Potent Weapon

This note was originally published at 8am on June 12, 2012. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK (published by 8am every trading day) and PORTFOLIO IDEAS in real-time.

“Fear is a potent weapon in the hands of the power elite.”

-Chris Hedges


That’s an important quote in Death of The Liberal Class by Chris Hedges. If you believe, like I do, that risk management starts and ends with being empathetic to all politically polarized positions, I highly recommend this book. The first 50 pages will really make you think.


Imagine that, thinking for yourself within the context of how other people think. Instead of doing more of the same – more of what has not worked (print, bail, print), imagine a world where we aren’t centrally planned by Republican/Democrat economic policy dogma. Imagine a world where America wasn’t inching toward becoming Japanese European.


The power elite may have landlocked how Bernanke’s Fed and Geithner’s Treasury think about letting losers win, but they have not yet suffocated the rest of us free market capitalists into silence. Yesterday’s market reaction to the latest bailout scheme was a stiff reminder of that. For them.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


If you saw my market debate with the ING strategist on The Kudlow Report last night, you can see that I am pretty much #Fedup. I am tired of incompetent forecasting on both US and Global growth. I am done with letting these guys from the Old Wall change their perma-bull thesis to new ones every time they get the prior one wrong.




I think The People are done with it too. That’s why you see these outflows from stock and commodity funds. That’s why you see this American Zeitgeist of distrust in any idea that comes out of the Fed, Treasury, or IMF. That’s why you saw pretty near every pundit who was spewing about how high the market was going to go on yesterday’s bailout “news” get run right over.


“Fear is a potent weapon.” And our being right on Growth Slowing is not the fear I am talking about. That’s called being accurate. Fear is what both the Bush and Obama administrations run on. So did Nixon and Carter. Fear of Big Government Interventions and all their conflicts of political interest are what puts a confident and optimistic guy like me on hiring hold.


The Fed has a “full employment” mandate, so they think doing more of what has not worked is their job. To a degree, that’s their own problem – the inability to re-learn, re-work, re-think. But, from a bigger picture perspective, this is really a leadership problem. The Fed and Treasury take their policy making lead from the President of The United States.


Here’s what one of their chief group-thinkers (Chicago Fed Head, Charles Evans) had to say after yesterday’s market reaction:


“I’ve been in favor of pretty much any accommodative policy I’ve heard about.”


Great. Just really great, Chuck. You have got to be kidding me. If Obama created a tax shelter whereby I could hire you for free, I’d probably go for it just so that I could fire you. You and your cronies from Chicago who want Policies To Inflate commodity prices need a real life wake-up call.


I’m certainly not alone in feeling this way. And since I built this company with my own risk capital, I’ll write whatever I want. Chapter 1 of Death of The Liberal Class is called “Resistance.” That’s what I am doing. I have American kids, and I resist the institutional pressure to put short-term politics and stock/commodity market performance ahead of the long-term future of this country.


“Earnest Logan Bell, an unemployed twenty-five year old Marine Corps veteran, walks alone Route 12 in Update New York. A large American flag is strapped to the side of his green backpack… he is on a six-day, ninety mile self-styled “Liberty Walk” from Binghamton to Utica. He plans to mount a quixotic campaign…” (Death of The Liberal Class)


“Anger and a sense of betrayal: these are what Ernest Logan Bell and tens of millions of other disenfranchised workers express…” (page 6). If you don’t get that, you are completely out of touch with the real world in which central planners are forcing us to live.


So go ahead, get the US taxpayer to start back-stopping European and Japanese government losses through the IMF. Tim Geithner, I personally dare you to do that and explain it, as you like to say “deeply”, to the American people. Explain to us, with all your fear-mongerings, why we should trust you this time.


Sadly, for Bernanke and Geithner, this time is not different. The market gets that too.


In other Keynesian central planning news this morning:

  1. The IMF says the Japanese Yen is “overvalued” and that the Japanese should “stimulate”
  2. Italy’s Monti (who forecasted the European Sovereign Debt Crisis as “ending” in March) to meet with France’s Hollande
  3. India’s debt to likely lose “investment grade status” (whatever that still means)

Great. Just great. The Washington, DC based (and US tax payer backed) IMF now has market opinions on “valuation”, and Geithner is pushing Lagarde to pull a Krugman on Japan and Europe (1997 he told the Japanese to “PRINT LOTS OF MONEY”).


Great. (link to the CNBC debate


So was my 0% US Equity asset allocation yesterday. My unlevered and un-invested position Cash can be a Potent Weapon too.


My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), US Dollar, EUR/USD, Spain’s IBEX, Italy’s MIB, and the SP500 are now $1588-1598, $96.59-99.98, $82.01-83.17, $1.24-1.26, 5937-6667, 12238-13661, and 1284-1326, respectively.


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Potent Weapon - Chart of the Day


Potent Weapon - Virtual Portfolio


The Macau Metro Monitor, June 26, 2012




LVS said it would wait until September before deciding whether to build a mega casino development in Spain, either in Madrid or Barcelona.  There is also the chance of the project not going ahead, depending on Europe’s economy.  Less than three months ago, LVS had said its decision on the project would come in April or May.



The number of imported workers has again surpassed the 100,000 mark.  In May, the total number of non-resident workers in Macau stood at just under 101,000, up by 1.4% MoM.  Macau had a total of 104,000 imported workers in September 2008, but since then the figure had continually dropped month-to-month, following a set of measures introduced by the government to prevent a surge in unemployment among residents due to the 2008 global financial crisis.  The imported workers’ figure hit the bottom on May 2010, at 72,000, and has been ever since rising.  The number is expected to continue going up as several new casino projects on Cotai are in the pipeline.

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.

Looking Back

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

-Winston Churchill


It continues to both fascinate and frustrate me that our said leaders in our governments haven’t learned a damn thing about the relationship between debt and growth.


While plenty of both Bush and Obama’s economic advisors dismissed the seminal conclusion in Reinhart & Rogoff’s This Time Is Different, that certainly doesn’t mean that history isn’t rhyming.


Allow me to write this one more time in block letters. Once a country has crossed the proverbial Rubicon (90% Debt/GDP), DEBT SLOWS GROWTH. There is no other growth “policy” left other than getting out of the way.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


Breaking “news” this morning is that someone in Europe has a new plan to pile more debt-upon-debt. Great. Meanwhile, the US (via the Washington, DC based and US tax payer backed IMF) is wholeheartedly cheering it on. Just great.


Atta boy Timmy – you would have nailed it if you just had a bigger bazooka, right?


Right. And bears use baby wipes in the bush. Markets get how ridiculous all of this is becoming. Markets are now starting to get worried that the US fiscal cliff is getting closer too. Markets don’t lie; politicians do.


US Fiscal Cliff?


Get the denominator in the Deficit/GDP ratio right, and you’ll get the timing of the US Fiscal Cliff right. That’s just math. If #GrowthSlowing continues, GDP will fall and the Deficit/GDP ratio will rise, faster.


Looking Back, when we made this call in Q1 of 2010 on Europe, we signaled this sovereign “credit risk” pop on the short-end of the curve. We called it the “Sovereign Debt Dichotomy” (Hedgeye Macro 2010 Quarterly Theme) because not all debt maturity problems and sovereign credit risks occur on the same duration.


So, if you want a real-time risk management signal for the US Fiscal Cliff, we have your back in the Chart of The Day. Watch 2-year Treasury bond yields which have recently popped back above my long-term TAIL risk line of 0.28%. That is one of the biggest Bernanke balls that is still being held under water. When/if it pops, he’ll blame Congress.


Blame Congress? Blame Europe? Blame Hedgeye?


Yep, blame everyone that you can other than yourself. That’s US Politics 1.0. And it’s dying on opacity’s vine.


Looking Back, at all of this - and I mean all of it - from when Krugman told the Japanese to “PRINT LOTS OF MONEY” in 1997 to when Bush II gripped and ripped the money printing and spending handles, to Obama following through on both - I think the fundamental conclusions won’t be the same as Japan’s or Europe’s, but as Mark Twain would say, they will rhyme.




Where am I seeing the Growth Slowing signals accelerate on the downside this morning?

  1. Spain issued 3-month pig paper at 2.36%! (versus 0.84% at their last auction)
  2. Italian CDS is pushing back up towards 600bps after printing a bomb of a Retail Sales report (-6.8% y/y)
  3. Cyprus is asking for a Spanish style (or is it Greek) bailout equivalent of ½ the country’s GDP
  4. Japan passes its tax hike bill in the Lower-House (doubling the consumption tax to cover deficit spending)
  5. Germany’s DAX snapped its last line of consequential support (our immediate-term TRADE line of 6251)
  6. Chinese stocks are in the midst of their longest losing streak in 6 months (down -9.3% since May 2nd)

Oh, but that’s everywhere else. The USA is going to “de-couple” this time. This Time Is Different!

  1. US stocks are down for 3 of the last 4 days (down -3.2% since our 100% Cash call)
  2. US stocks (SP500) have snapped their immediate-term TRADE line of 1318 support
  3. US Treasury Yields (10yr) remain in a Bearish Formation, with a wall of resistance between 1.69-1.93%

Maybe you can click your red shoes and believe that there is no place like investing at home until month/quarter-end (Friday). But you better not be long anything pro-cyclically American in the meantime:

  1. Energy stocks (XLE) lead losers, down -2.53% for June (down -10.3% YTD)
  2. Industrial stocks (XLI) are 2nd worst, down -1.63% for June (barely up at +1.03% YTD)
  3. Tech and Consumer (XLK and XLY) stocks both broke immediate-term TRADE support yesterday

When both leaders (Tech) and losers (Energy) are snapping, that’s bad.


Oh snap. Looking Back, it’s only the countries that don’t find it in themselves to change that end up like Japan or Argentina have for the last 20-30 years.


Do not stand idle. We have to stop these people before it’s too late. Stand up, and be the change in our society. Be patriots, and lead from the front. We are already there. We are Hedgeye. And we are not Looking Back.


My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), US Dollar, EUR/USD, and the SP500 are now $1, $88.27-94.27, $81.96-82.66, $1.24-1.26, and 1, respectively.


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Looking Back - Chart of the Day


Looking Back - Virtual Portfolio


TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – June 26, 2012

As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 13 points or -0.66% downside to 1305 and 0.33% upside to 1318. 



SECTORS – most important risk management point in our S&P Sector Studies last night was mean reversion – leaders (Tech and Consumer) are now flagging the same risk signals as the losers (Energy and Industrials). It’s just one of the many signals that tell me earnings season will be as bad as the companies are already whispering (73 SP500 companies already guide down).










  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: on 6/25 NYSE -1657
    • Down from the prior day’s trading of 1140
  • VOLUME: on 6/25 NYSE 753.75
    • Decrease versus prior day’s trading of -52.22%
  • VIX:  as of 6/25 was at 20.38
    • Increase versus most recent day’s trading of 12.53%
    • Year-to-date decrease of -12.91%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: as of 6/25 closed at 1.86
    • Up from the day prior at 1.65 


  • TED SPREAD: as of this morning 37
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: as of this morning 0.09%
  • 10-Year: as of this morning 1.63
    • Increase from prior day’s trading at 1.60
  • YIELD CURVE: as of this morning 1.34
    • Up from prior day’s trading at 1.31 

MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 7:45am/8:55am: ICSC/Redbook retail sales
  • 9am: S&P/CS 20 City M/m, April, est. 0.3% (prior 0.1%)
  • 9am: S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index, April, est. 134.85 (prior 134.1)
  • 10am: Consumer Confidence, June, est. 63 (prior 64.9)
  • 10am: Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, June, est. 3 (prior 4)
  • 11am: Fed to purchase $4.5-$5.5b notes in 8/15/2020-5/15/2022 range
  • 11:30 am: Treasury to sell $25b 52-wk bills, 4-wk TBA
  • 1pm: Treasury to sell $35b 2-yr notes
  • 4:30pm: API inventories 


    • House, Senate in session
    • OECD releases survey of U.S. economy, 10am
    • Senate Banking Cmte hearing on how to empower and protect military servicemembers in the consumer finl mktplace, 10am
    • National Research Council holds conference on NASA’s strategic direction, with space agency officials, 8am


  • Rupert Murdoch is said to consider splitting News Corp. into two, one focusing on publishing, the other entertainment
  • Moody’s downgrades 28 Spanish banks on debt risk
  • Apple’s bid to limit Google’s use of certain patents as a tool to block imports of the iPhone and iPad may be getting traction at a U.S. trade agency
  • EU President Van Rompuy’s report on the future of the euro includes the option of a “phased” introduction of common debt
  • Facebook appointed COO Sheryl Sandberg to board, naming 1st female dir.
  • U.S. Congress said to consider delaying automatic federal spending cuts until March 2013
  • Russell announces final 2012 membership lists for indexes
  • Encana is investigating a news report of e-mails between it and Chesapeake Energy regarding land-lease bidding in Michigan
  • Vivendi to appeal $956m verdict in a lawsuit over its 2001 purchase from Liberty Media of its stake in USA Networks
  • Spain sells EU3.08b of bills vs maximum target EU3b; sells 6-month bills at 3.237% vs 1.737% in May
  • Italy sells zero 2014 bonds at 4.712% vs 4.037% on May 28
  • Europe’s financial crisis isn’t affecting the ability of speculative grade U.S. companies to meet debt obligations, keeping the default rate below the historical average: Moody’s
  • BP sold stakes in 2 North Sea fields to Mitsui for $280m in cash
  • Corn climbs to 7-mo. high
  • KKR raises $4b for investments in infrastructure, energy
  • Madoff customer pool is poised to swell to $7.3b by July
  • U.K. posts larger budget deficit than economists forecast in May
  • HSBC lowered its projection for China’s economic expansion this year to 8.4% from 8.6%


    • Robbins & Myers (RBN) 8:30am, $0.90
    • H&R Block (HRB) 4pm, $2.07  



COPPER – the Doctor has been signaling #GrowthSlowing since Feb/Mar; that has not changed here in June as Copper has tried to rally several times and failed each time at lower-highs, down another -0.4% this morning to 3.31; question is when does it have a $2 handle? Strong Dollar will deflate the commodity inflation. 

  • Cattle-Hide Economy Slumping as Goldman Sees Rally: Commodities
  • Oil Trades Little Changed as Storm Threat to U.S. Supply Fades
  • Corn Climbs to Seven-Month High as Dry Weather Parches U.S. Crop
  • Cocoa Rises on Speculation Ivory Coast Rains Will Cause Disease
  • Russia Increases Gold Reserves as Ukraine, Kazakhstan Add Metal
  • Gold Set to Decline on Concern Europe’s Crisis Will Boost Dollar
  • Copper Seen Rising for Second Day as China Demand May Strengthen
  • KKR Raises $4 Billion for Investments in Infrastructure, Energy
  • Gasoline Supplies Gain for Second Week in Survey: Energy Markets
  • Rice Crop in India at Record to Spur Exports for Second Year
  • ETFs Passive No More in Challenge to $7.8 Trillion Active Funds
  • Paris Rapeseed Set to Gain on Moving Average: Technical Analysis
  • Tropical Storm Debby Edges Eastward Toward Florida’s Gulf Coast
  • Mitsubishi’s $5.4 Billion Copper Bet Sparks Codelco Fight
  • Iron Ore Set for Monthly Advance as China Stimulus Boosts Demand
  • China’s First Wind-Farm Lull Limits Outlook for Sinovel: Energy 










ITALY – one of the foundations of Keynesian central planning is the belief that governments can “smooth the business cycle”; how’s that working out? Italian Retail Sales plummeting (-6.8% y/y) and Italy’s CDS rising back up to 590 this morning as Italian Bank funding issues come back to the table (Monti Pasche, 3rd largest Italian bank); MIB remains broken/crashing.














The Hedgeye Macro Team

President Obama's Reelection Chances

President Obama’s chances of being reelected in November climbed 2% week over week amid improving performance in the stock market and Supreme Court rulings according to the Hedgeye Election Indicator (HEI). This is the second consecutive week of an uptick in reelection performance for President Obama, whose odds of reelection now stand at 56.3%.


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.


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.


President Obama’s reelection chances reached a peak of 62.3% on March 26, according to the HEI. Hedgeye will release the HEI every Tuesday at 7am ET until election day November 6.



President Obama's Reelection Chances - HEI June26

real-time alerts

real edge in real-time

This indispensable trading tool is based on a risk management signaling process Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough developed during his years as a hedge fund manager and continues to refine. Nearly every trading day, you’ll receive Keith’s latest signals - buy, sell, short or cover.