• Tag Archives Bank Of America
  • Even the Government Knows the Stock Market Is a Huge Bubble

    Last month, we reported on a Bank of America survey that indicated the mainstream has started to acknowledge that the stock market is a big, fat, ugly bubble.
    The latest fund-manager survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that a record 48% of investors say the US stock market is overvalued. Meanwhile, 16% of investors say they are taking on above-normal risk. BoA chief investment strategist Michael Hartnett called this ‘an indicator of irrational exuberance.’
    Now, even the government has taken notice, acknowledging asset prices are floating in dangerous bubble territory.
    The Office of Financial Research (OFR) recently released its 2017 Annual Report. According to its analysis, market risk is flashing red, with stock market valuations at historic highs based on several metrics.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on DECEMBER 28, 2017.


  • 11 Of 19 Bear Market Indicators Have Now Been Triggered: BofA

    Two weeks ago, Bank of America tripped recession-watcher alarms, when it announced out that one of its surest bear-market indicators, one which has never had a false negative, had just been triggered. As we said at the time, according to BofA’s Savita Subramanian in November the S&P 500’s three-month earnings estimate revision ratio (ERR) fell for the fourth consecutive month to 0.99 (from 1.03), indicating that for the first time in seven months, there were more negative than positive earnings revisions, needless to say a major negative inflection point in the recent surge in profits.
    Why was this significant? Becase as BofA explained, the three-month S&P 500 ERR has been used by the bank as one of its 19 key “bear market signposts”, and with the one-month ERR falling below 1.0 for the second time in six months, this marks the trigger for the 11th bear market signpost. BofA’s ERR rule is triggered when, over a six-month window, all of the following criteria are met: 1) the one-month ERR falls from above 1.0 to below 1.0; 2) the one-month ERR is below 1.0 for two or more months; and 3) the three-month ERR falls below 1.1 for at least one month. Incidentally, the hit rate of the “ERR” bear market indicator, meaning its historical accuracy in predicting a bear market is 100%, the only question is how long it takes. The last time this trigger was set was mid-2003, and here is the punchline from Bank of America:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.


  • Bank Of America: “This Is A Sign Of Irrational Exuberance”

    Two weeks ago, when discussing a recent Albert Edwards piece, we said that the word that has come to define the new normal better than all others, is “paradox“, as in nothing makes sense, or rather everything makes sense if one only flips logic and reason 180 degrees. A “paradox” was on full display in the latest Bank of America Fund Managers Survey which found that once again, the percentage of respondents saying equities are overvalued hit a new record high of 45%; and yet the average cash levels continue to fall as one professional after another – whose year end bonus depends on whether they outperform the market – rush to allocate funds to equities, which most now agree are an asset bubble.
    And while we call this “paradox”, Bank of America has another, more familiar name for the phenomenon: “this is a sign of ‘irrational exuberance’.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 19, 2017.


  • Jim Kunstler: “You Can See Where This Has Been Going…”

    Lately, fund flow data has all the credibility of a NYT presidential poll two days before the Trump defeats Hillary. On one hand, you have Lipper reporting that investors pulled $16.2bn from U. S.-based equity funds in the past week, the largest withdrawals since December 2016. The same Lipper also reported that taxable-bond mutual funds and ETFs recorded $1.2bn in outflows, with U. S.-based high-yield junk bond funds posting outflows of $922 million. On the other hand, you have EPFR which looking at the same data, and the same time interval, concluded that there was $8.7bn inflows into equities, of which total flows into the US amounted to $7.8bn, the largest in 26 weeks.
    How does any of this make sense? We are not sure, although it may be that while Lipper ignores ETF flows, EPFR includes these. Indeed, when breaking down the latest flow data, which still does not foot with the Lipper numbers, Bank of America notes that the $8.7bn in equity inflows is the result of a $31.4bn in ETF inflows – the second largest on record – offset by $22.7bn in mutual fund outflows, the 4th largest on record.
    When looking at this staggering divergence, BofA’s Michael Hartnett put it best:
    Passive hubris, active humiliation: 2nd largest week of inflows ($31.4bn) ever into equity ETFs vs 4th largest week ever of outflows from equity mutual funds (Chart 1)

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.


  • Bank Of America: “This Is The First Sign That A Bubble Has Arrived”

    Lately, fund flow data has all the credibility of a NYT presidential poll two days before the Trump defeats Hillary. On one hand, you have Lipper reporting that investors pulled $16.2bn from U. S.-based equity funds in the past week, the largest withdrawals since December 2016. The same Lipper also reported that taxable-bond mutual funds and ETFs recorded $1.2bn in outflows, with U. S.-based high-yield junk bond funds posting outflows of $922 million. On the other hand, you have EPFR which looking at the same data, and the same time interval, concluded that there was $8.7bn inflows into equities, of which total flows into the US amounted to $7.8bn, the largest in 26 weeks.
    How does any of this make sense? We are not sure, although it may be that while Lipper ignores ETF flows, EPFR includes these. Indeed, when breaking down the latest flow data, which still does not foot with the Lipper numbers, Bank of America notes that the $8.7bn in equity inflows is the result of a $31.4bn in ETF inflows – the second largest on record – offset by $22.7bn in mutual fund outflows, the 4th largest on record.
    When looking at this staggering divergence, BofA’s Michael Hartnett put it best:
    Passive hubris, active humiliation: 2nd largest week of inflows ($31.4bn) ever into equity ETFs vs 4th largest week ever of outflows from equity mutual funds (Chart 1)

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.


  • Attention Derivatives Traders: Here Are “The Top 17 Themes To Remember From 2017”

    Last week, as part of its must read 2018 Outlook piece, Bank of America’s derivatives team pointed out two particularly notable things: the first was BofA’s version of the (central-bank mediated) “feedback loop” diagram that keeps volatility record low and grinding even lower, as selling of vol has become a self-reinforcing dynamic, in which lower VIX begets more vol-selling by “yield-starved investors”, leading to even lower VIX as the shock that can reset the feedback loop is no longer possible, and thus the strike price on the Fed’s put can not be put to a market test, which also results in even greater market fragility and assured central bank interventions…

    … and a chart suggesting that the market generally broke some time in 2014, when the “behavior of volatility entirely changed, with volatility shocks retracing at record speed. Investors no longer fear shocks, but love them, as it is an opportunity to predictably generate alpha.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2017.


  • Bank of America: “We’ve Seen This Movie Before: It Ends With A Recession”

    In a merciful transition from Wall Street’s endless daily discussions and more often than not- monologues – of why vol is record low, and why a financial cataclysm will ensue once vol finally surges, lately the main topic preoccupying financial strategists has been the yield curve’s ongoing collapse – with the 2s10s sliding and trading at levels last seen in April 2015, and with curve inversion predicted by BMO to take place as soon as March 2018. And, according to at least one other metric, the yield curve should already be some -25bps inverted. This is shown in the following chart from Bank of America which lays out the correlation between the US unemployment rate and the 2s10s curve, and which suggests that the latter should be 80 bps lower, or some 25 basis points in negative territory.
    Here is some additional context from BofA’s head of securitization Chris Flanagan, who views “the recent sharp flattening of the yield curve, which has seen the 2y10y spread go from 80 bps to almost 50 bps since late October, as the natural course of events at this stage of the economic cycle. Unemployment is low, and probably headed lower, and the Fed is intent on raising rates to stave off future inflation; we’ve seen this movie before and it typically ends with a flat or inverted yield curve. Based on history (and gravity), we think the most likely path forward is that the 2y10y spread reaches zero or inverts sometime over the next year or so and that recession of some kind follows in 2020 or 2021. (Given that the curve has flattened 30 bps in just over a month, projecting an additional 50 bps flattening over the next year is not really too bold.) Of course, much can happen along the way to change that outcome, but for now that seems to us to be the most likely course of events to us.”
    Here Flanagan openly disagrees with the BofA’s “house call” of a steepening yield curve, and explains why:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.


  • One Of Bank of America’s “Guaranteed Bear Market” Indicators Was Just Triggered

    It is undisputed that the last 2 quarters have demonstrated an impressive jump in corporate earnings growth, if mostly due to a beneficial base effect from plunging 2016 earnings which pushed them below levels reached in 2014. And naturally, this rebound has been more than priced into a market which has seen substantial multiple expansion since the Trump election to boot. But what is much more important for the market is what corporate earnings look like in the future, and it is here that Bank of America has just raised a very troubling red flag.
    According to BofA’s Savita Subramanian, in November the S&P 500’s three-month earnings estimate revision ratio (ERR) fell for the fourth consecutive month to 0.99 (from 1.03), indicating that for the first time in seven months, there were more negative than positive earnings revisions, needless to say a major negative inflection point in the recent surge in profits. The bank’s more volatile one-month ERR also weakened to 0.94 (from 1.16).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.


  • The Moment The Market Broke: “The Behavior Of Volatility Changed Entirely In 2014”

    Earlier today we showed a remarkable chart – and assertion – from Bank of America: “In every major market shock since the 2013 Taper Tantrum, central banks have stepped in (even if verbally) to protect markets. Following the Brexit vote, markets no longer needed to hear from CBs as they rebounded so quickly that CBs didn’t need to respond.” As a result, buy-the-dip has a become a self-fulfilling put.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.


  • UK Trader Fined 60,000 Pounds For Outsmarting Algos

    Yet another UK trader is being punished by overzealous regulators for an accomplishment that should instead have earned him accolades: Outsmarting the machines.
    In a case that echoes some of the circumstances surrounding the scapegoating of former UK-based trader Nav Sarao, former Bank of America Merrill Lynch bond trader Paul Walter has been fined 60,000 pounds by the FCA for a practice that regulators call ‘algo baiting’.
    Algorithm baiting is similar to spoofing – a practice that has been banned by stock-market regulators as those markets have embraced high-frequency trading practices that have broken markets and made them more vulnerable to this type of manipulation. But fixed income markets, like the Dutch loan market Walter is accused of manipulating, have been slower to embrace HFT-type trading. Because of this delay, Walter is a pioneer. Using BrokerTec, a popular fixed-income trading platform, Walter would place a bunch of bids for a given bond, triggering trend-following algos to follow suit. Then he would quickly cancel the bids. Here’s a more complete explanation per the Financial Times.
    Mr Walter entered bids for Dutch state loans that pushed up their price. Then, when other algorithmic trades followed him in response and raised their bids, Mr Walter sold to them and cancelled his quote. This happened 11 times between July and August 2014 while he was working for the bank, the FCA said, while on one occasion he did the opposite. He netted a total of 22,000 profit from this ‘algo baiting’.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 23, 2017.


  • Bank Of America Analyst: A ‘Flash Crash’ In Early 2018 ‘Seems Quite Likely’

    Is the stock market bubble about to burst? I know that I have been touching on this theme over and over and over again in recent weeks, but I can’t help it. Red flags are popping up all over the place, and the last time so many respected experts were warning about an imminent stock market crash was just before the last major financial crisis. Of course nobody can guarantee that global central banks won’t find a way to prolong this bubble just a little bit longer, but at this point they are all removing the artificial support from the markets in coordinated fashion. Without that artificial support, it is inevitable that financial markets will experience a correction, and the only real question is what the exact timing will be.
    For example, Bank of America’s Michael Hartnett originally thought that the coming correction would come a bit sooner, but now he is warning of a ‘flash crash’ during the first half of 2018…
    Having predicted back in July that the ‘most dangerous moment for markets will come in 3 or 4 months’, i.e., now, BofA’s Michael Hartnett was – in retrospect – wrong (unless of course the S&P plunges in the next few days). However, having stuck to his underlying logic – which was as sound then as it is now – Hartnett has not given up on his ‘bad cop’ forecast (not to be mistaken with the S&P target to be unveiled shortly by BofA’s equity team and which will probably be around 2,800), and in a note released overnight, the Chief Investment Strategist not only once again dares to time his market peak forecast, which he now thinks will take place in the first half of 2018, but goes so far as to predict that there will be a flash crash ‘a la 1987/1994/1998’ in just a few months.

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 20th, 2017.


  • How Tax Reform Can Still Blow Up: A Side-By-Side Comparison Of The House And Senate Tax Plans

    To much fanfare, mostly out of president Trump, on Thursday the House passed their version of the tax bill 227-205 along party lines, with 13 Republicans opposing. The passage of the House bill was met with muted market reaction. The Senate version of the tax reform is currently going through the Senate Finance Committee for additional amendments and should be ready for a full floor debate in a few weeks. While some, like Goldman, give corporate tax cuts (if not broad tax reform), an 80% chance of eventually becoming law in the first quarter of 2018, others like UBS and various prominent skeptics, do not see the House and Senate plans coherently merging into a survivable proposal.
    Indeed, while momentum seemingly is building for the tax plan, some prominent analysts believe there are several issues down the road that could trip up or even stall a comprehensive tax plan from passing the Congress, the chief of which is how to combine the House and Senate plans into one viable bill.
    How are the two plans different?
    Below we present a side by side comparison of the two plans from Bank of America, which notes that the House and the Senate are likely to pass different tax plans with areas of disagreement (see table below). This means that the two chambers will need to form a conference committee to hash out the differences. There are three major friction points:
    the repeal of the state and local tax deductions (SALT), capping mortgage interest deductions and the delay in the corporate tax cut. The House seems strongly opposed to fully repealing SALT and delaying the corporate tax cuts and the Senate could push back on changing the mortgage interest deductions. Finding compromise on these issues without disturbing other parts of the plan while keeping the price tag under the $1.5tn over 10 years could be challenging.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.


  • Stock Market Bubble Floating on Currents of ‘Irrational Exuberance’

    Last week, Peter Schiff did an interview on The Street and talked about the US stock market, saying, ‘Well, the bubble keeps getting bigger.’ We’ve been talking about this ballooning bubble for months. After a while, it’s easy to blow us off as pessimistic contrarians who just don’t get it. But amazingly, large numbers of investors also believe the stock market is way overvalued.
    But they keep buying anyway.
    Bank of America called it ‘irrational exuberance.’
    The latest fund-manager survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that a record 48% of investors say the US stock market is overvalued. Meanwhile, 16% of investors say they are taking on above-normal risk. That’s also a record, eclipsing risk-taking during both the dot-com and housing bubbles.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 15, 2017.


  • Bank Of America: “This Is A Clear Sign Of Irrational Exuberance”

    The latest monthly Fund Manager Survey by Bank of America confirmed what recent market actions have already demonstrated, namely that, as BofA Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett explained, there is a “big market conviction in Goldilocks leading to capitulation into risk assets” while at the same time sending Fund managers’ cash levels to a 4-year low, and pushing “risk-taking” to a new all-time high, surpassing both the dot com and the 2007 bubbles.
    BofA’s takeaways from the survey, which polled a total of 206 panelists with $610 billion in AUM, will not come as a surprise to those who have been following this survey in recent months, and which reaffirms that while investors intimately realize how bubbly assets have become, they have no choice but to buy them.
    The latest survey highlights:
    It’s still all about FAANG froth: the biggest market conviction is in Goldilocks (+ price action in FAANG/BAT, Bitcoin) resulting in bull capitulation; A stunning chart shows that risk-taking among Fund Managers hit an all time high in the lastest period…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 14, 2017.


  • Higher Inflation in Eurozone Is Very Underappreciated Risk

    Yesterday’s 1.7% rise in the CRB index matched the 2nd biggest in about a year. The highest level in 9 months is being met by mostly yawns in conventional yields. Looking specifically at the epicenter of the biggest bubble, that being the European bond market, there is an uptick in inflation expectations as the German 10-year inflation breakeven is up 3 bps to 1.24% and that is the most in 8 months. The French 10 yr breakeven is up by 2 bps and the UK 10 yr inflation breakeven is higher by 2.5 bps. Just read again the rising inflation commentary in the Markit press release on eurozone services and manufacturing and combine with this the rise in commodity prices and I have to believe that higher inflation is one of the most underappreciated risks in the European bond market. Putting aside sovereign yields for a second, if you didn’t see last week the yield to worst on the ICE Bank of America Merrill Lynch euro high yield index fell to 2%. Repeat that back a few times, this European junk bond yield index is yielding 2%. The US 5 yr Treasury yield is yielding 2%. The US 5 yr inflation breakeven closed at a 5 month high yesterday but is highly correlated too to the CRB index.
    Another anecdotal commentary on inflation out of Europe, Markit reported its German construction figure for October which was little changed at 53.3 but they said ‘intense supply chain constraints contribute to a sharp rise in input costs… The incidence of delivery delays was one of the greatest seen for over a decade, while purchase price inflation was pushed to a 6 year high.’ Also, the demand for labor is getting heated as the ‘rate of job creation was among the fastest seen since data collection began in late 1999.’ The German 10 yr bund yield sits there at just .34%

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/07/2017.


  • Treasurys Gain, Curve Flattens After Refunding Auction Sizes Remain Unchanged

    When previewing today’s FOMC announcement, we said that at least according to some, this morning’s refunding announcement may have a bigger impact on the market as there is less consensus (and more confusion) about what would be unveiled. As JPM analyst Jay Barry told Bloomberg, the quarterly refunding announcement at 8:30am ET Wednesday ‘has the possibility to be a bigger event for markets in the morning than the Fed statement in the afternoon’ as participants are divided on whether the Treasury will announce increases to coupon auction sizes Wednesday, or wait until the 1Q refunding announcement in February:
    ‘There’s a dispersion of views because of the pivot the Treasury Department has had over last few years,’ specifically toward portfolio metrics and aiming to extend the weighted average maturity of the portfolio. Merely reversing the cuts that have been made to 2Y and 3Y auctions since 2013 wouldn’t serve that objective. ‘If they don’t get announced tomorrow, it’s a muted rally, and if they do, it’s a muted steepening.’
    Furthermore, as Bloomberg summarizes, going into today’s announcement, market participants were divided leading into the announcement with most seeing no increase immediately to auction sizes just yet, seeing only bill auction changes for now: Barclays, NatWest, Bank of America, Credit Agricole, Jefferies, Stone & McCarthy Research Associates and Citigroup all saw no change; JPMorgan Chase, among other, looked for small increases across maturities.
    Well, moments ago the US Treasury reported the breakdown of the refunding auctions, which led to Treasuries promptly paring some early losses (and leading to the predicted muted curve flattening) after the Treasury Department maintained its coupon auction sizes over the next three months, while the refunding statement did not comment on ultra-long issuance.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 1, 2017.


  • Record Surge in Riskiest Loans Fattens Wall Street Banks

    Crackdown efforts by bank regulators are put on hold.
    The volume of leveraged loans – the riskiest loans Wall Street banks provide – has surged 38% year-over-year and has already beaten the full-year record set in 2013, according to Dealogic. Total of leveraged loans outstanding has reached $1.25 trillion.
    Nine of the 10 largest banks in the leveraged-loan business have already surpassed their respective 2016 full-year totals, according to Bloomberg data, cited by the Financial Times, including Bank of America (about $120 billion in leveraged loans so far this year); JP Morgan (about $110 billion), Goldman Sachs ($79 billion); and Barclays ($72 billion). Of the top ten, only Wells Fargo ($69 billion) is still lagging behind last year.
    The fees that the banks are raking for putting these loans together are also record-breaking: $8.3 billion so far this year, just 6% below the full-year total of 2016.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 30, 2017.


  • The $2 Trillion Hole: “In 2019, Central Bank Liquidity Finally Turns Negative”

    In all the euphoria over yesterday’s “dovish taper” by the ECB, markets appear to have forgotten one thing: the great Central Bank liquidity tide, which generated over $2 trillion in central bank purchasing power in 2017 alone – and which as Bank of America said last month is the only reason why stocks are at record highs, is now on its way out.
    This was a point first made by Deutsche Bank’s Alan Ruskin two weeks ago, who looked at the collapse in global vol, and concluded that “as we look at what could shake the panoply of low vol forces, it is the thaw in Central Bank policy as they retreat from emergency measures that is potentially most intriguing/worrying. We are likely to be nearing a low point for major market bond and equity vol, and if the catalyst is policy it will likely come from positive volatility QE ‘flow effect’ being more powerful than the vol depressant ‘stock effect’. To twist a phrase from another well know Chicago economist: Vol may not always and everywhere be a monetary phenomena – but this is the first place to look for economic catalysts over the coming year.”
    He showed this great receding tide of liquidity in the following chart projecting central bank “flows” over the next two years, and which showed that “by the end of next year, the combined expansion of all the major Central Bank balance sheets will have collapsed from a 12 month growth rate of $2 trillion per annum to zero.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.


  • Bank Of America: “This Could Send The Nasdaq To 10,000”

    Last weekend, One River’s CIO Eric Peters explained what he thought would be the nightmare scenario for the next Fed chair, who as we now know will either be Jerome Powell or John Taylor, or both (with an outside chance of Yellen remaining in her post). According to the hedge fund CIO, the “worst case scenario” is one in which despite an improving economy, yields simply refuse to go up, leading to the final asset bubble and Fed intervention that “pops” it:
    ‘if we don’t see a sustained cyclical jump in wages, then yields won’t go up. And if yields don’t go up, then the asset price ascent will accelerate,’ continued the strategist. ‘Which will lead us into a 2018 that looks like what we had expected out of 2017; a war against inequality, a battle for Main Street at the expense of Wall Street, an Occupy Silicon Valley movement.’ He paused, flipping through his calendar. “Then you’ll have this nightmare for the next Federal Reserve chief, because they’ll have to pop a bubble.’ While Peters never names names in his pieces, the “strategist” in the weekend letter was BofA’s Michael Hartnett, who several days after Peters penned the above, followed up with some thoughts of his own on precisely this topic, and in a note released this week, described what he believes is the “biggest market risk” for the market. Not surprisingly, it is precisely what Peters was referring to in the above excerpt.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.