• run with the bulls

    get your first month

    of hedgeye free



TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - March 17, 2011


We made a "short term bottom" call into the close yesterday, and this morning’s action in global equity, commodity, and currency markets confirms the same. Every market gets immediate-term TRADE overbought and oversold.  As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 18 points or -0.07% downside to 1256 and 1.36% upside to 1274 (with upside to 1307 on a close  > 1274).



As of the close yesterday we have 0 of 9 sectors positive on TRADE and 2 of 9 sectors positive on TREND - Energy and Health-care. 

  • One day: Dow (2.04%), S&P (1.95%), Nasdaq (1.89%), Russell 2000 (1.19%)
  • Month-to-date: Dow (5.01%), S&P (5.30%), Nasdaq (5.95%), Russell (5.05%)
  • Quarter/Year-to-date: Dow +0.31%, S&P (0.06%), Nasdaq (1.36%), Russell (0.22%)
  • Sector Performance: - Tech (2.44%), Industrials (1.86%), Materials (2.01%), Financials (1.85%), Energy (1.60%), Healthcare (1.74%), Consumer Disc (1.70%), Utilities (1.57%), Consumer Spls (1.43%)


  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: -1636 (+106)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 1460.96 (+13.43%)
  • VIX:  29.40 +20.89% YTD PERFORMANCE: +65.63%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 2.52 from 1.69 (+48.45%)



Treasuries were underpinned by a pickup in flight-to-quality buying.

  • TED SPREAD: 22.58 0.101 (0.451%)
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.10% +0.01%
  • 10-Year: 3.22 from 3.33
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.64 from 2.70


  • 8:30 a.m.: Consumer Price Index, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4%
  • 8:30 a.m.: Net export sales, commodities
  • 8:30 a.m.: Jobless claims, est. 388k, prior 397k
  • 9:15 a.m.: Industrial production, est. 0.6%, prior (-0.1%)
  • 9:15 a.m.: Capacity production
  • 9:45 a.m.: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 44.5
  • 10 a.m.: Leading indicators, est. 0.9%, prior 0.1%
  • 10 a.m.: Philly Fed, est. 28.8, prior 35.9
  • 10:30 a.m.: EIA Natural Gas
  • 3 p.m.: Geithner attends FSOC meeting


  • U.S. nationals urged to leave Japan amid growing fears of nuclear meltdown
  • Obama administration indicates it will vote at the United Nations tomorrow to authorize military actions and no-fly zone in Libya
  • U.S. House Republicans vote to cancel $1b in housing aid
  • Moody’s keeps negative outlook on U.S. states and local government bonds
  • Senate is expected to vote on three-week budget resolution 


  • CRB: 338.17 flat YTD: +1.61%  
  • Oil: 97.98 +0.82%; YTD: +6.85% (trading +1.43% in the AM)
  • COPPER: 419.75 +1.46%; YTD: -4.08% (trading +1.57% in the AM)  
  • GOLD: 1,396.95 +0.16%; YTD: -1.16% (trading +0.37% in the AM)  


  • Soaked Midwest Soil Boosts Flood Risk for U.S. Wheat Crops, Sandbag Cities
  • Beef, Pork Production in Japan’s Eastern Region Disrupted, Ministry Says
  • Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia May Delay Rubber Shipments, Consortium Says
  • Oil Leads Commodity Advance for Second Day, Reversing Earlier Decline
  • Gold May Advance as Japanese Crisis, Turbulence in Middle East Spur Demand
  • Dry Weather May Hurt Coffee Production in Vietnam, Bolstering World Prices
  • Copper May Rise in London on Prospects for Japan Rebuilding: LME Preview
  • Glencore Loses $3.6 Billion as Mining Stocks Decline, Threatening IPO Plan
  • Japan Quake May Mean U.S. Heating Oil Price Tops Gasoline: Energy Markets
  • U.S. Feedlots Buy Fewer Cattle as Feed Costs Increase, According to Survey
  • Corn, Wheat Advance as 9.5% Price Decline Attracts Importers, Investors
  • Palm Oil Futures Decline for Second Day on Expectation Supplies to Expand


  • EURO: 1.3889 -0.63% (trading +1.04%% in the AM)
  • DOLLAR: 76.681 +0.46% (trading -1.02%% in the AM) 


No major MACRO data points were released today.  Generally, European markets are trading higher.  Austria and Ireland are the two best performing markets up over 1%.  Iceland is the worst performing market down -1.30%.

  • United Kingdom: +0.54%
  • Germany: +0.61%
  • France: +0.74%
  • Spain: +0.66%
  • Italy: +0.55%
  • Greece: +0.01%


Most Asian market traded lower, with the exception of South Korea up +0.05%. The worst performing market was the Philippines trading -1.57%.

  • Japan: -1.44%
  • Hang Seng: -1.83%
  • China: -1.14%
  •  India: -1.14%
  • Taiwan: -0.50%

Howard Penney

Managing Director



Japan's Economic Impact on the U.S. (VIDEO)

CNBC VIDEO: Japan's Economic Impact on the U.S.

Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.37%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.32%

Short Covering Opportunity

Looking at one of the key risk management relationships we’ve been working with in calling for this 6% correction (the inverse relationship between the SP500 and the VIX), we’re at a spot here today that I would consider a Short Covering Opportunity. 

  1. The SP500 is immediate-term TRADE oversold
  2. The VIX is immediate-term TRADE overbought 

That should not be mistaken for a “buying opportunity” on the long side. At least not in terms of ramping gross long exposure aggressively. Not yet. What I see for the immediate-term TRADE is a Short Covering Opportunity in oversold positions (book gains) and a modest asset allocation to US and German Equities.


In the Hedgeye Portfolio these are the moves I’ve made into the market close: 

  1. Covered short position in SPAIN (EWP)
  2. Covered short position in EMERGING MARKETS (EEM)
  3. Covered short position in WALMART (WMT)
  4. Covered short position in INDUSTRIALS (XLI)
  5. Bought long positions in HEALTHCARE (XLV)
  6. Added to long position in GERMANY (EWG) 

Let me know if you have any questions. All of these moves tick live with time stamps on our site at Hedgeye.com.



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Short Covering Opportunity - 1


Yesterday, in the Hedgeye Daily Outlook, our risk management call out was to watch the VIX.  In it, I advised that “the VIX is going to blowout into bullish long term TAIL if it closes > 22.03; that’s not something you want to mess with if it holds.”  Since the close on Monday, the VIX is up 23.3%, trading comfortable above 22.03.


Looking the chart below, it is clear that the VIX could still go a lot higher from here.  Last year, during the peak of the Sovereign debt crisis, the VIX traded at 45.79.  The average of the peak VIX levels during the past 6 major crises that impacted global financial markets comes to approximately 50, which would represent 48% upside from here.


As we always say, risk is always on.  Clearly, events in Japan are tragic and deeply saddening.  However, the systemic risks in Japan from an investment perspective remain: demographic headwinds and staggering government debt being the most prevalent.  These risks will not go away and, if anything, the unfortunate severity of the earthquake, tsunami, and ensuing (and continuing) radiation crisis will likely increase uncertainty and heighten concerns about economic growth from here.  Furthermore, the government’s handling of the crisis is being heavily criticized, as is evident by the trend on twitter from Japanese people ordering Prime Minister Kan to wake up: #han_okiro.  Tellingly, yesterday, some users were switching to #kan_netero, meaning “Kan, stay in bed”.


The media is currently focused on Japan.  As is tradition, mainstream media likes to focus on one thing at a time.  As events in Japan continue to captivate viewers of the most prevalent news sources, the unrest in the Middle East continues.  The uncertainty that this wave of political agitation can bring to global markets, particularly those most closely tied to oil, is likely to cause significant volatility if regimes continue to fall.  Footage of unarmed civilians being shot at point blank range by Bahraini military forces speaks to the gravity of the situation in Bahrain at present.


Another small island country, Ireland, is also worth monitoring from a risk management perspective.  A tiny economy by comparison to the larger EU, Ireland’s economy is heavily burdened by a debt-laden financial sector that was 100% guaranteed by the country’s last government.  At present, the new Irish Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, is refusing to budge on EU demands to raise its corporate tax rate from its current level of 12.5% towards the European average of 23%.  As a result, Ireland is being denied its request for a reduction in the interest rate on its bailout loan from the EU/IMF.   Given the contentious nature of this issue, and the fact that a failure to reach resolution could spur contagion in the Euro zone, it is worth monitoring closely.  Our Macro conviction is that the EU is likely to kick the can down the road as debt ratios go higher and higher.  Markets applauded the European debt crisis package on Monday, to a degree, but Ireland is systemically important part of Europe’s sovereign debt conundrum and the situation could deteriorate if the current impasse between Dublin and Brussels persists.


Clearly, risk is always “on”, whether or not the media is focused on them at this particular moment.  The recent downgrades of Portugal and Spain by Moody’s remind us of this.  As the current crisis in Japan intensifies, questions mount as to whether or not the FED suggested yesterday that QE3 will not be needed, inflation accelerates, global growth slows (downward GDP revisions),  and the Euro-zone debt crisis looms large in the background, a melt up in volatility could be just around the corner.


The VIX is immediate-term overbought.  Over the intermediate term, we have the range for the VIX getting as high as $35 or $40.


Howard Penney

Managing Director



Athletic Apparel Trends March On


Weekly athletic apparel sales remain healthy through the first two weeks of March extending a strong finish to February. Both the athletic specialty and department/mass channels improved on the week while sales in the family channel slowed on the margin. Most notably, ASPs declined in both the athletic specialty and family channel for the fourth straight week. However, unit volume continues to outpace ASP declines. On the contrary, ASP increases have impacted sales momentum in the discount/mass channel as unit sales remained negative for the third consecutive week.  Sales growth was strong across all regions with very few exceptions.  The Pacific region stands out as being a laggard with momentum still positive but slowing over the prior two weeks.


Lastly, we note that athletic apparel faces its toughest compares in the coming week as it faces the Easter shift.  Once past last year’s Easter comp (April 4th)  compares get progressively more favorable over the next 3-months.


Athletic Apparel Trends March On - FW App App Table 3 16 11


Athletic Apparel Trends March On - FW App App 1Yr 3 16 11


Athletic Apparel Trends March On - FW App App 2Yr 3 16 11


Athletic Apparel Trends March On - FW App Reg 3 16 11


Casey Flavin


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.