“No nation is fit to teach unless it is also willing to learn.”
That was just an outstanding leadership quote from President Theodore Roosevelt as he was working his way towards getting the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” in 1908 between San Franciscans and the Japanese.
While I was on my pseudo vacation last week, I thought about the context of this leadership lesson while I was reading “Pacific Crucible” by Ian Toll. Then I thought about it again, and again, and again.
If you don’t have empathy, you don’t have much. As the world becomes more politically polarized, we run the greatest risk of all – we stop learning. The only way to lead is to learn the other side’s perspective. If you don’t take the time to understand it, you’ll never be able to resolve it. Leadership includes not making the same mistakes, over, and over, and over again.
Back to the Global Macro Grind…
You don’t have to read much to understand that the divide between segregation and immigration is always bridged by education. Neither do you have to study economic history much to acknowledge the wide gap between Keynesian and Hayekian economics.
When I moved to this country, I learned quickly that people want to label other people in buckets. ‘Oh he’s a Democrat and she’s a Republican’ or ‘he’s a socialist and she’s a capitalist.’ But, somewhere along the way, I also learned that’s ridiculous. Maybe it’s because I was a 20 year-old bumpkin from 22 hours north of Toronto. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like being put in a bucket.
With the upcoming election in France you are starting to see the outcrop of political polarization that we’ll likely see in the US Presidential Election. The Germans are taking this opportunity to call the French Socialists, and the French are preparing to call the Germans something back. In the meantime, that’s not going to solve the European Debt Crisis, just fyi.
Neither are we going to solve the world’s debt problems with more debt. We aren’t going to solve anything by printing more and more moneys either.
I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a time and place for printing money. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t have a policy to be perpetually printing money and debauching your country’s currency. History is already littered with politicians making that mistake.
If you want a European and American perspective on politicizing money consider the following:
- “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” –Mayer Rothschild
- “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” –Thomas Jefferson
When you read those quotes, you should feel something. If you are a central banker, you don’t like the Jefferson quote – but that’s not the point. Neither is feeling what it means to you – being empathetic to what the other side feels is leadership.
What I feel about this is no longer a minority voice. The Most Read story on Bloomberg this morning has the following title:
“Bundesbank’s Weidemann Says What No Politician Wants To Hear”
That’s a critical quote at a critical time because our politicians have put us all in a critical position. If the fiscally and monetarily conservative voice of the Bundesbank in Germany is Willing To Learn from the history of the Weimar Republic’s mistakes, I suggest you and I should too. Printing money and debauching Dollars doesn’t end well, so stop cheering it on.
Think about that, again and again. I beg you.
Rather than begging for bailouts from Ben Bernanke at tomorrow’s FOMC meeting, take a step back and try to learn what all of us who haven’t been blowing up your hard earned capital since late 2007 are saying.
We’re not crazy. We’re Willing To Learn from whomever can show us why the Germans are wrong this time. We’re Willing To Learn how this time really is different.
But fear-mongering about what could have been in 2008 is no longer teaching anyone anything. It’s 2012 and now we need to see some positive proof on price stability and employment that lasts more than a few quarters to believe that the Fed, ECB, and BOJ Policies To Inflate aren’t going to slow global growth. They just did, again.
My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), US Dollar Index, Japanese Yen (vs USD), EUR/USD, and the SP500 are now $1, $118.35-119.28, $79.04-79.49, $81.09-82.14, $1.30-1.32, and 1, respectively.
Best of luck out there today,
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer
TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – April 24, 2012
As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 17 points or -0.51% downside to 1360 and 0.74% upside to 1377.
SECTOR AND GLOBAL PERFORMANCE
- ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: on 4/23 NYSE -1440
- Down from the prior day’s trading of 947
- VOLUME: on 4/23 NYSE 784.67
- Decrease versus prior day’s trading of -18.77%
- VIX: as of 4/23 was at 18.97
- Increase versus most recent day’s trading of 8.77%
- Year-to-date decrease of -18.93%
- SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: as of 04/23 closed at 1.07
- Down from the day prior at 1.31
CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:
- TED SPREAD: as of this morning 39
- 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: as of this morning 0.08%
- 10-Year: as of this morning 1.95
- Up from prior day’s trading of 1.93
- YIELD CURVE: as of this morning 1.69
- Increase from prior day’s trading at 1.68
MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):
- FOMC Meeting Begins
- 7:45am/8:55am: ICSC/Redbook weekly retail sales
- 9:00am: S&P/CS-20 (M/m) SA, Feb., est. 0.2% (prior -0.04%)
- 10:00am: Consumer Confidence, Apr., est. 69.7 (prior 70.2)
- 10:00am: Richmond Fed, Apr., est. 7 (prior 7)
- 10:00am: House Price Index (M/m), Feb., est. 0.1% (prior 0.0%)
- 10:00am: New Home Sales, Mar., est. 318k (prior 313k)
- 10:00am: New Home Sales (M/m), Mar., est. 1.6% (prior -1.6%)
- 11:30am: U.S. to sell $30b 4-week bills
- 1:00pm: U.S. to sell $35b 2-yr notes
- Republican presidential primaries in Conn., Del., N.Y., Penn., R.I. Mitt Romney, who already has more than half the 1,144 delegates needed to secure his party’s nomination, is likely to win most of 231 delegates at stake
- President Obama discusses interest rates on student loans in address at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1:05pm
- Obama speaks to students at University of Colorado, 8:30pm
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar delivers speech on gas prices, oil drilling and domestic energy development at NPC, 1pm
- House, Senate in session:
- Senate Banking Committee hears from Louis Freeh, trustee for MF Global, and CFTC member Jill Sommers on the collapse of MF Global, 10am
- Senate Commerce Committee holds hearing on the future of television, video and online content, 10am
WHAT TO WATCH:
- Apple, which has dropped 9 of the past 10 days and shaved 10% off market value, reports after market
- Sales of new homes probably increased 1.6% in March, first rise in three months, economists est.
- Wal-Mart Stores said to face DOJ criminal investigation into allegations of bribery in its Mexican subsidiary
- Motorola Mobility won ITC judge ruling in its attempt to block imports of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system; second judge delayed ruling on separate Apple case until today
- FOMC begins first day of two-day meeting
- Nestle said to consider selling as much as $1.8b of infant- nutrition assets it is buying from Pfizer on antitrust concerns
- Collective Brands said to weigh final offers to sell itself to E-Land Group or Wolverine World Wide
- Royal Dutch Shell agreed to buy Cove Energy for $1.8b
- Global earnings: Novartis 1Q EPS trailed est.; ARM Holdings sees FY sales in line with est.
- Speculation on Romney running mate focuses on Florida Senator Marco Rubio
- Air Products & Chemicals (APD) 6 a.m., $1.33
- Baker Hughes (BHI) 6 a.m., $0.80
- Ashland (ASH) 6 a.m., $1.39
- Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) 6:30 a.m., $0.39
- CIT Group (CIT) 6:30 a.m., $(1.58)
- Rogers Communications (RCI/B CN) 6:46 a.m., $0.75
- United Technologies (UTX) 6:59 a.m., $1.20
- Pentair (PNR) 7 a.m., $0.56
- Waters (WAT) 7 a.m., $1.09
- Coach (COH) 7 a.m., $0.75
- Reynolds American (RAI) 7 a.m., $0.65
- Hershey Co/The (HSY) 7 a.m., $0.81
- Regions Financial (RF) 7 a.m., $0.08
- Western Union (WU) 7 a.m., $0.40
- Lexmark International (LXK) 7 a.m., $1.04
- Celestica (CLS CN) 7 a.m., $0.22
- Celanese (CE) 7 a.m., $0.77
- Synovus Financial (SNV) 7 a.m., $0.01
- RadioShack (RSH) 7 a.m., $0.04
- McGraw-Hill Cos /The (MHP) 7:10 a.m., $0.48
- 3M Co (MMM) 7:30 a.m., $1.49
- AT&T (T) 7:30 a.m., $0.57
- T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) 7:30 a.m., $0.77
- Parker Hannifin (PH) 7:30 a.m., $1.71
- Ryder System (R) 7:55 a.m., $0.58
- Illinois Tool Works (ITW) 8 a.m., $0.95
- Rayonier (RYN) 8 a.m., $0.37
- Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL) 8 a.m., $0.99
- Janus Capital Group (JNS) 8 a.m., $0.16
- Paccar (PCAR) 8 a.m., $0.79
- U.S. Steel (X) 7:30 a.m., $0.49
- Edwards Lifesciences (EW) 4 p.m., $0.48
- FMC Technologies (FTI) 4 p.m., $0.45
- Panera Bread Co (PNRA) 4 p.m., $1.34
- RF Micro Devices (RFMD) 4 p.m., $(0.01)
- Torchmark (TMK) 4 p.m., $1.28
- Total System Services (TSS) 4 p.m., $0.30
- Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) 4 p.m., $0.96
- Amgen (AMGN) 4:01 p.m., $1.46
- Life Technologies (LIFE) 4:01 p.m., $0.93
- Nabors Industries Ltd (NBR) 4:01 p.m., $0.48
- Norfolk Southern (NSC) 4:01 p.m., $1.12
- Ace (ACE) 4:01 p.m., $1.87
- DeVry (DV) 4:01 p.m., $0.99
- Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) 4:01 p.m., $(0.40)
- CBRE Group (CBG) 4:04 p.m., $0.13
- Juniper Networks (JNPR) 4:05 p.m., $0.13
- Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) 4:05 p.m., $0.52
- Aflac (AFL) 4:07 p.m., $1.65
- CH Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) 4:15 p.m., $0.65
- International Game Technology (IGT) 4:15 p.m., $0.25
- Apple (AAPL) 4:30 p.m., $10.03
- Baidu (BIDU) 4:30 p.m., $5.43
COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION (HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG)
OIL – they will not come down like other commodities have until Bernanke says something explicit about no Qe4; our model’s show you’d need to see a sustained breakdown on Brent and WTIC below $96/barrel to stabilize Consumption Growth. We’re nowhere near seeing that yet, but Energy stocks seem to be sniffing that out.
- U.K. Natural Gas Falls to 7-Week Low as Normal Weather Forecast
- Total Gets First Output From Islay Gas Field in North Sea
- GDF Suez Says Force Majeure Ended at Three French LNG Terminals
- Coal to Rebound as China Sets Steel Output Record: Commodities
- Oil Near Two-Day Low on Forecast U.S. Supplies at 11-Month High
- Copper Rises as Limited Stocks Outside China May Bolster Prices
- Soybeans Climb as South American Crop Outlook Falls; Wheat Rises
- Cocoa Climbs as Prices May Have Fallen Too Far; Coffee Advances
- Gold May Decline in London on Concern Over Slack Physical Demand
- Silver ETP Assets Slump by Most in Four Years as Price Drops
- Thailand Targets Rubber Rally by Buying Up Output: Nattawut
- China to Boost Coal Imports on Wider Price Gap: Chart of the Day
- Red Kite Is Neutral on Copper as Metals in Range on U.S., China
- Oil Inventories Climb to 11-Month High in Survey: Energy Markets
- Carlyle Stalking Sunoco Shows Private Equity Rebound Bet: Energy
- Rates Rising as Record Chinese Oil Imports Affect Ships: Freight
- Coal to Rebound on China Steel Production
GERMANY – the DAX snapped my intermediate-term TREND line of 6688 support yesterday, so we’re watching that market very closely on this morning’s no-volume bounce to 6568 so far. German growth data started to slow in Feb/Mar and that matters. So does the German voice of “Strong Euro” overriding Bernanke’s politicized one on the US Dollar.
JAPAN – sadly, the Japanese have entered the final stage of the Currency War where both currency and equity markets start going down at the same time (think Europe from April 2011 to the 2011 crash bottom). The Yen’s decline was 1st, and now the Nikkei has been down for 13 of the last 15 trading days – BOJ bureaucrats begging for bond buying bailouts.
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In preparation for IGT's FQ2 2012 earnings release tomorrow afternoon, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary.
Stifel Nicolaus Technology & Telecom Conference (2/8/2012)
- “We have completely reorganized our international operations and are growing that business in the kind of the mid-teens right now.”
- "If you look at those 950,000 boxes that are in the U.S., and Canada, in the North American market, about 600,000... are eligible for replacements in any given year... Right now, we're running at about 50,000 replacement units and then probably another 10,000 to 15,000 conversion kits as an industry. So, we're replacing a little bit more than 10% of the floor in any given year, which feels like about normal for us. And so we're not expecting any kind of major investment in the replacement cycle. Moving forward, we're actually trying to lower that tentpole right now by – again, looking for more distribution channels for that content whether that would be into the international markets, the online wager based or the virtual currency social based schemes."
- “There's only 1.5 million...fully regulated licensed slot machines outside the U.S. And that 1.5 million number is growing at three times the rate high single-digits versus low single-digits.”
- "For online gaming in the U.S., I think ... it's going to be kind of on a state-by-state basis... the first step will likely be poker which is peer-to-peer gaming rather than house-banked gaming like sports or casino... The states will probably try to ring fence the player liquidity. There will be four or five networks within each state and it will promote online gaming, but it won't be a very attractive product."
- [Cloud technology] “I think this month we'll be going into a casino in Estonia, then the following month it will be going into a casino in France, following that a casino into Mexico and then by October of this year at the big trade show, it will be a commercially available product and be adding to our systems revenue.”
- [Stock buyback] “We're confident that we'll do about $100 million this year still, which will be about $25 million a quarter. We just started a little slow this fiscal year. So we'll be making that up over the course of the next nine months and that free cash flow, like I said, combined with dividends and the share repurchase program we're returning about $200 million a year to our shareholders."
- "We're making about $200 million of investment in CapEx, which is mostly into the gaming operations business."
Youtube from FQ1 2012 Conference Call
- "Our newest participation products, Ghostbusters, Hangover and Pinball MLD are all performing above average. The product pipeline remains robust as well. We expect Big Buck Hunter, Elvis the King and another exciting version of Sex in the City to launch this fiscal year."
- "We anticipate average revenue per day and gross margins in gaming operations to improve throughout the remainder of fiscal 2012."
- "We anticipate units and revenues to be up double digits year-over-year for our international business for 2012."
- "We would anticipate seeing sequential improvements in yields due to the seasonality of the business as we move into this quarter and then June and then September generally is the seasonally strongest."
- "We think we are going to grow with the market, continuing to believe that, we will be in the 45 to 50% for new openings, given the increase that we typically get for new openings driven by our poker platform and then given the historically longer length of replacement for poker, we tend to be in the mid-30s in the replacement share. And that's what we continue to expect will happen in the upcoming quarters."
- "Essentially we understand how much R&D our P&L will support and then against that level of R&D we run a portfolio management approach where we look at the projects and we always have more appetite to spend than we have capacity to spend. So we make sure that we just draw the cut line at the $200 million, and make sure that all of those projects have a significantly higher return on investment than our average WACC."
- "We are anticipating improving volumes and gross margin from our North American product sales over the course of 2012. For example, our premium core products like the G23 MLD and Universal Slant MLD represent a significant portion of our shipments and have gained quick acceptance in the marketplace. Our ship shares are improving and the new openings in Ohio and New Jersey are currently planned to ship this year."
- "We are reiterating our adjusted earnings guidance from continuing operations of $0.93 to $1.03 per share, not including any potential impact from the Double Down acquisition."
- "In Macau we still have relatively low market shares, sub 20%."
- [Domestic replacement sales] "We feel like it's headed north....And I think the way to think about it in terms of unit flow in total, on a consolidated basis is, a nice step up in the March quarter, and then kind of consistent in the June quarter. And then it would appear that the fourth quarter, as is quite often the case, is going to be the strongest quarter, not due to any one thing, other than just timing of openings and the like."
If the Presidential election were held today, President Obama's would have a 59.3% of winning reelection, according to the Hedgeye Election Indicator (HEI). It marks the fourth consecutive weekly decline in the HEI when President Obama's reelection odds peaked at 62.3% on March 26.
Hedgeye developed the HEI to understand the relationship between key market and economic data and the US Presidential Election. After rigorous back testing, Hedgeye has determined that there are a short list of real time market-based indicators, that move ahead of President Obama’s position in conventional polls or other measures of sentiment. Two of those measures, the overall performance of US equities and the performance of equities in the US financial sector, declined, and those moves translated into lower odds of President Obama winning in November, according to the HEI.
Based on our analysis, market prices will adjust in real-time ahead of economic conditions, which will ultimately shape voters’ perception of the Obama Presidency, the Republican candidates and influence the probability of an Obama reelection. The model assumes that the Presidential election would be held today against any Republican candidate. Our model is indifferent toward who the Republican candidate is as the sentiment for Obama and for any Republican opponent is imputed in the market prices that determine the HEI. The HEI is based on a scale of 0 – 200, with 100 equating to a 50% probability that President Obama would win or lose if the election were held today.
Hedgeye releases the HEI every Tuesday at 7 a.m. ET, all the way until election day Tuesday November 6.
PVH remains one of our favorite longs in 2012. Less than four weeks after reporting Q4 results, PVH preannounced after the close that Q1 EPS will come in ‘at least at the high end of guidance’ suggesting that CK and Tommy sales are still coming in ahead of plan and upside to Q1 EPS.
This is not new news. In fact, an in-line quarter would have been suggesting a deceleration in trends at CK, Tommy, or both since March to get there. As highlighted in our post on 3/28 ("PVH: Levers & Drivers"), we think PVH is going to pull a RL and end up coming in above the Street’s original $1.32E despite guiding to a more conservative $1.20-$1.25 range. This afternoon’s announcement suggests this scenario is increasingly likely. We’re at $1.36 for the quarter vs. the Street at $1.25E.
The company is also tracking towards the high-end of its full-year outlook of $6.10-$6.20. We’re at $6.45 in EPS for 2012 driven by stronger sales rather than a reduction in spending. More importantly, PVH is doing what the best brands do that license out their brands in order to grow into international markets – it’s starting to take back control of its own content. Driving brand sales directly at higher margin was key to RL’s success through much of the last decade as the company bought in its licenses. We don’t expect PVH to be any different. With earnings power of $8 in 2013, we think the stock and estimates are headed higher.
For more detail following Q4 results, see our post "PVH: Levers & Drivers."
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