vrijdag 2 juni 2017

BofA: The "QE Monster" Only Ends When "The Wall Street Bubble" Finally Shocks The Fed

Below we excerpt some of the latest observations from BofA's Michael Hartnett, who nearly a year ago first penned the "Icarus trade" concept, the final push in the US stock market to its all time highs, and who has been expecting a "blow off top" to stocks, before it all comes crashing down. How far are we away from this "blow off top" target of 2,620 (at which point the US stock market cap as a % of GDP hits an all time high)? As of this moment, it is less than 200 points. What is the catalyst for the last dash surge to end? "Icarus continues until Wall St. bubble (not Main St. recovery) forces Fed to tighten aggressively."
# As for the catalysts, BofA sees three: "Chinese credit crunch (note China corporate bond market down in 2017, Chart 2); Italian political risk and spread widening (see Rome muni bonds vs. New York - Chart 3); stronger US wages (consensus tomorrow’s May AHE = 2.6%) needed to rein-in the QE monster and ease Fed’s growing panic at breakdown of Phillips Curve."
- Ain’t No Stopping Me Now: another “risk-on” week of flows…$13.7bn inflows to equities, $6.0bn inflows to bonds, $0.1bn inflows to gold.
- Growth, Europe, EM winning: largest inflows to US growth funds in 24 weeks ($1.1bn); 10th consecutive week of inflows to Europe equities; 18th straight week of inflows to EM debt.
- The Late Rotation & the Great Woe-tation: YTD inflows to stocks ($141bn) pacing bonds ($168bn); but no end to woe for active equity investors, big rotation from active ($58bn outflows YTD) to passive equity funds ($199bn inflows YTD) continues.
- The Passive Bias & Beta of Private Clients: ETFs rising quickly as share of GWIM debt (9.6%) and equity holdings (11.4% - Chart 9); beta of BofAML GWIM top 10 stock holdings not yet dangerously high enough (0.9 today, albeit higher than 0.65-0.85 range that persisted 2008-2014 - Chart 10) to signal “Big Top”...


- Tick-tock: BofAML Bull & Bear index stable at 7.1 as hedge funds trim futures exposure and pace of EM inflows eases; BB index needs to surpass 8 for sell-signal. 
- Icarus targets: SPX at 2822, bull market becomes largest ever; SPX at 2620. US stock market cap as % GDP hits all-time high (Chart 1)...


“Asset Class Quilt” (Table 3) shows big 2017 returns normally seen in post-recession years (e.g. 2003 or 2009); we forecast big risk asset “overshoot”, best played via barbell of tech & gold/resources/banks...


Janet & Icarus: massive central bank liquidity supernova inciting Wall St. bull to flare higher, led by uber “growth” (EM internet stock returns annualizing 125%,) and uber “yield” in fixed income (US CCC HY bonds annualizing 18%). Icarus continues until Wall St. bubble (not Main St. recovery) forces Fed to tighten aggressively. 3 Grey Swans: Chinese credit crunch (note China corporate bond market down in 2017 - Chart 2); Italian political risk and spread widening (see Rome muni bonds vs. New York - Chart 3); stronger US wages (consensus tomorrow’s May AHE = 2.6%) needed to rein-in the QE monster and ease Fed’s growing panic at breakdown of Phillips Curve...