Monday, May 16, 2016

Tuesday Watch

Evening Headlines

  • China City Deconstruction. Offshore bondholders in one Chinese company are showing more faith in implicit government guarantees than investors back home. That should concern anyone with an appreciation for the risks embedded in the nation's opaque bond market.
  • China Silence on Mao’s ’Catastrophe’ Role Feeds Fears of Revival. China’s Communist Party has a deep appreciation for its anniversaries. The 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution is one they’d rather not talk about. Monday marked five decades since Mao Zedong launched China into one of its most chaotic and destructive periods, a campaign to remake society that pitted children against parents and turned friends to foes. While the party officially considers the 1966-76 movement "10 years of catastrophe," reflections on its extremes and why it happened remain censored from public discussion.
  • China's staples turn into stock-market stars as economy worsens. China's traders have little doubt where the nation's economy is heading. They're piling into producers of meat, animal feed and alcohol on bets such companies will endure a deepening slowdown. Since the stock market's low on Jan 28, a gauge of consumer staples has jumped 18 per cent to be the best performer among 10 industry groups on the CSI 300 Index, which has gained 8 per cent. With the shares trading at a 21 per cent discount to emerging market peers and data over the weekend confirming a worsening outlook for Asia's largest economy, HFT Investment Management Co and Yingda Securities Co say makers of consumer essentials will continue to climb.
  • Bond Defaults in China Trigger Blame Game. (video)
  • Can China Shake Its Debt Addiction? (video)
  • Saudi Arabia’s $117 Billion Treasuries Tally Poses Fresh Puzzle. (video) After the U.S. government’s first-ever release quantifying Saudi Arabia’s Treasuries holdings, a question echoed through Wall Street: That’s it? The kingdom held $116.8 billion of Treasuries as of March, according to data that the Treasury Department released Monday in response to a Freedom-of-Information Act request submitted by Bloomberg News. It’s the first time the U.S. disclosed a breakdown for the world’s biggest oil exporter, after lumping it in with a group of other oil producers since 1974.
  • Asian Stocks Extend Climb After Apple Rally as Oil, Metals Rise. Asian stocks rallied into a second day, led by commodity and technology companies amid an oil-led revival in raw materials and after Apple Inc. drove a rebound in the U.S. Japanese shares climbed as the yen nursed last session’s retreat against the dollar, with U.S. crude holding around a six-month high and continued gains in industrial metals bolstering investors’ appetite for risk. Technology stocks rose after Apple jumped the most since March as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed a stake in the world’s most valuable company. Australian and New Zealand government debt tracked a drop in Treasuries amid speculation over the outlook for U.S. monetary policy. Gold advanced. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3 percent as of 10:02 a.m. Tokyo time, with sub-indexes of raw-material, energy and technology stocks rallying at least 0.5 percent.
  • World Metals Hub in London Loses as Trading Grows in China, U.S. Traders are buying and selling more metal than they have in years on Chinese and American exchanges. In London, the heart of the global market for more than century, it’s just the opposite. During the first four months of the year, futures trading on the London Metal Exchange fell a combined 10 percent for its six main contracts, including copper and aluminum. That’s the worst start to a year since the data begins in 2006. While the LME remains the industry’s primary hub, its share of the global market slipped to 76 percent last year from 83 percent in 2012, according to the exchange. 
  • Shadow Banks Make Diciest Loans While Wall Street Retains Risk. Wall Street has cut its lending to the riskiest companies, shifting its financing to nonbanks that make the loans instead, according to a team of analysts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “Since those policies reach beyond individual banks and target risk in the entire banking system, they are more likely to trigger significant responses that may have unintended consequences,” said the report by Sooji Kim, Matthew Plosser and João Santos. Nonbanks, part of what’s called the shadow banking system, are financial institutions that don’t take deposits and fall outside the purview of banking regulators. They’ve increased their borrowing from banks, possibly to finance their growing leveraged-lending activity, the study found. That means regulated banks may still be vulnerable to the stability of institutions that took their place in lending to companies that heap debt on their balance sheets.
Wall Street Journal:
  • SandRidge Energy Files for Bankruptcy Protection. Oklahoma City oil and gas company becomes latest victim of downturn in energy sector.
  • Obama’s Transgender ‘Guidance’. The White House starts another culture war to drive liberal turnout. The directive on bathroom facilities for transgender students, sent last Friday by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to every public school district in the country, is not the first time the Obama Administration has swept American institutions under its administrative control.
Fox News:
Zero Hedge:
Business Insider:
Les Echos:
  • Amazon(AMZN), Netflix(NFLX) May Face Local-Content Rules in Europe. European Commission is working on rules that would require on-demand video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime to ensure 20% of their offerings in Europe consist of European Works.
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are -.25% to +.75% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 143.25 -1.5 basis points. 
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 53.25 -.5 basis point.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 7154 +.11%. 
  • S&P 500 futures -.01%. 
  • NASDAQ 100 futures unch.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (HD)/1.35
  • (RRGB)/1.11
  • (PLCE)/1.04
  • (TJX)/.71
  • (VIPS)/.15
  • (VSAT)/.37 
  • (ITRI)/.34
Economic Releases 
8:30 am EST
  • Housing Starts for April are estimated to rise to 1125K versus 1089K in March.
  • Building Permits for April are estimated to rise to 1135K versus 1086K in March.
  • The CPI MoM for April is estimated to rise +.3% versus a +.1% gain in March.
  • The CPI Ex Food and Energy MoM for April is estimated to rise +.2% versus a +.1% gain in March. 
  • Real Avg. Weekly Earnings YoY for April. 
9:15 am EST
  • Industrial Production for April is estimated to rise +.3% versus a -.6% decline in March.
  • Capacity Utilization for April is estimated to rise to 75.0% versus 74.8% in  March.
  • Manufacturing Production for April is estimated to rise +.3% versus a -.3% decline in March. 
Upcoming Splits 
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Kaplan speaking, Fed's Williams speaking, Japan GDP report, UK retail sales report, weekly US retail sales reports, Oppenheimer Emerging Growth Conference, BofA Merrill Transport Conference, Goldman Basic Materials Conference, (EA) investor day, JPMorgan Homebuilding Conference, (AMZN) annual meeting and the (JNPR) investor day could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by commodity and technology shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to strengthen into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 50% net long heading into the day.

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