CORPORATE BUYBACKS ARE THE ONLY MAJOR MARKET BID PARTICIPANTS!
Virtually every other investor class had stepped away in the chaos of the February "Quant Qrash". However, Corporations were in the process of unleashing the biggest buyback streak in history.
If JPMorgan is right corporations are will spend an unprecedented $842BN in stock buybacks this year.
As a reminder, the single biggest buyer of stocks since the financial crisis, with over $3 trillion in equity purchases...
... were rushing to launch their announced buybacks.
However, JPMorgan is worried that share buybacks "might take some time to materialize."
Under these (troubling) circumstances, what is JPM's conclusion?
In our mind the biggest near-term risk for equity markets is a breach of the lows we saw on Thursday Feb 8th. Anecdotally, during that Thursday, fundamental equity investors came close to capitulation, so revisiting these lows raises the risk of capitulation and thus of a more serious correction beyond the 10% decline seen between January 26th and February 8th. And the more persistent the market liquidity deterioration proves to be , the higher the chance that this near-term risk materializes.
In other words with retail BTFDers sidelined, Goldman's buyback desk better have many more record weeks in the coming months, or else the bouncing dead market cat is about to have a very painful reintroduction to gravity.