government health organizations and the media, the severity of the situation and the risk to public health, Chris Martenson filmed this important explanatory video hours ago.



Dr. Martenson’s PhD is in the field of pathogenic biology, so he understands the nature of this virus more than your average scientist.



In the video below, Chris explains the virus in layman’s terms, why the contagion we’re seeing is likely to spread substantially from here, and why the actions being taken so far by public health officials to contain the threat are woefully insufficient.



It’s important, maybe soon critical, to be well-informed on this outbreak. The ten minutes you spend watching this video may be the most important thing you do today:





After viewing, be sure to take prudent steps to secure the safety of your family’s health. Most measures are straightforward and inexpensive — there’s a huge upside to preparing now and a huge downside to delaying, so get busy.



Those interested can continue to follow our updated coverage on the coronavirus here.



Hopefully, authorities manage to contain this outbreak faster than it currently appears they will. But don’t bet your life on it.




Tyler Durden

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 21:00


Tags

Social Issues
Health Medical Pharma

216
50 Views

"What Utter Madness": Albert Edwards Finds The PEG Ratio Has Never Been Higher

zerohedge News what utter madness albert edwards finds ratio never been higher All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
"What Utter Madness": Albert Edwards Finds The PEG Ratio Has Never Been Higher

Over the weekend, we showed that as of this moment, the S&P500 is more overvalued on a quantifiable EV/EBITDA and Price/Earnings basis than it was at the peak of the dot com bubble, making the market's current valuation that highest ever recorded.





How to make sense of the above chart?



As Albert Edwards writes in his latest note, "s

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tocks have rallied on the back of "‘not-QE4" as the surge in the Fed’s balance sheet due to its repo-operations. But irrespective of whether the equity market’s surge is due to Fed liquidity or not, the equity market is in effect discounting a surge in the real economic data and in corporate profits (chart below)."





Or maybe, Edwards asks, just as in the circled part of the chart above shows, "the Fed's balance sheet expansion can sustain equity market gains well in excess of any potential profits rebound. But for certain, investors have bet that weak economic and profits data is a mid-cycle pause."



If that is indeed the case, then it is a direct echo of what happened in the late-1990s when the Fed injected massive liquidity to mitigate Y2K concerns, "especially with the same bubble-like characteristics of the technology sector." Furthermore, as the SocGen strategist notes, "until recently, one clear parallel with the late 1990s tech bubble was the surge in analysts’ long-term (LT) earnings expectations as measured by IBES."



Here Edwards takes us on a quick trip down memory lane, reminding that "none other than Alan Greenspan justified the surge in the late-1990s equity market’s PE by the rise in this very LT expectations series (see red line in left-hand chart below). Greenspan actually believed that all those analysts making these high and higher LT eps forecasts independently couldn’t be wrong. He was mistaken."



In fact, and as is the case right now, Edwards argues that analysts in the late 1990s were simply driving up LT eps forecasts to reverse engineer their discounted cash flow models so as to justify maintaining their Buy recommendations for Tech, Media and Telecom stocks already on ridiculously high PE multiples. These are typical of the creative techniques used to justify excessive valuations during liquidly fuelled rallies. (Remember CEO Scott McNeely of Sun Microsystems famous what were you thinking comment). Then when the bubble burst, long-term eps expectations came clattering down along with the market  ie no need to pretend any more, or as Edwards summarized "What utter madness!"





But if the 1990s were madness, what about now? The answer: we have hit yet another "never before seen" chart print to explain the current investor euphoria.



Consider the recent swing in analysts’ long-term eps forecasts, an echo of what happened just before the dot com bubble burst. Similar to then, increasingly high PE valuations (17x+) had taken the ratio of the 12m forward PE relative to analysts’ LT eps growth expectations (the PEG ratio) to a new record high of 1.7 at the start of 2016. Analysts then raised their LT eps projections from the start of 2016 onwards, bringing the PEG ratio back down, until it collapsed below 1.0 when the market slumped 20% at the back end of 2018. And here the punchline: as Edwards shows in the remarkable chart below, since 2016, a slump in the LT eps series through 2019 has combined with a surge in the equity market to send the PEG ratio to a new record high of 1.8!





Edwards' conclusion, as so often happens, is framed in the form of a rhetorical question:




Does the record PEG ratio and the continued fall in LT eps estimates mean that analysts have just given up justifying historically high PEs? Does it mean that analysts have given up reverse engineering their justifications for their Buy recommendations? Is there instead a plethora of Sell recommendations on these extremely expensive stocks? (That is a rhetorical question by the way, which I think we all know the answer to!) 




As usual, the "answer" will be supplied by the Fed, whose liquidity is the only thing that deciding how much more time everyone has to "dance."




Tyler Durden

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 15:00


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2019 Remembered: US Population Growth Tanks, Federal Debt Explodes, & Assets Rocket Higher

zerohedge News 2019 remembered population growth tanks federal debt explodes assets rocket higher All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
2019 Remembered: US Population Growth Tanks, Federal Debt Explodes, & Assets Rocket Higher

Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,



2019 was another "rung" in the ongoing bull market.  The trifecta of a resumption of QE, interest rate cuts, and a flood of federal debt coupled with ongoing stock buybacks and corporate tax cuts all fueled an asset explosion. 



But the Census Bureau was kind enough t

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o release their 2019 data (HERE), and it was simply as divergent to the positive market data as could be.  I could only find once in US history that total US population grew at such a low rate (below 0.5%) and that was due to the 1918-1919 global influenza pandemic (Spanish Flu) which in the aftermath of WWI killed between 20 and 40 million globally and nearly 700,000 Americans.  This was almost ten times those Americans that perished in the war to end all wars.  



The reality is the lower organic population growth (and resultant consumer growth) goes, the greater synthetic substitutes are employed.



Why all the debt?



The chart below should be the chart of the year except the US picture is relatively "better" than most advanced nations.  It is the ongoing collapse in US population growth among the under 70 year-old population versus surging 70+ year-olds.  The Census detailed that total 2019 population growth fell to just 1.55 million and this was due to ongoing declining total births and collapsing net immigration (much to due with stronger border enforcement).  2008 was the precipice and under 70 year-old population growth has been tumbling ever since.  As a reminder, it is the 0-70 year-olds that make up 90%+ of the work force, that undertake 90%+ of the credit, and it is they that drive the increase in the money supply in our fractional reserve banking system.  When their growth is minimal, the deleveraging of the fast growing elderly essentially destroys currency causing a cascade of deflation.  Only via pure monetization underway now can central banks delay the overwhelming tide of deflation and asset collapse.





As I discussed in the onset, the chart below details the annual percentage growth of the under 65 year old population (yellow line) versus the debt to GDP ratio with periods of significant debt increases in red columns and debt to GDP declines in blue columns.  The severity of the population decline due to the Spanish flu in 1918-1919 was not just the deaths, but the majority of deaths were among the 15-35 year old population.  Only now, a hundred year later, is the US revisiting what is essentially zero growth but rather than due to a pandemic, this time the situation is structural rather than accidental.





How much debt?

In order to see how 2019 fits into the bigger picture, I pull back to show US federal debt (split between public debt versus intragovernmental trust funds) and the federal funds rate.  The $12+ trillion in net additional public debt issued since 2007 is only set to pick up pace as federal spending rises, taxation continues declining, and unfunded liabilities metastasize.





Viewing the same but breaking out annual federal debt split between the change in public and intragovernmental debt versus the federal funds rate.  Both charts highlight the shift from Social Security and like IG trust funds (mandated to buy US debt with "surplus" funds) to Public (and pretty much solely the US Public as foreigners have ceased net buying).  The Treasury Bulletin makes the lack of natural foreign or domestic buyers crystal clear





Who bought all the debt?

Below, comparing the increase in Treasury holdings over the 2009 through 2014 versus 2015 through 2019 periods, the divergence is again clear thanks to Treasury Bulletin reports (HERE).  The Federal Reserve and foreign buyers carried 70% of the new issuance from '09 through '14, while domestic buyers took down over 70% since QE 3's end.  Since QE3 ended, that is supposedly nearly $4 trillion in low yielding US Treasury debt that domestic sources bought instead of stocks, or real estate, etc.  Dubious is the word I would use to describe the likelihood of non-manipulated record asset prices in stocks, bonds, and real estate while supposedly simultaneously domestic sources poured $4 trillion into low yielding bonds?!?





And detailing the change among the domestic sources over the same periods as above.  According to the Treasury, we can only really say who it isn't.  Not banks, not savings bonds, not private buyers, not insurers, not state / local buying...it continues to be "other investors" (individuals, GSE's, corporates/non-corporate business', & brokers/dealers).  Again, the credibility of domestic investors have trillions available to plow into low yielding Treasuries while simultaneously also driving stocks, etc. should be laughable.  I have no evidence who did buy all that debt, only a long list of who didn't.





Debt & Employment

With minimal present and future working age population growth, the fact that the US is at historically full employment should be of great concern.  With so few additional persons entering the potential workforce and nearly all those capable and willing already working...there is little further employment growth possible...and without that there is little to no further growth in consumers, home buyers, etc..  Throw all the debt and QE you want at this to get the existing population to consume more, but without further bodies available to work and consumer more...the party is over.





Debt and Population Growth

Looking at annual births (blue columns below) versus changing age segments of the US population.  The yellow line is the 15 to 40 year-old childbearing population and estimated to rise some five million through 2030...but as I showed above, the anticipated population streams of growth have been lost and thanks to tanking births and immigration, the childbearing population is unlikely to grow much...and with ongoing falling births, soon the childbearing population will be in decline.  From there a declining childbearing population with negative birth rates leads to a likely rapid decline in births.





Debt in Perspective 

Some attempt to detail the lunacy of the debt creation against a fixed asset like gold, but to wrap this up I show annual US births (inclusive of all the millions of immigrants both legal and illegal) versus US federal debt.





And dividing all that rising debt versus the annual quantity of newborns reveals a pretty unpleasant picture...the elderly saddling the youth with unrepayable debt to maintain a lifestyle that is utterly unrealistic and unachievable except via generational theft.  Not the kindest of parting gifts.





Plus, I got last place in my college football bowl pool...again.  Unbelievable.  There's always next year.  Anyway, happy 2020 and fight the good fight.




Tyler Durden

Sun, 01/05/2020 - 11:30


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Opioid Abusers Also Face Higher Risks Of Death From Suicide, Disease & Car Accidents

zerohedge News opioid abusers also face higher risks death from suicide disease accidents All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Opioid Abusers Also Face Higher Risks Of Death From Suicide, Disease & Car Accidents

The surge in drug overdose deaths linked to powerful opioids like fentanyl and other analogues will likely be remembered as the defining national health crisis of the 2010s. And as the decade draws to a close, one study found that people who use illicit opioids face an increased risk of other "deaths of despair."





According to CNN, which cited

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findings from the study initially published Thursday in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry (one of the more well-respected medical journals in the US) users of illicit opioids (i.e. everyone who uses them without a prescription) face an elevated risk of dying from noncommunicable diseases (like heart disease), infectious diseases and viruses (like HIV and Hep C), suicide and other unintentional injuries (like car accidents).





Suicide deaths among the sample group studied occurred at nearly 8x the expected rate, while unintentional injuries occurred at 7x the expected rate. Deaths from interpersonal violence, while still relatively infrequent, occurred at 9x the normal rate, which is also unsurprising. Heroin addicts will often take risks to get high, including trying to rob drug dealers, who often carry guns to ward off such attacks.




"People might be surprised that although overdose was the most common cause of death, it's far from the only cause of death that people using opioids outside a prescription experience at excessive rates," said Sarah Larney, lead author of the study and a senior research fellow at the University of New South Wales' National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in Australia.



"Smoking-related illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases are common. Trauma is another major factor. People are exposed to car accidents, assaults and other causes of injuries at greater than usual rates, and suicide is also much more common than in the broader population," she said. "It's really clear that although overdose prevention is critical, we also need to look at the range of poor outcomes that people are experiencing, and work to reduce other causes of excess mortality such as suicide, chronic diseases and infectious diseases."




Researchers looked at opioid users across 28 countries, and compared their data to data collected from 124 previously published studies, some that were conducted as far back as Jan. 2009.



Unsurprisingly, researchers found that men faced significantly higher rates of drug-related deaths than women (unsurprising since the majority of hard-drug users are men). Older users also faced significantly higher rates of drug-related deaths.



But among women examined in the study, deaths from HIV were particularly pronounced. That's hardly surprising, since female heroin users will often work as prostitutes to raise money to finance their addictions. Men who consume excessive amounts of alcohol, meanwhile, registered much higher rates of deaths related to liver disease.



Overall, while poisoning- or substance-related deaths were the most common cause of death among opioid users (accounting for 31.5% of deaths), noncommunicable diseases accounted for 24.1% of deaths, while infectious diseases accounted for 19.7% and physical traumas accounted for 18.1%.




"To me the most important message to take from this study is that we need to think beyond the drug. People using opioids are people first and foremost, and have complex health and social needs," Larney said. "Making sure people have access to essential medicines to treat HIV and Hepatitis C; encouraging smoking cessation through access to nicotine replacement therapies; and ensuring access to nutritious food and safe shelter would all go towards reducing the death toll in this population."




A report issued in September by the US Congress Joint Economic Committee entitled "Long-Term Trends in Deaths of Despair"  found that "mortality from deaths of despair far surpasses anything seen in America since the dawn of the 20th century...the recent increase has primarily been driven by an unprecedented epidemic of drug overdoses."



The explosion of opioid use and opioid-related deaths have been the primary drivers of a drop in overall life expectancy in the US for three straight years.



Most of those dying are relatively young white male adults.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/27/2019 - 20:45


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Prins: Dark Money Will Push Gold Higher

zerohedge News prins dark money will push gold higher All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Prins: Dark Money Will Push Gold Higher

Authored by Nomi Prins via The Daily Reckoning,



Even though it’s on rate-cutting hold, the Fed nonetheless keeps engaging in aggressive oversubscribed repo ops, or as we like to call the process, “QE4R.”



QE4R involves offering money to banks in return for short-term U.S. Treasury and mortgage bonds, in shades of 2009.



The fact that the Fed is ex

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panding its balance sheet through these repo operations allows it to pretend it is merely auctioning “adjustment-based” policy moves, rather than problem-based ones, to keep rates from rising and money becoming too expensive for banks.



This provides the Fed a kind of cover during which it can hold off on rate cuts until it deems that data clearly suggest they do otherwise.



Regardless of the reasons for QE4R, this new flow of dark money has the ability to stimulate the stock and bond markets — along with gold.





Although gold prices have rallied on the back of the Fed’s recent balance sheet growing exercise, gold has been rising less quickly than it did during the initial phases of QE in the post-financial crisis period from 2009 through 2011.



However, the stock market has been rising steadily (with some bumps along the way) since the start of the Fed’s QE4R operations. There are several reasons for this phenomenon.



Computer algorithms, ETF-related trading and asset managers for pensions and other forms of retirement funds seeking yields above those of bonds have pushed the market up. So have corporate stock buybacks. There is also the steadfast (and proven true) belief that the Fed will step in whenever it “has to,” as would other central banks around the world.



There’s a reality behind the dark money-infused market euphoria, though. It’s that U.S. economic growth, as well as that of the global economy, has been slowing down and will likely continue to slow.



Shrinking corporate profits in conjunction with lower rates and increased debt loads is not a classic recipe for a prolonged bull market. The fact that bulls continue to run is a mark of just how much dark money can keep markets elevated.



In the past, slowing profits along with more debt and cheap money has more closely reflected a bear market (consider the U.S. stock market in 2000–02, 2007–09 and the Japanese stock market since 1989). Japan’s stock market would be even lower were it not for various QE and ZIRP moves by the Bank of Japan.



U.S. corporate margins may well have already hit a multiyear peak. As we head toward the 2020 U.S. election, it’s hard to see many corporations diverting their debt loads into R&D or investment programs. This could hold true after the elections regardless of which political party wins.



Another reason that the Fed began QE4R is the global shortage of U.S. dollars in money markets. This also happened at the start of the financial crisis in 2008.



The last thing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell wants under his stewardship is a repeat performance. Repo lending rates spiked in September because of this shortage and liquidity problems at the big banks. This continues to this day, as evidenced by the Fed’s term repo lending facilities being often oversubscribed by the largest Wall Street players.



Since Monday, the Fed has pumped $97.9 billion into the market in two parts. One was through overnight repurchase agreements of $72.9 billion. The other was through 42-day repos. The result is that the Fed’s balance sheet has topped the $4 trillion mark and looks to rise from there.



Also, the Fed again increased the amount of short-term cash loans it plans to offer banks to ensure rates remain stable. It now plans to offer $25 billion in cash loans for the 28-day period ended Jan. 6, up from $15 billion previously.



Last week, it increased the size of its 42-day facility for the period ended Jan. 13 by $10 billion, too. This was also based on its recent bank supervisory findings that 45% of U.S. banks holding more than $100 billion in assets have supervisory ratings that are less than satisfactory.



All of this means that the Fed’s easing this year was very much a defensive maneuver. And it continues to act pre-emptively against the potential for a dollar funding squeeze as derivative-trading banks close their books into year-end 2019 through its repo operations.



Though different from the longer-term QE operations the Fed actioned between 2009–2014 that inflated stock, government and corporate bond prices, the result is the same. An artificial stock market rally. And more debt.



The big difference is all of this money manufacturing is now occurring against a backdrop of economic weakness and trade-war and geopolitical uncertainty.



For now, and heading into 2020, there remain six key economic trouble spots in the U.S. alone:




  1. Trade Wars. China trade talks are still going nowhere specific. President Trump has threatened to “raise the tariffs even higher” on Chinese imports if a trade deal cannot be reached by Dec. 15 and went so far as to indicate that he’d be fine if a deal didn’t occur until after the 2020 election. So “phase one,” which was announced over a month ago, has made no real progress…keeping markets knee-jerking on any positive or negative rumors.




  2. U.S. household debt at a high of $14 trillion — $1.3 trillion higher than its prior peak in Q3 2008. This could eventually hurt consumer appetites and dampen U.S. GDP.




  3. U.S. GDP is growing but decelerating. In this 11th year of expansion and easy monetary policy, the expansion may be longer, but it’s also shallower that past expansions.




  4. U.S. $20 trillion national debt is at 104–105% of GDP, having passed 100% in Q3 2012. Though Jerome Powell has stressed to Congress that it must find a way to fix this, the Fed continues to be the largest buyer of U.S. Treasuries, thereby pushing the problem forward of debt growing faster than the economy.




  5. Money supply (M2) has grown since the 1980s, but money velocity (VM2) has declined since 1997, particularly since the financial crisis. That means that local businesses aren’t working together enough to stimulate the foundation of the U.S. economy.




  6. Ongoing quest for risky assets could backfire. These problems were created by central banks. The longer rates are low, the more risk asset managers — i.e., investment funds, pensions funds and long-term insurance companies — take on to meet liabilities. This is exacerbated by slowing economies and means more global exposure to credit and liquidity risk. This increases the underlying instability in the international markets.



Given all of this backdrop, I believe that markets will continue to rally on the back of dark-money operations with volatile periods. However, gold is increasingly an attractive safe-haven investment.



Thus, it’s only a matter of time before gold has a catch-up rally.




Tyler Durden

Sun, 12/08/2019 - 13:55


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Tesla Explodes Higher As Company Reports Blowout EPS, Even As CapEx Shrinks Again

zerohedge News tesla explodes higher company reports blowout even capex shrinks again All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Tesla Explodes Higher As Company Reports Blowout EPS, Even As CapEx Shrinks Again

Three months ago, the main question for Tesla’s second quarter results was whether the electric-car maker was on a stable path to finally turn profitable. The answer, at the time, was not as Tesla not only missed on the top and bottom line, but the company slashed its capex outlook, suggesting that its vision for the growthy future has become far more cloudy. It also sent the compan

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y's stock tumbling.



Fast forward to today, when looking at Tesla's Q3 earnings the question for investors will again be more or less the same: will Tesla finally be able to turn a profit in a quarter in which Tesla delivered a record number of vehicles (yet coming light of expectations) with focus increasingly shifting to whether the company can sell cars profitably.



Tesla's margins have come under pressure in recent quarters, as the carmaker has been selling more lower priced, lower margin Model 3 sedans compared with the older Model S and Model X. A further squeeze could also come from rising battery prices, according to Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin. As a result, the average analyst estimate for Q3 gross margin had fallen sharply after the second quarter, and is down 27% over the past year.



Separately, revenue estimates suggest the company's top line will fall compared with last year, the first such drop for Tesla since 2012 when the Model S started production.



Another key metric will be cash flow with analysts expecting free cash flow to drop to $35.9 million for the period, which according to Bloomberg Intelligence is "The single most important number to track... Paying the bills, supporting global expansion and servicing the debt are the bottom line necessities. Almost all of the other metrics are just noise."



Also under the microscope will be Tesla's guidance - Musk has said he expects to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, although many analysts believe it will be tough for the company to reach these numbers.



* * *



So with all that in mind, here are the main numbers that Tesla reported for the third quarter, bizarrely in a totally different format to Elon Musk's previous investor letter:



  • Revenue as expected, was a disappointment, at $6.30BN, far below the estimate of $6.45 billion

  • But it was EPS that blew investors away, as Tesla reported a mindblowing EPS of $1.91, orders of magnitude above the 24c estimate. Non-GAAP EPS was even higher, at

  • Free cash flow was $342MM, also far above the estimate of $35.9 million

  • Automotive gross margin was 22.8%, below the estimate of 25.0%

  • However, capital expenditures was just $385 million, once again far below the estimate of $561.9 milliond

The company's new reporting format at least makes following the numbers somewhat easier:





And visually, revenues:





And EPS:





While analysts are scratching their heads to figure out just how Musk padded results this quarter, the stock is exploding higher in a furious short squeeze, trading up 17% to just shy of $300, the highest since April.





Bizarrely, while Elon Musk didn't sign the actual quarterly letter - a first - he did Tweet his own summary of the company's results.




Developing

 




Tyler Durden

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 17:10


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No, The Poor Don't Pay Higher Taxes Than The Rich

zerohedge News poor dont higher taxes than rich All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
No, The Poor Don't Pay Higher Taxes Than The Rich

Authored by Phillip Magness via The American Institute for Economic Research,



Are the poor actually paying a larger share of their earnings in taxes than the ultra-wealthy? That’s the claim at the center of a new New York Times article purporting to trace the effects of the previous year’s tax cut package.





While supporters of weal

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th taxation quickly claimed vindication for their cause in these findings, a closer examination provides several clear signs that something fishy is going on with the underlying numbers.



The Times’ report draws upon the work of Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two UC-Berkeley economists who are also currently advising the Elizabeth Warren campaign for president. In their newest study, they purport to show that the overall tax burden (federal, state, and local) on the ultrarich, defined as the top 400 earners, has now fallen below the rate paid by even the poorest decile. As the chart below implies, these findings also represent a long-term regressive shift in taxation over the past 70 years.





Source: Screencap of Saez & Zucman, as relayed to the New York Times, October 7, 2019



Be skeptical of these findings though, as they are at odds with the established literature on tax progressivity in the United States.



To understand how, we may begin with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). For the past 40 years the CBO has maintained and published annual estimates of the average federal tax rate paid by each quintile of the U.S. income distribution. The CBO series only includes federal taxes (personal income, payroll, corporate, and excise), but federal taxation is the lion’s share of the overall tax burden in the United States.



The CBO’s figures diverge sharply from the findings in the New York Times report. Whereas Saez and Zucman place the top 1 percent’s total tax burden (federal, state, and local) at around 30 percent of its income in 2016 (the latest year available for comparison in both series), the CBO’s estimate for federal taxes alone is actually higher at 33.3 percent.



A similar inconsistency may be seen at the bottom of the distribution. According to the CBO, the bottom quintile (20 percent) of earners paid just 1.7 percent of their income on federal taxes. Saez and Zucman’s numbers also include state and local taxation, but their estimates for the poorest segment’s overall tax burden leap to nearly 25 percent. While state and local tax burdens do skew somewhat in a regressive direction, other data suggest this spike is entirely implausible.



The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) maintains a separate estimate of the average state and local tax burden across the income quintiles found in the CBO series. According to ITEP’s most recent numbers, the top 1 percent currently pays an effective state and local tax rate of about 7.4 percent. The bottom quintile pays about 11.4 percent. These numbers confirm the moderate regressivity of state and local taxation, but they are also far short of being able to reverse the more pronounced progressivity of federal taxation.



Jason Furman, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama, combined the CBO and ITEP estimates in response to the New York Times report. His main figure appears below, and it confirms that the overall tax distribution for the most recent available year in both series (2016) is clearly progressive. Even though state and local taxes do increase the burden on the poor, the wealthiest earners still pay a much higher tax share. 





Source: Jason Furman, combining estimates from the CBO (federal) and ITEP (state and local)



So why is there such a pronounced difference between these conventional sources and the new Saez-Zucman estimate?



Bear in mind that Saez and Zucman have not yet officially released their figures or their underlying methodology. They simply gave their findings to the New York Times, which credulously reprinted them as if they were already established fact. Saez and Zucman are familiar faces in the ongoing debate over inequality, where they have produced estimates that consistently report much higher levels of income and wealth concentration than almost all other alternative measures of the same. Based on the pair’s previous track record and clear partisan connections to the Warren campaign, the Times should have exercised greater diligence before presenting their numbers as conclusive.



While we await Saez and Zucman’s full estimates, several clues have emerged that explain why their numbers are so far off from the better-established CBO and ITEP series.



First, as Zucman recently admitted on Twitter, their series removes the refundable portion of the earned income tax credit (EITC) from the bottom quintile’s federal tax burden. He claims this was done to separate the alleged “muddle” of transfer payments from the mix when looking at tax data, yet this produces highly misleading results.



The EITC is an intentional feature of the federal tax system designed to reduce its burden on the poor and provide eligible filers with an offsetting payment, thereby increasing the income tax's overall progressivity. It is administered directly through annual tax return filings to the IRS and functions as an income-chained poverty-alleviation measure. For these reasons, the CBO incorporates the refundable EITC payment into its federal tax-distribution figures and has consistently done so over the past 40 years.



The effect of removing the EITC is not only a break from established statistical practices, it is also arguably deceptive. By excluding a key policy that enhances the progressivity of the federal tax system, Saez and Zucman end up with a distorted picture of the federal tax burdens and accompanying benefit payments to the poorest earners. This gives a false impression that the federal tax system falls more heavily on the poor than earners in the lowest quintile actually experience.



The second problem arises from Saez and Zucman’s treatment of data in the last two years. As noted, the most recent CBO release is from 2016. Yet Saez and Zucman purport to present more recent estimates, including last year.



There’s a reason why the CBO series lags in date. The IRS has yet to release its official income tax statistics for 2018, which raises the question of how Saez and Zucman are able to present estimates for a year in which we have extremely incomplete data.



As of this writing, neither economist has offered a clear answer save to note that their methods will be included in their forthcoming book release on the subject. Zucman has hinted in his comments since the Times article that their 2018 estimates work around the IRS release by using available totals of corporate tax revenue, and distributing it across the top 400 earners to get their results.



Since they didn’t provide additional details of the exact assumptions that went into the 2018 estimate, their approach seems both premature and empirically dodgy. It would likely constitute a break in their series from earlier years where better income data are available — and, conveniently enough, at the exact moment their series purports to show a regressive shift that substantially reduces the tax burden on the top 400. Furthermore, the provisions of the 2017 tax cut bill affected both the corporate and personal income tax rates, which almost certainly means some income shifting occurred between the two due to tax planning in the highest brackets. Without also knowing the as-yet-unreleased IRS income tax numbers, accounting for income shifting is likely a challenge. In short, the Saez-Zucman numbers for 2018 are almost certainly premature.



These issues leave us with a highly unconventional approach to presenting and vetting new economic data. In preparing their new numbers for the Times, Saez and Zucman appear to have eschewed best practices for estimating the distribution of tax burdens over the population as found with the CBO, which has employed the same underlying methodology since 1979. They also sidestepped the normal scholarly vetting process for new data, such as posting a working paper that details their methods and data sources.



Instead, Saez and Zucman released their new findings by providing privileged access to a friendly newspaper’s editorial page. Rather than shedding light upon important questions of scholarly inquiry, the result is a splashy story designed to capitalize on the news cycle and lend support to partisan electoral politicking. More sober analysis, rooted in established methods and publicly available sources such as the CBO and ITEP, show that story is also likely wrong.




Tyler Durden

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 15:55
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Stock Futures Jump Higher After 'China Delisting' Story Denied

zerohedge News stock futures jump higher after china delisting story denied All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Stock Futures Jump Higher After 'China Delisting' Story Denied

Update: A few minutes after the initial gap up surge open, sellers arrived (despite the China rumor denial)...





*  *  *



Having tumbled on Friday due to a headline that Washington was considering severe restrictions on China capital inflows to the US, specifically the possible delisting of China stocks in the US, futures have

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just opened higher following the official denial over the weekend.



US stock futures have erased Friday's gap down losses...





Yuan has also rebounded...





Source: Bloomberg



 



 



 




Tyler Durden

Sun, 09/29/2019 - 18:04
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Oil Explodes 19% Higher, Biggest Jump In 28 Years

zerohedge News explodes higher biggest jump years All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Oil Explodes 19% Higher, Biggest Jump In 28 Years

With traders in a state of near-frenzy, with a subset of fintwit scrambling (and failing) to calculate what the limit move in oil would be (hint: there is none for Brent), moments ago brent reopened for trading in the aftermath of Saturday's attack on the "world's most important oil processing plant", and exploded some 19% higher, its biggest jump since 1991.





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Furthermore, in light of news that the Saudi outage could last for months, this could be just the start. As a reminder, according to Morningstar research director, Sandy Fielden, “Brent could go to $80 tomorrow, while WTI could go to $75... But that would depend on Aramco’s 48-hour update. The supply problem won’t be clear right away since the Saudis can still deliver from inventory."



Of course, should Aramco confirm that the outage will last for weeks, expect the Brent onslaught to continue until the price hits $80, and keeps moving higher.



Finally, here is the price summary from Goldman commodity strategist Damien Courvalin, who earlier today laid out four possible shutdown scenarios, and the price oil could hit for each:



  • A very short outage – a week for example – would likely drive long-dated prices higher to reflect a growing risk premium, although short of what occurred last fall given a debottlenecked Permian shale basin, a weaker growth outlook and prospects of strong non-OPEC production growth in 2020. Such a price impact could likely be of $3-5/bbl.

  • An outage at current levels of two to six weeks would, in addition to this move in long-dated prices, see a steepening of the Brent forward curve (2-mo vs. 3-year forward) of $2 to $9/bbl respectively. All in, the expected price move would be between $5 and $14/bbl, commensurate to the length of the outage (a six month outage of 1 mb/d would be similar to a six week one at current levels).

  • Should the current level of outage be announced to last for more than six weeks, we expect Brent prices to quickly rally above $75/bbl, a level at which we believe an SPR release would likely be implemented, large enough to balance such a deficit for several months and cap prices at such levels.

  • An extreme net outage of a 4 mb/d for more than three months would likely bring prices above $75/bbl to trigger both large shale supply and demand responses.

What are the broader implications from this move? Peter Boockvar's hot take may be the best one.






Tyler Durden

Sun, 09/15/2019 - 18:14


Tags

Business Finance

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US Suicide Rate Hits 50-Year Highs, And There's Concern That It'll Go Much Higher

zerohedge News suicide rate hits 50-year highs theres concern that itll much higher All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
US Suicide Rate Hits 50-Year Highs, And There's Concern That It'll Go Much Higher

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,



Despite the fact that more money is being spent on suicide prevention efforts than ever before in our history, the suicide rate in the United States continues to rise dramatically.  As you will see below, one new study has discovered that our suicide rate actually increased by 41 p

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ercent between 1999 and 2016.  Even though we have the highest standard of living that any generation of Americans has ever enjoyed, we are an exceedingly unhappy nation and we are killing ourselves in unprecedented numbers.  This shouldn’t be happening, but unfortunately the forces that have taken over our culture have convinced multitudes of Americans that their lives are not worth living any longer.  In a culture where truth has been abandoned, it is easy for lies to run rampant, and it takes a great deal of deception to get someone to willingly choose to embrace suicide.  No matter what you are going through right now, there is always a way to turn things around, and we all have been given lives worth living.





Sadly, the suicide rate in this country has continued to escalate year after year.  According to the Los Angeles Times, 2017 is “the latest year for which reliable statistics are available”, and in that year the U.S. suicide rate hit a 50 year high…




Whether they are densely populated or deeply rural, few communities in the United States have escaped a shocking increase in suicides over the last two decades. From 1999 to 2016, suicide claimed the lives of 453,577 adults between the ages of 25 and 64 — enough to fill more than 1,000 jumbo jets.



Suicides reached a 50-year peak in 2017, the latest year for which reliable statistics are available.




These numbers come from a new study that was just released, and it claims that our suicide rate actually increased by 41 percent between 1999 and 2016…




The researchers evaluated national suicide data collected between 1999 and 2016, then created a county-by-county estimation of suicide rates among all adults between the ages of 25-64. In that time period, suicide rates rose an astonishing 41%; from a median of 15 suicides per 100,000 county residents in 1999 to 21.2 in the last three years of analysis.




And suicide is also a rapidly growing problem among our teens and young adults as well.



In fact, suicide is now the second leading cause of death for Americans from age 10 to age 24.



Everyone goes through very low times, and for many people it can seem like those low times will never end.  But when I was at my lowest points many years ago, I always had faith that better days were coming, even though at the time I couldn’t even imagine the absolutely amazing things that were ahead for me.  The point that I am trying to make is that we simply do not know what the future will hold.  No matter how dark things may seem to you right now, a miracle could literally be right around the corner.



This new study that just came out also discovered that suicide rates are significantly higher in rural parts of the country…




It was noted that suicide rates were at their highest in less-populous counties and in areas where people have lower incomes and diminished access to resources. For example, between 2014 and 2016, there were 17.6 suicides per 100,000 people in large metropolitan counties, noticeably lower than the 22 suicides per 100,000 people recorded in rural counties.




The quality of life in rural areas is so much nicer in so many ways, but there is also a lot of isolation and poverty as well.  Humans are meant to be social creatures, and when there aren’t a lot of people around that can feed feelings of depression.  And if someone is deeply struggling with poverty, it can be difficult to see a way out in an area with few economic opportunities.  According to Brookings Institution research analyst Carol Graham, many Americans living in such areas “see no optimism for the future”…




“These are the places that used to be thriving rural places, near enough to cities and manufacturing hubs,” she said. “They’re places that accord with a stereotypical picture of stable blue-collar existence — and a quite nice existence — for whites in the heartland.”



With the collapse of extractive industries such as coal mining, the departure of manufacturing jobs, and a strapped agricultural economy, “these communities just got flipped on their head,” Graham observed. “And the people in those places became unhinged. You’d have a sense of places where everything has left. And among those who stay, you see no optimism for the future.”




If this is happening now, while economic conditions are still relatively stable, what is going to happen to the suicide rate during the next major U.S. economic downturn?



There is never, ever, ever a good reason for someone to commit suicide, but unfortunately during the next recession we are likely to see the suicide rate rise substantially higher.



Another factor that is resulting in a higher rate of suicide in rural areas is a lack of health insurance…




Last but certainly not least, a lack of health insurance coverage is significantly associated with rising suicide rates in rural US counties.



Specifically, the researchers observed that the more people in a county who didn’t have health insurance coverage, the higher that county’s suicide rate was.




When you are buried in medical bills that you know that you will never be able to pay, it can be exceedingly difficult to envision brighter days ahead.  Our healthcare system is deeply, deeply broken, and this is something that I wrote about on Tuesday.



It is such a tragedy when people choose to end their lives because of financial circumstances, because financial circumstances are always temporary.



No matter how bad things are in your life right now, there is always a way to turn them around.  The best days of your life could still be ahead for you, but you have got to be willing to believe that this is true.



Life is an absolutely incredible gift, and don’t let anyone ever convince you that you should end it.



It has been said that life is like a coin.  You can spend it any way that you want, but you can only spend it once.  I would encourage you to spend it loving others greatly, enjoying each day to the fullest, and doing something that truly matters.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 17:45


Tags

Social Issues

207
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Futures Suddenly Explode Higher On Chinese Conciliatory Headline

zerohedge News futures suddenly explode higher chinese conciliatory headline All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

Everyone is already stopped out and it's not even 8am.



Barely 90 minutes after markets tanked after China vowed it retaliate imminently to Trump's imposition of new tariffs, futures exploded higher on what was interpreted as a conciliatory headline from China that apparently reversed all the negative sentiment.



  • CHINA HOPES U.S. CAN MEET HALF WAY WITH IT ON TRADE ISSUE: HUA

How this was indicative of anything more than what it meant, namely tacit hope that the US would concede further without making any concessions o

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f its own, is unclear but to algos the headline was all they needed to activate the afterburners on the BTFD program and the result was the following:





European stocks similarly pared their drop on the headline, after benchmarks had dropped as much as 1.4% earlier.



That said, suggesting that the bounce will fizzle was the response in the yuan which was barely noticeable:





Whether optimism persists is unclear, but what is clear is that for now, the pattern of futures surging after a CNBC "Markets in Turmoil" episode remains unbroken.




215
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"We're Already Starting To Ration Our Corn" - Perfect Storm Could Send Spot Prices Higher

zerohedge News were already starting ration corn perfect storm could send spot prices higher All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

Corn is extensively used to feed livestock, but the surge in spot prices has forced US farmers to search elsewhere for low-cost substitutes, reported Reuters.



The persistent wet weather that swamped the Midwest this spring is now reducing corn yields.





More recently, dry, hot weather continues over large swaths of the Midwest, is also wreaking havoc on corn yields. Volatile weather as a whole, in 2019, could lead to one of the lowest corn harvests in years.



The US Department of Agricult

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ure (USDA) last month projected 2019 corn production at 13.88 billion bushels, an 8% drop YoY.



Agricultural organizations, equipment dealers and factories that convert corn into ethanol have already felt the pressure from farmers because of millions of acres went unplanted due to wet weather across the Central and Midwest, including corn and soybean belts.




Reuters spoke with meat producers who are now rushing to find substitutes to avoid margin compression from skyrocketing corn prices; they're attempting to stretch out supplies of corn held in storage.



Experts have warned spot prices of corn could jump once harvesting begins this fall because declining yields will be realized.





Higher prices for corn could translate into higher meat prices, which are already soaring after China's African swine fever crisis has led to the deaths of hundreds of millions of pigs.



USDA supermarket data showed retail pork prices had soared 9% YoY versus this time last year, while beef prices are up 2%. Rising food costs are occurring at a time when the overall economy is rapidly slowing.



The wettest 12 months on record in the Midwest has put thousands of farmers behind the planting season. The number one risk is that corn might not reach full maturity and early frost could devastate crop yields even further.











The USDA shows about 57% of the US corn crop is in good condition, plunging from 75% at this time last year.



High corn prices have led to margin compression for major meat producers like Tyson Foods, who will ultimately pass on the costs to consumers.



Cargill said last month its quarterly net profit crashed 67% from last year, partly due to disruptions in the growing season in spring.




"End users are in a panic," said Tanner Ehmke, industry research manager for agricultural lender CoBank.



Crop traders, ethanol plants, and livestock producers "want corn now because of the unknowns on this crop."




Jason Britt, president of Central States Commodities, said rains and floods are making farmers "tighter-fisted. Britt said his family's northern Missouri farm has 100,000 bushels of corn in storage; traders are already offering him a premium for the crop.




"The circumstances have changed this year, so for us [we need] a larger security blanket," Mr. Britt said.






Ohio farmer Jim Heimerl sells 700,000 pigs per year, has swapped out corn with expired pet food, which he acquired in bulk through a broker. Heimerl is feeding the pigs other substitutes, including wheat middlings.




"We're already starting to ration our corn out," he said.




Corn spot prices chart





For the first half of August, weather models show cooling weather prevailing through the Central and Midwest. Reuters noted this could further delay crop development at a time when corn needs it the most:




"1-15 Day Forecast: Model guidance (both GFS & EC) remains consistent showing cool weather prevailing through the first half of August across the Central and Midwest U.S., including the Corn and Soybean belts. As mentioned in previous reports this could further delay crop development and be the potential catalyst of future issues should the season be pushed back even further as a result. Moreover, both models agree on expected rainfall across most areas through 10 days. A widespread pocket of dryness is expected across Wisconsin, Iowa, northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Furthermore, the GFS extends this period of dry weather through the 11-15 day time frame. As mentioned in recent updates, continued dryness across some areas in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio could become more of a concern for corn and soybeans in key developmental stages if prolonged.





Extended Outlook: The EC extended run from 01 August paints a different picture than the former run from 29 July. This most recent backs off from extensive coolness across the central/Midwest U.S. which was shown in the 29 July scenario, and rather limits lasting coolness to Canada and the far northern U.S. Plains. The rest of the U.S., including the Midwest, is now expected to be warmer than normal when averaged through the next 4 weeks, though this is just one model run. This most recent run also depicts wetter conditions across the Midwest U.S., opposed to the run from 29 July which shows dry conditions across much of the region. Overall, if materialized later in the month this would be a more favorable scenario with warmer and wetter conditions possibly returning."




Perhaps a perfect storm of factors mentioned above could result in the second leg up in corn spot prices in the months to come, especially around harvest time in fall.

247
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How Much Higher Can Stocks Rise: JPMorgan Answers

zerohedge News much higher stocks rise jpmorgan answers All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

Having flirted with breaking above 3,000, the S&P finally rose above the key psychological barrier last week, and seems poised to keep rising thanks to the Fed’s signaling of unconditional rate cuts, as equity markets continue to price in a repeat of the 1995/1998 insurance-rate-cuts scenario with even greater confidence (although as noted earlier, Morgan Stanley steadfastly believes markets are wrong for the third time). However, with the prevailing narrative now that of "insurance" cuts, this - as JPM's Nikolas Panigirtzoglou writes - also assumes that central banks follow the script of 1

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995/1998 and at the minimum validate market expectations.



What if these assumptions are wrong?



The answer to that question ties in with the question posed by Panigirtzoglou in his latest Flows and Liquidity weekly, which seeks to answer "how much equity upside should we expect in this bullish scenario where the Fed cuts its policy rate by 75bp this year to provide insurance against downside risks similar to what happened in 1995/1998?"



As JPM reminds us, on both prior "insurance" cut occasions, the Fed had over-delivered both in terms of the speed and magnitude of rate cuts, to wit:



  • In 1995, a month before the first cut, rate markets were pricing around 60bp of rate cuts over 12 months and the Fed delivered 75bp over six months.

  • In 1998, a month before the first cut, rate markets were pricing around 40bp of rate cuts over 12 months and the Fed delivered 75bp over three months.

In other words, the Fed over-delivered relative to market expectations in both cases and re-steepened the curve, which is a test for the current conjuncture. Will the Fed again overdeliver relative to expectations as in 1995 and 1998 and re-steepen the curve?



In its attempt to answer the key question, and its assessment of what the remaining "potential equity market upside" from here is, JPM opts to focus on an alternative methodology based on position metrics, instead of historical comparisons to 1995/1998 or valuation-related methodologies. In particular, Panigirtzoglou resorts to his previous analysis on cash, bond and equity allocations of non-bank investors globally, in which he compares global M2 with the equities and bonds held by non-bank investors.



Why is global M2 important? Because it reflects the cash balance of non-bank investors, such as households, corporations, pension funds, insurance companies and SWFs. This distinction is important because more than half of fixed income securities are held by central banks, including FX reserve manager, and commercial banks.



According to JPM's calculations, and by excluding banks - entities that typically invest in bonds rather than equities - the amount of bonds held by the rest of the world, i.e. non-bank entities, is around $32tr. This compares to $55tr of cash and $67.5tr of equities based on DataStream’s global equity index universe. That means that non-bank investors, which invest in both bonds and equities globally, have an implied allocation to bonds of 20.8% currently. This 20.8% bond allocation is above the post Lehman historical average and well above the 19% low seen in September last year. In other words the past months’ bond rally has more than unwound the large bond underweight that had emerged in September last year.



Meanwhile, the mirror image of this unwinding of the previous bond underweight is that the current equity overweight is smaller from that seen in September last year, which at 45.5% represented a post-Lehman high at the time. So, despite equity markets making new highs, investors are not as OW in equities as they were last September simply because bond markets rallied strongly in recent months making them less UW in bonds. Effectively, the past months’ bond rally has been boosting equities by creating more room for investors to increase their equity allocations, something we discussed in parsing the potential for a pension fund driven meltup at the end of last quarter.



This is shown in the chart below which shows that investors globally have an allocation to equities of 43.6% currently, which is somewhere in between the post-Lehman high of 45.5% seen last September and the recent low of 41.8% seen last December.





As the JPM strategist notes, it is important to emphasize that relative to longer term history, this 43.6% represents an overweight equity allocation as it is not only above both the 40% post-Lehman average and the 43% longe-rterm historical average.



It is worth noting that in JPM's opinion the post-Lehman historical averages are likely more relevant in terms of gauging the magnitude of OWs or UWs, for the following reason:



It is true that in previous cycles the trough in bond allocations has been lower than current levels, and the peak in equity allocations higher. While allocations could theoretically approach their previous cyclical extremes, we would make two observations on why these previous levels are less likely to be achieved.



  • The first is that since the previous two cycles already, the cyclical peak in equity allocations had been declining, and the cyclical trough in bond allocations had been rising, likely reflecting structural changes over time. Given the structural changes in markets and economies in the post-Lehman environment, this suggests to us that post-Lehman period comparisons are more relevant.

  • The second observation is that G4 central banks would have to shift to even more aggressive QE programs going forward than those seen over the past decade, in order to induce the non-bank private sector to shed even more bonds from here. That would require aggressive QE by not only the ECB but also the Fed, something that seems unlikely right now.

With this in mind, Panigirtzoglou writes that "one simple way of thinking about the upside for equities from here is to calculate the rise in equity prices needed for investor to become as OW in equities as they were last September."



As such, and according to JPM's calculations, global equities would need to rise by 7.9% from here, all else equal, to make investors as OW in equities as last September. In other words, assuming no change in bond valuations from here, any upside for equities should be limited to high single digits.



And while a bearish Morgan Stanley would be puking blood at this point, the JPM strategist - traditionally the most bearish of his bank's peers - is similarly skeptical that such a spike is possible, and notes that "this equity upside is facing challenges", of which the following two stand out:



One challenge is a bond selloff. This could emerge as a result of an overhang of long duration positions combined with a rise in bond volatility, a decline in bond liquidity and strong bond supply, "all of which create significant risk of a bond market correction going forward."



Another challenge is the Fed under-delivering. The above technical factors are not the only potential cause of a bond market correction, which could also happen "because central banks fail to follow the script of 1995/1998 and under deliver vs. market expectations or because economic data such as manufacturing PMIs start recovering over the coming months." Yes, the risk to stocks is that the economy, gasp, recovers.



Of course, as Q4 of 2018 demonstrated all too vividly, whatever the trigger, any bond selloff would be problematic for equities, and at the minimum it would mechanically in this simple framework reduce the 7.9% upside estimated above. Specifically, a reversal of the bond rally since May would reduce this estimated 7.9% upside from 7.9% to 5.2%.



* * *



One final point made by Panigirtzoglou is to debunk the widely popular, if also widely inaccurate, argument that "bears are everywhere", which the bulls use as a contrarian indicator to argue for a continued equity melt up.



Well, as with most widely accepted conventions, this one, too, is wrong, and the JPMorgan strategist finds little support for the idea that there are prevalent equity underweights and “bears everywhere”. First, as shown above, investors globally are overweight equities especially compared with the post-Lehman period.



Second, the June performance by hedge funds and other institutional investors points to above average rather than below average equity positions. This is shown in the next chart which depicts the performance of various types of investors against benchmarks. Equity Long/Short hedge funds which represents the most important equity hedge fund universe produced a return of 3.2% in June according to HFR and 9.5% in H1, with the two largest L/S sub-categories (accounting for more than half of total L/S hedge fund AUM) fundamental growth and fundamental value returning 3.9% and 3.5% in June, respectively. This implies a beta at or higher than 0.5, which is the historical average relative to the MSCI AC World index.





What this means, said simply, is that Equity Long/Short hedge funds would struggle to produce such returns if they were underweight equities.



Other investor classes, as also discussed earlier, had notably higher market betas: risk parity funds produced a return of 4.7% in June and 13.4% in H1 beating their benchmark. And CTAs produced a very strong return in June likely benefiting from long positions in both equities and bonds. This is consistent with JPM's trend-following framework which suggests that CTAs are currently pretty long in both bond and equity futures. It is also consistent with the new highs seen in the spec positions of US equity futures by asset managers and leveraged funds (Chart below).





Notably, these equity futures positions are even higher than last September, which to JPM is evidence suggesting little support for the  “Bears everywhere” thesis.



In summary, Panigirtzglou concludes that his position-based analysis "points to limited upside for equities from here even if the 1995/1998 insurance-rate-cuts scenario plays out over the coming months" and, worse, "any equity upside would become even more limited if bond markets fail to sustain their H1 gains."

1
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how to lower blood pressure instantly

doublegear19 Arts blood pressure levels higher All http://ttlink.com   Discuss    Share
Systolic blood pressure ranges involving 130 as well as 139 above diastolic hypertension in between 80 as well as 89 has become understood to be Period 1 hypertension levels as opposed to prehypertension.

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