Markets saw an early rally this morning, with the DJIA up 1.5% just
after the open on news that the Fed would step in and backstop the
commercial paper market. However, indices are off their best levels,
undulating in and out of positive territory for the most part with a
downside bias beginning to develop late in the morning. Crude is around
$90 after spiking up $3 on erroneous reports from the Iranian press
agency that the Iranian Air Force had grounded a US warplane that
strayed into its airspace. Bank of America reported its Q3 results
several weeks early yesterday after the close, noting that dramatically
changing economic and financial market conditions have impacted
operations. The bank reported earnings that were a quarter of the
expected amount and revenue that was below estimates, as well as higher
provisions for credit losses and rising net charge offs. The bank it
believes the economy has moved into a recessionary environment and
feels the risk of a prolonged recession has increased, and ominously
stated that increased loss and delinquency trends first experienced in
the home equity and homebuilder portfolios have now spread into the
first mortgage, unsecured consumer lending and credit card portfolios.
CEO Lewis noted that the bank now expects the Merrill Lynch transaction
to break even in 2010; back on 9/15, the company said the deal would be
accretive in 2010. Then before the open it filed to offer 300M shares
of common stock; CNBC noted that the issue is about half sold, and will
be priced sometime this evening. Shares of BAC fell steadily before the
open and through mid morning, and are now trading down 15%. In
addition, BAC's CFO said the Merrill deal could close as soon as year's
end, helping the latter trade down 12%. At the close yesterday
Citigroup and Wells Fargo signed a "litigation standstill" agreement,
pledging to halt all pending legal action regarding a takeover of
Wachovia. The standstill terminates on Oct 8. Citi is down 3%, while
WFC is around even. MS-9% after the Fed approves Mitsubishi UFJ's
purchase of up to 24.9% of the company. The CME confirmed that it would
launch an integrated credit default swaps trading platform together
with Citadel Investment Group in 30 days. The companies will cooperate
in a joint venture that will develop and run an electronic trading
platform providing an integrated central counterparty clearing facility
for CDS. The JV will operate as an independent organization with its
own board of directors and management team. CME and Citadel have set
aside 30% of equity for major CDS market participants to join as
founding members with certain market-maker privileges. AMD announced it
would spin off its manufacturing unit as a joint venture with ATIC, a
technology investment company wholly owned by Abu Dhabi. The new entity
will be called the Foundry Company; ATIC will invest $1.4B in the JV
and pay AMD $700M in exchange for a 55% stake. ATIC also committed to
making $3.6-6.0B in additional funding for the venture. AMD says it is
making the move to cut costs. AMD to receive a $8.4B investment from
- Confirming press reports and their own pledges to
continue developing "creative responses" to the financial crisis, the
Fed and Treasury announced a new plan to bail out commercial paper
markets. The "special funding vehicle" will backstop issuers of
commercial debt by purchasing unsecured and asset-backed three-month
commercial paper directly from eligible issuers. The Fed will lend
funds to the vehicle at the target Fed funds rate. Fed officials said
they believe the entire CP market is around $1.3T, but noted that they
don't expect to spend anywhere near that amount. They emphasized that
they want to get the vehicle up and running as soon as possible,
hopefully soon enough to get out in front of year-end funding pressure.
Though equity reaction can best be described as subdued, credit markets
do seem to be functioning marginally better following central banks'
latest attempts to provide liquidity relief. Treasury futures extended
a move lower after the commercial paper announcement and the US
three-month TED spread has improved some 30+ basis points. The yield on
the three-month T-bill has inched back above 0.9% as well. Fed Fund
futures sold of noticeably at one point not fully pricing in a 50 basis
point cut before recovering slightly. The US curve is flatter but to a
lesser degree than seen earlier this morning. The 10-year yield is back
towards 3.5% and the two-year is approaching 1.5%.
- European yield curves have flattened out during
the New York morning. Dec Bunds futures -21 ticks at 116.95; Dec Gilts
-39 ticks at 113.70. European bourses have been on a roller-coaster
ride, and are presently up in positive territory. Euro-Stoxx 50 Index
+2.0% at 2,982; FTSE 100 Index +1.7% at 4,668; CAC 40 Index +2.1% at
3,792 and DAX Index +0.8% at 5,428.
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Tue 19 June 2018 A 12:30 US- House Permits/Starts Wed 20 June 2018 A 14:00 US- Existing Homes Sales A 14:30 US- EIA Crude Thu 21 June 2018 AA 11:00 GB- Bank of England Decision A 12:30 US- Weekly Jobless Fri 22 June 2018 AFlash PMIs
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