The collision of global markets and social mood

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thursday -- Yellen On Main, Central Banks In Vain

S&P E-mini Futures:
Three-wave overnight pullback led to new highs.

I don't read Zero Hedge for analysis; I use it. For information.

Today, however, I agree with this analysis of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's recent meeting with President Obama, who seems to have gone out of his way to use the so-called independent institution as a political mouthpiece.

Meanwhile, Reuters came out with an interesting headline -- Central banks wait in vain for world to borrow

Evidently, so are retail banks. Profits at Wells Fargo fell 5.9%, while BofA's fell 13%. This on the heels of disappointments by Barclays and Standard Chartered in London.

And retail itself is showing cracks, where it probably shouldn't: in the luxury segment, where Burberry profits tumbled on the heels of bleak results from LVMH.

Yet another sign of a possible change in sentiment:

But probably the biggest stunner came from Singapore, where the central bank (Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS) cut rates by surprise.

Bloomberg reported (emphasis added), "the Monetary Authority of Singapore said it would seek a policy of zero appreciation against an undisclosed basket of currencies, returning to a neutral stance it adopted in the global financial crisis in 2008. Singapore’s central bank cited “a less favorable external environment” in its policy statement, adding to concern the outlook for global growth is worsening."

Bloomberg also noted that it was "the Singapore central bank’s second unexpected decision in less than 16 months. It made an emergency policy change in January last year to combat the threat of deflation following a slump in oil prices."

With a significant portion of world trade flowing through it, Singapore functions as a leading indicator. Last quarter's numbers weren't so hot, and now it's back to 2008 crisis levels. Perfect.

Reminds me of this video I found on YouTube (don't ask me how, it just popped up as a suggestion at some point). It's called Super Car Driver Idiots, but I think it's an amazing (an hilarious) metaphor for central banking: too much power for people who really don't have the faintest clue how to drive.

The USD is making it much harder on bears who think it's toast.

Prices headed lower after an all-too-brief respite yesterday.

WTI crude higher, NG lower.

Gold, silver, platinum, and copper down. Palladium up. Silver still gunning for 16.37 and better get it fast.

S&P Outlook:
Never got the fail in the 2070s, but this morning's open at fresh highs was met with weak ticks and weak A/Ds.

Two ways I'm looking at current price action. Current weakness has me leaning toward #1.

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