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Markets Able to Battle Back From Fed Tumble


      U.S equities were able to recoup most of the lost ground that came following the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting that roused the possibility that monetary policy stimulus may end sooner than some had expected. The report came on the eve of the Federal Reserve's multi-day Jackson Hole Symposium, which could draw even more attention for any clues to the timing of the first rate hike given the backdrop of the Fed minutes. On the equity front, Target missed analysts' forecasts and lowered its full-year earnings outlook, but some upbeat … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   Cynicism is the new black as it’s quite in fashion now to be a naysayer. Unfortunately, in the financial milieu, cynicism is often warranted. From central banks to big banks to regulators, their words and promises are hollow while their dealings are often dubious. That is why it’s so rare when somebody actually does their job correctly, and the work of one slightly obscure regulatory chief has garnered so much press. Benjamin Lawsky leads the Department of Financial Services (DFS), which unlike the Treasury and Justice … [Read more...]

New School

New School2

      by Larry Levin   Most of you have probably taken both economics and political science at some point in your schooling. Well anything you learned, toss that out the window. A quick reminder of how geopolitics really governs the markets: on Friday, the market plunged 0.005% over fears Ukraine and Russia may be about to go at it all out after a fake report Ukraine shelled a Russian military convoy. On Monday, the same "market" soared just under 1% as the news that had caused the "crash" was refuted. The major averages rebounded with some conviction, as … [Read more...]

Upward Momentum Remains as Housing Data Pleases


    The domestic equity markets are adding onto yesterday's solid gains in late-morning action, as a continued cooling of geopolitical concerns is being accompanied by some favorable reports out of the housing sector. Dow member Home Depot posted stronger-than-expected quarterly results and lifted its full-year profit outlook, while on the economic front, July domestic housing starts and building permits both rose more than expected. Treasuries are nearly unchanged following the housing data, while a separate report showed U.S. consumer price inflation matched expectations. In … [Read more...]

Quote Stuffing

Quote Stuffing

        by Larry Levin   I often write about the HFT traders and the unfair advantage they have in the market. Last week, there were more allegations and revelations. While I have talked about all of this before, I wanted to provide some context for people who aren’t familiar with the intricacies of the business. There is a problem in the markets known as quote stuffing. This is where HFT create quotes that are supposed to trick others into believing there is a true order available to be hit. In reality those are not real orders. They are decoys. … [Read more...]

Equities Gaining Ground, Aided by Upbeat Housing Report


      The U.S. equity markets are higher in late-morning action as eased geopolitical concerns are being accompanied by an unexpected improvement in domestic homebuilder sentiment. Meanwhile, reads on U.S. housing sales and construction, as well as inflation are slated for later this week. Moreover, the Federal Reserve is poised to be a focal point during the week, as it will deliver its July meeting minutes and begin its Jackson Hole Economic Summit. Treasuries are moving lower amid to gains for stocks, along with gold and crude oil prices, while the U.S. dollar is … [Read more...]

Stocks Victimized by Geopolitical Risk


      Although off of the lows, the U.S. equity markets remain lower in afternoon action after reversing to the downside amid reports that Ukrainian artillery destroyed a significant portion of a column of Russian armored vehicles that crossed the Ukraine border overnight. Gold and the U.S. dollar are lower, while Treasuries and crude oil prices are solidly higher. Stocks gave up early gains that came from a plethora of U.S. economic data which further cooled concerns about a sooner-than-expected Fed rate hike. Producer price inflation rose as expected, consumer sentiment … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   It may be Friday but there's a whole to consider as we head into today's trading session and the weekend. Here is the bulletin headline summary from Bloomberg and RanSquawk: Further reduction of war-related premiums amid reports that Ukrainian border guards were allowed to check Russian humanitarian cargoes supported flows into EU stocks this morning. Bunds remained supported by the prospect of further policy easing by the ECB following a raft of less than impressive macroeconomic data over the past few days. UK Q2 … [Read more...]

Equity Markets Standing Up to Disappointing Data


        The domestic equity markets are moving higher in afternoon action, as a softer-than-anticipated read on U.S. July retail sales, which followed disappointing reports from China and the eurozone, appears to be easing concerns about a sooner-than-expected Fed rate hike. Also, stocks are showing some resiliency in the face of lackluster results from the earnings calendar, with lowered outlooks coming from Deere & Co, Macy's, and King Digital Entertainment. Treasuries are moving higher on the heels of the retail sales report, along with a decline in … [Read more...]

Atlantic City

Atlantic City1

          by Larry Levin   Revel, the already bankrupt Atlantic City casino, announced yesterday that it would shut down after failing to find a qualified buyer during a court-supervised auction process. Its failure comes a little more than two years since the resort opened in a bid to reinvigorate the long-declining gambling industry in Atlantic City. In June, Revel filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to negotiate a sale to Hard Rock International. Hope remained that another buyer would emerge and close on a deal. But by Monday, … [Read more...]