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INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT

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Initial Claims Drop 15k 

The headline initial claims number fell 15k WoW to 366k, the lowest level seen since early 2008 (down 19k after a 4k upward revision to last week’s data).  Rolling claims fell 6.5k to 388k. On a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, reported claims fell 96k WoW to 433k.  

 

On its face, this is a very strong print.  No seasonal factors were noted by the Labor Department.  However, year-end volatility is not unusual, which leaves us modestly cautious.  See the third chart below for the non-seasonally-adjusted series by year. 

 

We’ve previously identified 375k – 400k as the claims range where unemployment can begin to improve. Initial claims printed below the bottom end of our range this this week, and has been printing near or below the 400k level for almost a month. This begins to create a tailwind behind unemployment improvement. 

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - Rolling2

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - Raw

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - NSA2

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - s p 07 10

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - fed and claims

 

2-10 Spread

The 2-10 spread tightened 12 bps versus last week to 167 bps as of yesterday.  The ten-year bond yield fell 13 bps to 190 bps.

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - 2 10

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - 2 10 QoQ

 

Financial Subsector Performance

The table below shows the stock performance of each Financial subsector over four durations. 

 

INITIAL CLAIMS: STRONG PRINT - subsector performance

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

Allison Kaptur

 

Robert Belsky

 

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THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – December 15, 2011

 

Global Growth continues to slow and King Dollar reigns.  As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 25 points or -0.56% downside to 1205 and 1.50% upside to 1230. 

 

SECTOR AND GLOBAL PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - levels

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily sector view

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - global performance

 

 

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE:  -1359 (+18) 
  • VOLUME: NYSE 926.06 (-0.05%)
  • VIX:  26.04 -2.48% YTD PERFORMANCE: +46.70%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 1.74 from 1.57 (+2.48%)

 

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

  • TED SPREAD: 54.12
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.01%
  • 10-Year: 1.92 from 1.96   
  • YIELD CURVE: 1.67 from 1.72

 

GLOBAL MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 8:30am, Producer Price, M/m, Nov., est. 0.2% (prior -0.3%)
  • 8:30am, Current Account, 3Q, est. -$108.4b (prior -$118b)
  • 8:30am, Empire Manufacturing, Dec., est. 3 from 0.61
  • 8:30am, Initial Jobless Claims, week of Dec. 10, est. 390k, (prior 381k)
  • 9am, Net Long-term TIC Flows, Oct., est. $62.5b (prior $68.6b)
  • 9:15am, Industrial Production, Nov., est. 0.1% (prior 0.7%)
  • 9:15am, Capacity Utilization, Nov., est. 77.8% (prior 77.8%)
  • 9:45am, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, week of Dec. 11 (prior -50.3)
  • 10am, Philadelphia Fed., Dec., est. 5 (prior 3.6)
  • 10am: Freddie Mac mortgage rates
  • 10:30am: EIA natural gas storage
  • 1pm, U.S. to sell $12b 5-yr TIPS (reopening)
  • 3:20pm, Fed’s Lockhart to give commencement speech in Atlanta
  • Eurozone December preliminary manufacturing PMI +46.9 vs consensus +46.0 prior +46.4
  • Germany December preliminary manufacturing PMI +48.1 vs consensus +47.5 prior +47.9
  • France December preliminary manufacturing PMI +48.7 vs consensus +47.0 prior +47.3
  • Japan Q4 large manufacturer tankan (4) vs cons (2) and 2 seq.
  • China HSBC December flash PMI 49.0 vs 47.7 seq.

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • NFL to generate ~60% more rev. through 2022 from 9-year contract extensions with CBS, News Corp.’s Fox unit and Comcast’s NB
  • 12:15pm: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will make “major announcement” on transportation funding
  • 1pm: Jon Corzine returns for third round of testimony before Congress on collapse of MF Global
  • 9pm: Republican presidential candidates debate in Iowa

 

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION (HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG)

 

GOLD – get the USD right, you’ll get plenty of other things right; with the USD/Gold inverse correlation (on our immediate-term TRADE duration) going bezerk yesterday (went to -0.93%), KM bought it – long-term TAIL support for Gold = $1568/oz. I’ll keep this on a tight leash w/ immediate-term TRADE resistance = $1624.

  • Paulson’s Bright Spot May Fade as Gold Plunges to Five-Month Low
  • Victoria’s Secret Revealed in Child Picking Burkina Faso Cotton
  • Sino-Forest’s Biggest Holder Asks for Bond Default Rethink
  • Gold May Gain in London as Dollar Advance Pauses; Platinum Drops
  • Coffee Market Braces for Record Espresso-Bean Jolt: Commodities
  • China’s Manufacturing May Contract a Second Month, PMI Shows
  • Saudis Triumph as Recession Concern Unifies OPEC: Energy Markets
  • Record Big Vessel Deliveries to Hit Asian Lines: Freight
  • Oil Rebounds After Biggest Decline Since September Spurs Buying
  • ArcelorMittal, Anglo Win Case Overturning Sishen Right Award
  • Credit Agricole Says Closing Equity Derivatives and Commodities
  • Joy Global Falls on ‘Sluggish’ Near-Term Commodity Demand
  • Wheat Gains in Chicago as Egypt’s Purchase May Mean More Demand
  • Copper May Decline as China’s Manufacturing Data Dim Outlook
  • UBS Lists Top 10 Miners, Commodities; Sees ‘Pain Before Gain’
  • Oil Tumbles Most Since September as OPEC Raises Output Ceiling
  • Commodities Fall Most in 11 Weeks in ‘Panic Selling’ on Europe
  • Indonesian Exchange Delays Physical Tin Contract to January

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily commodity view

 

 

CURRENCIES

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily currency view

 

 

EUROPEAN MARKETS

 

RUSSIA – this story of risk is what Asia’s slowdown was 6-8 weeks ago – not a focus of the financial media, but it will be as the Russian stock market continues to crash (leads European decliners again this morning, down -1.2% and down -36.3% from its Bernanke PetroDollar peak of Qe2 hopes (Q211). Putin not happy.

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - euro performance

 

 

ASIAN MARKETS

 

CHINA – new to whoever hasn’t been paying attention; not new to you – China is crashing alongside Commodities – its all part of the same Global Macro trade we call the Correlation Crash. Shanghai Comp down another -2.1% last night (6 straight days) to -22.4% YTD. Getting interesting on the long side as we Deflate the Inflation. Have not pulled the trigger yet.

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - asia performance

 

 

MIDDLE EAST (HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG)

  • Saudis Triumph as Recession Concern Unifies OPEC: Energy Markets
  • Aldar Converts Mubadala-Held Bonds at Low End of Price Range
  • U.A.E., Qatar Fail to Secure Upgrade to Emerging by MSCI
  • Dubai Stocks Drop Most in 6 Weeks as MSCI Extends U.A.E. Review
  • Iraqis Who Helped U.S. War Effort Must Not Be Left Behind: View
  • Saudi Bank Lending Rates Rise After Cabinet Changes: Arab Credit
  • OPEC Agrees to Higher Oil Target to Accommodate Libya, Iraq
  • PLUS Sukuk May Lure Insurers as Yields Top 5%: Islamic Finance
  • Iran Says Saudis Won’t Make Up For Its Oil If Sanctions Tighten
  • Iraq Draws U.S. Hotel Operators Banking on Business Travelers
  • Casino in Hypermarket Accord With Groupe Al Meera of Qatar
  • European Banks Trim Loans to MENA Firms, Standard Chartered Says
  • First Gulf Bank Drops Most in Four Months After MSCI Decision
  • S&P Applies New Criteria to 25 Gulf Banks and Two Subsidiaries
  • Obama Calls End of Iraq War ‘an Extraordinary Achievement’
  • U.S. Net Oil Imports to Slump 60% in Nine Years, Citigroup Says
  • Six Themes for Oil & Gas Equities in 2012: Citigroup

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - MIDEAST PERFORMANCE

 

 

The Hedgeye Macro Team

Howard Penney

Managing Director


No Surer Means

This note was originally published at 8am on December 12, 2011. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.”

-John Maynard Keynes

 

If you study the history of John Maynard Keynes and his economic ideas, experiments, and failures, you’ll come to a very simple conclusion – he was a world class storyteller, not a Risk Manager.

 

Before he became politically conflicted and compromised (in his early 40s), Keynes had it absolutely right on what debauching a currency functionally does to a society. After World War I, the policies to inflate across Eastern Europe made that crystal clear.

 

Ironically enough, explaining this in the 1stbook to make him world famous – The Economic Consequences of Peace (1919) – is what made Keynes popular with the Austrian, German, and Russian people:

 

“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency”, wrote Keynes. “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” (Wapshott’s Keynes Hayek, page 22).

 

Tomorrow at the FOMC meeting, someone should ask Ben Bernanke what he thinks about that.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

I call out this linkage between currency and inflation this morning because last week’s stabilization of the US Dollar continues to improve not only my outlook on the US economy but the Consumer Confidence within it. US Consumption, don’t forget, represents 71% of US GDP.

 

Closing flat week-over-week at $78.63, the US Dollar Index has gained +7.6% since Ben Bernanke signaled the end of Quantitative Guessing II. We’ve called it guessing, because that’s what it was – a guess that a second stock and commodity market inflation could magically boost the US economy into what Bernanke calls “escape velocity.”

 

On the two mandates that he is scored on – full employment and price stability – guessing didn’t work out for him.

 

What has actually worked quite well for Bernanke is getting out of the way. Since the elixir of QE3 hope has been temporarily removed from the almighty table of letting losers win, 3 big things have materialized:

  1. Strong Dollar
  2. Deflating The Inflation
  3. Rising Consumer Confidence

Last week’s preliminary December reading on US Consumer Confidence from the University of Michigan improved again, sequentially, to 67.7 (versus 64.1 in November). It’s not a great reading. But it’s certainly better than bad.

 

Last week’s Deflating The Inflation (Hedgeye Macro Theme from Q311) was also additive to US Consumer Purchasing Power:

  1. CRB Commodities Index (basket of 19 commodities) = -2.2% week-over-week
  2. Oil Prices (Brent and WTIC blended avg) = -1.2% week-over-week
  3. Gold and Copper = -2.0% and -0.8% week-over-week, respectively

Just as an fyi, most Americans don’t have enough money to buy an ounce of Gold, nor should they if their outlook is in line with Hedgeye’s for a potential US Dollar appreciation of another +5-10% higher from here.

 

That’s not to say we don’t want you to own some gold. That’s just a friendly reminder that the idea is to buy low, not high. Gold’s intermediate-term TREND line of resistance remains overhead at $1743/oz and there is no long-term TAIL support to $1568/oz.

 

Back to what Strong Dollar means for America…

  1. Stronger Employment
  2. Stronger Consumption
  3. Stronger Society

If you can have a Keynesian refute Keynes’ view of the same to me, just tweet me @KeithMcCullough.

 

My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), and the SP500 are now $1683-1732, $107.11-109.55, and 1233-1270, respectively.

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

No Surer Means - Chart of the Day

 

No Surer Means - Virtual Portfolio


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Looking For Improvement

“Socialism told us that we had been looking for improvement in the wrong direction.”

-Friederich Hayek

 

I’ve been writing about this from my gut since I started the firm in 2008, but I think it’s worth stating plainly again this morning because it’s the one solution to this mess of economic common sense that we have not yet tried – stop what we are doing.

 

That’s it. Instead of do more, spend more, centrally plan more. Just stop.

 

As we have learned since 2007, central plans can only suspend economic gravity for short periods of time. In the long-run, we all have to find a way to let free market capitalism live. The best way to ensure that is to let market prices clear.

 

Hayek’s views are often ignored and/or misrepresented primarily because the entire Western system of economics education is founded on the idea that Big Government Intervention can “smooth” the business and price cycle.

 

How’s that smoothing mechanism treating everyone?

 

I don’t wake up every morning looking to whine. I want to win. Like many immigrants, that’s what I came to America to do. I’m Looking For Improvement in markets every day.

 

I’m looking to invest in a Strong Dollar. I’m looking for someone in this country’s political leadership to embrace the long-standing economic fact that a Strong Currency empowers not only a nation’s purchasing power, but the confidence of its People.

 

Taking a step back – and I mean going all the way back to the arenas of meritocracy that hosted the great debates of the Roman Empire (pre 49BC) – this is all we want. We want to be able to have an idea in this country and compete with the broken ideas of the status quo.

 

If we lose, we can deal with that. If we win, we can change the world. As the great American hockey Coach, Herb Brooks, said, “Again!” – stop what we are doing so that we can all start over.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

US Consumer Confidence is rising as the US stock market is falling.

 

Huh?

 

Yes, while this may shock people who are in the business of seeing stocks go up, the other 80-90% of us get paid when the price at the pump goes down. At Hedgeye, since our Q211 Global Macro Themes call, we’ve coined this commoner’s phenomenon “Deflating the Inflation.”

 

Metaphorically, maybe this is why Hayek’s economic perspective resonates with so many people. When “Hayek disembarked at the passenger liner quay on Manhattan’s West Side in March 1923 with just twenty-five dollars in his pocket… he decided to take a job until Jenks returned, and was offered one washing dishes in a Sixth Avenue restaurant…” (Keynes Hayek, page 27)

 

While he didn’t make his name in dishwashing, this does remind readers what it takes to make it in this world.  On Saturday mornings in the 1980s, after my Dad got off the nightshift at the fire-hall, we’d literally scrub the local GM Auto Body shop’s floor with de-greaser, clean the toilets, and sweep the floors.

 

And liked it…

 

I mean that with all sincerity. There was an innocence maybe, but also a recognition of reality. That job put more money in our pockets than we’d have had if we didn’t do it. That job, when completed, also gave me a personal sense of accomplishment and responsibility.

 

This is the real-world folks. And it’s time we start liking that American idea again too.

 

In May 1924... Hayek set sail back across the Atlantic … and would not return to America for another twenty-five years.” (Keynes Hayek, pg 28)

 

That’s an American academic tragedy. Since Hayek’s English was awful, he had a very hard time communicating with the British academic elite (which instructed the American academic elite on economics).

 

However, by 1932, after Keynes had blown up most of his capital being long corn, rubber, etc. (you know, the Debauch the Currency, Buy Commodities trade), Hayek was gaining traction.

 

His argument – all of your central plans since 1928 have not worked. They have perpetuated the inflation and slowed Consumption growth.

 

His solution – stop what you are doing.

 

Was 2007 this Canadian-American’s 1928? I hope not. But hope is not a risk management process. And if I really take a step back and see how much money I made being long inflation (2003-2007), I can’t say it made me any more proud than the glimmer of that GM shop floor.

 

My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold (bought it yesterday), Brent Oil, German DAX, and the SP500 are now $1, $104.94-108.61, 5, and 1, respectively.

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Looking For Improvement - Chart of the Day

 

Looking For Improvement - Virtual Portfolio


THE M3: S'PORE NOV HOME SALES; CHINA NOV LOANS

The Macau Metro Monitor, December 15, 2011

 

 

SINGAPORE: 1,701 UNITS OF PRIVATE HOMES SOLD IN NOVEMBER Channel News Asia

The Urban Redevelopment Authority said developers sold 1,701 units of private homes, excluding executive condominiums in November this year.  This is up 22% MoM.  November's home buying demand was largely driven by strong sales from mass market projects.

 

CHINA'S NEW LOANS HIT 562B YUAN IN NOV China Daily, Today Online

According to the People's Bank of China, new yuan-denominated lending in November rose 7.8 billion yuan YoY to 562.2 billion yuan, beating estimates of 550 billion yuan, but was down 4% MoM.  October loans stood at 586.8 billion yuan.

 


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