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The Day The Earth Stood Still: In Death, Qassem Soleimani Halts Global Market Rally

"This far eclipses the deaths of bin Laden or Baghdadi".

It took the assassination of a man who everyone else knew better than to assassinate to push the S&P 500 to a weekly loss. Thanks to Friday's slide (the worst in a month), US equities slipped 0.2% on the week after an MQ-9 Reaper drone incinerated a convoy carrying Qassem Soleimani, Iran's most revered general and the most feared intelligence operative in the Mideast. Were it not for the Trump administration's brazen, extraterritorial execution, the S&P would have almost certainly logged a 12th weekly gain in 13. Instead, a five-week win streak is just as dead as the general, although unlike Qassem, stocks will have a chance to rebound next week. Note the simple chart in the bottom pane. The long-bond ETF had its second-best day since August, which, you'll recall, was the best month for US government debt since 2008. Let that sink in - there's a lot of chatter on Friday evening about a "muted" market reaction. To be sure, you could argue that stocks "should" have fallen more given the gravity of what unfolded in Baghdad, but 10-year yields retreated ~9bps on the session. That's a big move. Prior to December 3, the last time TLT rose this much in a single session, Dona
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8 comments on “The Day The Earth Stood Still: In Death, Qassem Soleimani Halts Global Market Rally

  1. mfn says:

    Blood for oil. Not going to end well.

  2. Walter L says:

    With present policy, was Iran winning or losing? If they were winning, why change policy. Stay calm, continue to win. Soleimani will be replaced and the longer war goes on. They aren’t looking for a tit-for-tat escalation; or at least they shouldn’t. That won’t be a win. The only win for Iran in this came when Trump said yes.

  3. Curt Tyner says:

    Trump has now stepped in the sh*t. There is a reason that different tribes have been fighting over blood feuds for over a thousand of years in the Middle East. This idiot just pushed the crazy button so look out if you are anywhere near Iran’s sphere of influence. This is bad very, very bad.

  4. hookandgo says:

    H-Man, if we assume POTUS will manipulate the arena to his benefit (ala Ukraine), is it reasonable to assume this strike was done on a grander stage for the benefit of POTUS? And before you decry that assumption, remember the immediate effect has sent the word “impeachment” to the back of the bus. The media is consumed by Iran. Wars are good for the U.S. economy in the short term, military spending skyrockets, resulting in greater employment, with increases in technology. Long term effects, not so good. No credible evidence has been presented for the strike, other than a generalization about danger to Americans which, unfortunately, has a strong resemblance to the WMD monikor for the invasion of Iraq. While the stock market may suffer initially, due to the gains of the past 10 years including the out sized gains of 2019, there is powder to burn. Then toss in an election in a few months and is it unreasonable to think POTUS is manipulating this situation as he has done with other events repeatedly during his presidency which are to numerous to mention.

    The sad fact of the matter is that I write this post wondering if POTUS is acting for our protection or simply advancing his agenda. Those doubts are based on his statements made over the past three years which, to put it mildly, give him little if any credibility. I am a realist and not a conspiracy freak. I find myself asking the question whenever POTUS takes action, is there another reason?

    And then there is the great conundrum. If Pompeo was killed by the Iranians for plotting to kill Iranian generals, how do you think we respond?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am guessing it is a combo of ego/drunk on power and the instinct of acting like a mafia don. Say what you will but trump has now killed someone. Yes, someone of pure evil but a human and indirrectly others will now be killed. Either way I am not sure I want some like trump with this power. Hopefully others come around and vote him out in Nov.

      • Dana says:

        Like the guy says in Farmers insurance company commercial says “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”

        People naturally fall in line during times of war. If this escalates, expect rabid nationalism, worship of militarism, forgiveness of authoritarian behavior, etc. The narrative may shift quickly in the next few days.

        Be prepared to (a) keep your mouth shut (b) be ordered to love America or leave it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, I thought SP500 would be down 3% today. Let’s see China trade deal has passed, overbought, new year means taxes pd a ways away, limited upside (in my eyes), weak ISM Mfg, Fed prob on hold unless earnings deteriorate (ie slower growth) and “the game changer”. Oh, and new emails showing the deal with Ukraine.

    Amazing how people are either frozen, naive, ignorant, extremely risk tolerant, or maybe they are right and all will turn out well.

    I know most battle hardened guys like me have left the biz (voluntarily or not) but markets in the past would not have reacted like this.

    Even after the exo existential threat of 08 passed it took years to move closer to “normal” and we sit here beyond “normal” in my eyes.

    No wonder why us former HF guys are at home, playing golf, and trading our own capital.

    It is a different world.

    I just can’t get myself to invest the way it is now required. I hear echoes of Chuck Prince……………..

  6. Lance Manly says:

    The Bloomberg editorials are going all in that Iran will be too frightened to do anything. I guess they are not that bright after all.

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