"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."
Someone tweeted that winner’s one-liner from Babe Ruth yesterday while I was scanning my iPad in between meetings in New Jersey and New York. It fired me up. I love a great quote. And I love a great Tweet.
Hitting a Home Tweet out of the park on Twitter is a thing of beauty. Sometimes it’s a tweet that makes you laugh. Sometimes it’s a tweet that makes you cringe. All of the time, tweets are real-time. And that’s where I think Wall Street is going. Real-time, transparency, and accountability. Opacity is dead.
Plenty of people whine about how dysfunctional Wall Street can be. Agreed on the dysfunctional part, but what’s up with the whining? We need to get back to winning in this business. We should embrace the inability of an industry to evolve as a tremendous opportunity for change. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Back to the Global Macro Grind…
My notebook is jam packed with data this morning. From China and Copper breaking out on our intermediate-term TREND duration to US Treasury yields sniffing out an immediate-term TRADE breakout of their own, there’s a lot of interconnectedness to consider.
1. CHINA: Chinese stocks don’t want to go down anymore (they’ve been down for 15 months) and China is going to preemptively print the top-tick in their 2011 inflation (CPI) this weekend. As Johnny-come-latelys on inflation-fear clamor around this, I wanted to be crystal clear that we think Chinese CPI will fall back to 4.5-5% by year-end. Government reported inflation is a lagging indicator.
2. COPPER: Dr. Copper continues to have my back on the long China position (CAF). If Chinese demand was going to go by the way of Sino Forest’s trees, Copper wouldn’t be breaking out above our intermediate-term TREND line ($4.20/lb) like this. Copper prices are ripping again this morn – up to $4.44/lb and +13% since mid-May. China’s share of the world’s copper consumption = 39%.
3. BONDS: Finally, the short-end of the bond market (yields) has finally broken out above my immediate-term TRADE line of 0.42% on the 2-year. Can this hold? If the unemployment print is what the market thinks it’s going to be (better), it will. We’ve sold our long-term bond position (TLT) this week and prefer A) being short short-term bonds (SHY) and B) long a US Treasury Flattener (FLAT) provided that the unemployment # is better.
Got real-time synthesis of Global Macro data?
- SOUTH KOREA: finally showed a slowdown in the rate of inflation of its PPI (Producer Price Index) at +6.2% year-over-year in June. That inflation growth rate was in-line with May’s report and this is bullish, on the margin, for South Korea’s stock market (EWY).
- AUSTRALIA: unemployment remained unchanged month-over-month in June at 4.9% and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Chief, Glenn Stevens, should be commended for having the spine to raise interest rates for the legions of Australian savers who enjoy a rate-of-return on their fixed income savings accounts and, at the same time, have jobs (La Bernank, take notes).
- BRAZIL: Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) for the month of June was up sequentially to +6.71% versus +6.55% in May and this should serve as a stiff reminder that inflation can still slow growth. The Brazilian stock market has been one of the world’s dogs this week and the Bovespa remains at the bottom of the world’s stock market league tables at down -10.2% YTD.
All the while the more newsy headlines about Pig Paper in Europe and the Audacity of Hope (Obama) on the US Employment front remain center stage. This shouldn’t be a conceptual surprise to anyone. Both American and Western European stock markets are effectively whipping people around like any Fiat Fool Bingo machine should. You can either manage risk around these trading ranges, or you can’t.
On the aroma of Le Papier de Pepe La Pew in Europe:
- SPAIN: issued another 1.5B Euros in 2016 vintage Eurocrat Bonds this morning at a yield of 4.87% versus 4.54% at the last auction. Higher-bond yields are not a surprise, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t bad.
- ITALY: bond yields on Italian 10-year paper are shooting up to 9-year highs this morning (up +10 basis points day-over-day at 5.27%) and one might argue that old Silvio and the boys have a bigger pending problem than hot-tub extra-curriculars revealed. Stay tuned.
- GREECE: oh, yes. They still have people there and they are quite bitter about the formation of their sovereign bond market’s chart resembling the back side of a giraffe’s behind – high and stinky.
Stinky paper is as stinky does, and I guess Einstein would agree that being long the stuff with less stench this morning is simply a matter of relativity. Earlier in the week (when stocks were for sale) I moved my asset allocation to Global Equities to a YTD high (27%) and cut my allocation to Fixed Income from 33% to 18%. I’m not sure if I hit any Home Tweets this week; but I didn’t strike out either.
My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Oil, China’s Shanghai Composite, and the SP500 are now $95.21-100.07, 2, and 1, respectively.
Have a great weekend and best of luck out there today,
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer