prev

Hakuna Matata

This note was originally published June 01, 2011 at 08:24

“It means no worries,
For the rest of your days,
It's our problem-free philosophy,
Hakuna Matata.”

 

-The Lion King

 

Hakuna matata is a Swahilli phrase that means, literally, there are no worries. The term was first popularized by 1980s rock band, Boney M, but gained most of its popularity in the 1994 Disney animated hit, Lion King. Yesterday, the U.S. equity markets closed solidly to the positive with the benchmark SP500 closing at 1,345 near the highs for the day. Hakuna matata! Right?

 

Certainly, yesterday’s stock market action reflected a care free / hakuna matata type of attitude, especially given the backdrop of the economic news of the day. There were actually three data points out that caused your grumpy old risk managers at Hedgeye a little concern. They were as follows:

 

1)      Chicago PMI - The ISM’s Chicago business barometer dropped from 67.6 in April to 56.6 in May, which was its lowest reading since November 2009. This was the largest one-month deceleration since October 2008. Clearly ominous, although perhaps somewhat attributable to the region’s exposure to the auto industry and shortage of auto components from Japan (at least, that’s the spin). The comments from the recipients of the survey were fascinating and can be found here: https://www.ism-chicago.org/chapters/ism-ismchicago/files/ISM-CMay2011.pdf

The common themes were price inflation and slowing growth.

 

2)      Case-Shiller Index – According to the Case-Shiller Index, U.S. home prices fell for the 8th straight month and were down 4.2% for Q1 2011 versus Q4 2010. This is an accelerated decline versus Q4 2010, a quarter in which home prices fell 3.6% quarter-over-quarter. Declining home prices are negative for the financial sector, as banks have to adjust residential mortgage loan books accordingly, and negative for the outlook for consumer spending, especially on the low end.  According to the Case-Shiller report, home prices have now fallen as much as they did during the Great Depression. In that period, it took 19 years for the prior peak to be revisited.

 

3)      Consumer Confidence Index – The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence dropped 5.2 points in May and is now at its lowest level since November. The Hedgeye Optimism Spread continues to contract, as the expectations component led the decline falling to 75.2 from 83.2 (previously 82.6). The present situation component dipped to 39.3 from 40.2 (previously 39.6). Overall, the assessments of future business and labor market conditions fell in May.

 

As we noted at the outset of the note, the equity markets completely shrugged off the economic data points above and closed at, or near, the Hakuna Matata Highs of the Day. Now to be balanced, these data points are mostly backward looking, except for perhaps the consumer confidence reading, so it is, maybe, understandable that the market looked through the news. 

 

That said, speculating on the meaning of market price moves is just that - speculation. To reduce speculation, we incorporate a quantitative process around looking at market prices. As Keith and I learned in our early days in the hedge fund industry, markets or stocks going up on bad news is an important signal, but it does need to be confirmed. That is, one day a trend does not make.  As well, short term price action needs to be placed into the greater context of market sentiment and psychology. 

 

To the last point, we have posted in the chart below a look at NYSE margin debt versus the SP500 going back to January 1997. The takeaway from this analysis is that when margin debt has reached an extreme of 1.5 standard deviations above the mean, the SP500 has seen a 50% correction in the ensuing 18 months.  We are certainly not calling for a crash or correction to that degree, but wanted to highlight this context, which is simply that stock market operators are leaning levered long - in a large way.

 

Over the course of the past couple of quarters, there is no doubt most stock market operators have experienced some level of cognitive dissonance. Yesterday’s action likely accelerated those experiences.  On the positive side of the ledger yesterday, a Greek default seems to have been punted, which is positive on some level for some time frame, and the economic data suggested, to our Q2 Theme, that The Bernank has continued clearance to stay Indefinitely Dovish. Therefore, if fixed income earns you little, or at least historically low rates of return, then perhaps equities are marginally more appealing? Thus the equity markets reacted accordingly yesterday . . .

 

We certainly understand this line of reasoning, but remain concerned that the “valuation” case for the U.S. stock market may not be what it is cut out to be. As inflation accelerates and growth slows, corporate margins contract, and earnings growth becomes challenging. Recall that at the end of 2007, the SP500 was trading at 17.3x forward earnings of $84.67 per share, except for the fact that the real earnings number was actually $60.57, or 28% lower than expected. There was little cognitive dissonance by the end of 2008.

 

Hakuna matata!

 

Keep your head up and stick on the ice,

 

Daryl G. Jones

Managing Director

 

Hakuna Matata - Chart of the Day

 

Hakuna Matata - Virtual Portfolio


THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - June 1, 2011

 

Overnight Asia turned in a mixed performance, while Europe and the futures are headed lower.  On the MACRO front, we are looking at another day of where the data points will be uninspiring.  As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 21 points or -1.13% downside to 1330 and 0.43% upside to 1351.

 

SECTOR AND GLOBAL PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - levels 61

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily sector view

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - global performance

 

 

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: 1577 (+198)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 1515.01 (+118.72%)
  • VIX:  15.45 -3.32% YTD PERFORMANCE: -12.96%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 1.61 from 1.20 (+33.89%)

 

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

  • TED SPREAD: 19.70
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.06%
  • 10-Year: 3.05 from 3.07
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.60 from 2.59 

 

MACRO DATA POINTS:

  • 7 a.m.: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 1.1%
  • 7:30 a.m.: Challenger job cuts, prior (-4.8%)
  • 8:15 a.m.: ADP Employment, est. 175k, prior 179k
  • 10 a.m.: Construction spending, est. M/m 0.3%, prior 1.4%
  • 10 a.m.: ISM Manufacturing, est. 57.1, prior 60.4
  • 11:30 a.m.: U.S. to sell $28b 4-wk bills, $24b 52-wk bills
  • 4:30 p.m.: API inventories

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • EU said to consider incentives for Greek debt rollovers -- wires
  • Greek Central Bank Governor Provopoulos dismissed scenarios that Greece could leave the Euro and return to the Drachma -- Reuters
  • Sinking housing prices threaten to derail economic recovery - WSJ
  • Coca-Cola interested in listing in China - Reuters
  • Car companies finalising large investment plans for Russia - WSJ

 

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily commodity view

 

COMMODITY HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG:

  • Shipping Rates Seen Dropping as French Wheat Cargoes Sink: Freight Markets
  • Oil Trades Near 3-Week High on U.S. Supply; MF Global Says $105 Possible
  • Gold May Decline in London Trading on Outlook for Greece Debt Resolution
  • U.S. Mint Silver Eagle Coin Sales Through May Are the Highest Since 1986
  • Cattle ‘Being Tortured’ in Indonesia, Australian Senator Says, Urging Ban
  • Bonds Losing to Bullion With Inflation at a Three-Year High: China Credit
  • Copper in London May Drop After Reports Signal China Manufacturng Slowdown
  • Rubber Declines as Slowing China Manufacturing Growth Dims Demand Outlook
  • U.S. House Committee Approves Department of Agriculture Spending Proposal
  • China Drought Parches Fish Farms, May Cut Feed Sales, Citic Futures Says
  • China’s Millionaire Ranks Leap Past a Million as Legacy of Communism Fades
  • Power Thieves Keep 400 Million Indians in Dark as Singh Misses Energy Goal
  • Billionaire Adani May Sell a 20% Stake in Coal-Mining Unit in London IPO
  • Europe Commodity Day Ahead: Gold Declines as Greece Default Concern Eases

 

CURRENCIES

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily currency view

 

EUROPEAN MARKETS

  • European indices are trading lower on disappointing May Manufacturing PMI numbers accross Europe.
  • UK April mortgage approval 45.166k vs consensus 47.500k and prior revised 47.145k; Uk April mortgage lending +0.7B vs consensus +0.7B and prior +0.5B
  • Eurozone May Manufacturing PMI 54.6 vs consensus 54.8 and prior 54.8
  • Germany May Manufacturing PMI 57.7 vs consensus 58.2 and prior 58.2
  • France May Manufacturing PMI 54.9 vs consensus 55.0 and prior 55.0
  • France Q1 ILO jobless rate +9.7% vs Q4 +9.7%
  • UK May Manufacturing PMI 52.1 vs consensus 54.1 and prior revised to 54.4 from 54.6

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - euro performance

 

 

ASIAN MARKETS

  • China May PMI 52.0 vs April 52.9.
  • Australia Q1 GDP (1.2%) q/q vs survey (1.1%), +1.0% y/y, matching expectations. Q4 GDP revised to 0.8% q/q vs initial +0.7%.

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - asia performance

 

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - MIDEAST PERFORMANCE

 

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.

Hakuna Matata

“It means no worries,
For the rest of your days,
It's our problem-free philosophy,
Hakuna Matata.”

 

-The Lion King

 

Hakuna matata is a Swahilli phrase that means, literally, there are no worries. The term was first popularized by 1980s rock band, Boney M, but gained most of its popularity in the 1994 Disney animated hit, Lion King. Yesterday, the U.S. equity markets closed solidly to the positive with the benchmark SP500 closing at 1,345 near the highs for the day. Hakuna matata! Right?

 

Certainly, yesterday’s stock market action reflected a care free / hakuna matata type of attitude, especially given the backdrop of the economic news of the day. There were actually three data points out that caused your grumpy old risk managers at Hedgeye a little concern. They were as follows:

 

1)      Chicago PMI - The ISM’s Chicago business barometer dropped from 67.6 in April to 56.6 in May, which was its lowest reading since November 2009. This was the largest one-month deceleration since October 2008. Clearly ominous, although perhaps somewhat attributable to the region’s exposure to the auto industry and shortage of auto components from Japan (at least, that’s the spin). The comments from the recipients of the survey were fascinating and can be found here: https://www.ism-chicago.org/chapters/ism-ismchicago/files/ISM-CMay2011.pdf

The common themes were price inflation and slowing growth.

 

2)      Case-Shiller Index – According to the Case-Shiller Index, U.S. home prices fell for the 8th straight month and were down 4.2% for Q1 2011 versus Q4 2010. This is an accelerated decline versus Q4 2010, a quarter in which home prices fell 3.6% quarter-over-quarter. Declining home prices are negative for the financial sector, as banks have to adjust residential mortgage loan books accordingly, and negative for the outlook for consumer spending, especially on the low end.  According to the Case-Shiller report, home prices have now fallen as much as they did during the Great Depression. In that period, it took 19 years for the prior peak to be revisited.

 

3)      Consumer Confidence Index – The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence dropped 5.2 points in May and is now at its lowest level since November. The Hedgeye Optimism Spread continues to contract, as the expectations component led the decline falling to 75.2 from 83.2 (previously 82.6). The present situation component dipped to 39.3 from 40.2 (previously 39.6). Overall, the assessments of future business and labor market conditions fell in May.

 

As we noted at the outset of the note, the equity markets completely shrugged off the economic data points above and closed at, or near, the Hakuna Matata Highs of the Day. Now to be balanced, these data points are mostly backward looking, except for perhaps the consumer confidence reading, so it is, maybe, understandable that the market looked through the news. 

 

That said, speculating on the meaning of market price moves is just that - speculation. To reduce speculation, we incorporate a quantitative process around looking at market prices. As Keith and I learned in our early days in the hedge fund industry, markets or stocks going up on bad news is an important signal, but it does need to be confirmed. That is, one day a trend does not make.  As well, short term price action needs to be placed into the greater context of market sentiment and psychology. 

 

To the last point, we have posted in the chart below a look at NYSE margin debt versus the SP500 going back to January 1997. The takeaway from this analysis is that when margin debt has reached an extreme of 1.5 standard deviations above the mean, the SP500 has seen a 50% correction in the ensuing 18 months.  We are certainly not calling for a crash or correction to that degree, but wanted to highlight this context, which is simply that stock market operators are leaning levered long - in a large way.

 

Over the course of the past couple of quarters, there is no doubt most stock market operators have experienced some level of cognitive dissonance. Yesterday’s action likely accelerated those experiences.  On the positive side of the ledger yesterday, a Greek default seems to have been punted, which is positive on some level for some time frame, and the economic data suggested, to our Q2 Theme, that The Bernank has continued clearance to stay Indefinitely Dovish. Therefore, if fixed income earns you little, or at least historically low rates of return, then perhaps equities are marginally more appealing? Thus the equity markets reacted accordingly yesterday . . .

 

We certainly understand this line of reasoning, but remain concerned that the “valuation” case for the U.S. stock market may not be what it is cut out to be. As inflation accelerates and growth slows, corporate margins contract, and earnings growth becomes challenging. Recall that at the end of 2007, the SP500 was trading at 17.3x forward earnings of $84.67 per share, except for the fact that the real earnings number was actually $60.57, or 28% lower than expected. There was little cognitive dissonance by the end of 2008.

 

Hakuna matata!

 

Keep your head up and stick on the ice,

 

Daryl G. Jones

Managing Director

 

Hakuna Matata - Chart of the Day

 

Hakuna Matata - Virtual Portfolio


THE M3: MAY GGR; DIRECT GAMING TAXES; CHINA MAY HOME PRICES RISE

The Macau Metro Monitor, June 1, 2011

 

 

MONTHLY GROSS REVENUE FROM GAMES OF FORTUNE DICJ

For May, Macau GGR was 24.31 BN MOP (23.60 BN HK$, 3.04 BN US$), up 42.4% YoY.


GOVT EXPENDITURE RISES 115% IN JAN-APRIL Macau News

Macau govt’s expenditure in the January-April period stood at 10.4 BN patacas, up 115.6% YoY. Direct gaming taxes accounted for 84% of the total revenue, compared with 83.8% in the first four months of 2010.

 

CHINA'S HOME PRICES ROSE IN MAY FOR NINTH MONTH AS SMALLER CITIES CLIMB Bloomberg

According to SouFun Holdings, the nation’s biggest real-estate website owner, China home prices rose 0.5% MoM in May.  Residential prices increased in 76 out of 100 cities tracked by SouFun, with average home values nationwide climbing to 8,819 yuan ($1,361) a square meter (10.76 square feet).


G-Fluff

This note was originally published at 8am on May 27, 2011. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“Governments everywhere are still trying to cure by public works the unemployment brought about by their own policies.”

-Henry Hazlitt (Economics In One Lesson, page 208)

 

I suppose it’s only fitting that Henry Hazlitt revised his million-plus copies sold of “Economics In One Lesson” in June of 1978 (originally penned in 1946). That’s when the Western world was swallowing stagflation whole. That was shortly after the French introduced the G-Fluff.

 

G-Fluff, formerly known as the G-6 Central Planning Board (created by France in 1975), is now affectionately referred to by professional politicians as the G-8.

 

The G stands for Groupthink. The G-8 currently consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. Not to be outdone, The EU also sends their commissioners for 3 hour lunches that serve up piping hot bs, with broccoli.

 

This year’s G-Fluff conference is being held in a hoity-toity town on the northwestern coastline de la belle Provence. Les Obamas et les Sarkozys (hearing there may be more than a few of them – with adjoining rooms)… La rencontre… et la culture… sans le DSK.

 

BREAKING HEADLINE (out of the G-8 conference this morning):

 

“THE GLOBAL RECOVERY IS GAINING STRENGTH… HOWEVER, DOWNSIDE RISKS REMAIN”

 

Mais, qu’est-ce que c’est Le Recovery? Que’est-ce qui se passe avec Le Downside?

 

(Before someone goes all French socialist on me – for the record, my Mom’s side of the family is French-Canadian, and I went to French school until the 5th grade, learning how to read, write, and count in French before the English pig stuff.)

 

Back to Le Recovery et Le Downside

 

In Spain the socialists are running a 21.3% unemployment rate, so let’s not talk about that outcome of le debt financing les deficits – Spain isn’t allowed at the G-Fluff conference anyway.

 

Let’s talk about le USA.

  1. Yesterdays US jobless claims report rose 15,000 week-over-week to 424,000
  2. Ze rolling claim (the 4-week moving average) held at 439,000 – a new YTD high!

When considered on 1 of the 2 key measures of le success of Le Bernank (1. Full Employment, 2. Price stability), this is not good. Actually, it’s really bad – because our math suggests that for the unemployment rate in this country to recover, we’ll need to see weekly jobless claims consistently below 385,000.

 

Le Bernank et L’Obama get this. That’s why Le Bernank’s key statement less than a month ago at his Presser was:

 

“It’s not clear that we can get substantial improvements in payrolls without some additional inflation risk.”

-Ben Bernanke, April 27, 2011

 

In other words, without Le Quantitative Guessing (and ze Inflation born out of it) – we do not know what to do.

 

May I suggest two eggs, side by each, pour ton fluffy dejeuner Madame Obama?

 

This entire Keynesian experiment and my mockery of it is a much more serious joke than I can muster this morning. For the last 6 months Hedgeye has been warning that a policy to inflate will structurally impair (slow) economic growth.

 

I’m actually getting tired of hammering my hockey knuckles into my keyboard every morning – as de French-Canadian goalie from “Slapshot”, Dennis Lemieux, might say – SLOW-z… SLOW-zzz – de Inflation slow-ZZZ de growth!

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

The US Treasury Bond market is busting a move to the upside again this morning. US Treasury Bond yields are getting crushed. The 2-year is trading at 0.48% and 10’s are testing a breakdown of the 3% line. The Yield Spread (2-year yields minus 10’s) continues to compress (+258 basis points wide, down another 6 basis points week-over-week).

 

What does this mean?

  1. Growth expectations are slowing
  2. Inflation expectations are slowing

We call this Deflating The Inflation (Hedgeye Q2 Macro Theme), and we can send you the 50 page slide deck on how it works. The two long positions we have on to reflect this view are bullish on the long-end of the bond market (TLT) and long a US Treasury Flattener (FLAT).

 

Yes, we are aware that Le Bernank has to end le QG2 in 6 weeks. We are also aware that when this unprecedented Keynesian experiment ends, jobless claims in America could go a lot higher. I don’t have to wonder what Henry Hazlitt would say about that in June 2011.

 

My immediate-term ranges of support and resistance for Gold, Oil, and the SP500 are now $1511-1538, $96.89-101.57, and 1310-1328, respectively.

 

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. God Bless America. And best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

G-Fluff - UST Yield

 

G-Fluff - port2


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.

next