Analysts are blaming the January RevPAR slowdown on the weather. We remain more concerned with the shock of potentially negative RevPAR growth in June/July.



January RevPAR growth in the Upper Upscale segment has only averaged +3.5% YoY, versus 10% and 5% in November and December, respectively.  Usually, we see the weather excuse used by retail and restaurant companies but give the analysts a pass.  Besides, we are less concerned with YoY comps given the wild volatility in RevPAR over the past three years.  Rather, we prefer to track RevPAR on a sequential, absolute dollar basis, adjusted for monthly seasonality.


Through this lens, we saw a major spike in RevPAR during the spring and early summer of 2010 – pent up demand in our view – followed by a drop off in August/September and stagnancy through the rest of the year.  Of course, the YoY comps told a different story.  2010 RevPAR ended up almost 6%.  But as shown below starting in August 2010, RevPAR has either been underperforming or slightly above depressed seasonal expectations.




The analysts not focused on dollar RevPAR will be shocked when there is a marked slowdown in RevPAR growth post the February peak.  In fact, RevPAR was so strong in June and July that we could actually see RevPAR go negative, assuming there is not a meaningful sequential pick up.




If we are right, the slowing comps will have negative earnings ramifications relative to Street Q2 and Q3 estimates.  Of course, if January’s significant slowdown is related to anything more than just weather, the downside will be that much more severe.


Another strong week of price gains for commodities tracked in our commodity monitor.  Here besides the table below detailing the moves, here are a few takeaways I think are relevant.


1)  The increase of cheese prices continues, now up 23% YTD and gaining 8.2% on the week.  As I wrote in last week’s note on commodity costs, this is significant for CAKE, DPZ, and CMG among others. 

  • CAKE COGs raised by 50 basis points last quarter largely due to pressure from cheese and dairy costs.  CAKE’s commodity basket remains exposed and, week-over-week, the move in cheese (and dairy) prices is bad news for their margins.
  • DPZ margins were negatively impacted by rising cheese prices in 3Q10.  The company is facing difficult comparable restaurant sales compares over the next few quarters and gaining leverage over these rising cheese prices in the first quarter, facing a 14.7% comp last from 1Q10, may prove difficult.
  • CMG, as I wrote last week, seeks to source as much of its ingredients as possible from local and organic sources which means margins face significant exposure to commodity headwinds.  The company has been impressive in terms of its offsetting commodity costs with operational initiatives inherent in its business model.  Given the magnitude of commodity cost increases, operational efficiency may not insulate CMG’s bottom line from cost inflation in perpetuity.

2)  Coffee declined once again but, behind wheat and corn, remains on the podium as far as year-over-year changes go. 

  • SBUX reports today and they may take some comfort in the week-over-week decline in coffee prices along with the continuing pain of 66% year-over-year inflation in coffee prices.

3) Favorable chicken wing prices continue: good news for BWLD.  See chart below.










Howard Penney

Managing Director

CHART OF THE DAY: The Inflation --- Coming to a Complacent Stock Market Near You


CHART OF THE DAY: The Inflation --- Coming to a Complacent Stock Market Near You -  chart of the day

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The Ber-nank's Housewives

This note was originally published at 8am on January 21, 2011. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.”

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Japanese Equities closed down -1.6% overnight and have been making a series of lower-highs from their leverage-cycle peak for more than 2 decades. Japanese housewives are not happy.


In an especially interesting survey from the Sompo Japan Life Insurance Company this week, it appears that Japanese housewives are getting plugged by global inflation. Their secret savings (or what the Japanese called hesokuri) fell -18% in 2010 to their lowest levels since late 2007. Not ironically, that’s also when US Consumption rolled into the red for the 1st time after 64 consecutive quarters (or 13 years) of being positive.


As Ludwig von Mises said, inflation is a deliberate policy that government people choose without openly stating it to the public. Whether or not a humble looking man with a beard calls it that or not from his perch upon-high at the US Federal Reserve is of no concern to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the large majority of the world’s population doesn’t consider US owner’s equivalent rent (42% of US CPI) inflation.


Whether they be Japanese housewives or folks in India and Indonesia (the 2nd and 4th largest country populations in the world, respectively), energy and food prices matter – big time.


In the Japanese survey, vegetable prices, energy bills, and higher tobacco taxes ranked #1, #2, and #3 as top concerns. In Japan, don’t forget that it’s the women who make most of the budgeting decisions in Japanese households (Darius Dale and I scoured the survey looking for all of the offsetting goodies Japanese women found associated with Japanese style Quantitative Guessing (QG), but couldn’t find any).


Quantitative Guessing (QG) in Japan has obviously failed. That should be no surprise however as it’s been empirically proven at this point (Reinhart & Rogoff) that when a country crosses the proverbial Rubicon of debt/GDP thresholds (over 90% debt/GDP), long-term economic growth is structurally impaired.


The Keynesian/Princeton-connection of Paul Krugman (who told the Japanese to “PRINT LOTS OF MONEY” in 1997) and Ben Bernanke really don’t like it when Global Macro Risk Managers call out these simple concepts like real-world inflation and structurally impaired growth. That’s because their charlatan storytelling is largely focused on fear-mongering about depressions and deflation.


Whether you want to do your own channel checking on this and call the 57,000 Japanese housewives in the survey or the 44 MILLION Americans that are currently on food stamps (all-time high; nice job Ben), I think that calling anyone who lives on a budget will render the same answer.


If you’ve been positioned long-dong silver anything Emerging Markets in the last 3 months (stocks or bonds), you see the same inflation readings that housewives and I are talking about. It’s on your screen.


There’s really 1 thing that can crush both Bond and Emerging Market investors alike – inflation. When the “reflation” trade becomes the inflation, it can start to hurt equity market returns too.

For the YTD, here’s what’s going on in Global Equities outside of where Apple is trading:

  1. Indonesia = down -8.7%
  2. India = down -7.3%
  3. Peru = down -7.1%
  4. Egypt = down -6.2%
  5. Philippines = down -6.0%
  6. China = down -3.3%

Chinese growth slowing is perpetuated by inflation accelerating. When the Government of Thailand cut its GDP forecast in HALF this week (versus 2010’s +8% growth) to 4-5% for 2011 they weren’t thinking about how many cashmere sweater-sets Macy’s is selling on snow days. They pointed to one issue  - Chinese growth slowing.


Yes, at a point, Chinese demand slowing should take the edge off The Ber-nank’s inflation trades. The inflation is sticky, but it can come off its highs. In fact, in the last 24 hours, we’ve seen the following 3 immediate-term TRADE lines break in our Global Macro risk management model:

  1. Brazil’s Bovespa Index immediate term TRADE line support = 70,554, broken
  2. Copper immediate-term TRADE line support = $4.31/lb, broken
  3. Basic Materials Sector ETF (XLB) immediate-term TRADE line support = $38.51, broken

And yes, part of these rollovers in inflation readings have to do with sober governments in Emerging Markets either raising interest rates or signaling that they will (Brazil raised +50bps yesterday and the Chinese signaled).


But the best way to fight Global Inflation Accelerating, is for the world to see a sustainably strong US Dollar. That’s where the real popular political juice is. That’s where American credibility in the global financial community can find her footing again. That’s what I and the hardest working global class we have, housewives, want to see.


My immediate term support and resistance levels for the SP500 are now 1264 and 1295, respectively.


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough

Chief Executive Officer


The Ber-nank's Housewives - housewives

Sputnik's Bone

“Man’s tongue is soft, and bone doth lack; yet a stroke therewith may break a man’s back.”

-Benjamin Franklin


Sputnik was a Russian space program that launched its first satellite into orbit on October 4th, 1957. A month later, since the Russian translation for the word literally means “travelling companion”, the animal rights folks from Siberia sent a female dog named “Laika” along for the ride.


Notwithstanding that Sputnik was originally designed to carry nuclear weaponry, I found it somewhat ridiculous altogether that the President of the United States tried his best to say this country is having its “Sputnik moment” last night, with a straight face.


No mention of the US Dollar. No mention of inflation. Just space dogs and spending…


There is no doubt that we have an outstanding orator leading this country. When it comes to differentiating between Bush and Obama, that might be it – both of them are all about Big Government Intervention, Big Government Spending, and Big Time US Dollar Debauchery – Obama just makes government “investing” (spending) sound a lot more hopeful.


Hope is not an investment or risk management process.


Back to the interconnected global market’s take on this, the most important real-time market quote I was watching throughout last night’s speech and this morning’s Global Macro trading (which includes currency and bond markets) was the US Dollar Index.


Sputnik, we have a problem. The Bone is Burning again.


As a reminder, given that a country’s currency reflects the overall health of its economy (including employment), monetary policy (including inflation), and fiscal strategy, both the President of the United States and the Fiat Fools who advise him are best served watching what America’s currency is doing both into and out of this speech (down for 4 of the last 5 weeks into it).


Here’s your real-time price and risk management update for Obama’s Burning Bone (quoted down -15bps this morning at $77.80):

  1. Immediate-term TRADE line of resistance = $79.64
  2. Intermediate-term TREND line of resistance = $78.66
  3. Long-term TAIL line of resistance = $81.62

In summary, this means the Burning Bone is bearish (broken) across all 3 of Hedgeye’s core risk management durations (TRADE, TREND, and TAIL). This is not good. And I’ll be selling my US Dollar long position today as a result (we bought it on November 4th when fiscal reform was being promised).


Remember, for some people, the inflation is good.


As Ludwig von Mises said in Argentina in 1959, “if one devalues the currency and the workers are not clever enough to realize it, they will not offer resistance against a drop in real wages, as long as nominal wage rates remain the same.”


That’s America today. High-Low Society 2.0.


And again, I get it – I am long inflation (short bonds) and I will, alongside America’s affluent, get paid on that today.

  1. We’re long Healthcare Inflation (XLV), which your government says is only 6.5% of your CPI basket (not a joke)
  2. We’re long Oil (OIL), which is rallying this morning as the Bone Burns
  3. We’re long Canadian and Chinese currency (FXC and CYB) which track with a positive correlation to global inflation

But the other HALF of Americans who don’t own a damn thing that’s levered to inflation can take Obama’s Burning Bone to the gas pump this morning and rotate on the idea that this is good for them.


Sure, Washington’s dogmatic aristocracy of policy making thinks they are “clever enough” to pull this off. They must think Americans are as stupid as the “investing” ideas of the 112th Congress. If you call Big Government Spending “good for business”, maybe they’ll all sing sweet nothings to each other around their fire places tonight and pray for Lassie to come home.


*Note: this morning’s weekly readings on the US Consumer confidence (after a +91% stock market inflation):

  1. ABC Consumer Confidence drops for the 2nd week in a row to minus -44 (versus minus -40 two-weeks ago)
  2. MBA weekly mortgage applications drop another -8.7% this week (vs. -1.9% last wk) as mortgage rates push higher

In the end, inflation kills stocks and bonds. It’s already killing emerging market stocks and US Bonds. And, yes, Egypt’s +12% reported inflation rate is massively understated by a politically oppressive government and that’s contributing to this morning’s civil unrest.


The Bone Burners will tell you that rising US Treasury Yields this morning (2-year UST yields are breaking out above their immediate-term TRADE line of resistance of 0.61%) are all about “growth.”


The Chinese, Indians, and Brazilians, will tell you that rising Municipal and UST bond yields also have something to do with both Burning Bone driven inflation and US credit quality risk.


As India’s sober central banking Governor, Subbarao, said last night, “monetary policy works most efficiently while dealing with an inflationary situation, when the fiscal situation is under control.”


Sorry, Mr. President – good oration of the speech, but you’re not in the area code of enough spending cuts to keep Sputnik’s Bone from looking like it wants to be buried alongside the already broken promises of America’s Mid-term elections.


My immediate-term TRADE lines of support and resistance for the SP500 are now 1286 and 1295, respectively.


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Sputnik's Bone - egypt


TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - January 26, 2011

Equity futures are trading above fair value in a continuation of Tuesday's late day rally which erased declines in the last hour. Overnight, global markets have reacted positively to President Obama's State of the Union address in which he highlighted the need to cut corporate tax rates, and pledged to freeze domestic spending.  As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 9 points or -0.40% downside to 1286 and +0.30% upside to 1295.



  • MBA Mortgage Index Sinks to Lowest Since Nov. 2008 MBA mortgage applications index fell 12.9% week ended Jan. 21. Refi’s sank 15.3%, lowest in a yr Purchases fell 8.7%, lowest since Oct.
  • Avg. 30-yr fixed rose to 4.80% from 4.77% prior week; rate hit 4.21% in Oct., lowest since group’s records began in 1990
  • Almost 60% of global investors predict at least one nation will leave euro-area within five years and a majority also says that Greece and Ireland will default, Bloomberg Global Poll shows as World Economic Forum’s annual meeting gets underway in Davos.
  • Spain will impose core capital requirement of as much as 10% on lenders that don’t have private investors and depend on wholesale funding, Finance Minister Elena Salgado
  • EFSF will need more cash to take on role of bond buybacks that ministers are discussing; would require as much as EU280b, more than rules currently allow it to disburse, for rescue program focused on Greece,
  • 10 a.m.: New home sales, Dec., est. 3.5% M/m gain to 300k, prior 290k, 5.5% gain
  • 10:30 a.m.: DOE inventories, Jan. 21
  • 11:30 a.m.: U.S. sells $25b 56-day cash management bills; 1 p.m.: sells $35b 5-yr notes
  • 3 p.m.: USDA broiler eggs set, Jan. 21


  • Altera (ALTR) forecast 1Q rev. down 1%-5% sequentially, implies sales $527.6m-$549.8m vs est. $523.2m
  • DeVry (DV) reported 2Q EPS $1.25 vs est. $1.19
  • Gilead Sciences (GILD) got “refuse to file” notification from FDA on Truvada/TMC278 NDA
  • Juniper Networks (JNPR) forecast 1Q rev. $1.06b-$1.11b vs. est. $1.09b
  • Keynote Systems (KEYN) forecast 2Q rev. $23m-$24m vs. est. $21.5m (3 ests.)
  • Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) plans to cut 1,700 management Jobs, hire 8k-10k more weekend staff
  • Molex (MOLX) forecast 3Q EPS 39c-43c vs est. 40c
  • RF Micro Devices (RFMD) forecast 4Q rev. down 10%-15% (implies $237.2-$251.1m), vs est. $259.4m
  • Stryker (SYK) said 2011 EPS may be as low as $3.65, vs est. $3.69; reported 4Q adj. EPS 93c, est. 91c
  • WMS Industries (WMS) forecast 3Q rev. $209m-$215m vs est. $219.5m
  • Yahoo! (YHOO) forecast 1Q rev. ex-TAC $1.02b-$1.08b vs est. $1.14b
  • Wellpoint (WLP) 6 a.m., $1.22
  • Praxair (PX) 6:02 a.m., $1.23
  • Textron (TXT) 6:30 a.m., $0.26
  • Xerox (XRX) 6:45 a.m., $0.28
  • MeadWestvaco (MWV) 6:50 a.m., $0.39
  • Eastman Kodak (EK) 6:52 a.m., $0.05
  • Legg Mason (LM) 7 a.m., $0.46
  • McCormick (MKC) 7 a.m., $0.96
  • Rockwell Automation (ROK) 7 a.m., $0.88
  • United Technologies (UTX) 7 a.m., $1.29
  • United Continental Holdings (UAL) 7:03 a.m., $0.24
  • Allegheny Technologies (ATI) 7:30 a.m., $0.29
  • Automatic Data Processing (ADP) 7:30 a.m., $0.61
  • Boeing (BA) 7:30 a.m., $1.11
  • Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP CN) 7:30 a.m., $1.08
  • General Dynamics (GD) 7:30 a.m., $1.85
  • Hess (HES) 7:30 a.m., $1.23
  • Southern Co (SO) 7:30 a.m., $0.18
  • St Jude Medical (STJ) 7:30 a.m., $0.74
  • Occidental Petroleum (OXY) 7:35 a.m., $1.54
  • Abbott Laboratories (ABT) 7:44 a.m., $1.29
  • Valero Energy (VLO) 7:44 a.m., $0.34
  • Cooper Industries PLC (CBE) 8 a.m., $0.85
  • Exelon (EXC) 8 a.m., $0.92
  • New York Community Ban (NYB) 8 a.m., $0.32
  • ConocoPhillips (COP) 8:30 a.m., $1.31
  • US Airways Group (LCC) 8:30 a.m., $0.06 
  • Qualcomm (QCOM) 4 p.m., $0.72
  • Varian Medical Systems (VAR) 4 p.m., $0.73
  • Harris (HRS) 4:03 p.m., $1.11
  • Starbucks (SBUX) 4:03 p.m., $0.39
  • Crown Castle International (CCI) 4:04 p.m., $0.08
  • Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) 4:05 p.m., $(0.31)
  • Citrix Systems (CTXS) 4:05 p.m., $0.60
  • E*Trade Financial (ETFC) 4:05 p.m., $0.04
  • Lam Research (LRCX) 4:05 p.m., $1.57
  • NetFlix (NFLX) 4:05 p.m., $0.71
  • Owens-Illinois (OI) 4:05 p.m., $0.47
  • Symantec (SYMC) 4:05 p.m., $0.33
  • Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI) 4:15 p.m., $0.37
  • Alcon (ACL) 4:15 p.m., $1.69
  • Murphy Oil (MUR) 4:47 p.m., $1.00
  • Noble (NE) 5:02 p.m., $0.32


The XLB remains the only sector that is broken on the Hedgeye TRADE - 8 of 9 sectors positive on TRADE and 9 of 9 sectors positive on TREND.

  • One day: Dow (0.03%), S&P +0.03%, Nasdaq +0.06%, Russell 2000 +0.09%
  • Last Week: Dow +0.72%, S&P -0.76%, Nasdaq -2.39%, Russell -4.26%
  • Year-to-date: Dow +3.45%, S&P +2.67%, Nasdaq +2.50%, Russell (0.47%)
  • Sector Performance - (4 sectors up and 4 down and 1 flat): - Tech +0.46%, Consumer Spls +0.32%, Materials +0.13%, Consumer Disc 0.05%, Healthcare (0.00%), Utilities (0.15%), Industrials (0.12%), Financials (0.20%), Energy (0.29%)


  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: 219 (-1001)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 1046.43 (+8.78%)
  • VIX:  17.59 -0.36% YTD PERFORMANCE: -0.90%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 2.44 from 2.06 (-18.19%)


Treasuries were higher yesterday with the weakness in stocks throughout much of the day.

  • TED SPREAD: 15.63 -0.304 (-1.910%)
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.16%      
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.73 from 2.78


  • CRB: 327.570 -1.54%  
  • Oil: 86.19 -1.91% - trading +0.66% in the AM
  • COPPER: 422.60 -2.82% - trading +0.96% in the AM  
  • GOLD: 1,333.07 -0.79% - trading +0.25% in the AM  


  • Crude oil fell to its lowest price in eight weeks on signs that the economies of the U.S. and the U.K. are struggling to recover, curbing demand growth for fuels. 
  • Natural gas futures fell, marking their biggest two-day drop since November, on declines in other commodities and speculation that U.S. supplies are adequate to meet winter-heating demand.
  • India plans to invest $3 billion to build a steel plant in Indonesia and buy coal from the Southeast Asian nation as part of an initial accord.
  • Gold futures fell to the lowest in almost three months as demand waned for precious metals as alternative investments.  Global investors are becoming more confident about the economic outlook, according to a quarterly poll of 1,000 Bloomberg subscribers.
  • Copper prices fell to their lowest level in a month on Tuesday as another sharp build in London inventories and inflation fears in Asian consuming countries cast some doubts over the red metal's near-term demand outlook.
  • U.S. corn futures closed lower for the second consecutive day Tuesday as the market pulled back from 30-month highs.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture will give traders their next update on corn demand when it issues weekly export sales data Thursday.
  • Wheat futures rose, capping the longest rally in six months, on signs that demand is increasing for U.S. supplies as adverse weather threatens global output.
  • U.S. hog futures surged Tuesday on a plan by South Korea to remove its tariff on pork imports through June, likely boosting pork exports from the U.S.  Animal-health officials in South Korea have been battling numerous outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease


  • EURO: 1.3642  - trading +0.39% in the AM
  • DOLLAR: 78.002 -0.06% - trading -0.21% in the AM 


  • FTSE 100: +1.31%; DAX: 1.25%; CAC 40: +0.90% (AS OF 6:45 AM EST)
  • European markets opened higher and extended gains to currently trade around session highs, buoyed by broadly higher markets across Asia and US futures trade higher.
  • European Automobile Manufacturers' Association Dec Commercial Vehicles Registrations in the EU +12.5% y/y
  • BOE minutes: MPC voted 7-2 to hold rates at 0.5%, voted 8-1 to keep QE total at £200B; BOE policy maker Martin Weale joined Andrew Sentance in voting for an interest-rate increase this month as officials said the balance of risks to inflation had moved “upwards,” minutes show.
  • UK Dec Mortgage Approvals 28,726 vs prior 29,696
  • Germany reported import price inflation 12% vs est. 10.8%, fastest pace in 29 years. German two-year government note yields rose to the highest in a year as data raises inflation expectations.
  • Spain reported home loans down 14.6% Y/y in Nov., seventh month of declines.
  • Italy reported Nov. retail sales down 0.3% M/m vs est. gain 0.1%
  • Spanish, Greek, Portuguese 10-yr bonds all decline


  • Nikkei (0.60)%; Hang Seng +0.23%; Shanghai Composite +1.17%
  • Asian markets were mixed this morning.
  • China up 1.17% and Indonesia up 1.97%
  • South Korea rose 1.14% when Q4 GDP growth beat expectations although slowed sequentially.  GDP rose 0.5% vs 0.7% last quarter.  The median estimate of 12 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 0.4%.  Year-over-year GDP increased 4.8%.
  • Taiwan rose +0.71%.
  • Japan declined (0.60%) on a weak showing by Wall Street and uninspiring US earnings. Japan December corporate services price index (1.3%) y/y to 96.4.
  • Australia is closed for Australia Day.


Howard Penney

Managing Director



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