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The Biggest Event Risks In June

The Biggest Event Risks In June

Today being the first day of June, and the start of the last month of the first half of 2016, we thought it would be aptly appropriate to list down some of the biggest event risks that June will bring. These are the known unknowns — uncertainties which we already know about but not their outcomes.

The biggest risks in June (in our opinion) will be the EU referendum by the UK in the later part of the month, the June ECB monetary policy decision and press conference, the June FOMC statement and interest rate decision, and lastly the BoJ's monetary policy decision.

We feel markets will likely be most sensitive to these types of events, having chopped around for almost half a year now. There is great anticipation for guidance on where to go next, and we feel markets will likely take cues from central banks, chiefly the Fed.

Goldman Says Overweight Cash On Mounting Global Risks

Goldman Says Overweight Cash On Mounting Global Risks

More and more are jumping on the "sell in May and go away" bandwagon but for good reason. As U.S. stocks base around in short term trading awaiting more cues about a potential June rate hike from the April FOMC minutes to be released later today, the big players have their eye on the bigger picture.

This is something we've talked about on these pages, and something we buy, on the caveat that technical factors turn conducive. The month of May has historically heralded volatility in the financial markets.

The key takeaways from Goldman are: Overweight cash, avoid equities, look to profit from up in quality carry, and perhaps buy some volatility.

Expect Nasty Volatility & Shocks This Summer

Expect Nasty Volatility & Shocks This Summer

With the stock market heading no where for the last 4 months of this year, it is high time we took a step back and view things from a systematic angle. As we approach the "sell in May and go away" phase of the year, equity returns are looking more vunulrable to adverse shocks, and flares in volatility.

YTD, the S&P 500 is almost unchanged, down marginally. Bonds (quality) and commodities (short USD) have been the best performers for the last 4 months. Vol of vol (VVIX) has remained elevated but is not yet deemed to be at alarming levels. What's in store for us may be a surprise. Or actually maybe not.

When we piece this puzzle back in a way BofAML calls the "3P's of Positioning, Policy & Profits", we can come to the conclusion that the risks are skewed south, and things could turn uglier very promptly. Therefore, it may be wise to expect very moderate returns from equities. One may wish to overweight cash, bonds, and gold while avoiding equities and non-IG corporate credit.

Bill Gross: About Helicopter Money

Bill Gross: About Helicopter Money

Technology and mass robotization are probably the single biggest threats to our jobs. Jobs of both the blue and white collars are gradually being replaced by robots that are much more cost efficient and productive. Plus, robots have no want for minimum wages, or hold strikes in protest for what is now a huge skill deficiency in the labor force across the world.

So will politicians and central planners dabble with the risk of upsetting the status quo for a potential change in direction? Unlikely.

Rather, Janus Capital's Bill Gross believes central planners will stick to what they have always been best at: Printing money (QE), lowering interest rates or bringing them sub zero as we've seen recently, and fiscally stimulating economies with debt funded programs thereby creating a false impression of prosperity when there isn't.

Grexit, U.S. & Canada Contraction

Grexit, U.S. & Canada Contraction

Greece is now back in recession while a €1.5bn IMF payment looms just 2 days away. Greece, now led ever deeper astray by a stubbornly defiant Government, is undeniably the champions when it comes to perpetually kicking the can down the road.

Tuesday's data showed that inflation in the currency union warmed to 0.3% YoY from 0.2% in April - yet another sign that Greece is being left far in the wake of a ship that has long set sail.

The toil of staying in the Eurozone, being in a constant and never ending tug of war, and having to cede to the demands of its creditors whom will ultimately have their way just adds fodder to the chimeric spirit of a once independent and free Greece.

All these indicates to us that the risk of a Grexit (Greek Exit) has never been greater, although it might not seem so on the surface.The impetus to leave the Euro and write off just about all of its external liabilities looks to be the path of least resistance to us. The upside risks of a Grexit is undervalued and which probabilities are overly discounted.

 

April Review & Looking Forward (Part 2: Strategy)

April Review & Looking Forward (Part 2: Strategy)

In Part 1 of this note reviewing the eventful month of April, we spoke about how the tide was shifting in many of the developing economies with Europe's economy and financial conditions showing good signs of improvement while the American economy was undoubtedly slowing. We also spoke about macro economic cycles and how such polarities in the major economies have created exclusive opportunities in the financial markets.

With the current market climate hallmarked by panic, fear, and ephemeral swings, we have detected a couple of opportunities over the last couple of weeks that look promising in their own rights. In the last 2 weeks alone, a few records have already gone down the record books. This is heaven for opportunists.

In today's note, we wish to share our views and ongoing opinions on how we view the current market landscape and the strategies that we are and will likely be implementing to take advantage of the substantially different dynamics in today's environment.

April Review & Looking Forward (Part 1: Analysis)

April Review & Looking Forward (Part 1: Analysis)

April is set to close with a bang on what is easily the busiest week in terms of economic data releases for a long time. We have various sets of CPI and employment data releases from Europe the developed economiesGDP figures are also set to hit the wires, chiefly from the UK, US, and Canada

Central banks will be in hard focus where Australia's RBA fired the first salvo, followed by the FOMC, with New Zealand's RBNZ following suit. The BoJ will also hold its press conference. It is safe to say the market's attention will be fixated on the US 1Q15 GDP figures and the ensuing FOMC statement and press conference.

In this note, we will briefly go over some of the key developments we have seen in April across the globe from the American economy, to the renewed conflagrations in the tug of war between Greece and its creditors, to China's economic woes and financial troubles.

In Part 2, we will touch on the various markets we cover, present our views and purported strategies to trade them going forward.