October 23, 2013

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Breaking Bad

“Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects his family.”

-Skyler White


Who is Bernanke’s family? Who is Ben Bernanke? Who is John Galt? The People getting jammed with a trashed currency and 0% rate of return on their savings accounts want to know, “yo.” And they want to know now.


Yesterday’s all-time highs in the US stock market put a bloody pit in my stomach. I will not mince words about that and why this morning. Standing up to the tyranny of an un-elected-anti-dog-eat-dog-government-man is my Canadian-American patriotic duty.


Ben, seriously. If you aren’t going to taper, ever, why? Who do you represent? Is it the people in the business of being long bonds? Or is it the government that appointed you to lead this ongoing fear-mongering campaign? Both of our leading indicators on US #GrowthAccelerating (#StrongDollar + #RatesRising) are breaking bad, again. This one is all on you.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


“You clearly don’t know who you are talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks!” –Walter White


That’s right Bernanke, I’m the one knocking. And it’s going to get louder if you keep this up. You can cart out everyone from PIMCO to Zervos at Jefferies to parrot whatever you think you are accomplishing here. I don’t buy it. You’re suspect.


I respect David Zervos’ penmanship and market views, so let’s break down why I think this could break bad versus what he thinks. We are two of the only consistent US stock market bulls of 2013 who have been bullish for completely different reasons:

  1. ZERVOS  - he thinks US stocks up in 2013 is all about QE and that we cannot afford to taper as that would end it all
  2. MUCKER – I think the most important part of the 2013 rally was on expectations of ending QE; not tapering is a disaster

Bernanke and the entire levered long bond bull lobby agree with Zervos. And I actually have no idea who agrees with me, which is probably why our call on US #GrowthAccelerating from 0.38% in Q412 to 2.5% now was the only one of its ilk. Our growth model called US #GrowthSlowing in October 2007 too. US Dollar Devaluation back then was my leading indicator.


So which one is it?


Oh, by the way, all of US economic and market history agrees with my view that:


1.       Strengthening currency + Rising Interest Rates = Pro-Growth Signals

2.       Devalued currency + Falling Interest Rates = #GrowthSlowing signals


In buckets of time, you only have to look past your nose and go beyond the #EOW (end of the world) stuff (2008) and look at the last 40 years of US economic history to understand my point. Both Reagan and Clinton understood this. Nixon/Carter (1970s) and Bush/Obama (last decade) did not. Markets can go up when growth slows; especially slow-growth styles like Gold and Bonds.


For those of you who think “the stock market going up reflects the economy, so Bernanke is nailing it”, I’ll remind you that’s a crock. Venezuela devalued its currency by 32% this year; its stock market is +312%; and its economy sucks – a Policy to Inflate via currency debauchery is not growth. It’s called inflation.


From Nero (50 AD) to 1920s Germany to whatever Chavez left in Venezuela, do not get me wrong, Zervos is quite right that keeping your government stimulated with a meth market can take you for quite a ride, yo! But, again, do not confuse the kind of move we saw yesterday with the one we saw before Bernanke decided not to taper on September 18th.


Rewinding the tapes, here’s what happened yesterday:

  1. US monthly payroll number missed by enough to validate Bernanke’s bs storytelling that we don’t need to taper
  2. US Dollar got smoked to a fresh YTD low
  3. US Treasury Yields snapped my 2.58% TREND line on the 10yr
  4. Gold ripped
  5. Slow growth sectors like Utilities (XLU) had triple the intraday move of the SP500

Is that what you want, yo? Another epic 2007 style US stock market bubble? If you do, we can go right back to reflating the Housing, Gold, Bond, Utility, Foreign Currency, etc. Bubbles. Kinder Morgan can trade at 85x earnings on that too. Rock on, yo.


So what do you want? As my man Walter White would say, “you all know exactly who I am. Say my name.” That’s right. I’m the guy who believes in fiscal conservatism, monetary tapering, a strong currency, and rising interest rates. “Now say my name.”


I’m the guy who went to net short yesterday (6 LONGS, 9 SHORTS in #RealTimeAlerts) and 54% Cash. Timestamped, yo. He’s Heisenberg. I’m going to roll with him, book gains, and protect my family and firm’s hard earned savings.


UST 10yr Yield 2.47-2.58%


VIX 11.55-14.96

USD 79.02-80.12

Euro 1.36-1.38

Gold 1


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Breaking Bad - Chart of the Day


Breaking Bad - Virtual Portfolio

Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.46%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.35%






Hollywood Roosevelt from Los Angeles is making Macau its Asian debut with an investment of two billion patacas to build a 373-room 1950s Hollywood-themed hotel next to the Macau Jockey Club in Taipa.  The hotel is slated to be operational between the middle and the end of 2015.  The CEO of the hotel’s management company GCP Hospitality, Christophe Vielle, said that the developer, Yoho Group would like to have a casino in the hotel.  The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau has received no application to run a casino there.



The construction for “Paradise City,’’ which will be a 15-minute walk away from Incheon Airport, will begin in April 2014, according to Choi Jong-hwan, CEO of Paradise Sega Sammy.  “We expect the main customers of the casino to be from China.  The hotel at Paradise City will accommodate 700 rooms and will be equipped with state-of-the-art business facilities and large-scale convention venues. The resort will also cater to leisure travelers, with theaters, shopping centers, spas and other facilities.


In preparation for TRIP's FQ3 2013 earnings release tomorrow, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary.




  • "This summer so far it's been bumpier than I had forecast. So our traffic is holding but not as strong as we had expected given the comp over the Olympics of last year. Pricing, as I said, has actually been down a little bit, and that wasn't what we expected. And we have told everyone, 'hey, the big meta headwind for us is in Q3, because our biggest points of sale are a 100%' and that remains absolutely true. But I don't generally provide updates in the quarter, but if I have to update this quarter it's like I am not seeing a lot of positive stuff."
  • "The third going to take the hardest hit, because this is three months of being in the transition even though we're making iterative improvement, but compared to last quarter there was only one full month." 


  • "For full year 2013, we are reiterating our click-based revenue growth guidance of high-teens to low-20s."
  • "As it relates to display, based on our strong first half results, we now expect mid-to-high teens growth for the full year with Q4 being our strongest quarter for this product."
  • "For subscription, transaction and other business lines, we believe continued sales productivity in Business Listings, Vacation Rentals traction a nice contribution from our recent acquisition will now yield high 50s growth for the full year. Remember, that traction of our Vacation Rentals free-to-list product and flash sales will contribute similar seasonality to click-based revenue, where Q3 is seasonally strong and Q4 is seasonally weak."
  • "We are reiterating our total revenue growth expectations of low 20s for the full year."
  • "On the expense side, our investment and hiring plans remain unchanged giving our growth initiative and large market opportunities ahead of us. From a forecasting standpoint, we have considered our strong results in the first half of the year offset by our ongoing meta transition, offline ad spend, and our recent acquisition. Net, net, we are reiterating our expectations of mid-single digit EBITDA growth for the full year of 2013, which assumes negative Q3 and Q4 year-over-year EBITDA growth due to the timing of our offline ad spend."
  • "We're on that path to revenue neutrality, which means the increase in CPCs will equal the decrease in clicks that we're sending off to our partners and we believe that will occur at the end of this year." 


  • "Hotel shoppers continued to grow rapidly throughout the globe with notable continued strength in core U.S. and European markets. Some of our newer markets aren't growing at quite the rate that they were last year. Sort of the UK in particular, for the first couple of weeks in July haven't been as robust a growth as we had seen in the course of Q2."
  • "If you look at the top of funnel opportunity, which we call hotel shoppers, so hotel shoppers are travelers coming to the site, looking at a hotel geo page or a hotel detail page, not the restaurants, not the attractions. So those are the ones that we say are top of funnel, because they have a chance of monetizing for us. We don't currently monetize restaurants and attractions." 


  • "On smartphone, our hotel shopper growth continues at a triple-digit rate, but monetization remains at less than 20% of desktop.  Desktop and tablet are pretty much on parity (volume/price mix)."


  • "We have two properties, two companies in China, and...Kuxun. This is an area that we have been investing in for several years. We run a loss. But they're meaningful assets. We kind of look at it more as an option on the future because the Chinese market is important. And we want to be there when they're looking to travel outbound. As that market continues to develop, we believe we're building a very strong asset there."  


  • "We authorized a $250 million share repurchase plan and we did that about a year after we spun out of Expedia once we had built up those cash balances because we can only use U.S. cash to repurchase shares. The primary reason for the share repurchase is to offset employee equity dilution, so that's what we've been doing over the last several quarters."


  • "When I ask, hey who is the competition that kind of worries me the most in the two-year to five-year timeframe, Google still tops the list mostly at this point from a mind share perspective. When I talk to travelers, hey you're thinking about going on vacation, where do you start? The answer more often than I'd like to hear is Google. And so as Google learns how to build the travel product and I'd still say they're learning, they've launched a bunch of stuff, but it's in progress. Google can do a lot. They've shown a lot of appetite to invest heavily in this area."


  • "We have received very positive initial feedback from our announcement, and we expect that many of the largest companies that provide Internet booking engines to independent hotels will be working with us soon. Later this year, we intend to launch the second part of the TripAdvisor Connect platform, namely, a self-service bidding interface that will allow hoteliers to bid directly for our traffic."


  • "In our fast-growing subscription, transaction and other line, we've seen a nice uptick in Business Listings sales productivity as we add more fully-trained sales reps in more parts of the world."
  • "In our Vacation Rental business, early results from free-to-list remain positive as overall listings are up, as well as mailable users, traffic and inquiries. On the consumer side, we've increased the percentage of our listings that are online-bookable properties from zero last year to over 20% this year, and we shortened the booking flow to improve conversion. We've integrated the majority of FlipKey and Holiday Lettings properties onto the main TripAdvisor site and we're working on integrating Niumba's inventory to give vacation renters more choice in Spain."


  • "So again, we only spent a couple of million dollars so far, but we have no reason at this point to be pulling back on our expectations to spend kind of the full budgeted amount going forward." 
  • "Direct marketing costs increased slightly versus last quarter, as we started testing our new TV campaigns in six U.S. markets in an effort to promote TripAdvisor brand awareness and diversify traffic. We expect to increase TV spend materially in the second half of the year, as we broaden our testing domestically and internationally."


  • "Our Q2 GAAP effective tax rate was 26%, which is consistent with our ongoing mid-to-high 20s expectation for the year."


TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – October 23, 2013

As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 42 points or 1.80% downside to 1723 and 0.59% upside to 1765.                                  










THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 10                                                                                                                                                                  



  • YIELD CURVE: 2.20 from 2.22
  • VIX closed at 13.33 1 day percent change of 1.29%

MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 7am: Mortgage Applications Index, Oct. 18 (prior 0.3%)
  • 8:30am: Import Price Index M/m, Sept., est. 0.2% (prior 0.0%)
  • 9am: House Price Index, Aug., est. 0.8% (prior 1.0%)
  • 10:30am: DOE Energy Inventories
  • 11am: Fed to purchase $2.75b-$3.5b notes in 2020-2023 sector


    • President Barack Obama meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss security concerns
    • 8:30am: CSIS, Finl Svcs Roundtable discussion on cybersecurity
    • 10am: SEC meets on proposed rules, forms on offer and sale of securities through crowdfunding
    • 10:30am: House Education and the Workforce ranking member Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Alan Grayson, D-Fla., host forum on Wal-Mart wages
    • 11am: House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. to announce introduction of bill “to address ever increasing problem of abusive patent litigation.”
    • 2pm: House Financial Services panel hearing on reducing impediments to capital formation
    • 2pm: House Armed Services Cmte hearing on Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan
    • 3:30pm: House Armed Services hears from Pentagon officials on spending cuts, effect on acquisition, modernization


  • Icahn’s Netflix sale shows differences with son over value
  • JPMorgan close to $6b settlement with institutional investors: FT
  • Men’s Wearhouse said to mull bid for shoemaker Allen Edmonds
  • ECB stress test to use stricter capital definition than review
  • Peugeot reviews GM alliance as savings goal proves tough to meet
  • Rabobank said to agree to $1b settlement over Libor claims
  • Biggest Chinese banks triple debt write-offs
  • Twitter secures $1b credit line before initial share sale
  • Carlyle, KKR, CVC join initial bid for Woori F&I: Maeil
  • Amgen boosts 2013 forecast after third-quarter sales rise
  • Buffett praises IBM profit prospects, says cos. have blips
  • Spanish GDP rises 0.1% in 3Q, ending nine-quarter recession
  • Heineken cuts profit outlook as central European sales slide


    • Airgas (ARG) 7:30am, $1.23
    • Allegheny Technologies (ATI) 7am, $(0.28)
    • American Electric Power (AEP) 6:57am, $1.08
    • Boeing (BA) 7:30am, $1.52 - Preview
    • Brinker Intl (EAT) 7:45am, $0.45 - Preview
    • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) 7:30am, $0.44
    • Canadian Pacific Railway (CP CN) 7:30am, $1.71 - Preview
    • CapitalSource (CSE) 8am, $0.15
    • Caterpillar (CAT) 7:30am, $1.67 - Preview
    • Commercial Metals (CMC) 7am, $0.17
    • Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) 7am, $0.83
    • Eli Lilly (LLY) 6:30am, $1.04 - Preview
    • Encana (ECA CN) 6am, $0.16 - Preview
    • General Dynamics (GD) 7am, $1.68 - Preview
    • Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) 8am, $0.08
    • Lorillard (LO) 7am, $0.81 - Preview
    • Medicines (MDCO) 8am, $0.16 - Preview
    • Molex (MOLX) 7:30am, $0.37
    • Motorola Solutions (MSI) 7am, $1.02
    • NASDAQ OMX (NDAQ) 7am, $0.62
    • New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) 8am, $0.26
    • Nielsen (NLSN) 6am, $0.48
    • Norfolk Southern (NSC) 8am, $1.39 - Preview
    • Northrop Grumman (NOC) 7am, $1.82 - Preview
    • Omnicare (OCR) 7am, $0.90
    • Owens Corning (OC) 7:28am, $0.64
    • Popular (BPOP) 8am, $0.70
    • Prologis (PLD) 8am, $0.41
    • Six Flags Entertainment (SIX) 8am, $1.66
    • Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) 6am, $1.28
    • Tupperware Brands (TUP) 7am, $1.04
    • US Airways Group (LCC) 8am, $1.14 - Preview
    • WellPoint (WLP) 6am, $1.82 - Preview
    • WR Grace (GRA) 6am, $1.03
    • Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) 6:29am, $1.36


    • Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM CN) 5pm, $0.09 - Preview
    • Akamai Technologies (AKAM) 4:01pm, $0.46
    • Angie’s List (ANGI) 4:05pm, $(0.20)
    • Assurant (AIZ) 4:05pm, $1.50
    • AT&T (T) 4:01pm, $0.65 - Preview
    • AvalonBay Communities (AVB) 4:01pm, $1.18
    • Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN) 4:15pm, $0.40
    • Cadence Design Systems (CDNS) 4:05pm, $0.21
    • Citrix Systems (CTXS) 4:05pm, $0.69
    • CoreLogic (CLGX) 4:15pm, $0.42
    • E*TRADE Financial (ETFC) 4:05pm, $0.16
    • Equifax (EFX) 4:11pm, $0.88
    • Equinix (EQIX) 4:01pm, $0.60
    • Everest Re Group (RE) 4:05pm, $4.76
    • F5 Networks (FFIV) 4:04pm, $1.19 - Preview
    • Fortinet (FTNT) 4:15pm, $0.11
    • Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS) 4:01pm, $0.41
    • Fusion-io (FIO) 4:05pm, $(0.11)
    • Infinera (INFN) 4:15pm, $0.04
    • KKR Financial Holdings (KFN) 4:21pm, $0.38
    • Lam Research (LRCX) 4:05pm, $0.70
    • Leggett & Platt (LEG) 4:05pm, $0.44
    • LSI (LSI) 4:01pm, $0.16
    • NXP Semiconductor (NXPI) 8pm, $0.83
    • O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) 6:30pm, $1.65
    • Polycom (PLCM) 4:05pm, $0.11
    • Raymond James Financial (RJF) 4:13pm, $0.63
    • Service Corp (SCI) 4:03pm, $0.20
    • ServiceNow (NOW) 4:01pm, $(0.02)
    • SL Green Realty (SLG) 5pm, $1.28
    • Stericycle (SRCL) 4:02pm, $0.94
    • Susquehanna Bancshares (SUSQ) 4:30pm, $0.23
    • Swift Transportation (SWFT) 4pm, $0.29
    • Symantec (SYMC) 4:01pm, $0.44
    • Teradyne (TER) 6pm, $0.44
    • Terex (TEX) 4:46pm, $0.59
    • Torchmark (TMK) 4pm, $1.43
    • Tractor Supply (TSCO) 4:01pm, $0.41
    • TripAdvisor (TRIP) 4:04pm, $0.44 - Preview
    • TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT) 4:02pm, $0.10
    • Varian Medical Systems (VAR) 4pm, $1.11
    • Whiting Petroleum (WLL) 4pm, $1.06


  • JPMorgan Said to Draw BTG Bid for All of Commodities Business
  • Tyson Chases Hormel by Targeting Moms With Burritos: Commodities
  • WTI Drops to 5-Month Low; Discount to Brent Widest Since April
  • Copper Slumps From One-Month High as Chinese Interest Rates Rise
  • Gold Declines as Investors Sell After Rally to Three-Week High
  • Wheat Nears Fourth-Month High as South American Demand May Climb
  • Robusta Coffee Halts Decline After Falling 8.3% in Past Six Days
  • Petroineos to Decide on Future of Grangemouth Oil Refinery
  • U.S. Pump Prices Seen Dropping to Three-Year Low: Energy Markets
  • Rebar Falls, Erasing Earlier Gains, After China Money Rates Jump
  • Natural Gas Consumption Likely Sluggish Into 2014: Bear Case
  • Pig Iron Cost Structure May Put Floor Under Nickel as 4Q Evolves
  • Japan Mulls Plan for One Operator to Run All Reactors: Energy
  • Ineos Will Keep Grangemouth Refinery Open, U.K. Minister Says


























The Hedgeye Macro Team














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