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Greece CDS spread Inflects

Below we show charts of 5YR Sovereign CDS spreads (in bps), Greece’s equity market (ASE), and the Greece 10YR bond yield.  Interestingly, last week the Greek CDS spread and 10YR bond yield showed an upward inflection. Of the many risks being priced into Greece’s credit markets, we think it’s worth note that the country’s budget deficit is likely to be revised upward for both 2009 and 2010, as rumors spread that the country’s accounting (in conjunction with Eurostat) was wrong. 

 

We are currently not invested in Europe after selling our position in Germany (via the etf EWG) this morning in the Hedgeye Portfolio. Keith sold EWG to take a gain with its immediate term TRADE overbought; however its intermediate term TREND is bullish. The DAX is up +11.4% YTD versus the UK FTSE at +6.4% or SPX at +6.7% YTD).

 

Matthew Hedrick

Analyst

 

Greece CDS spread Inflects - mh1

 

Greece CDS spread Inflects - mh2


R3: LVMH, JNY, TRU, PSS, & Puma

R3: REQUIRED RETAIL READING

October 25, 2010

 

Positioning for the upcoming holiday season remains the top priority for retailers with a few companies aggressively ramping both footprints and inventories while most of the industry continues to run lean and clean.

 

RESEARCH ANECDOTES

 

- With strict rules governing the sale of the iPad, retailers are still willing to comply for a chance to sell what it is likely the most popular item for the holiday season.  As part of Apple’s requirements, retailers selling the device must include the iPad in their circular with a FULL page dedicated to it.  Of course discounting isn’t allowed, however Target seems to have found a loophole by allowing the device to purchased under the company’s recently launched 5% rewards program.

 

- Spirits Halloween, the pop-up store subsidiary of Spencer’s Gifts, has opened 870 locations this year.  This marks a substantial increase of 150 units over last year.  With less than a week to go,  most anecdotes suggest that Halloween candy and costume sales are up year over year.  Recall that the NRF predicted a robust increase in this year’s Halloween spending.

 

- According to a BBC/Harris poll, 63% of American’s are angry about the economy.  This slightly outpaces the 62% of Americans that are angry about the government as well as the unemployment situation.  Taxes registered anger with 58% of those polled.

 

 

OUR TAKE ON OVERNIGHT NEWS 

 

LVMH Takes A Slice of Hermes - In a surprising revelation that could ignite a battle for one of luxury’s most hallowed names, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Saturday it holds a 14.2% stake in family-controlled Hermès, and plans to be a “long-term shareholder.” The luxury conglomerate LVMH said it holds more than 15mm shares of Hermès, plus more than 3mm derivative instruments it intends to covert into shares. That eventually would give LVMH 17.1% of the share capital. LVMH moved quickly to squash any takeover speculation, saying it has no intention of launching a tender offer, taking control of Hermès nor seeking board representation. <wwd.com/business-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  If you can’t beat em, join em.  The success of super-luxury brand Hermes even through the recession clearly caught the eye of LVMH.

 

Christian Siriano Increases Presence at Payless For Fall 2011 - The designer is branching out from his dress shoe looks, adding a more moderately priced line. (Price points were not disclosed, but current retail is between $25 and $60.) The collection will include up to 20 styles of footwear and handbags, and feature on-trend details such as shearling and suede on a variety of boots, casuals, flats and sandals. <wwd.com/footwear-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  Lower price points make a ton of sense here for the retailer which does a much better job managing a high volume, lower priced offering.  PR will likely not suffer, even if they’ve taken a haircut on the price points.

 

JNY's Stuart Weitzman Holdings On the Expansion Trail - Following several top executive appointments, the company is sketching out plans for a deeper move into branded retail stores, a wider international reach and a full push into e-commerce. Gaetano Sallorenzo, CEO of Italian denim company Replay, was tapped as CEO last week, while Wayne Kulkin was promoted to the post of president after 20 years with the company. Stuart Weitzman shoes and accessories are sold in more than 65 countries, with 33 retail stores in the U.S., and 35 locations in international markets including Canada, Mexico, Europe, Russia, China, Singapore and Australia, among other locales. In addition to wholesale and retail growth globally, executives are betting on the online business. <wwd.com/footwear-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:   Not surprising as JNY looks to “professionalize” its latest acquisition following years being of being run and managed by Weitzman himself. 

 

Puma to Restate 2009 Earnings Over `Irregularities' at Greek Joint Venture - Puma AG, the sporting-goods maker controlled by PPR SA, said “irregularities” at its Greek joint venture will cause the company to write off as much as 115 mm euros ($162 mm). <bloomberg.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: A JV gone rogue reportedly colluding with local Greek government officials is every retailers worst nightmare – unfortunately for them, it’s reality for Puma.

 

TRU to Roll Out Online Purchase and In Store Pickup - Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. plans to roll out a service in time for the holiday season that enables shoppers to buy any of more than 7,500 items online and pick them up in 260 Babies ‘R’ Us and select Toys ‘R’ Us bricks-and-mortar stores in such major U.S. metropolitan areas as Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The retailer will guarantee that the products will be available within two hours.  <internetretailer.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Translation = higher inventories and traffic. Most retailers that have offered a similar option have realized meaningful increases in store traffic and incremental sales in 2010. Take into account the company’s plans to open 600+ pop-up stores over the holidays and the plan is likely to drive a meaningful uptick in traffic.

 

USPS Denied Another Rate Hike - The U.S. Postal Service has appealed a recent decision by The Postal Regulatory Commission to reject proposed postal rate hikes. In a statement, the U.S. Postal Service says it is requesting a review of the commission’s interpretation of the law that governs how prices are set and is asking again for permission to increase rates. It’s also asked for more clarity on how postal pricing laws will be applied if it wants to raise rates in the future. The U.S. Postal Services also says it is exploring other ways to come up with the  $2.3 billion the rate hikes were expected to generate. The Postal Service had sought a new rate schedule that would have raised most of its rates between 4% and 6%, effective next January. But some rate increases would have been higher for particular mail categories, including 23% for standard mail parcels and 5.1% for catalogs, the Postal Service says. <internetretailer.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Expect a prolonged battle here – as the outcome will likely mean higher shipping rates in the end, it’s just a matter of by how much and when.

 

CFO Study Reveals Retailers Focus Shift - Retailers have shifted their focus from downsizing their businesses to downsizing the risks associated with renewed but slow growth. That was among the conclusions of the third annual survey of chief financial officers conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC’s Retailing Consulting Services. The study found that cfo’s were using many of the skills picked up during the economic downturn to maximize sales on minimal inventory, tighten up their supply chains and even look for ways to make their investments in marketing and advertising more productive in the wake of the worst recession in more than a generation. Survey results were gleaned from 32 retail cfo’s, 21 in North America and 11 abroad, and include department stores as well as apparel, jewelry and footwear specialty stores ranging in volume from $200 mm to more than $10 bn. There is a natural dynamic tension within retail between cfo’s, trained to focus on the bottom line, and buyers, who tend to be optimistic and upbeat. The cfo’s are forcing re-forecasts on a more regular basis, looking to make sure that the store is flowing goods closer to need rather than bringing them in and stacking them high.  <wwd.com/business-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: With inventories still at very lean levels relative to prior year levels, it’s no surprise to see CFO’s winning over buyer interest to stock up for the holiday – a trend we’ve seen in most of retail with the exception of sporting goods retailers with substantially more new product selling into the channel this year after a dearth of options in 2009.

 

Retailers Mixed on Job Hiring for Holiday - Retailers might be optimistic about holiday sales, but they still are mixed on whether to boost their ranks for the season. Larger retailers, from Macy’s to Finish Line, have announced plans to increase hiring during the fourth quarter, but smaller stores are hanging back. Many retailers are waiting until November to decide whether to add more associates, and will be watching the consumer mood closer to the holiday season — as well as the nationwide unemployment data — before making any moves. Larger retailers are feeling more confident than the small players as Macy's, Finish Line, and Kohl's all announced increased holiday hires. Overall, outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. forecast a total of 550,000 to 600,000 retail hires during the months of October, November and December this year, compared with 501,400 last year. Despite the bump, these numbers still do not match the holiday hires before 2008, when retailers added about 700,000 new positions.  <wwd.com/footwear-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Driven in part by a trend towards pop-up stores, our view is that this year’s holiday hiring figures are slightly inflated as a result. With customer service still on at the top of the list in terms of deciding factors for customers, the investment in employees are likely to win out at the end of the day when we’re looking back on the holiday 2010 season.

 

Leather Finishing Supplier Increases Prices to Offset Raw Materials - Due to escalating prices of raw material feedstock in the last couple of months, Stahl has announced to increase prices for several of their leather finish and performance coatings products, effective December 1 2010, or as contracts allow. The company is therefore forced to pass on part of these increases to their own product prices, in order to guarantee undisturbed supplies to its customers, which Stahl see as their main responsibility. Stahl is one of the world’s leading suppliers of wet-end products, dyes and finishes to the leather industry.  <fashionnetasia.com>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Further evidence of cost inflation across raw materials. We saw news on raw hide prices increases last week, now we are seeing leather goods finishers take up price, next are accelerating handbag markups from retailers.

 

New Technology For Online Apparel Retail - Start with an armadillo. Then dress it up and take its picture. That’s the latest approach to the digital dressing room, and the “armadillo” in question is a robotic mannequin developed by Fits.me Biorobotics. A few European companies have already launched the virtual try-on tool. The goal is to reduce disappointment for online shoppers and costly returns for the merchants. Other retailers have tried computer-generated 3-D animation or augmented reality. The Fits.me robotic torso’s armadillo-like moving surface plates can contort to 100,000 body shapes, driven by algorithms drawn from more than 30,000 three-dimensional human body scans. <wwd.com/retail-news>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: This tech has been in the works for some time, but is likely to pay dividends. Consider this – according to Infosys, the average return rate for retail stores is roughly 6%. With rates significantly higher for apparel stores at nearly 20% and online apparel at ~35%-40% - you can expect to see the technology on retailer sites as soon as it’s made available. 

 

 


BYD: UGLY Q BUT EXPECTATIONS WERE LOW

It's going to be all about topline growth from here because it looks like there is little in the way of cost cutting available. 

 

Despite the "less bad" spin:

  • Las Vegas Locals EBITDA margins suffered their worst decline of the year – dropping 290 bps YoY to just 17.9%.
    • For the 1st time in years, costs actually increased, up 0.1%
  • In Downtown, EBITDA margins declined 490 bps YoY to just 10.9%
    • Expense control was tight – only up 0.1% but again there’s no room left to cut
  • Midwest and South had relatively their best quarters
    • Margins only declined 1.2% YoY
    • However, costs only decreased 0.5%
    • 4Q has the first “easy” comp of the year

Borgata:

  • Table hold was only 12.1% vs. an average 14.2% over the last 6 quarters.  Low hold cost them $9MM in revenues and probably about $3MM of EBITDA.
  • Operating expenses decreased 1% YoY
  • BYD declined the option to buy the other half of Borgata  - smart move in our opinion given the higher than expected multiple.  We're not convinced the deal on the table will go through so BYD may get another crack at a lower multiple


BYD: UGLY Q BUT EXPECTATIONS WERE LOW - byd


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Hosted by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough at 9:00am ET, this special online broadcast offers smart investors and traders of all stripes the sharpest insights and clearest market analysis available on Wall Street.

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE

Financial Risk Monitor Summary (Across 3 Durations):

  • Short-term (WoW): Negative / 1 of 10 improved / 6 of 10 unchanged / 3 of 10 worsened
  • Intermediate-term (MoM): Positive / 7 of 10 improved / 2 of 10 unchanged / 1 of 10 worsened
  • Long-term (150 DMA): Negative / 2 of 10 improved / 0 of 10 unchanged / 7 of 10 worsened / 1 of 10 n/a

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - table

 

1. US Financials CDS Monitor – Swaps tightened last week, after sharp blowouts the week prior.  COF was the only exception, widening more than 20% week over week. 

 

Tightened the most vs last week: C, WFC, ALL

Widened the most vs last week: COF, PGR, SLM

Tightened the most vs last month: MTG, RDN, AGO

Widened the most vs last month: BAC, COF, PGR

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - US CDS

 

2. European Financials CDS Monitor – In Europe, swaps indicated lessening risk. Swaps tightened for 29 of the 39 reference entities tightened and widened for 9.  

 

Tightened the most vs last week: Alpha Bank AG, National Bank of Greece, Bankinter S.A.

Widened the most vs last week: DnB NOR, Sberbank, Danske Bank

Tightened the most vs last month: Danske Bank, DnB NOR, Banco Pastor

Widened the most vs last month: Alpha Bank AG, National Bank of Greece, Bankinter S.A.

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - euro cds

 

3. Sovereign CDS – Sovereign CDS increased 2.5 bps on average last week as Greece and Ireland reversed their declines.   

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - sov cds

 

4. High Yield (YTM) Monitor – High Yield rates climbed slightly last week, closing at 7.95 on Friday.  

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - high yield

 

5. Leveraged Loan Index Monitor – The leveraged loan index rose 0.4 points last week, closing at its YTD high. 

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - leveraged loan

 

6. TED Spread Monitor – Last week the TED spread rose, closing at 16.9 bps.

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - ted spread

 

7. Journal of Commerce Commodity Price Index – Last week, the index fell 1.3 points, closing at 18.1.

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - joc

 

8. Greek Bond Yields Monitor – We chart the 10-year yield on Greek bonds.  Last week yields reversed their declines and rose 47 bps week over week.

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - greek bonds

 

9. Markit MCDX Index Monitor – The Markit MCDX is a measure of municipal credit default swaps.  We believe this index is a useful indicator of pressure in state and local governments.  Markit publishes index values daily on four 5-year tenor baskets including 50 reference entities each. Each basket includes a diversified pool of revenue and GO bonds from a broad array of states. Our index is the average of their four indices.  Spreads fell very slightly last week, closing at 201.   

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - markit

 

10. Baltic Dry Index – The Baltic Dry Index measures international shipping rates of dry bulk cargo, mostly commodities used for industrial production.  Higher demand for such goods, as manifested in higher shipping rates, indicates economic expansion.  Last week the index fell slightly, closing at 273 versus 276 the prior week.  

 

WEEKLY FINANCIALS RISK MONITOR - SHORT TERM OUTLOOK NOW NEGATIVE - baltic dry

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

Allison Kaptur


THE M3: MACAU VISITOR GROWTH SLOWS; WING CHAO; HIGHER S'PORE INFLATION

The Macau Metro Monitor, October 25th 2010

 

 

VISITOR ARRIVALS FOR SEPTEMBER 2010 DSEC

September visitor arrivals rose by 8.9% YoY to 1,839,375, slower than the 14.2% growth in August.  Visitors from Mainland China increased by 1.9% YoY to 894,807 (48.6% of the total), with 341,036 traveling to Macau under the Individual Visit Scheme, down by 3.8% from September 2009. Visitors from Hong Kong (598,356); Taiwan, China (101,698); and Indonesia (34,087) grew by 21.5%, 5.5% and 13.3% respectively, while those from Japan (40,547) decreased by 9.4%.

 

THE M3: MACAU VISITOR GROWTH SLOWS; WING CHAO; HIGHER S'PORE INFLATION - MACAU

 

RECENTLY HIRED LAS VEGAS SANDS' DIRECTOR LEAVES COMPANY TO BECOME ITS ADVISOR macaubusiness.com

Wing T. Chao informed Las Vegas Sands Corp. that he planned to leave the board of directors in order to become a consultant to the company on its design and development projects effective early November.  Chao was elected to the LVS board of directors in July and was a former Walt Disney executive.

S'PORE INFLATION UP BY 3.7% Strait Times

In September, Singapore's inflation climbed 3.7% YoY to a 20-month high, due to higher transport, housing and food costs.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had said that with the economy nearing full employment, labor costs and food prices will continue to rise and that inflation could be around 4% by the end of 2010 and stay high in 1H 2011.


Spirit Of Defiance

“There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.” 

-Walt Whitman

 

The world’s short-term US Dollar Debauchery trade is back in motion this morning: dollar DOWN = commodities and stocks UP. As the Buck Burns, Bloomberg’s #1 headline reads “G-20 To Avoid Competitive Devaluation.” Never mind the hypocrisy of it all - America’s currency is the only one being devalued. Provided that we don’t get suckered into buying stocks today, these will be looked back on as fascinating days in the Fiat Republic.

 

The good news is that, in addition to Americans pushing back against Washington’s economic policies, there is a Spirit of Defiance that’s building globally against Quantitative Guessing. Here’s a taste of what the respectable likes of Germany and Canada are saying:

  1. “It’s the wrong way to prevent or solve problems by adding more liquidity. Excessive, permanent money creation in my opinion is an indirect manipulation of an exchange rate.” –Germany’s Economy Minister, Rainer Bruederle
  2. “I agree that there’s suggestion that aggressive quantitative easing in the United States would create devaluation pressure on the US currency.” – Canada’s Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty

Maybe not so surprisingly, while Canadian and German interest rates remain higher than America’s, both countries have lower structural unemployment levels and both of their respective stock markets are outperforming the SP500 for the YTD (Germany’s DAX +11.7% and Canada’s TSE +7.3%).

 

As both the Euro and Canadian Dollar strengthen, their citizenry is becoming wealthier. As both the German and Canadian populations age, the rate of return on their hard earned savings accounts isn’t being compromised for the sake of Banker of America’s earnings. As the world turns, both German and Canadian culture isn’t being held hostage by CNBC and US style Congressional commercials. Fancy that.

 

In the end, this won’t end well for America. Most of us who aren’t creating an economic strategy that conforms to the confirmation-bias in our year-end bonus package get that. “There is no week nor day nor hour” that we can pinpoint when this will all become crystal clear. But that time will come.

 

Last week was interesting in that the US Dollar Debauchery trade actually paused. However fleeting that moment was, it certainly gave the buy-and-hope crowd something to think about. Like a cold buddy shower, that was a healthy risk management exercise to observe.

 

The US Dollar closed up +0.55% on the week. That was the 1st week that Burning Buck was up in the last 6 and only the 4th week out of the last 21. All the while, both weekly US Consumer Confidence (ABC/Washington Post poll) and the MBA Mortgage Applications indices fell.

 

Americans having no confidence to lever themselves up with a “cheap mortgage” or chase the stock market higher (after a +13% rally since Bernanke introduced QE2 at Jackson Hole on August 27th) is not new news. What is news is what happens to asset prices when, God forbid, someone (China) attempts to give the US Dollar and the cost of capital some credibility.

 

Gold closed down -3.4% last week and was the standout loser in a relatively strong week for the US Dollar. That will, of course, all reverse this morning as the Buck Burns again, but it’s more interesting to note that almost everything else didn’t react as poorly as I would have thought in the face of US Dollar strength. Everything macro was actually quite flat.

 

On a week-over-week basis, here’s what was flat despite the US Dollar being up:

  1. Small Caps (Russell 2000)
  2. Euro
  3. CRB Commodities Index
  4. Oil
  5. Volatility (VIX)
  6. Yield Spread (10s minus 2s)

Given the extremely high inverse correlations between the US Dollar and everything else, the most obvious question here is why flat? Well, the week didn’t occur in a vacuum. It was very lumpy. The US Dollar picked up all of its strength in a 24 hour move after the Chinese raised interest rates on Tuesday (USD up +1.7% that day and the SP500 was down -1.6%). Otherwise, the US Dollar was flat to down for the remaining trading hours in the week.

 

The other obvious reason as to why, is the discounting mechanism that I think poses the greatest financial risk to your net wealth - the undeniable market expectation that the US Dollar will be compromised by Quantitative Guessing in t-minus a few weeks. This, Ben Bernanke, is the government sponsored risk that’s got the bulls in heat. God Speed with that by the way. In the Spirit of Defiance I’ll be a short seller of the SP500 from here until then.

 

My immediate term support and resistance levels for the SP500 are now 1165 and 1188, respectively. In the Hedgeye Virtual Portfolio, I’m currently short both the US Dollar (UUP) and the SP500 (SPY). The Cash position in the Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model is a healthy 61% (down from 67% last Monday). I’ll look forward to raising that Cash position today.

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Spirit Of Defiance - ww


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