• run with the bulls

    get your first month

    of hedgeye free


R3: BBY, SKX, Holiday Sales, New Balance


December 15, 2010





  • Best Buy indicated that the adoption of 3DTV and IPTV has been slower than anticipated.  Instead the consumer appears to be more focused on value and opening price point TV’s.  Did anyone really think holiday 2010 was going to be characterized by millions of families sitting around the TV wearing glasses to watch a limited selection of movies? 
  • A new record has been reached for weekly email marketing by U.S retailers.  According to Responsys, an average of 4.6 promotional emails were sent by retailers over the week ending December 10th.  This represents a 25% increase year over year with one week to go.
  • According to a poll conducted by ShopSmart (published by Consumer Reports), one in four women has had her mood impacted by wearing an ugly or ill-fitting under garment.  The good news for retailers is that 50% of women complain about the way their underwear fits, leaving great opportunity for improvement.  The bad news is one in ten women admits she ventures out of here home with no underwear at all. 



NRF Revises Holiday Forecast Up to 3.3% - After a solid start to the holiday season, the National Retail Federation announced Tuesday that it is revising its forecast to 3.3%, up from 2.3%. The upward revision is due to improvement in a variety of economic indicators including stock market gains, recent income growth, savings built up during the recession - all giving consumers the capacity to spend.  According to the National Retail Federation, November retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.8% seasonally adjusted over October and 6.8% unadjusted over last year. "The start to the holiday season has surpassed all expectations," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "While employment data is still a concern, we are starting to see improvement in other economic indicators that support an increase to our forecast. In order to sustain this momentum for retailers and the U.S. economy, there must be a renewed focus on jobs as we enter the new year."November retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) increased 0.8% seasonally adjusted over October and 9.2% unadjusted year-over-year.  "Consumers have not been suffering from a lack of spending power, they've just been missing the confidence to use it," said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. "With noticeable improvement in key economic indicators combined with great deals on merchandise, consumers have certainly shown they shouldn't be counted out this holiday season."<SportsOneSource>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: While we agree that the holiday is off to a good start, it’s interesting to see the NRF’s forecast inch higher with 10 of the biggest shopping days still lying ahead.  


Corneliani Opening Four Stores in India - Corneliani is increasing its presence in India. The luxury Italian brand will open four stores in that country by the end of the year. Last week, a 328-square-foot shop opened within the historic Taj Mahal Palace and Tower in Mumbai. Three additional units are planned for the Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad, followed by The Collection at UB City mall in Bangalore and another unit in the Grand Hyatt Plaza in Mumbai. All of the units will have a design reminiscent of the company’s flagship store on Via Montenapoleone in Milan, which was created by Sergio Corneliani, creative director, in collaboration with the Ponti Architecture Studio. Gray marble floors will complement sand-colored carpet, dark brown Anigre displays with leather and beige velvet, stainless steel and ebony. This will bring the number of Corneliani stores in India to five. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Following in the footsteps of Burberry earlier in the week, India’s luxury lure appears to be gaining steam.  However, for this market to really become meaningful, the government’s stance on foreign direct investment will have to finally relax.


Brooke Burke Back With Skechers -  Skechers USA has again turned to TV personality Brooke Burke as the face of Shape-ups. Burke has inked an endorsement deal that goes through 2011. She will appear in a campaign spanning print, TV, the Internet and outdoor placements, according to the Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based company. In 2009, Burke appeared in the “Nothing Compares to Family” charity campaign. She was also a Skechers model in 1995. “We love Brooke, and we’re excited for this opportunity to work with her on our new global Shape-ups campaign,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “Not only is Brooke a great talent and personality who always looks amazing, she’s also an inspiration to women [for] her balance of career, family and wellness. This makes her a perfect fit to represent our family-friendly brand.”<WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Shortly after signing the Kardashian’s, the company now introduces another high profile campaign with Burke. Additionally, with the company confirming at its recent analyst day that it has once again purchased Super Bowl advertising, there is little evidence of letting off the accelerator as it relates to marketing spend adding further pressure to margins near-term.


New Balance Partners with Westin Hotels - New Balance and Westin Hotels & Resorts have forged an exclusive, worldwide partnership to provide Westin guests with New Balance footwear, apparel and fitness program content. The complimentary program recently launched at 10 Westin properties across the globe and will begin rolling out brand-wide in 2011. Guests of the 10 Westin pilot properties have access to New Balance shoes, apparel and accessories through a product loan program.  During their stay, guests can borrow running shoes with brand new, disposable insoles for each use, as well as a variety of men's and women's apparel including shorts, shirts and socks for men and shorts, capri pants, shirts, sports bras and socks for women. New Balance Fitness Ambassador and Exercise TV celebrity trainer Holly Perkins will develop exclusive in-room fitness and equipment-free content that includes stretching and strengthening workouts, cardio and yoga.  The program includes "Wellness in Travel" tips from Holly on nutrition and creative ways to combat jet lag and promote healthy living. <SportsOneSource>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Brilliant (and practical) marketing partnership on the part of New Balance.  Now what to do with all that extra space in your carry-on bag?


Federal Court Hits California Firm With Big Labor Settlement - A federal judge awarded 115 workers from a Southern California apparel maker more than $887,000 in unpaid wages and damages, the U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday. Laundry Room Clothing Inc., a Westminster, Calif.-based firm that the Labor Department said has manufactured clothing for Forever 21 and Ross Stores Inc., missed several payrolls between Feb. 7, 2009, and March 31, 2010. The Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division investigated the company's practices and monitored company payrolls before filing a lawsuit."Low-wage workers, such as those employed at garment shops throughout Southern California, are particularly vulnerable," said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. "The Department of Labor will not hesitate to hold employers accountable for paying their employees the wages they have earned."<WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Yes, there are still garments made in the LA basin.  Just not many.


Vietnam Garment Sector in Need of Local Fibre Suppliers - Vietnam Textile and Garment Group is urging companies within the sector to invest in support industries to boost production and competitiveness. Le Tien Truong, the group’s deputy general director, said although the sector’s export value would reach US$11-$11.2 billion this year, 23-24% higher than last year, the sector relied heavily on imports of raw materials. Truong said the sector should focus on making garments from raw materials it had produced, he said. The sector is now looking for locations suitable for producing fibre, weaving and dying cloth and producing finished garments.  For the fifth month running, the sector in November earned $1 billion in exports, bringing the total for this year to $10.36 billion.<FashionNetAsia>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take:  A development worth noting and tracking as it relates to added competitive pressure to facilities in Central America – particularly with the world’s largest cotton producer nearby and hourly wage rates in the garment industry nearly half that of Honduras.


What Consumers Want from Retail Apps - As more consumers make smartphones their everyday companions, mobile commerce is taking hold. But the mainstream of mobile commerce is not yet based around making purchases via mobile, but in using phones as a shopping aid—for store location, product research and finding deals. Consumers are eager to check their phones for info, but retailers have been behind the game. According to October 2010 data from mobile and social marketing consultancy Brand Anywhere and Luth Research, for example, fewer than 5% of retailers have a mobile site. And research from Adobe found consumers were unimpressed with retailers’ mobile apps and preferred to simply browse the mobile web. <emarketer>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Mobile apps are more cost effective and easier to get up and running offering retailers late to the e-commerce game a chance to get ahead of the competition not to mention boost traffic.


R3: BBY, SKX, Holiday Sales, New Balance - R3 12 15 10




Bearish: SP500 Levels, Refreshed



In the last few SP500 Levels notes, I’ve labeled them “Less Bearish” – in the last 48 hours, I’ve moved back to Bearish Enough. We get that US Retail Sales were up in November (driven by gas prices, but who cares about the details) and that it’s bonus season on Wall Street (reminding your boss that you were bearish isn’t cool). That and the reality that most of the Fed’s policy to inflate finding its way into the storytelling about sustainable “growth” is what it is -  yesterday’s news.


Have we seen this movie before? VIX in the teens and SPY at 2-3 month highs? Of course we have. That’s why, in the face of Global Growth Slowing, Global Inflation Accelerating, and Interconnected Risk Compounding, that I have no problem making sales up here. For the first time since November, I’m back to running with more SHORTS than LONGS in the Hedgeye Portfolio. This is new as of yesterday.


Fed Fighting is now fashionable (USD up, Bonds down), and will become more fashionable if the SP500 breaks its immediate term TRADE line of support at 1233. There’s a long way down to intermediate term TREND line support (1157), and I think we’ll see that print in the new year.


Sell slowly, my friends.



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Bearish: SP500 Levels, Refreshed - 2


Looking at the table, below, it is clear to see that the restaurants’ rip in equity prices is slowing into year end.  Some notable items:

  • QSR volume was light yesterday with all stocks besides PEET and KKD generally flat or down
  • An article on Nation’s Restaurant Review titled “NPD forecasts modest recovery” highlights unemployment among the young adult age cohort as being a particular concern for QSR
  • Additionally, short interest in the QSR space is particularly low, 6.6% on average.  If we exclude the coffee concepts, it stands at 4.3%.  Over the course of 2010, these stocks have risen an average of 44%
  • CMG has also slowed and was downgraded last week
  • MCD is planning massive expansion in China – boosting investment by 40% in 2011, according to media reports.  This is certainly relevant for YUM
  • In casual dining, following a downgrade, BWLD declined on volume slightly up versus trailing 30-day average volume.  It is also interesting to see insider selling having picked up in BWLD over the past 60 days (with roughly equal proportion of selling over the period)
  • CAKE underperformed the space on high volume following a downgrade

TALES OF THE TAPE - stocks 1215


TALES OF THE TAPE - casual dining selling 60 days


TALES OF THE TAPE - casual dining selling 30 days


Howard Penney

Managing Director

real-time alerts

real edge in real-time

This indispensable trading tool is based on a risk management signaling process Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough developed during his years as a hedge fund manager and continues to refine. Nearly every trading day, you’ll receive Keith’s latest signals - buy, sell, short or cover.

CHART OF THE DAY: The Pig's Ugly Head

Chart of the day.


CHART OF THE DAY: The Pig's Ugly Head -  Chart of the day

The Ber-nank's Pig

“For many people the “long run” quickly becomes the short run.”

-Ludwig von Mises


It’s both amazing and frightening that some US-centric investors can call rising European bond yields “pigs” and, at the same time, call the current breakout in US sovereign bond yields bullish because it’s all about US “growth.” If you are being forced to chase your “long run” stock ideas here into the short run of year-end, be forewarned – feeding The Ber-nank’s Pig comes with globally interconnected risk.


In hedge fund speak, we call a position that goes straight down a pig. Although I have never managed risk on a long only desk, I’m hearing that they call charts that look like Spanish Equities (EWP) and short-term Treasury Bonds (SHY) iggy little piggies too.


Obviously there is a confirmation bias embedded in US markets to lean bullish. As a result, not being wrong 82.6% of the time on the short side (Hedgeye’s batting average on shorts since 2008) isn’t easy to do. Sometimes however, the perma-bulls start to trip all over themselves painting every bearish and bullish data point as, well, bullish. This little piggy has a funny way of making its way to the market AFTER stocks have moved.


This morning’s Institutional Investor Bullish to Bearish Survey marked a new cycle-high in terms of the spread between de Bulls and da Bears:

  1. Bullish sentiment ramped to 56.8%
  2. Bearish sentiment dropped to 20.5%
  3. The spread (bulls minus bears) = +36.3%

In the short-run, we have finally bumped up against the widest bullish bias the US stock market has seen since April 2010. This may or may not matter to the “buy stocks for the long run” bulls, but we think the April peak to July trough drop of -15% left a mark.


In the long-run, the Bullish/Bearish Spread has never sustained a level north of 40. Historically speaking, never is a long time. The last time we saw the +40 handle raid the bears to the upside was at the beginning of 2008. Not exactly the best buy-and-hope signal that was…


Last night on Kudlow, I attempted to remind one of the 2008 bulls (Don Luskin) what the confluence of a pending slowdown in global growth and rising global inflation means for stocks in the intermediate term. He didn’t like that reminder.


This morning, in hopes of not being labeled one of the “world is awash with liquidity” 2008 dudes, I’m going to make sure that I am crystal clear on this – the rise in sovereign bond yields from Portugal (who printed 3 MONTH bills this morning at 3.4% versus 1.81% in the last auction!) to California is NOT a bullish leading indicator for 2011 “growth.”


No, that doesn’t mean I’m suggesting that last month’s US Retail Sales number wasn’t good. Neither am I saying that last month’s breakdown in domestic and emerging bond markets was either. We, as risk managers, aren’t tasked with trumpeting the +83.6% US stock market move that’s already behind us. We need to play the risk management game that’s in front of us.


So let’s strap on the multi-factor, multi-duration, global macro pants and take a walk down the path of what’s new out there this morning other than Portuguese pigs getting plugged:

  1. China and Hong Kong equities closed down another -0.54% and -1.95% overnight, respectively. Both remain broken on our immediate term TRADE duration. Growth in Asia will slow, sequentially, until Q2 of 2011.
  2. Indian equities closed down another -0.76% and remain bearish on both our immediate and intermediate-term TRADE and TREND durations.  The trajectory of India’s 2011 growth could slow materially against very tough 2010 compares.
  3. Spanish and Italian stocks markets are getting crushed again after rallying to lower intermediate-term highs as European bond yields continue to rise in the face of sovereign debt and inflation risks.
  4. Sweden’s Riksbank raised interest rates on its 7-day repo rate to 1.25% in order to proactively protect against inflation.
  5. Turkish equities (a hot spot in the buy everything emerging markets land of nod) continue to underperform and are down another -1.3% this morning as local inflation pushes towards the double digit zone (yes, inflation is bad for emerging markets – it starves their people).
  6. Brazil was down another -0.55% yesterday and traded back below its intermediate-term TREND line of support for the Bovespa = 69,005. Brazil’s GDP growth slowed to 6.7% in Q3 vs. +9.2% in Q2 and inflation just ticked up again, sequentially, to +5.6% in November.

Notwithstanding that everything that I just wrote equates to a real-time read through on Global Growth Slowing in the in the next 3-6 months, what’s most interesting here is that every US centric stock market news service hasn’t mentioned any of them!


US tax cuts are good for short-run spending and political popularity (unless you are long Best Buy), but what have they done to the world’s long run expectations of American fiscal resolve? Have we learned nothing about the short-termism associated with begging for “shock and awe” easing in early 2008? Or are we, sadly, just feeding the pig until we get to year-end and collect our high/low society bonuses?


My immediate term lines of support and resistance for the SP500 are now 1230 and 1246, respectively. I’m early in being short the US stock market here – I get that. I was in late 2007, too. But don’t forget that I was also early buying the US Dollar (UUP) in November and shorting US Treasuries (SHY) and Munis (MUB). This globally interconnected game of risk is no longer all about buying US stocks for the “long run.”


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


The Ber-nank's Pig - 1


The Macau Metro Monitor, December 15th, 2010


According to the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) director Jaime Carion, there will be no more land plots granted for casino projects without a public tender once the new Land Law comes into effect.  The second public consultation for the law revision begins today and will continue until the end of January.


The new Land Law will focus on "economic diversification". Carion said,  “We are looking for integrated family-friendly resorts, where the whole family can come and have fun together.  It is believed that the plots of land already granted to SJM, WYNN, and MGM, were awarded without a public tender and will not be affected by this decision.  But IM believes unless a Cotai project has a clear non-gaming focus, it would be difficult to approve that project anytime soon.


José Pereira Coutinho, a lawmaker, believes the new Land Law will be enforced in 2012, at the earliest. 


The number of passengers arriving into Singapore's Changhi airport rose 7.7% to 3,623,080 in November. It is a sequential slowdown from October's 7.9% YoY growth in number of passengers.



On December 7, the Macau government held a discussion with the Russian Federation Delegation led by director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Karlov, in regard to the text of the mutual visa exemption agreement.  During a 2011 Policy Address session, Secretary for Security, Cheong Kuoc Vá, announced for the first time that the SAR was planning to relax the visa rules to Russia, as well as to loosen rules for Russian passport holders to enter Macau.  The agreement is expected to be reached in 2011.

NO.4 GENS 4BN Intelligence Macau

Stanley Ho gave all of his direct shares in SJM to his fourth wife, Angela Leong On-kei.  The shares are valued around HK$4BN, which would raise her stake in SJM to 8%.

get free cartoon of the day!

Start receiving Hedgeye's Cartoon of the Day, an exclusive and humourous take on the market and the economy, delivered every morning to your inbox

By joining our email marketing list you agree to receive marketing emails from Hedgeye. You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in one of the emails.