The yield curve inversion plus why banks and banking stocks are impacted by it

The U.S. 10-year Treasury constant maturity yield minus the 2-year Treasury constant maturity yield spread has been a good indicator of past recessions. Yield curve inversion which happens when the spread turns negative and has preceded the last seven straight recessions. The 10-year Treasury constant maturity yield minus the 2-year Treasury constant maturity yield is the lowest since the last recession at only 10 bps.

10y minus 2y yield December 5 2018
Data Source: Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

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Highlights from November 2018

November 2018 saw big falls for Oil with WTI down 22% and Brent down 20.8%. Equities turned largely positive after a disastrous October with the S & P 500 up 2% and NASDAQ 100 up 0.5% during November. Asia was positive too with the Hong Kong HSI Seng Index up 6.2% and the Japanese NIKKEI up 2%. European Stocks performed badly though with the German DAX down 1.7% and the Portuguese PSI down 3.1%. The biggest loser was Bitcoin, down 37% during the month.

Bitcoin Price November 2018

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Here’s how the European Central Bank or ECB could unwind or reduce its balance sheet plus what is the new normal for the ECB?

The European Central Bank (ECB) only started its Quantitative Easing (or QE) program in March 2015 in order to fight ultralow inflation in the Eurozone (also called the Euro Area). It somewhat worked by weakening the Euro (€), increasing exports, giving the stock market a boost and drastically lowering financing costs for European governments and corporations. This caused the ECB balance sheet to soar over €4.5 trillion or 45% of Eurozone GDP.

ECB Balance Sheet until November 2018
Data Source: ECB

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Household credit growth in Canada is slowest in 35 years but outstanding household debt stands at over 125% of GDP and individual debt is already 175% of disposable income

Households in Canada are accumulating debt at the slowest pace in 35 years as interest rates continue to rise. Household credit growth has slowed to 3.5%, the slowest since 1983.

Canada Household Credit Growth Rate November 2018
Source: Bank of Canada

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Between January to the October peak, the FAANG stocks accounted for 82% of all the gains for the S & P 500 and the NASDAQ 100; The only stock to decelerate the stock market fall is … Microsoft

The S & P 500 and the NASDAQ 100 hit all time highs in early October and since then they have fallen about 10% each. The S & P 500 has turned negative for the year and the NASDAQ 100 has barely moved. FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google/Alphabet) stocks accounted for almost all the 2018 gains until October. And their fall has caused the market meltdown but there is more to the story …

SPX January to November 2018

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Eurozone and European Union trade stats for January to September 2018; EU trade surplus with the U.S. up 18% year on year as trade deficit with Russia up 38% year on year

In January to September 2018, Euro area or Eurozone exports of goods to the rest of the world rose to €1,686.0 bn (an increase of 3.6% compared with January to September 2017), while imports rose to €1,542.9 bn (an increase of 5.8% compared with January to September 2017). As a result, the euro area recorded a surplus of €143.1 bn, compared with +€169.2 bn in January-September 2017. Intra-euro area trade rose to €1,449.8 bn in January-September 2018, up by 5.7% compared with January-September 2017.

Euro Area trade until September 2018 graph
Source: Eurostat

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