That uneasy feeling when everything is going well. Is it deserved? Can it last? Should you cash in and go paint watercolours in that studio on the Pembrokeshire coast?
Strategists are not immune, with a summer bout of the temporaries upon us. Goldman is the latest, downgrading its view of stocks over the weekend but without really committing to it:
We also downgrade equities to neutral over 3 months. We are concerned that a sell-off in government bonds will lead to a temporary sell-off in equities in line with what we saw last summer, though the magnitude is likely to be smaller as the need for bond yields to correct is lower than it was back then.
One day, maybe, companies in Europe will stun those paid to forecast these sort of things with an explosion of profitability. The gusher of earnings will arrive to justify the steady rise in the valuations of companies expected to produce them.
For now though, the story is the same as it has been since 2010: negative revisions. According to the strategy team at Goldman Sachs, what had been hoped for this year was 13 per cent growth in profits, but six months in that has dropped to 7 per cent with the cuts broad based. Actual growth in reported earnings was 1.5 per cent in the first quarter, compared to that which preceded it.
There is hope, or at least explanation, however. It was ever thus: Read more
Goldman Sachs has had a look attempts to lean against house price cycles by central banks, in 20 OECD countries from 1990 to 2012, to see what effect they have had.
More on that below, but first a striking chart of post-Great Recession house price trends (from the first quarter of 2009 to now):
Here’s the Ocado mission statement:
To revolutionise the way people shop forever, by giving them a uniquely innovative and greener alternative to traditional grocery shopping.
At the 13-year mark, the revolution has not yet found room for profits, however.
With a torrent of new stock on the way this year attached to the latest round of hot initial public offerings (DFS, Zalando, Game, B&M Bargains…) with ebullient forecasts, it might be helpful to go back over Ocado’s history, and compare and contrast the hope with reality. Read more
No, we hadn’t heard of this remuneration consultant either. But Sarah Butcher over at eFinancial Careers alerts us to the fact that Cook & Co advised on designated “risk takers” at Citibank Global Markets trousering an average basic salary of £507k in 2012.
Stock and cash bonuses took average total remuneration for these staff to £2.34m in this particular Citi division. Read more
Bored with zero interest in the bank? Why don’t you check out the latest in aluminium-backed deposit accounts? You take the excess aluminium off our hands, we sell it forward, and hey presto you get interest rates conventional banks just can’t beat!
(It’s the way the gold market has been compensating for its oversupply for generations.) (Terms and conditions apply.)
All of which is another way of saying the world’s aluminium oversupply burden has created some excellent carry opportunities in the off-market storage space over the last few years. Read more
Alternate title – Did Goldman Sachs lose $1.3bn in currency trades in the third quarter, or not? Read more
A few charts and some commentary plucked from a rather bullish note on India from Goldman’s Asia Pacific team:
We should welcome TCS Group Holding to London — the latest Russian firm to take advantage of our attractive Global Depository Receipts regime, which allows a company to describe itself as “London listed” without adhering to all those tiresome governance codes and disclosures that come with a regular full listing.
TCS — better known as Tinkoff Credit Systems or simply TCS Bank — is the creation of Oleg Tinkov, who sounds like a lively chap. He made his first fortune by taking Russian brewing upmarket, before selling out to Inbev in 2005 and then moving into retail financial services in earnest. Read more
Midnight Madness, that Goldman Sachs-led all-night lavish scavenger hunt/puzzle-solving competition/performance art so wonderfully described by Quartz earlier this year, is back and expanding. This year the charitable event will include Citigroup, Credit Suisse, BlueMountain, and Secor Asset Management all fielding teams to compete against Goldman.
Below you can see the pitchbook that was sent to potential participants (in typical banking style) earlier this year: Read more
Okay, don’t just think ‘Oh, Goldman are trying to wring a few last drops of revenue from the EM story…”
Instead, click to enlarge. Read more
Rio Tinto’s problems with its aluminium business are well documented.
But things could have been worse without all that warehousing shenanigans from Goldman et al. Read more
How much would you pay to make Goldman Sachs feel slightly uncomfortable?
The City of Oakland, California plans to dish out $226,378. Read more
That’s recession and the merest hint of the word sends Australian policymakers in to paroxysms of anger.
For example, here’s David Gruen (the Treasury’s chief macroeconomist) speaking before a Senate hearing last week.
From the Sydney Morning Herald: Read more
The pain goes on for the currency dubbed until recently the southern Swiss Franc…
We are not quite sure what is going on here.
Japonica Partners, a self-styled “entrepreneurial co-investment firm” based in Providence, Rhode Island, has launched a tender offer for almost 10 per cent of all Greek government bonds in circulation.
It’s ready to buy paper worth €2.9bn at par, paying a minimum of 45 per cent of face value. Read more
Goldman Sachs has hired 350 investment banking summer interns out of 17,000 applications, claiming it has “no problem” attracting talent six years after the financial crisis sparked a series of deep cuts to Wall Street jobs and bonuses.
That’s from the FT’s Tracy Alloway. Read more
The world is becoming intimately acquainted with the technical ins-and-outs of the Bloomberg LP empire.
There is Bloomberg’s bread-and-butter business of selling sophisticated data terminals to thousands of banking, hedge fund and regulatory authorities around the world. There is also the well-respected news wire run by Matt Winkler. Read more
Message from the CEO of Bloomberg
Dear Client, Read more
Here’s a moderately informative activity for a Friday afternoon.
Log on to your Bloomberg terminal. Type UUID <GO> Read more
Following their absolutely stellar advice to short gold on April 10, Goldman Sachs announces on Tuesday it is now time to take profit on that position:
We have closed our recommendation to short COMEX Gold, as prices moved above the stop at $1,400/toz. We have exited the trade significantly below our original target of $1,450/toz, for a potential gain of 10.4%. The move since initiation was surprisingly rapid, likely exacerbated by the break of well-flagged technical support levels. Our bias is to expect further declines in gold prices on the combination of continued ETF outflows as conviction in holding gold continues to wane as well as our economists’ forecast for a reacceleration in US growth later this year. Read more
Some deep thoughts from Goldman Sachs, by way of Jeffrey Currie and team, on the drivers of the current commodity sell-off (and no, their short gold advice from last week isn’t listed as one of them):
The sharp sell-off in gold was triggered by growing fears that the central bank of Cyprus would sell its gold reserves, potentially reflecting a larger monetization of gold reserves across other European central banks. The decline in prices was exacerbated by the breach of key technical price support level at $1,530/toz and then at the $1,434/toz 200-week moving average, creating the largest one day decline. Spillover from gold and renewed European and EM macroeconomic concerns also created sharp sell-offs in crude oil and base metals, that were mostly front-end driven, crushing spreads (the carry), as longer-dated prices remained remarkably stable.
The biggest ASX fallers on Monday…
… all gold.
(yes, even PanAust)
Last week it was SocGen that declared the gold era was over. Now the precious metals team at Goldman is taking a similar view.
This is from their latest commodity research note: Read more
It was supposed to be one of the best trades of 2013 – buy mining stocks to get leveraged upside to the global economic turnaround. But as we approach the end of the first quarter, only one half of that equation is working. The world economy is recovering strongly but the big miners are being well and truly left behind – Australian Financial Review.
Yep, the miners as a ‘leveraged play on global growth” is not going exactly to plan: Read more
The latest commodity advice from Goldman Sachs suggests the current sell-off may be overdone.
Here are the key points from Monday’s note:
Shifting to near-term overweight as commodity sell-off overdone
Commodity markets declined sharply in February along with emerging market (EM) equities due to renewed concerns over China, which we believe is overdone. Although our price targets other than gold remain unchanged, this pull back has pushed our near-term return forecast from 2.0% to 6.0%, making commodities the asset class within the ECS coverage universe with the most robust near-term outlook. However, our 12-month neutral recommendation remains unchanged as our returns forecast is still a more subdued 3.0%, as we continue to remain structurally neutral on long-dated oil and commodity prices due to the structural supply-side response to persistently high prices.
There’s been a fierce and fascinating response from the SEC to evidence of clairvoyant dealings in Heinz ahead of news of the Buffett/3G Capital takeover offer. The statement is here and the full SEC complaint is here.
Following reports of unusual activity in Heinz call options on Nasdaq on Wednesday – the day before the Heinz news broke — the SEC has obtained an emergency order freezing assets in a Zurich, Switzerland-based trading account which it reckons benefited to the tune of $1.7m from the Buffett/3G bid. Read more