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Trump Makes ‘Big Progress’, China Slowdown Worsens, Markets Beg For New Year’s Eve Mercy Killing

Just get it over with.

Inexplicably, the market looks like it’s predisposed to taking some measure of comfort in Donald Trump’s weekend tweet about a phone call he had with Xi that, according to Trump, was “long and very good.”

Never mind the fact that the tweet in question was entirely nebulous and, more importantly, came wedged between a series of wild rants that again suggested the crazy badgers that live in the President’s brain are up to no good in there.

Read more

Weekend Notables: Trump Calls Xi, Goldman Slashes U.S. Growth Forecast, Fed Call

However things pan out, we know one thing for sure: December ends today, and the closing bell on 2018 will be a kind of mercy killing. This is the worst month for stocks since 2009.

SPXMonth

(Bloomberg)

For reference, below is an updated version of our annotated December futures chart which shows you how things deteriorated after the initial knee-jerk higher following the G20 (again, we would remind you that this hardly captures everything – this month featured multiple flash crashes and all manner of generalized shenanigans).

ES

(Bloomberg)

It’s worth noting that markets are putting more weight on Trump’s account of a phone call than they are on China’s December PMI data which showed the manufacturing gauge dipping into contraction territory for the first time since 2016. New export orders fell further as well.

PMIs

(Bloomberg) 

I guess it’s time for some widely-followed cynical finance Twitter accounts to say something like “even the fake data is missing!” Because that’s definitely a joke nobody has ever heard before. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve run clean out of patience with both bullish and bearish finance Twitter – there’s just nothing fresh out there. All of these people (bullish, bearish and otherwise) are saying the same thing with no regard for creativity or individuality.

I digress. The real joke, of course, is that when you really think about it, the U.S. is borrowing money from China to pay subsidies to U.S. farmers because the trade war the U.S. started prompted China to stop buying U.S. soybeans. 

Now please, tell me again: Who is “winning”?

Oh, and China is increasingly unwilling to fund those bailouts…

TreasuryCH

(Bloomberg)

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8 comments on “Trump Makes ‘Big Progress’, China Slowdown Worsens, Markets Beg For New Year’s Eve Mercy Killing

  1. That dramatic down slope in debt purchase by China reveals determination. I had heard again and again that they had no choice but to buy our debt.

  2. Curt Tyner

    Our Liar in Chief has now turned into the Liar in Chief who cries wolf, again. China will not give in, lordy they will let 500 million of their people die before they even blink. Trump loves the game and the absurd craziness he thinks he can control. Pretty sure the world has had enough. I know we have.

  3. It’s only boring if you’re not in the game and/or wanting to see how this all plays out. Even Ray Dalio wants to see it all unfold so much that he’s willing to spill his guts to the public-at-large on the rules of the game and what moves can be made by the players on the board.

  4. Harvey Darrow Cotton

    The market is pricing in nothing changing.

  5. Sentiment is fickle. “China slowdown = bad” can flip to “China slowdown = good” if markets think that makes a so-called trade “deal” more likely. How much to trust such swings in mood is the question.

  6. Anonymous

    The LOVELY thing about your opening chart… all the green that follows those big red moves. It also tells me red has happened before, pre-Trump, can you believe it? Trump is such a villain for allowing red on the chart as if it’s something alien. Not saying there isn’t more room for some red, your just a distraction, you have no carpentry skills.

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