ALL ABOARD: We’re going cruising

Hedgeye Gaming, Lodging and Leisure Sector Head Todd Jordan’s chart on cruisers, those who travel on cruise ships, shows some surprising trends.


ALL ABOARD: We’re going cruising - C1 large


The median age of the cruiser has fallen significantly since 1986 as you can see below. It’s since hovered between 46 and 52 for the last few years. Younger people are digging cruises. The 60-year-old plus crowd is of course the largest customer base but cruises could be coming back in a very cool, hip way. Using our TRADE/TREND/TAIL model, Jordan has a sunny outlook for cruise companies, specifically RCL and CCL.


TRADE:  Long RCL /Short CCL – valuation disparity and better pricing outlook for RCL.

TREND:  Long RCL and CCL – strong dollar, lower fuel costs, cheap stocks.

TAIL:  Long cruisers/short domestic casinos – demographics, basically sub-baby boomer generations are cruising but not gambling.

DEAL WITH IT: The age of central planning

Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough says that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is basically losing its mind. It’s very good at taking money and throwing it at a problematic country. That’s nice, but it doesn’t fix anything in the long run. Central planners seem to be content with bailing out anyone who wants one and we don’t like it. Remember: the definition of insanity is to do something over and over again, expecting different results.



DEAL WITH IT: The age of central planning - SP500B


Back in America, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles “Chuck” Evans is pushing yet another round of easing. He wants more of the same thing despite the long-term issues we have in this market. McCullough mentioned this morning that we are going to have “big societal, market and volume problems” until we stop further quantitative easing. Halloween isn’t until October and this is truly scary.


The big money (pensions, sovereign wealth funds, etc.) is trying to do one thing right now: not lose money. Well, how do you do that? You flock to safety. That means US Treasuries, German Bunds and the US Dollar. We are currently long TLT and UUP. Come June 20 when the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve meets, we’ll truly know what’s on the table in terms of further easing. Until then…


Short interest data released yesterday shows that for the most recent two-week period, there were three significant changes in our sentiment scorecard: CBRL, JACK, and CAKE.


Here is our most recent iteration of the Hedgeye Restaurants Sentiment Scorecard, updated for yesterday’s release.  Our call-outs are below.


RESTAURANT SENTIMENT: CBRL, CAKE, JACK - hedgeye sentiment scorecard


Sentiment Scorecard Callouts


CBRL: Cracker Barrel has been one of the best performing casual dining names over one week, one month, six month, and one year durations.  The stock’s outperformance versus the S&P 500 did not materialize until late April as investors gained conviction that gasoline prices were rolling over.  Investor sentiment on the stock has changed dramatically; as the sell-side has upgraded the name, the buy-side has covered shorts, bringing short interest from 10.1% 14 weeks ago to 6.9% as of the most recent period.  This is a call we missed but should have called; we have done so previously on the short side when gas prices were turning higher so it hurts to miss this one. 





CAKE:  Investors have been turning increasingly bearish on The Cheesecake Factory over the most recent period (settlement date 5/31).  Cheesecake Factory comps tend to correlate quite highly with the ISCS Chain Store Sales Index (YoY change) and that index has been declining since mid-May.  This would not fully explain the drop off in sentiment, but we will certainly be revisiting it as we near the company releasing guidance.  Last quarter, it helped us to find a more-accurate-than-consensus estimate for CAKE’s comps.  We will be publishing a comprehensive note on CAKE ahead of earnings on 7/20.


JACK: Jack in the Box continues to win over the bears but we think that there is sufficient skepticism on the Qdoba growth story that the stock still represents an attractive long-term investment under the current outlook.  From a “sum of the parts” perspective, we see plenty of upside (roughly 45%) over the next three years.  We posted a note on May 8th outlining our positive thesis on Jack in the Box and, since then, the stock has gained 11% as the S&P 500 declined 3%.  The quantitative setup, courtesy of Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough’s quantitative models, is below.




Howard Penney

Managing Director


Rory Green


Daily Trading Ranges

20 Proprietary Risk Ranges

Daily Trading Ranges is designed to help you understand where you’re buying and selling within the risk range and help you make better sales at the top end of the range and purchases at the low end.

Day After Day

This note was originally published at 8am on May 29, 2012. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“Persistence – just sticking with this thing day after day after day.”

-Joseph Rochefort


Born on May 12th, 1900, in Dayton, Ohio, Captain Joseph Rochefort was one of America’s bravest. He was a “major figure in the United States Navy’s cryptographic and intelligence operations from 1925-1946, particularly in the Battle of Midway.” (Wikipedia)


Ian Toll introduces Captain Rochefort, his team, and their analytical process, in Chapter 9 of Pacific Crucible – a book I had the pleasure of finishing over Memorial Day weekend, and one that really resonated with what it is that we do here in New Haven each and every morning.


When it comes to time and patterns, these American military men had discipline. “If you observe something long enough, you’ll see something peculiar. If you can’t see something peculiar, if you stare at it long enough, that in itself is peculiar… you look at it until you see something that attracts your attention, your curiosity… The next day you come back and look at it again.” (pages 305-306)


Day After Day – again and again and again.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


Sometimes I think we are too selfish to take the time to contextualize the moments in life that we all share. I know that I certainly am. That’s why I try my best to take the time to study history.


The history of applying Chaos and Complexity Theory to what it is that we know about markets is relatively short. By the time we are all long gone, I suspect that what we think we know now will be as archaic as cryptography seemed in 1941.


Time and Patterns. They matter.


Last week’s intermediate-term TREND pattern of a Strong Dollar continued to Deflate The Inflation in what we call Bernanke’s Bubbles (Commodity Prices). With the US Dollar up for the 4th consecutive week, here’s how that was priced:

  1. CRB Commodities Index = down -3.1% (down -13.8% from its February 2012 high)
  2. Gold = down -1.4% (down -12.2% from its February 2012 high)
  3. Oil (WTIC) = down -0.7% (down -17.6% from its February 2012 high)

This morning, with the US Dollar Index down -0.14% to $82.26, most of Bernanke’s Bubbles are bid higher. But, when considered within the patterns of their Bearish Formations (Bearish on all 3 of our risk management durations, TRADE/TREND/TAIL), their no-volume bids appear fleeting.


Here are the broken TAIL lines of the aforementioned commodity bellwethers:

  1. CRB Index = 318
  2. WTIC Oil = $96.23
  3. Gold = $1676

In other words, if the US Dollar goes down (and commodities go up) every day this week, it doesn’t matter. Or at least it shouldn’t for “long-term” investors looking to manage the long-term mean reversion risks associated with these asset prices.


The longest of long-term risks to Commodities remains the biggest opportunity for not only American Consumers, but Global Consumers of food and energy.


The #1 risk factor pricing that risk/reward scenario is the US Dollar Index’s price itself. I’ve said this Day After Day after day, and I’ll say it again and again and again – get the US Dollar right, and you’ll get a lot of other things right.


Getting real (inflation adjusted) US Consumption right would solve for the number one thing that the world needs right now – unlevered growth. US Consumption represents 71% of US GDP.


Strong Dollar = Strong Consumption, on the margin. Unfortunately, that’s not what you are going to get as long as the conflicted and compromised cheer on higher gold and oil prices. That’s just what they need to get paid.


This week’s Macro Catalyst Calendar will be just another reminder of that:

  1. Tuesday: US Consumer Confidence for the month of May should improve as food and energy prices fall
  2. Thursday: Q1 2012 US GDP should continue to be revised to the downside, reflecting higher commodity prices in Q1
  3. Friday: US Employment Report for May should continue to see the soft results of a country that debauched its currency

We, as a country, have a tremendous opportunity to learn from our mistakes. That’s why we study history. That’s why, when it comes to “full employment and price stability”, we understand that the Down Dollar and Treasury Debt Monetization policies of Bush/Obama yielded no better results than those of the Nixon/Carter Administrations.


The 1970’s had Arthur Burns at the Fed. The last 6 years have had Ben Bernanke. Day After Day, both he and the President want to remind you of the war we all fought in 2008. I just want to talk about today, and what we can do for a better tomorrow.


My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (WTIC), US Dollar, EUR/USD, and the SP500 are now $1566-1601, $104.69-108.12, $81.63-82.49, $1.24-1.26, and 1296-1335, respectively.


Best of luck out there this week,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Day After Day - Chart of the Day


Day After Day - Virtual Portfolio


The Macau Metro Monitor, June 12, 2012




Hotel industry says occupancy rate in May dropped and average occupancy rate for three-star hotels stood between 40-60%, while some recorded an occupancy rate of 70-80%, a decline from last year.  The hotel industry is pessimistic about occupancies during the summer holidays due to an increase in hotel rooms at Sands Cotai Central.  In spite of this, most expect hotel occupancy of Macau hotels can maintain 80%.  The President of the Macao Hoteliers and Innkeepers Association said the global economic downturn and the decline in stock prices have affected tourism. He expects the occupancy rate in June may return to the level between February and April.


10,400 MORE HOTEL ROOMS IN 4 YEARS Strait Times

Singapore may open 10,422 more rooms by 2016.  But the potential 26% increase in rooms will still lag behind the number of tourists Singapore aims to bring to its shores.  The gap has led travel agents and analysts to foresee higher room rates, with average rates predicted to go up by 10% from last year to $270 a night this year.  This, despite 1,572 new rooms expected in 2012, adding nearly 4% to total capacity of 49,719.

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