Farmers Fight

“Farmers are good fighters but poor politicians.”

-Victor Davis Hanson


I spent last week with my family up on the big lake they call Gitchee Gumee. It was a much needed vacation where I was finally able to dig into a book that has been recommended to me multiple times, The Soul of Battle, by Victor Davis Hanson.


The first part of the book focuses on a Theban general Cicero called “The First Man of Greece” (Epaminondas) and the epic story of how he led a bunch of Boeotian farmers to crush the Spartans. These were not King Leonidas’ warriors from the movie “300” who held Thermopylae in 480BC. These were the tired and passionless troops of 371BC Sparta who fought for politicians.


Since introducing our Q2 Global Macro Theme of The Last War: Fighting The Fed, we have been pounding our pitchforks into the keyboards reminding you that an end to a politicized US Dollar could bring about the return of the King. Since April, that King has been Cash. The People who use US Dollars as their currency will continue to fight alongside us.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


Last week’s highlight in the Global Macro matrix was the US Dollar’s charge to fresh YTD highs. This is a currency war, so the other team (Europe’s currency) losing matters. With the Euro down -3.2% on the week, the USD Index closed up +2.1% to $83.38.


Strong Dollar Deflates The Inflation – some of us who like to buy things on red enjoy that. It allows us to invest some of our hard earned Dollars at better prices. With the US Dollar up last week, here’s how some of the week-over-week price deflation looked:

  1. WTIC Oil = -0.9%
  2. Gold = -1.3%
  3. Silver = -1.8%
  4. Copper = -2.2%
  5. Cotton = -1.9%
  6. SP500 = -0.5%

Behold, a 50 basis point deflation in the US stock market. Call in the cavalry, we need Qe5!


Let’s get real here folks. If the US stock market can’t sustain taking a few shots from the only thing that will save her in the end (a strong and credible currency backed by conservative fiscal and monetary policy), America will be looking just like Europe in no time.


That’s the long-run. In the shorter-run, given the US equity market’s manic depressive state, we can’t assume that Strong Dollar = Stronger US Consumption and Stronger/Sustainable Growth at the flip of a switch. Getting people off the Qe4 expectation drugs will take time; so will deflating food and energy prices.


In the meantime, the market has to deal with 3 very big things aligned with economic gravity this week:

  1. US Growth Slowing (both ISM reports and the unemployment update last week were terrible)
  2. China Growth Slowing (all of the June and Q2 data due this week)
  3. Q2 Earnings Season

Ah, the ole earnings season – what will the “fundamentals” bring?


It wasn’t long ago (March-April) that the bull case for US stocks was “growth is back, earnings are great, and stocks are cheap.” Therefore, assuming the bull case isn’t solely based on bailouts, it stands to reason that we should wait and watch for the reaction to #GrowthSlowing, earnings deteriorating, and stocks being valued on the right (instead of hopeful) numbers.


What’s already been discounted? I do not know.


Do you?


All I can tell you is what I have been telling you since we shorted Industrials on March 12th – you do not want to be buying pro-cyclical Sectors (Industrials, Energy, Basic Materials) at the top of another cycle.


Industrials (XLI) are already down -1.3% for July (versus the SP500 -0.55%), so I am not going to be willfully blind to the idea that some of the slowdown hasn’t already been priced in. But neither am I going to blindly accept forecasts from politician like CEOs that today’s outlook hasn’t changed dramatically from the conference calls they hosted in April.


Farmers Fight about the weather forecast too. But sometimes it’s pretty clear that everyone is getting wet while it’s raining.


My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), US Dollar, EUR/USD, and the SP500 are now $1, $96.90-103.02, $82.42-83.49, $1.22-1.25, and 1, respectively.


Best of luck out there this week,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Farmers Fight - Chart of the Day


Farmers Fight - Virtual Portfolio

Did the US Economy Just “Collapse”? "Worst Personal Spending Since 2009"?

This is a brief note written by Hedgeye U.S. Macro analyst Christian Drake on 4/28 dispelling media reporting that “US GDP collapses to 0.7%, the lowest number in three years with the worst personal spending since 2009.”

read more

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