The Correction in the US Equities Markets Nobody Wants to Talk About

Posted on March 17, 2013. Filed under: Companies, Debt Ceiling, Economy, Financial Crisis, Fiscal Cliff, Securities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Edgar Perez, Author, The Speed Traders, and Knightmare on Wall Street

Edgar Perez, Author, The Speed Traders, and Knightmare on Wall Street

Stocks in the US markets slipped on Friday, ending the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s (DJIA) longest winning streak since 1996, just after snapping a 10-day run. Data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper service showed that investors in U.S.-based funds had poured $11.26 billion of new cash into stock funds this last week, the most since late January. The DJIA slipped 25.03 points, or 0.17 percent, to 14,514.11 at the close. Meanwhile, it was announced that the fewest workers on record were fired in January and job openings rebounded, showing employers were gaining confidence the U.S. expansion would be sustained.

According to some pundits, recent market activity is essentially driven by positive corporate earnings. The S&P500 Price/Earnings (PE) ratio is currently slightly high at 16.5, if we compare with past indicators. The median S&P500 Trailing Twelve Months (TTM) PE ratio has been about 14.5 over the last 100 years; average is around 16. It was during much of 2009 when the disconnect between price and TTM earnings was so extreme that the P/E ratio was in triple digits, as high as the 120s. Going back to the 1870’s, the average P/E ratio has been about 15; therefore, the US equity markets are not excessively valued, leaving some room for further growth.

Other pundits point to the Federal Reserve’s determination to continue stimulating the economy with increased liquidity. Mohammed Apabhai, head of Asia trading at Citigroup Global Markets, favors this train of thought. He has noted that there is a 70 percent correlation between stock market performance and liquidity, “whether it’s through the promise of lower rates, QE (Quantitative Easing) or promise of more QE.” The Federal Reserve has launched three rounds of Quantitative Easing since the financial crisis hit in 2008.

More likely, both factors are in play, very good corporate earnings and monetary policy that pushes investors to take risks in equities. So is the earnings momentum sustainable? Unfortunately, savings from the smaller share of the pie from labor, government spending and earnings coming from emerging markets (EM) outside the US are all factors that will be curtailed at some moment. Is the Fed eager to continue being the huge player in this equation? Some of its members are increasingly worried about the effectiveness of the continued QE; if the labor market recovers, as the January numbers showed, the Fed most probably might be ending its bond purchases soon.

As pointed out by James Saft, wages in the US have taken a smaller and smaller piece of the pie; now below 44pc of GDP and dropping, down several percentage points since 1999. That is in part the consequence of globalization and the offshoring of jobs. However, the labor which can be offshored largely has already been and the likely trend is for new manufacturing technologies to start pushing jobs back into the US. As has been of national knowledge as well, there is a real danger of declining government spending. A dollar spent by the government is a dollar that supports household income, and consumption, and of course corporate profits; there will be less dollars starting this month thank to the sequester, a series of spending cuts and tax increases aimed at reducing the budget deficit.

Emerging markets are looking overstretched heading into the second quarter, Barclays Capital said in a report dated March 15, pointing out that the cyclical recoveries in EM have slowed down. Consensus growth forecasts (according to Bloomberg) have been revised down by 0.75 percentage points on average since mid-2012.  EM equities have been slow to react to these developments due partly to the continued inflows into the asset class from retail clients. The correction has started recently and the performance by country year to date has been mixed, but the most pronounced selloffs have been associated with the largest revisions to GDP growth forecasts. Adding to this dire situation, the economies of emerging markets grew at a slower pace in February than the month before, according to HSBC’s monthly purchasing managers’ index. The PMI recorded a level of 52.3, down from 53.8 in January, its lowest since August. The index covers 16 leading emerging markets, including India, Brazil and China, which all saw their rate of growth fall. Investors had been questioning whether emerging markets, whose growth depends in part on exports to mature markets, could continue to expand at fast rates of almost 10% in some cases.

What the equity markets want indeed is stable and/or predictably increasing US profits and the Fed to stay in the bond markets. Saft ironically suggested that markets’ best hope might be a cut in government spending deep enough to kill job growth and indefinitely extend QE, something that nobody else would agree with. Instead, markets would be happy with a bit of positive news today followed by another bit of negative news tomorrow. Unfortunately for the markets, profits will start showing stagnation starting with first quarter results. Federal Reserve said in September 2012, when QE3 was announced, that it would start pumping $40 billion a month to purchase agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) until the labor market improves substantially. When will the Fed determine that the job market has made enough progress to reduce stimulus? The numbers for February will prove paramount in this regard. As these two important factors converge in a nightmarish scenario, equities markets should beware of the ensuing correction, coming as early as in the second quarter.

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HFT Who’s Who Joining me at High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2013 London

Posted on March 12, 2013. Filed under: Conference, Event Announcements, Exchanges, Practitioners, Regulations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Mr. Edgar Perez, author of The Speed Traders and the forthcoming Knightmare on Wall Street

Mr. Edgar Perez, author of The Speed Traders and the forthcoming Knightmare on Wall Street

A who’s who of the high-frequency trading world will be joining me next week at Golden Networking’s High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2013 London, “Strategic and Tactical Insights for Investors, Speed Traders, Brokers and Exchanges”, March 21, forum that will provide attendees in London with the most up-to-date review of where this ever-changing industry stands through an inspiring keynote speeches and thought-provoking panels with leaders in the field:

  • Professor Alex Preda, Professor of Accounting, Accountability and Financial Management, King’s College
  • Ms. Arlene McCarthy, Vice Chair – Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee and Draftsperson, Market Abuse Directive, European Parliament
  • Ms. Carol Clark, Sr. Policy Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Mr. Chris Skinner, Chairman, Financial Services Club
  • Professor Daniel Beunza, Lecturer, London School of Economics
  • Professor Dave Cliff, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol
  • Mr. David Mills, Sales Director EMEA, Azul Systems
  • Mr. Giovanni Beliossi, Managing Partner, FGS Capital
  • Mr. Hirander Misra, Chairman, Forum Trading Solutions
  • Professor Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, Lecturer, London School of Economics
  • Dr. Magrino Bini, Statistical Arbitrage Portfolio Manager, Millennium Partners
  • Mr. Philip Stafford, FT Trading Room Deputy Editor, Financial Times
  • Professor Philip Treleaven, Director, PhD, Centre in Financial Computing, UCL
  • Mr. Philippe Guillot, Executive Director of the Markets Division, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)
  • Mr. Sam Tyfield, Partner, Vedder Price, P.C.
  • Mr. Stuart Theakston, Head of Research and Automated Trading, GLC
  • Dr. Tommi A. Vuorenmaa, Head of Research & Trading, Valo Research and Trading
  • Mr. VJ Angelo, Director, Global Markets Exchange Group
  • Professor Walter Distaso, Professor of Financial Econometrics, Imperial College London

High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2013, “Strategic and Tactical Insights for Investors, Speed Traders, Brokers and Exchanges” ( will bring insights for investors and speed traders who need to protect and refine their competitive advantage in a world dominated by algorithmic and high-frequency trading. Recognized practitioners, regulators, experts, and strategists will return to High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2013 to provide attendees with the information they are looking for in an open and unbiased environment, highly conducive to the most efficient and effective networking.

Topics that will be discussed at High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2013 ( include the movement toward emerging markets, every time more attuned to the use of bots, the regulatory environment, how new technologies are changing the game, including a look at the upcoming regulatory changes that no doubt will be precipitated by Knight Capital’s trading glitch.

High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2013 ( is produced by Golden Networking (, the premier networking community for business executives, entrepreneurs and investors.

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Posted on August 24, 2012. Filed under: Book Review, Flash Crash, Strategies, Technology, Workshop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Speed Traders Workshop 2012, How High Frequency Traders Leverage Profitable Strategies to Find Alpha in Equities, Options, Futures and FX技術進步不僅將影響交易本身,而且最終會改變投資的方法

[ 在高頻交易中,如果要確保資本的有效使用,高頻交易員會希望交易價格最低的股票,這樣每筆交易的利潤保持不變但是利潤百分比就高了。這就是為什么股票的流動性和低價格成為高頻交易策略中重要的組成部分 ]

2008年金融危機以來,許多對沖基金紛紛倒閉,投資者們也謹慎地捂緊錢袋,然而,有一種交易模式卻在不斷擴張,以它為商業模式的基金也如雨後春筍,這就是高頻交易(High-Frequency Trading)。這種盈利模式的核心競爭力在哪裡,前景又如何?

近日,美國高頻交易專家、《交易快手:透視正在改變投資世界的新興高頻交易》作者埃德加﹒佩雷斯(Edgar Perez)接受第一財經日報《財商》記者專訪。他表示,實現毫秒或微秒交易的速度是高頻交易的核心競爭力。目前,在發達的市場如美國和歐洲,高頻交易已占到交易量的一半以上。而假以時日,中國有望成為世界上最大的高頻交易市場。

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The New York Times: Don’t Ban the Trades; Regulate Them in Real Time

Posted on August 6, 2012. Filed under: Exchanges, Flash Crash, Practitioners, Regulations, Securities and Exchange Commission, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The New York Times: Don’t Ban the Trades; Regulate Them in Real TimeIn my latest piece in The New York Times, I argue that wrongdoing existed long before the advent of high-frequency trading, and it will always be a part of markets. High-frequency trading is simply a tool; it can be positive or negative for investors and markets. To maximize the benefit and minimize the downsides, regulators need to catch up with the technology.

High-frequency trading has been under a microscope since the infamous “flash crash” in 2010. Let’s remember, though: The market rebounded that day almost as fast as it fell, and regulators ultimately determined that the crash was initiated by human error. But many in the financial sector and in government were uncomfortable at the thought that high-frequency trading programs could vaporize huge amounts of equity in a matter of minutes.

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