Good news! It seems that–thanks to some magical domino effect having to do with oil–that this week’s market movements can’t do anything else but continue in the same direction. Guaranteed! Well, at least that’s the takeaway from most of the analysis out there. Apparently, this is just the tip of the iceberg where leveraged funds with exposure to the energy sector are being hunted down and blasted by short-sellers. I couldn’t really follow the logic as to the next domino, but it had everything! Emerging markets, blue chip stocks, bond yields, you name it. All going inevitably lower!
Is this for real? No. Sorry. When too many people start making the same bets, they end up being the side that loses. It’s, as yet, undetermined how close we are to that tipping point though, so we’re in the same position we always are with respect to the future being unpredictable. My point here is to throw in a word of caution amid the sound of the herd’s galloping hooves.
The herd galloped today though, and they were no worse for the wear. All manner of risk was shunned and risk-aversion was in fashion. This benefits Treasuries much more than MBS, but it didn’t stop mortgage rates from making it back below levels last seen on May 28th 2013. That means we’re on the doorstep of erasing the entire taper tantrum. So yeah… the herd mentality may be something that requires a caveat, but let’s hope they keep going.