Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Sunday, July 5, 2015

  • 2:21 PM
    • With 59.3% of votes counted.
    • Equity managers say the game of chicken between Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and creditors threatens lasting damage to the European stock rally, and that the market hasn't fully priced in a "no" vote.
    • ETFs: GREK
    | 151 Comments
  • 11:17 AM
    | 31 Comments
  • 10:32 AM
    • After months of failed negotiations, Greeks are heading to the polls to vote on a high stakes referendum, with more difficult times expected ahead regardless of how it turns out.
    • What could happen: A "yes" vote - likely means a new government, a fresh series of negotiations and Greece's continued membership in the eurozone.
    • A "no" vote - could force an exit from the euro, emergency funding for Greek banks would still be frozen, and negotiations under Tsipras (for a new bailout) would likely resume.
    • The first exit polls are due after voting ends at 7 p.m. Greek time.
    • ETFs: GREK
    | 68 Comments
  • Friday, July 3, 2015

  • 9:20 AM
    • Adding to their list of woes, Greeks can no longer use their PayPal (PYPL, EBAY) accounts, Quartz reports.
    • Capital controls have effectively crippled the online payment service, which relies on traditional banks and credit cards to transfer money.
    • Another area seeing a revival is Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS). New customers depositing at least €50 with BTCGreece, the only Greece-based Bitcoin exchange, rose by 400% between May and June. The average deposit quadrupled to around €700.
    | 20 Comments
  • 5:59 AM
    • Britain's dominant services sector grew more than expected last month, suggesting that economic recovery picked up going into the second half of the year.
    • Markit's services PMI for June came in at 58.5, considerably higher than the 57.5 reading penciled in by economists and ahead of a 56.5 reading in May.
    • "Growth is looking increasingly unbalanced," said Markit's Chris Williamson, citing Wednesday's survey that showed June's U.K. manufacturing growth declining to its lowest level in more than two years.
    • The report, which suggests the U.K. economy grew 0.5% in the second quarter, also gives Bank of England policy makers plenty to digest as they prepare for their monthly meeting next week.
    • The pound is +0.2% at $1.5632, while the FTSE is -0.1%.
    • ETFs: EWU, DXPS, FKU, QGBR, DBUK, HEWU
    | Comment!
  • 5:19 AM
    • European stocks and bonds are trading cautiously ahead of Sunday's Greek referendum that could determine the country's future in the eurozone.
    • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is campaigning for citizens to vote "no," while the rest of the 19-nation currency bloc says a clear "yes" could get Athens back on track to reform. Polls suggest the outcome is still too hard to tell.
    • Tensions are also high after the IMF warned of a huge financial hole in the nation's economy. The fund stated Greece needed an extra €50B over the next three years, including €36B from its European partners, to stay afloat.
    • FTSE 100 -0.4%; DAX -0.3%; CAC 40 -0.6%; Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%
    • ETFs: GREK
    | 66 Comments
  • 4:37 AM
    • U.S. oil futures finished the holiday-shortened week with a loss of 4.5% following weekly reports showing an unexpected rise in crude supplies and 2015's first weekly gain in the number of active oil rigs.
    • "This week's data further support the thesis that a bearish fundamental trend has emerged, at least for the near term, which will continue to pressure WTI prices, with the next level of notable support down in the low $50’s," said the EIA's Tyler Richey.
    • Baker Hughes on Thursday reported that the number of active oil drilling rigs saw a weekly climb of 12 to 640 as of July 2.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, TWTI, OLEM
    | 12 Comments
  • 4:10 AM
    • Investors pulled another $3B in assets from the Pimco Total Return Fund (MUTF:PTTRX) in June, compared with $2.7B the previous month, in another sign the fund is still bleeding since the departure of Bill Gross last fall.
    • On top of cash withdrawals of $5.6B in April and $7.3B in March, total assets in the fund have now plunged to $102.8B from a peak of $293B in April 2013.
    | 3 Comments
  • 3:17 AM
    • Marking another sign of the state's financial recovery, the one-notch upgrade to "AA-" from "A+" gives California GO debt the highest rating from S&P since 2000 - when the dot-com bust hammered the state's economy.
    • California's new budget, "marks another step forward in the state's journey toward improved fiscal sustainability," said the agency's report.
    • California now outranks Illinois and New Jersey and is tied with Michigan and Pennsylvania.
    • ETFs: PCK, VCV, BFZ, PCQ, PZC, MCA, NAC, NKX, MUC, CMF, MYC, CCA, NZH, EVM, PWZ, AKP, NCA, NVX, CEV, EIA, BJZ, CXA, NXC, NCB, NBW
    | 8 Comments
  • 2:30 AM
    • The bloodbath in Chinese equities continued today, with the Shanghai Composite plunging over 5.8% amid reports that the country's securities market regulator launched a probe into suspected market manipulation.
    • Following a slump of nearly 30% in Chinese stocks since mid-June, China Securities Regulatory Commission has now set up a team to look at "clues of illegal manipulation across markets."
    • A flurry of policy moves over the past week, including an interest rate cut, attempts to curb short selling and a relaxation of margin lending rules, have all failed quell the sell-off that is sharply turning into a full-blown crash.
    • Shenzhen -5.3%; ChiNext -1.7%.
    • ETFs: FXI, ASHR, EWH, CAF, YINN, KWEB, PGJ, GXC, FXP, HAO, YANG, TAO, CHIX, CHN, PEK, CHIQ, CQQQ, MCHI, TDF, QQQC, XPP, YAO, GCH, ASHS, YXI, CN, CHXF, FCA, CHNA, CNXT, CHII, ECNS, CHIE, EWHS, CHIM, KBA, KFYP, FCHI, JFC, FHK, AFTY, CHAU
    | 116 Comments
  • Thursday, July 2, 2015

  • 5:57 PM
    • Senior executives from Glencore (OTCPK:GLNCY, OTCPK:GLCNF) have met Iranian officials in Tehran ahead of a possible deal on its nuclear program, in the first sign commodity trading houses are positioning to help the country return to the international oil market, Financial Times reports.
    • Glencore’s visit follows discussions between European oil majors Shell and Eni and Iranian officials over long-term investments in the country’s oil and gas industry, but big oil traders may have a more immediate role to play.
    • Iran is “not going to sit on the sidelines” waiting for the results of talks in Vienna and it preparing to move the moment sanctions are lifted, and it will "explore all the strategies that are available to it to help it regain its share of the oil market and find new buyers for its crude," says IHS Energy's Jamie Webster.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, TWTI, OLEM
    | 2 Comments
  • 4:11 PM
    | Comment!
  • 2:12 PM
    • The U.S. oil rig count rose by 12 to 640 in the past week, according to the latest survey from Baker Hughes, breaking 29 consecutive weeks of decline.
    • While it is the first increase since last December, there are still ~60% fewer rigs working since a peak of 1,609 in October 2014.
    • The pace of declines has slowed considerably recently and the new increase reinforces the view that some producers may have cut costs and increased efficiency enough to feel they can start expanding operations and turn profits.
    • U.S. gas rigs fell by nine to 219 this week, with the overall count up three units during the week to 862.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, UWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DWTI, DTO, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, TWTI, OLEM
    | 27 Comments
  • 11:50 AM
    • Most of the usual suspects are part of a group of 15 global banks under investigation by Brazil antitrust watchdog Cade over alleged currency rigging.
    • This new investigation comes just weeks after six lenders agreed to pay $5.8B to the U.S. to settle similar charges.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, FINZ
    | Comment!
  • 10:43 AM
    • While some of the details of this morning's jobs report tilted weak, writes Jon Hilsenrath, the Fed's narrative on the economy remains in place, meaning a rate hike this year is still coming.
    • Notably, wage growth was flat from May and slowed on just 2% on a year-over-year basis, but Janet Yellen has said a gain in this metric isn't a prerequisite for rate increases.
    • As for timing, says Hilsenrath, the weakness in June's jobs numbers might be cause for delaying the first rate from September to December. Also at play in the Greek crisis, and the Fed's going to have to assess how that might spill over into the U.S.
    • Thirty-day Fed Funds futures are up several basis points, meaning - post-report - participants see rates lower for longer, with a full 25 basis point hike not being priced in until January.
    • ETFs: SHY, BIL, VGSH, SHV, SCHO, DTUS, DTUL, SST, TUZ
    • Previously: Guts of jobs report weaker than the headlnes (July 2)
    | 3 Comments
  • 10:31 AM
    | 8 Comments
  • 8:45 AM
    | 24 Comments
  • 8:38 AM
    • The June print of 223K jobs added was just shy of the 230K consensus, but May's 280K gain was revised down to 254K and April's 221K to 187K. Combined, there was 60K fewer jobs created in April and May than originally reported.
    • The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% from 5.5% previously and 5.4% expected, but it's due to lower labor force participation rate - it fell to 62.6% from 62.9%. A year ago, it stood at 62.8%.
    • The broader U-6 unemployment rate fell to 10.5% from 10.8% in May and 12% a year ago.
    • The average workweek of 34.5 hours was flat for the fourth straight month. Average hourly earnings of $24.95 was flat, and up 2% from a year ago.
    • Up ahead of the jobs number, the 10-year Treasury yield has fallen seven basis points since the report, now off three bps to 2.39%. TLT +0.4%
    • ETFs: TBT, TLT, TMV, TBF, EDV, TMF, TTT, ZROZ, TLH, SBND, VGLT, UBT, DLBS, TLO, TENZ, LBND, DLBL, TYBS, VUSTX
    • Previously: Jobs up 223K; UE rate falls to 5.3% (July 2)
    | 27 Comments
  • 7:26 AM
    • "I prefer to cut my arm off rather than sign an agreement without debt restructuring," Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis tells Bloomberg, promising to step down if citizens vote "yes" on Sunday for the austerity measures demanded by the country's creditors.
    • The country, he says, should not "extend and pretend" any longer that it can pay its debts.
    • "We desperately want to stay in the euro ... We are going to win ("no" vote) on Sunday."
    • The banks and the stock market remained closed. NBG +1.8% premarket; GREK no trades.
    | 83 Comments
  • 7:19 AM
    • Due to the July 4 holiday, June's nonfarm payroll report will be released today at 8:30 ET. The U.S. is expected to have added 230K jobs last month vs. 280K in May. The unemployment rate is forecast to tick down to 5.4%.
    • Stock index futures are up 0.2%.
    • Europe is little-changed as it awaits this weekend's Greek referendum. Finance Minister Varoufakis has promised to quit if the citizens vote "yes" for the additional austerity measures demanded by the country's creditors.
    • Shanghai tumbled 3.5% overnight and the Nikkei gained 1%.
    • The 10-year Treasury yield is up two basis points at 2.44%, and gold and oil are little-changed.
    • ETFs: SPY, QQQ, DIA, SH, SSO, SDS, VOO, IVV, UPRO, PSQ, SPXU, TQQQ, SPXL, RSP, QID, SQQQ, QLD, DOG, DXD, RWL, UDOW, EPS, SDOW, DDM, VFINX, BXUB, QQEW, QQQE, SPLX, SFLA, BXUC, QQXT, SPUU, UDPIX, OTPIX, RYARX
    | 2 Comments
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