“His own men wanted more of the same, the enemy less.”
-Victor Davis Hanson
I am grinding through two books about leadership and war right now – and that probably puts me in a mood to fight. When it comes to going to battle with Fed and ECB ideologies that are perpetuating global #GrowthSlowing, someone has to do it.
In his epic classic “The Soul of Battle”, Victor Davis Hanson tells the story of the great Greek General of Thebes, Epaminondas, and his fight for democracy versus the Spartans. “Thebes now battled for neither money nor power, but for the idea of allowing all Greek states to be autonomous.” (page 87)
Theban farmers taking up arms for their economic freedom was ultimately instigated by the central planning Spartans themselves. “The Spartan takeover of the sacred Theban Cadmen (382BC) – the city’s spiritual and political center – was the most foolhardy foreign enterprise in the entire history of Spartan foreign policy.” (page 28)
It’s different now, but it’s the same.
Our Keynesian overlords are taking over the most pure temple of free market capitalism that remains – our public markets. And while I may get my short-term market calls right and wrong, I will not confuse that risk management duration with my principles. After listening to Draghi’s drivel yesterday, I will not provide him the cowardice of standing idle.
I am here on the front lines of this ideological debate. And I too will do whatever it takes.
Back to the Global Macro Grind…
Undoubtedly, the toughest balance beam to traverse in my head is my absolute disgust for what I hear these people say every day and what it is I need to do in order to not violate Rule #1 (don’t lose money).
We need to keep getting our economic forecasts and risk managed positions right in order to crack these Keynesians right up the middle of their phalanx. Ideologies die on the vine of mediocrity and broken promises.
Whether they are coming at us from the ECB or Fed flanks, their ultimate impact can be measured. As you can see in Darius Dale’s Chart of the Day, this is their 2nd major centrally planned attack since June:
- Dollar Down
- Gold Up
- Stocks Up
If you’re going to step on the field with me and my boys, you better realize that winning a few battles doesn’t win you the war. Yesterday, the S&P Futures rallied 27 handles (2 full percentage points) at the stroke of Draghi’s “whatever” shot hitting the tape. Spanish and Italian stocks moved 6-7 full percentage points in less than 3 hours of trading.
That’s normal, right? Bull market.
If I have reminded you of this 100x in the last 5 years, it’s been 1000x. Get the US Dollar right, and you’ll get a lot of other things right. With the US Dollar Index down a full percentage point on the day yesterday, the #BailoutBulls of the 112th Correlation ran wild.
Here’s how our most immediate-term TRADE correlation scored on yesterday’s close (correlation to the USD):
- EuroStoxx 600 Index = -0.82
- SP500 Index = -0.75
- SPX Volatility Index (VIX) = +0.77
In other words, more central planning fire in your Purchasing Power hole continues to do the 2 very things we stand against for The People (24.6% unemployment in Spain this morning) who don’t get paid by food/energy/stock market inflations:
- Shortening Economic Cycles
- Amplifying Market Volatility
They know it. You know it. The People watching this market know it. No matter which side of this battle of ideologies you stand on, the short-term correlation (price action) is being drive by causality (short-term policy reactions).
Their world is built on broken promises. Their bailout policies are designed to inflate asset prices by debauching your hard earned dollars. And now these said leaders of Western Academia’s tallest ivory towers have shot arrows towards the heart of “whatever” they think will have us stand down. Ironically, this is precisely what will make us rise up.
Our men and women want more of the same, the enemy less – and that’s the free-market’s trust.
My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), US Dollar, EUR/USD, Spain’s IBEX, and the SP500 are now $1, $101.91-107.86, $82.52-83.39, $1.20-1.23, 5, and 1, respectively.
Enjoy your weekend and best of luck out there today,
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer
TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – July 27, 2012
As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 17 points or -0.81% downside to 1349 and 0.44% upside to 1366.
SECTOR AND GLOBAL PERFORMANCE
- ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: on 07/26 NYSE 1406
- Up versus the prior day’s trading of 226
- VOLUME: on 07/26 NYSE 897.88
- Increase versus prior day’s trading of 14.60%
- VIX: as of 07/26 was at 17.53
- Decrease versus most recent day’s trading of -9.36%
- Year-to-date decrease of -25.09%
- SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: as of 07/26 closed at 1.62
- Up from the day prior at 1.23
CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:
- TED SPREAD: as of this morning 35
- 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: as of this morning 0.10%
- 10-Year: as of this morning 1.46%
- Increase from prior day’s trading at 1.44%
- YIELD CURVE: as of this morning 1.23
- Up from prior day’s trading at 1.21
MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):
- 8:30am: GDP (Q/q), 2Q A, est. 1.4% (prior 1.9%)
- 8:30am: Personal Consumption, 2Q A, est. 1.3% (prior 2.5%)
- 8:30am: GDP Price Index, 2Q A, est. 1.5% (prior 2%)
- 8:30am: Core PCE (Q/q), 2Q A, est. 1.8% (prior 2.3%)
- 9:55am: U. Michigan Confidence, July final, est. 72.0 (prior 72)
- 11am: Fed to sell $7.0b-$8.0b notes due 5/15/15-9/30/15
- 1pm: Baker Hughes rig count
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks to intl AIDS conference at 3:35pm; former President Bill Clinton at 4:25pm
- Commerce Department announces preliminary anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese-made wind towers
WHAT TO WATCH:
- U.S. GDP probably rose at 1.4% annual rate in 2Q, slowest pace in a year
- Samsung increases lead over Apple in global smartphone mkt
- Facebook shrs fall amid concerns about pace of growth
- Universal in talks to sell most of Parlophone to BMG
- Whole Foods Market reviewing health claims about DHA
- Cnooc hires U.S. lobbyists to avoid Unocal-style problems with Nexen acquisition
- Federal Reserve Bank of NY urged federal judge to dismiss Starr International’s lawsuit over govt. bailout of AIG
- Ecuadorian judge ruled Chevron must pay $19b in environmental damages from ops in the country, higher than $18.2b original ruling: DJ
- Amarin won FDA approval for first drug, Vascepa, to combat high levels of blood fat that lead to stroke, heart attack
- Booz Allen Hamilton said to have cut size, rate on term loan B it’s seeking to pay dividend
- Prologis may sell ~$800m of U.S. properties by end of 2012, co-CEO Hamid Moghadam told Bloomberg News
- Spanish unemployment rises to highest in democratic history
- Italy borrowing costs fall at 6-month bill auction
- U.S. Congress probably will delay action on legislation to ease trade relations with Russia until after country joins WTO next month
- Burberry to buy out license rights of Inter Parfums for $220m
- Fed, ECB Meet; U.S. Jobs; Olympics: Week Ahead
- Calpine (CPN) 6am, $0.01
- Colfax (CFX) 6am, $0.36
- Helmerich & Payne (HP) 6am, $1.15
- TMX Group (X CN) 6am, C$0.73
- LyondellBasell (LYB) 6am, $1.40
- Prosperity Bancshares (PB) 6:02am, $0.77
- Magellan Health Services (MGLN) 6:30am, $0.91
- WABCO Holdings (WBC) 6:30am, $1.17
- Coventry Health Care (CVH) 6:30am, $0.64
- Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) 6:30am, $0.45; Preview
- Barnes Group (B) 6:30am, $0.48
- Aon (AON) 6:30am, $1.02
- DTE Energy Co (DTE) 7am, $0.70
- LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT) 7am, $0.81
- Merck (MRK) 7am, $1.01; Preview
- Eldorado Gold (ELD CN) 7am, $0.12
- DR Horton (DHI) 7am, $0.19; Preview
- Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) 7am, $0.23
- Legg Mason (LM) 7am, $0.03
- OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd (OB) 7am, $0.26
- Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) 7am, $1.64
- Alliance Holdings GP (AHGP) 7am, $0.84
- NV Energy (NVE) 7am, $0.18
- Celestica (CLS CN) 7am, $0.24
- HMS Holdings (HMSY) 7:30am, $0.21
- First Niagara Financial Group (FNFG) 7:30am, $0.18
- American Axle (AXL) 7:30am, $0.50
- TransForce (TFI CN) 7:30am, C$0.37
- Arch Coal (ACI) 7:45am, $(0.18)
- Cameco (CCO CN) 8am, $0.21
- KKR (KKR) 8am, $0.16
- Moog (MOG/A) 8am, $0.85
- Atco Ltd/Canada (ACO/X CN) 8:07am, C$1.36
- Canadian Utilities Ltd (CU CN) 8:16am, C$0.86
- Chevron (CVX) 8:30am, $3.23
- TransCanada (TRP CN) 8:45am, C$0.48
- NuStar Energy (NS) 8:45am, $0.25
- NuStar GP Holdings LLC (NSH) 8:45am, $0.35
- Forum Energy Technologies (FET) Pre-Mkt, $0.47
- Highwoods Properties (HIW) Post-Mkt, $0.69
COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION (HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG)
USD – will Bernanke drive home the 1-2 #BailoutBull punch next week? I don’t know; neither does the Dollar or Gold, yet – need more times/prices; both are trading right at the lines where we could go either way. We'll let the market tell me what to do on this as usual.
SPAIN – reports another record unemployment rate (24.6%), so it looks like Draghi is going to need one heck of a whatever to get that colossal failure of Keynesian sense under control; Spanish stocks lead losers this morning, down -1.7% (down -30% since March), bearish on all 3 of our risk mgt durations.
CHINA – Chinese and Singaporean stocks couldn’t care less about Draghi’s drivel; if not going up on the “news” tells you anything, it’s a reminder that Qe and anything that looks like it jacks up what is perpetuating #GrowthSlowing to begin with, rising food/oil prices.
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The Macau Metro Monitor, July 27, 2012
EMPLOYMENT SURVEY FOR APRIL-JUNE 2012 DSEC
There were more people looking for work during the Summer Holiday; consequently, the unemployment rate for April-June 2012 increased slightly to 2.1%, up by 0.1% point respectively from the previous period (March-May 2012). Total labour force was 346,000 in April-June 2012 and the labour force participation rate stood at 71.9%. Total employment was 339,000, an increase of 1,300 over the previous period.
We changed our fundamental stance on Starbucks on June 12th. The reason for this change was a combination of the Hedgeye Macro Team’s call on Global Growth Slowing, the La Boulange acquisition, and our conviction that managing five concepts at once was likely to lead to inefficiency.
Starbucks reported worse-than-expected 3QFY12 earnings after the close. There were not many positives to salvage from the call other than comps do not look too bad. Given the unmistakable slowing in trends, however, this is scant consolation. The macroeconomic environment is playing a role, certainly, but company specific issues are also a factor.
We will advise our clients to remain on the sidelines until consensus expectations come closer in line with reality. The Starbucks business model is sensitive to economic volatility. Additionally, to become bullish on Starbucks again, we would need to see management focus on fewer concepts. Within its core business, CPG, and its Verissimo home brewer, the company can easily satisfy investor appetite for growth. Increasing the number of “four-wall” concepts under its umbrella is, in our view, not the correct move at this stage. Below is a summary of the quarter with some of our takeaways.
- 4QFY12 revenue growth of 10-12%
- 4QFY12 EPS of $0.44-0.45, growth of 19-22% versus consensus of $0.48
- FY13 targeted revenue growth of 10-13%
- 1,200 net new stores – acceleration in U.S., China, possible acceleration of closures in Europe
- FY13 EPS of $2.04-$2.14 versus consensus of $2.29, according to Consensus Metrix
- FY12 impact of commodity costs remains $230mm
- FY13 is locked for coffee costs through 11 months at favorable prices. ~100m tailwind to operating income
- FY13 new unit growth of 1,000 stores
- Americas +500
- CAP +400
- EMEA +100
- 3QFY12 EPS of $0.43 versus $0.45 consensus represented 19% y/y growth
- Sales increased 13% to $3.3 billion on 6% Global Consolidated comps
HEDGEYE: Consensus was disappointed by 3QFY12 and still needs to lower expectations for FY12 and FY13 to avoid further disappointment. SBUX is one of the most loved names in the industry; sell-side sentiment has a long way to go. Margins should pick up going forward as commodity cost pressure on the P&L eases.
- Comps gained 7% during 3QFY12
- Slowing trends in June was primary driver behind EPS miss
- Evolution Fresh drinks in 800+ stores in Seattle, LA, San Diego. Plans to 2x in coming months
- SBUX operates one of the largest mobile payment programs globally. ~1m U.S. payments/week
- Mgmt “seeing tangible benefits” of ongoing initiatives in the region but “long road” back
- Seeking to “optimize” portfolio, possibility of increased closures and possible charges
HEDGEYE: The comps and margins in Europe, obviously, imply a dire situation in that geography for Starbucks. Despite management’s apparent determination to turn things around there, we feel it is largely out of the company’s hands. Obviously continuing to operate competitively is crucial, but we believe it could possibly be a sustained period of time before Europe is a meaningful profit-driver again.
- On track for 1500 stores on mainland China by 2015
- China representing 1/2 of 400 (up from 300) projected FY12 CAP openings
- Management believe the brand has “turned the corner” in terms of growth in China
- Contribution to company profitability 13% YTD versus 9% two years ago
HEDGEYE: This remains a high-margin, high-growth region for Starbucks that seems to be generating a lot of excitement. Two-year average trends sequentially accelerated in 3QFY12.
CPG & Other
- CPG segment reached $1 billion for first time
- Premium coffee now 50% of total U.S. grocery aisle coffee sales
- Starbucks brands leading with 28.2% share
- Advance commitments for Verissimo from retailers bode well for holiday season
- 15% share of premium single-cup market with more than 230 million cups shipped in 5 months
Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money tonight. Three huge topics dominated the show, and with good reason: Facebook (FB) and Starbucks (SBUX) reported earnings. Panelists also discussed gold.
We’ve owned Starbucks since 2009 – but there is no reason to own it here. Growth is slowing and it’s going to get more expensive for SBUX as a company as sales slow. This coincides with our #GrowthSlowing macro theme.
The gold case is that Bernanke will retain his job, Draghi will continue what he wants to do. If the US dollar continues to strengthen and gold continues to make lower highs, gold will continue to drop. Pawn shops have felt the heat (CSH, EZPW) from this: lower prices and volumes and gold are putting a squeeze on their earnings.
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