Treasury Three-Month Bill Yields Turn Negative.

When you have US Treasury yields sitting at historic lows at prolonged periods of time and across the entire yield curve, it only means one thing – delfation is here and anywhere you look on the horizon. But when you have yields turn negative, which really means investors paying privately owned Federal Reserve to hold their money as it has become the only safe place to keep it, this is a sign of a crash or some impending credit event which is also deflationary. Someone somewhere knows something. Only indication we, the common folks get of an impending crisis, is the sharp jump in excess reserves held with the Federal Reserve banks by other financial institutions. The excess reserves rose by almost $250 Billion between July of 2009 and November 2009, while the stock market has been setting yearly highs and “recovery” has been gathering pace, or so the powers that be would want us to beleive. Add to this the November 19th, 2009 delay in release of “Reserve Bank credit H.4.1 weekly report” and you get a shiver down your spine that something is about to hit the proverbial fan.

Bloomberg. November 19, 2009.

Stocks Plunge as Treasury Three-Month Bill Yields Turn Negative.

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks extended a global drop as concern grew that the rally has outpaced the prospects for economic growth. The yen and the dollar strengthened, oil tumbled and yields on Treasury three-month bills turned negative for the first time since financial markets froze last year.

The MSCI World Index of equities 23 developed countries dropped 1.7 percent at 4:31 p.m. in New York, its steepest loss this month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1.3 percent to 1,094.90 as Bank of America Corp. downgraded chipmakers, sending Intel Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. down at least 3.4 percent. The yen climbed against all 16 of its most-traded counterparts and the Dollar Index rose as much as 0.5 percent. Aluminum and copper led declines in industrial metals.

Stocks slid amid speculation the eight-month, 68 percent rally that drove the valuation of the MSCI World Index to the most expensive level in seven years already reflects forecasts for a 25 percent rebound in corporate earnings next year. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development doubled its growth forecast for the leading developed economies next year to 1.9 percent in a report today, while saying that mounting debt burdens will keep the expansion in check.

“It makes perfect sense that the market’s going to take a little bit of a breather,” said Michael Mullaney, who manages $9 billion at Fiduciary Trust Co. in Boston. “Sentiment had gotten a little too bullish.”

Fall From Peak

The S&P 500 retreated from a 13-month high for a second day even as the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits held at a 10-month low and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index rose more than estimated. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 93.87 points, or 0.9 percent, to 10,332.44.

Rates turned negative on some bills maturing in January, according to Sarah Sobeck, a Treasury trader at primary dealer Jefferies & Co. The three-month bill rate was at 0.0051 percent, the least this year. Six-month bill rates dropped to the lowest since 1958. Treasury bills turned negative last December for the first time since the government began selling them in 1929 as investors scrambled to preserve principal and were willing to sacrifice returns in the months following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., said the “systemic risk” of new asset bubbles is rising with the Fed keeping interest rates at record lows.

‘Painful Level’

“The Fed is trying to reflate the U.S. economy,” Gross wrote in his December investment outlook posted on the Newport Beach, California-based company’s Web site today. “The process of reflation involves lowering short-term rates to such a painful level that investors are forced or enticed to term out their short-term cash into higher-risk bonds or stocks.”

The two-year note yield fell five basis points to 0.70 percent at 4:24 p.m. in New York, according to BGCantor Market Data. The 1 percent security due October 2011 rose 3/32, or 94 cents per $1,000 face amount, to 100 18/32. The yield touched 0.6759, the lowest since Dec. 19. It fell to an all-time low of 0.6044 percent on Dec. 17.

Today’s slide in the S&P 500 was the biggest since Oct. 30, when the benchmark for U.S. stocks dropped 2.8 percent.

Intel, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors, fell 4.1 percent and Texas Instruments, the second-biggest, dropped 3.4 percent. Dan Heyler, head of Asian semiconductor research at Merrill, said the supply of chips is growing faster than demand, putting earnings at risk. Intel and Texas Instruments were lowered to “neutral” from “buy” and the global chip industry was cut to “negative” from “positive.”

Chip Stocks, Alcoa

Semiconductor stocks in the S&P 500 lost 3.7 percent as a group, the largest tumble among 24 industry groups.

Alcoa Inc. declined 3.9 percent for the second-steepest drop in the Dow as aluminum, copper, lead, nickel and tin all retreated.

ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, slipped 1.9 percent and Chevron Corp. lost 2 percent as crude fell for the first time in four days. Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s biggest oilfield-services provider, lost 3.3 percent. Crude for delivery next month tumbled 2.6 percent to $77.50 a barrel.

Energy producers in the S&P 500 fell 2.1 percent as a group, the biggest drop among its 10 industries. Technology shares, the largest group in the index, lost 1.6 percent and contributed the most to the decline.

‘Grossly Overvalued’

Bank shares slid after Meredith Whitney, the analyst who correctly predicted in 2007 that Citigroup Inc. would cut its dividend, said lenders “are still grossly overvalued” and reliant on government purchases of mortgage-backed securities.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest U.S. bank, and Wells Fargo & Co., the fourth-biggest, each dropped 1.9 percent. The S&P 500 Financials Index slumped 2 percent.

Writedowns of mortgage-backed debt contributed to a combined $1.7 trillion of losses by financial companies globally since the beginning of 2007. Mortgage delinquencies have continued to rise as job losses render consumers unable to stay current on their debt payments.

One out of every six home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration was late by at least one payment and 3.32 percent were in foreclosure in the third quarter, the highest for both since at least 1979, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today.

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell 1.7 percent in the first three-day decline this month after Groupe Danone SA, the world’s largest yogurt maker, cut its forecast for annual sales growth. The company cited “profound” changes in consumer spending. Danone lost 4.4 percent in Paris.

Share Sales

Asian stocks declined, dragging the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down for a third day, as share-sale plans at Japanese companies raised concern the value of existing holdings will be reduced. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. sank 3.7 percent and Nomura Real Estate Residential Fund Inc. slumped 8.6 percent after filing to sell stock.

Sixty-five percent of companies in the MSCI World Index that reported earnings since Oct. 7 have beaten analysts’ estimates, Bloomberg data show, and 80 percent of S&P 500 companies have topped estimates. The two indexes have rallied since March 9 on signs government stimulus policies and record- low interest rates are helping to pull the global economy out of the recession.

Fewer ‘Buy’ Ratings

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped the most in a week, losing 1.4 percent. Emerging-market analysts cut “buy” ratings on Brazil to 44.6 percent this month, the lowest since Bloomberg began tracking them in 1997, after a 139 percent surge in the benchmark Bovespa Index pushed equities to their priciest levels in six years. Brazil’s Bovespa Index lost 0.3 percent today.

The yen appreciated 0.6 percent against the euro and 0.3 percent against the dollar. The dollar advanced 0.3 percent to $1.4916 versus the euro as it strengthened against all 16 major counterparts except the yen.

“The yen and U.S. dollar have been supported by the continued upturn in risk-averse conditions,” Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in London, wrote in a report. “Current conditions remain unfavorable for risk assets, leaving them vulnerable to a correction lower.”

The combined economy of the OECD’s 30 member countries will expand 1.9 percent next year and 2.5 percent in 2011, the Paris- based organization said. Output will contract 3.5 percent this year. The 2010 forecast compares with the 0.7 percent growth predicted by the OECD in June, when the major economies were just beginning to emerge from their worst recession in more than half a century.

Losing Confidence

President Barack Obama said in an interview with Fox News recorded in Beijing that the U.S. must get the federal deficit under control. If the government continues to pile up debt, “people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession,” he said.

Sales of coupon-bearing Treasuries will increase to $2.38 trillion in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, from $1.81 trillion in the prior 12 months, primary dealer Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report on Oct. 20.

The U.S. will auction $44 billion of two-year notes on Nov. 23, $42 billion of five-year debt on Nov. 24 and $32 billion of seven-year securities on Nov. 25. The $44 billion in two-year notes matches a record and the five- and seven-year amounts are both records.

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