Being the Critic

“The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.”

-Oscar Wilde

 

Life is short.  So short, in fact, that we should all try to find time to do things that we enjoy and derive some amount of satisfaction from doing them.  I’ll be honest, I think most Hedgeyes enjoy what they do every day.  As for other financial firms, I’m not so sure.

 

According to reports this morning, UBS lost roughly $2 billion from “unauthorized trading by a trader in its Investment Bank”.  Not to name names, but if you work at a certain investment bank this morning, that kind of sucks.

 

So, here’s the bottom line, Hedgeye is hiring. What are we looking for? Well, quite simply, people that have a passion for doing great research.  No, we aren’t going to offer anyone a super duper 3 by 10 guaranteed bonus, but if you do love what do and think your research is differentiated, well, then email me : .  Keith calls me Big Alberta and I’m more commonly known as the Director of Research at Hedgeye.

 

Back to the global macro grind. . .

 

Far be it for the lads at Hedgeye to be contrarian, but, are you sitting down, the SP500 is currently giving us a bullish immediate-term TRADE signal.  Not only that, but 7 of 9 S&P sectors are giving us the same quantitative signal.  Aye carumba ! Are the Hedgeye lads getting all bulled up? Well, at least for a trade. . .

 

Currently, the only two sectors that remain bearish on our TRADE duration are Financials (XLF) and Industrials (XLI).  In the Virtual Portfolio, we are long Utilities (XLU) and short Industrials (XLI).  Not only has this worked in the year-to-date with Industrials down -10.1% and Financials and Utilities up 7.0%, but we think it will continue to work.

 

It has been an interesting few weeks for us at Hedgeye.   In dramatic fashion, we have seen many of the largest sell side economists capitulate to our view on the economy and growth.  For those of our subscribers that read us somewhat regularly, they know being bearish is not new to Hedgeye.  In fact, by way of a time stamp, attached is an article that I wrote for Fortune on December 31st, 2010:

 

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2010/12/31/a-new-year-brings-new-economic-headwinds/

 

If you don’t have time to read it, I will highlight one quote, which is as follows:

 

“Currently, according to a Bloomberg survey of the strategists from 11 of the largest brokerage firms in the United States, the mean consensus target for the S&P 500 by year end 2011 is roughly 10% above current levels. Further, every single strategist is expecting a positive performance out of the index in 2011.”

 

As my 9-year old niece might say, OMG ! Indeed, it is somewhat scary to think that the reputed smartest economists on the street got the target for the most relevant stock market in the world so wrong. 

 

Yesterday CNBC hosted its Seeking Alpha Conference, which on some level was entertaining to watch.  Actually, it was entertaining on many levels. The most interesting excerpt was from Leon Cooperman who, and I’m paraphrasing, indicated that he recently had lunch with his top friends in money management and they are all under allocated to U.S. equities.  Now, obviously, Mr. Cooperman isn’t always right, but he has been around the block and his statement yesterday was insightful.  Incidentally, and not that we planned this, our current weighting to global equities is currently 24%, which is our highest allocation since early July . . . aye carumba, indeed !

 

In the longer term, we are not so bullish. In fact, in the Chart of the Day today, we highlight the long term interest rates of Japan.  Or as our Asian Analyst and former Yale lineman Darius Dale likes to characterize it : ZIRP.   For those of you that don’t know what ZIRP means, it stands for Zero Interest Rate Policy.  In the chart, Darius has outlined the dangers of ZIRP.

 

While conventional wisdom would have you believe that ZIRP means that equities are cheap on a relative basis, the history of Japan actually suggests otherwise. ZIRP was instituted in Japan in 1999 and the Nikkei has returned -37.4% since the start of that year. So while risk assets, like equities, look cheap vis-à-vis interest rates, it all depends on the assumed economic growth rate implied by interest rates.

 

On a totally non-linear note, I would like to end with a quote from a book that Keith is currently reading called “Gates of Fire”.  As Keith emailed the team late last night:

 

“There’s an excerpt in Gates of Fire where the Spartan officer, Dienekes, was told (on the eve of battle) that the Persian archers were so many in number that when they fired their volleys, the mass of arrows would block out the sun.

Dienekes looked at the messenger and said …

 

“Good. Then we will have our battle in the shade.””

 

Keep your head up and stick on the ice,

 

Daryl G. Jones

Director of Research

 

Being the Critic - Chart of the Day

 

Being the Critic - Virtual Portfolio


7 Tweets Summing Up What You Need to Know About Today's GDP Report

"There's a tremendous opportunity to educate people in our profession on how GDP is stated and projected," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote today. Here's everything you need to know about today's GDP report.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Crash Test Bear

In the past six months, U.S. stock indices are up between +12% and +18%.

read more

GOLD: A Deep Dive on What’s Next with a Top Commodities Strategist

“If you saved in gold over the past 20 to 25 years rather than any currency anywhere in the world, gold has outperformed all these currencies,” says Stefan Wieler, Vice President of Goldmoney in this edition of Real Conversations.

read more

Exact Sciences Up +24% This Week... What's Next? | $EXAS

We remain long Exact Sciences in the Hedgeye Healthcare Position Monitor.

read more

Inside the Atlanta Fed's Flawed GDP Tracker

"The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNowcast model, while useful at amalgamating investor consensus on one singular GDP estimate for any given quarter, is certainly not the end-all-be-all of forecasting U.S. GDP," writes Hedgeye Senior Macro analyst Darius Dale.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Acrophobia

"Most people who are making a ton of money right now are focused on growth companies seeing accelerations," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in today's Early Look. "That’s what happens in Quad 1."

read more

People's Bank of China Spins China’s Bad-Loan Data

PBoC Deputy Governor Yi says China's non-performing loan problem has “pretty much stabilized." "Yi is spinning. China’s bad-debt problem remains serious," write Benn Steil and Emma Smith, Council on Foreign Relations.

read more

UnderArmour: 'I Am Much More Bearish Than I Was 3 Hours Ago'

“The consumer has a short memory.” Yes, Plank actually said this," writes Hedgeye Retail analyst Brian McGough. "Last time I heard such arrogance was Ron Johnson."

read more

Buffalo Wild Wings: Complacency & Lack of Leadership (by Howard Penney)

"Buffalo Wild Wings has been plagued by complacency and a continued lack of adequate leadership," writes Hedgeye Restaurants analyst Howard Penney.

read more

Todd Jordan on Las Vegas Sands Earnings

"The quarter actually beat lowered expectations. Overall, the mass segment performed well although base mass lagging is a concern," writes Hedgeye Gaming, Lodging & Leisure analyst Todd Jordan on Las Vegas Sands.

read more

An Update on Defense Spending by Lt. Gen Emo Gardner

"Congress' FY17 omnibus appropriation will fully fund the Pentagon's original budget request plus $15B of its $30B supplemental request," writes Hedgeye Potomac Defense Policy analyst Lt. Gen Emerson "Emo" Gardner USMC Ret.

read more

Got Process? Zero Hedge Sells Fear, Not Truth

Fear sells. Always has. Look no further than Zero Hedge.

read more