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PENN GETS THE CASH

PENN’s announcement this afternoon put to rest yet another short fairy tale. Some of these people are shameless. We aren’t afraid to make short calls here at Research Edge but we do so with analysis and research, not fabrication. The PENN shorts had people believing that first, Fortress was going bankrupt before the payment, and when that didn’t work they said Missouri wouldn’t approve the transaction. Well, PENN got the $775 million from Fortress which solidifies it as the strongest company financially in gaming.

Keith shot me an email today that PENN look the most attractive in gaming on the long side from a trade perspective. Despite a nice move the last couple of days, the stock still looks very cheap, which defies its strong balance sheet and liquidity position. I like the odds of betting with Carlino and company.
I personally own shares of PENN

SP500 Levels Into the Close...

Volume is solid out there today. Volatility is coming in hot (VIX is down another -8%). Equity breadth continues to broaden as credit spreads continue to narrow.

We we're bullish this morning. We are bullish into the close. My name is Keith McCullough, and I support this message. Our levels are below:

BUY aggressively = 840.67
BUY on pullbacks = 921.86
SELL the "Trade" = 1007.19

KM

German Bulls!

Our German COO, Michael Blum, never thought he would see the day... but here it is! We are long and getting longer German equities via the EWG etf.

Here are the 2 economic data points that mattered most for Germany this week, begetting our bullishness:

1. German Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) moved lower this month, both sequentially and on a year over year basis (see chart below). Importantly, Germany's inflation rate is amongst the lowest in first world countries right now, testing 2% y/y.

2. German Unemployment ticked down today to 7.5% vs. 7.6% last month. Pardon? Yes Dear Macro money makers, there are some domestic economies that do not tick on crackberries and Goldman's share price.

KM

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Crisis of Confidence or Bearishness?

We minced no words this morning. We hope our bullishness hit you like Mohammad Ali's right. We are the new bulls (for a “Trade”). Its global this time, and man is it bearish!

The European Union confidence charts are pretty straightforward. Buy Low.
KM


The European Union confidence charts are pretty straightforward. Buy Low.
KM

Yield curve: Steep and Steepening

As of yesterday there was a 235 basis point spread between 2s and 10s. This is great for the capitalists who have cash.

We thought we would front run CNBC and Fast Money by a few weeks and make a call out on the yield curve, which Keith has been highlighting in our morning meeting. In one sentence - it is steep and steepening.

We are not ready to call the end of recession (it has just begun), but, as many of you know, typically a steep yield curve will foretell an improving economy as demand for capital expands with growth. In the shorter term, the implied margins for a bank are inherently higher as they borrow short and lend long, which should lead to an easing of current credit market tightness. This is one indicator only, but it is on the margin positive, and worth highlighting. Everything in our macro model occurs on the margin.

The yield curve today, from 1-year ago, and from 1-month ago is highlighted below. Internally, we focus on the spread between 2s and 10s, which have steepened dramatically. As outlined below, the spread was at 60 bps 1-year ago, as of 1-month ago it was 191 bps, and today is at 235 bps.

Daryl G. Jones
Managing Director

MACAU: ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT QUID PRO QUO?

Last week, Macau’s Chief Executive, Edmund Ho, proposed enabling legislation on Article 23 of the Macau’s mini-constitution. This article states that “Macau shall enact laws, on its own, to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against” the Beijing government. The law, if passed, would be a major blow to free speech in Macau. It’s not a half court shot to assume that Beijing would be pleased.

We believe the law is likely to pass although it is by no means a slam dunk. Government officials tried it in Hong Kong five years ago but pro-democracy forces put the full court press on and stymied it. Macau is a different place without the democratic and freedom roots dug so deep as in Hong Kong.

Aside from supporting our pro-capitalism and pro-freedom teammates around the world why do we care? Mr. Ho is likely making this proposal for one or two of the following reasons:

• Curry favor with Beijing for a cushy job at the end of his stint as CE of Macau late next year
• Another attempt at a quid pro quo with Beijing regarding loosening visa restrictions

I don’t care much about what team Mr. Ho plays on in 2010 but any loosening of the current Guandong visa restrictions could spark a rebound for Macau casinos.

I doubt Macau will put up the same fight as Hong Kong

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