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    The Office - part II

    Blackrock (BLK): “…We’re still operating with only about 6% to 7% of our employees back in the office … Operationally, I think, over time, I think the culture of BlackRock is still an office type of culture, where innovation has always been driven by having people working together. And I think, longer term, we're going to hope that we get back there as quickly as we can …”


    CEO Larry Fink followed this by saying… “I don't believe we will have 100% back in office even when we have 100% solutions related to the virus … If we can rotate 30%, 40% of our workforce so they can work remotely at periods of time during the year, can you imagine how each city will have reduced congestion? Think about what that would do in the environment. Think about it, if the average employee commutes on average an hour each way, that we free up for a portion of the year two hours of their day. They spend that two hours to more work. They could spend two hours improving their health by exercising. They could spend two hours more in building a deeper, stronger, more resilient family…”


    Goldman Sachs (GS): “In Hong Kong and Tokyo, we have around 60% of our people working from the office. In most of Europe we're at around 50%. And in the U.K., we're at nearly 30%. In New York we've seen a gradual uptick since Labor Day with roughly 2,000 people working in an office as of last week. And we currently have 30% of our people rotating through our New York office on a weekly basis.”


    Wells Fargo (WFC): “We continue to have over 200,000 employees working from home and we don't anticipate this changing until at least December.”

    MS real estate specialist
    This has gone to the "moon", but will not go more - use it wisely

    Vols exploded to the upside yesterday across most assets. Below are charts of Amazon and Google showing just how boring both these names have been over the past months. One thing has gone to the moon, vols of both. The two tech giants are reporting earnings next week. We have no take on earnings as such, but for long only fund, overwriting some expensive options make sense given the vol levels.

    This has gone to the "moon", but will not go more - use it wisely
    Source: Refinitiv
    This has gone to the "moon", but will not go more - use it wisely
    Source: Refinitiv
    First casualties of "retail squeezers" already here, but they don't know it yet

    Nokia was one of the "attacked" stocks yesterday. Going into the long logic people on forums pumped yesterday for Nokia is not even worth mentioning.

    For now squeezing a few hedge funds has worked, but these moves are basically just a play on a broken market and many retail guys will be left with huge losses when this passes.

    So for the Nokia trade now. It started going up in Europe yesterday, yes Nokia is a Finnish company, not American. The main market is Europe, not US, although there is a listed ADR on NYSE. After Europe closed, people started "chasing" Nokia in the US leg (red arrow where Europe closed in the chart). Nokia extended the move by some 75% after Europe closed, all happening in a few minutes.

    So people start chasing a stock in the secondary market, Europe is the primary market for Nokia trading. Obviously there are shareholders in the US leg as well, many US based funds can only hold the ADR for example. So retail punters start chasing the relatively illiquid Nokia ADR and manage to lift it to the moon in a short time span. Obviously HFT firms trade the ADR as pure momentum trading strategies, but it does take some time before real "flow", sellers, wake up to this move. European fund managers do not look at the US ADR overly actively as their day has ended. It would take 10,15,20 minutes before they get the call from their local broker telling them Nokia is up 20, 30, 40% from the European close (markets are not efficient). Unless there are news out, beyond Redditt, some PMs start selling the share, converting them via the custodian bank later into European shares (or via prop trading firms that can facilitate the conversion, although this business, ADR "arbitrage" has faded for years).

    Obviously there are some scared shorts, especially in these times, that probably started chasing the stock as well as it spiked in US trading only. You can basically call this an inverse flash crash move, triggered by retail, but is an affect of a broken market.

    So what has happened?

    Nokia in Europe is basically unchanged as of writing. It needs to go up by 22% from here in order to catch up to where it closed in US. It needs to gain almost 85% from here in order to reach the highs of where the ADR printed highs yesterday.

    Many US retail punters will have a rude awakening when they see how much they lost in Nokia, but on the other hand, who said you should be making money not understanding what you do.

    First casualties of "retail squeezers" already here, but they don't know it yet
    Source: Refinitiv
    Everything goes - Asian tech included?

    Big down day for mighty Asian tech. HSTECH -4.6%, reversing the parabolic break out attempt in a violent way. Note 50 day is still pretty far down, as well as the trend line since March. On Jan 26 we warned our readers this space was getting slightly too excited, we wrote:

    "Asian tech is eating the world, but stocks here look a bit extended to put it mildly."

    We had that crazy +10% move higher in Tencent on Monday that was reversed sharply, and has continued much lower. Watch Tencent, Taiwan semis, Meituan and some other closely here, as Asian mania has been early both on the way up as well as the way down.

    Everything goes - Asian tech included?
    Source: Refinitiv