JPMorgan Silver Criminal Charges & Not QE4 REPO Loan Fiasco Timing

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Hedge Fund Hotel: $2 Billion A Day Keeps The Punters In Pay

In our new risk free market, party like it’s 1999 environment with imbalances running wild and S&P 500 price targets being raised almost daily it may be silly to speak of any corrective activity to come in stocks. After all the Fed looks to continue printing until June.
Yet extreme one sided market actions have consequences and those can be found in the technicals and in history.
Hence I wanted to take a closer look at $AAPL today, by far the biggest behemoth in the US market universe now having run over 100% since the January 2019 lows, adding over $500B in market cap. Be it buybacks, be it the Fed, be it 5G hopes, be it the benefits of passive indexing, be it all of these factors in some combination, they all have contributed to the single largest market cap expansion in an individual stock in a single year in history.
Due to its size the stock has also been the single largest contributor to index gains, predominantly in the $NDX where $AAPL has contributed nearly 20% to the index’s gain alone:
Too big to fail indeed. With 5 stocks alone now controlling 50% of the $NDX gain in 2019 alone any of these stocks facing a technical correction could well dampen investor expectations looking for further market gains in 2020.
After all we live in a world where 2 companies have a market cap exceeding the entire market cap of Germany, only the 4th largest economy in the world:
Just to put things into perspective: Combined mkt cap of and $250bn higher than the entire mkt cap of the German stock market.
View image on Twitter

So let’s look at the technicals here and the readings it has produced.
Let’s start with a basic daily chart:
Following the 2018 rout $AAPL bottomed in early 2019 when it issued a revenue warning. It build a rising wedge which peaked in early May on a negative divergence and a larger correction ensued. This correction ended in June when, like the broader market, it began to rally on Jay Powell’s ‘ready for rate cuts’ comments. Into the summer and fall it produced marginal new highs on the Fed’s rate cuts, but then, like the rest of the market, the stock went on a tear in Q4 as the Fed went wild on balance sheet expansion and repo. In process it has formed a very large channel and has now reached the top of this channel along with vast overbought readings on the RSI and a negative divergence.
How steep this channel really is can be appreciated when viewed through the lens of a weekly chart:
Here we can note a weekly RSI reading above 85. Historically speaking these kind of RSI readings have produced either a larger correction or a smaller pullback. These readings themselves are not indicative of a major top although they can lead to one.
More often high RSI readings have led to a pullback to the .236 fib or .382 fib before another rally then produced a new high on a negative divergence which then leads to a much larger correction of size. Recent examples:
But in context of the massive size of this rally even a pullback to the .236 fib would constitute a larger move lower.
The monthly chart also reveals a larger channel which $AAPL has just reached and looks to be slightly extending above:
Note here though that a large negative divergence already exists, between the 2018 and the 2019 highs. This leaves room to the interpretation that $AAPL is at risk of making a larger top perhaps even in Q1 of 2020.
How much further can $AAPL extend higher at this stage? Risk reward is screaming massive caution here. Why? Because $AAPL is not only pressing against key trend lines, but the stock is far extended above key Bollinger bands, extension of which history shows are not sustainable.
Here’s the monthly linear view which highlights the point quite clearly:
Past extensions above the monthly Bollinger bands have produced rejections, some leading to new highs, some not. The last example being 2018 which led to a massive correction.
But it’s the quarterly chart which reveals a more concerning historical perspective:
Since 2007 $AAPL has poked hard above its quarterly Bollinger band, four times prior to this occasion. In each case it ended up producing a move to the quarterly 15 MA. That’s a four in four track record. The quarterly 15MA is currently at $167 and is rising and will be higher in 2020, but that’s the appointment $AAPL has based on history.
What this chart also shows is that these quarterly pokes above the Bollinger band can take 2-3 quarters, in 2012 it was 4 quarters. Given the earlier chart history it suggests $AAPL can see a sizable pullback in Q1, then race off to make new highs still, but then face the technical judgement of history.

Bottomline: Chasing $AAPL here on the long side is extremely dangerous. Rather it is likely to see a sizable pullback early in Q1 2020 ($236-$250 based on fibs) hence selling strength may be the right call. That first larger pullback may then offer a long trade opportunity for another potential run higher, but then $AAPL may be at risk of  a much larger correction or even bear market later into 2020 and 2021. Given its size and contribution to the overall market and index performance $AAPL will be key to watch next year.

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Traders Got Head Start on Bank of England News Conferences

The Bank of England shut down an audio feed of market-sensitive information after it was used to offer some traders a competitive time advantage.
The feed supplies investors and central-bank watchers with audio from the news conferences by Gov. Mark Carney in the minutes after interest-rate decisions are published. Small changes in language from bank officials on the future path of interest rates can often move the pound or U.K. government bonds.
The audio feed, meant to be a backup to the main audio and video feed provided by Bloomberg LP, has been “misused by a third-party supplier to the Bank since earlier this year to supply services to other external clients,” the central bank said in a statement, without identifying the supplier.
Traders have long sought to gain access to market-sensitive information as quickly as possible, and the rise of electronic and algorithmic trading has made such information even more valuable.
The bank, which also didn’t identify the clients who received the information from the backup-audio supplier, said it was in the dark about the alleged misuse. “This wholly unacceptable use of the audio feed was without the Bank’s knowledge or consent,” the central bank said.
Statisma News and Data Ltd., an audio-delivery technology company, says on its website that it has covered public events in the U.K. since 2010 including Bank of England news conferences. It said in a statement published on its website Thursday, “We DO NOT carry embargoed information and we DO NOT release information without it first being made available to the public.” A Statisma spokesman couldn’t be reached for further comment.
On April 29, a tweet from an account linked to Statisma’s website enticed customers to watch government news conferences through its feed. “Hear the news first…up to 10 seconds faster than watching them live on TV,” the tweet said. The tweet appears to have been taken down Thursday.
A screenshot of an April tweet from an account linked to Statisma’s website that appears to have been taken down Thursday.
Another tweet, posted Nov. 7, the same day that Mr. Carney was set to speak, said, “Sign up for a free trial at to hear him first.”
A YouTube account that purported to be from Statisma News posted videos of Bank of England press conferences along with links to charts showing how the pound moved when Mr. Carney was speaking. This included a news conference on August 2, 2018, the day the bank raised interest rates for only the second time in a decade.
Statisma’s website said it is a unit of Encoded Media Ltd. Encoded Media describes itself as a media streaming company, founded in 2003, with the original aim of serving the finance industry. The companies share common directors according to U.K. corporate filings. Encoded executives couldn’t be reached for comment.
The Bank of England declined to comment on Statisma’s statement or on the social media posts from the @StatismaComms Twitter account. The monetary authority said Thursday it had referred the case to the Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K.’s market watchdog. Any misuse of the feed would likely fall foul of market abuse regulations, a person familiar with the FCA’s oversight role said.
The European Central Bank appears to have run into a similar issue. In September it started providing a low-latency or ultrafast audio feed of its press conferences, after the bank discovered that some companies were trying to sell access to a faster feed than the official video webcast, which has a delay of about 30 seconds. Audio-only feeds tend to be faster than video.
The new ECB audio feed has a delay of about three seconds, to help ensure a level playing field for listeners, an ECB spokesman said.
The Bank of England holds its news conferences at its fortresslike headquarters in the City of London. Reporters given access to rate decisions ahead of time are held in a “lock in” in the basement without internet access. After the decision is released, reporters move upstairs to an auditorium where the press conference takes place.
The press briefings often offer more detail and nuance than the official statements published on the central bank’s website. There are also question-and-answer sessions where the responses from policy makers at the BOE, including Mr. Carney, offer more spontaneous responses which have the potential to move markets.
“Having information a few seconds early—where fractions of a second make a difference—could be hugely advantageous,” said Ben Watford, partner and head of hedge funds at global law firm Eversheds Sutherland.
In 2017, the U.K. government restricted how it distributed economic data to markets after The Wall Street Journal documented how the information was leaking to traders before publication.
Central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have also come under criticism in recent years for giving preferential access to big investors, who can glean future policy decisions from the meetings.
The Fed said Thursday that it “aims to make its press conferences available as widely as possible by streaming them live directly to the public and through accredited news organizations,” according to a spokesman. “We only use systems that are open for broad distribution,” he said.
The Fed has a pool arrangement with three news organizations. One of them at a time is allowed to attend a press conference and broadcast live, sharing the footage with the others for distribution.
The Fed doesn’t have a separate audio-only feed.
Information leaks at central banks don’t occur often but are potentially consequential when they do.
Several years ago, the Federal Reserve mistakenly emailed market-sensitive minutes of a monetary-policy meeting to a group of people, including investors, a full day before the document was scheduled to be released to the public.
In 2017, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker resigned after revealing his involvement in a 2012 leak of confidential information about Fed policy deliberations.
The alleged breach comes at a sensitive time for the Bank of England. Mr. Carney is set to step down at the end of January after serving in the job since 2013. While generally respected for his handling of monetary policy, he has also drawn sharp criticism from investors and politicians for what some say have been overly pessimistic predictions about the effects of Brexit on the economy.
Boris Johnson’s incoming government, fresh off last week’s election victory, has yet to name a successor.
—Anna Hirtenstein, Caitlin Ostroff, Tom Fairless and Sarah Chaney contributed to this article.
Write to Anna Isaac at

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