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September 18

Client Talking Points

JAPAN

The Nikkei does not like the idea of the Yen breaking out again versus US Dollar. Nikkei was down -0.8% last night and has done nothing but make a series of lower-highs ever since when? September 18. That of course was the day Ben Bernanke decided to devalue USD vs YEN. Yep.

OIL

A big breakdown in Brent continues this morning. The TAIL risk line is plenty snapped now up at $108.67. This is one of the few good things going on for the global consumer right now. You can buy European stocks on this inasmuch as US stocks, but Wal-Mart (WMT) acts great.

UST 10YR

See that? That's the 10-Year Treasury Yield sitting in no man’s land. It's plunked down right on @Hedgeye TREND line of 2.63%. Make no mistake: the next move here is going to be big (up or down). My bet is on Down Yields if US Dollar fails versus the Euro and US GDP slows. More to be revealed.

Asset Allocation

CASH 32% US EQUITIES 6%
INTL EQUITIES 22% COMMODITIES 8%
FIXED INCOME 6% INTL CURRENCIES 26%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
DAX

In line with our #EuroBulls Q4 theme, we’re long the German DAX via the etf EWG. With European fundamentals showing improvement off low levels, we expect outperformance from Germany, and in turn for the region’s largest economy to pull the rest of the region higher. ECB policy remains highly accommodative and prepared to aid any of its sovereign members to preserve the Union. Inflation remains moderate and fundamentals are positive: confidence readings and PMIs are up since June, with factory orders trending higher and retail sales inflecting to push the trade balance higher. Finally, the unemployment rate has held steady at the low level of 6.9%, all of which signals to us that Germany’s economic climate is ramping up.

WWW

WWW is one of the best managed and most consistent companies in retail. We’re rarely fans of acquisitions, but the recent addition of Sperry, Saucony, Keds and Stride Rite (known as PLG) gives WWW a multi-year platform from which to grow. We think that the prevailing bearish view is very backward looking and leaves out a big piece of the WWW story, which is that integration of these brands into the WWW portfolio will allow the former PLG group to achieve what it could not under its former owner (most notably – international growth, and leverage a more diverse selling infrastructure in the US). Furthermore it will grow without needing to add the capital we’d otherwise expect as a stand-alone company – especially given WWW’s consolidation from four divisions into three -- which improves asset turns and financial returns.

TROW

Financials sector senior analyst Jonathan Casteleyn continues to carry T. Rowe Price as his highest-conviction long call, based on the long-range reallocation out of bonds with investors continuing to move into stocks.  T Rowe is one of the fastest growing equity asset managers and has consistently had the best performing stock funds over the past ten years.

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

I'm the only one on Twitter who didn't think the ECB should or would cut, allegedly @KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Twitter is my bar. I sit at the counter and listen to the conversations, starting others, feeling the atmosphere. -Paulo Coelho 

STAT OF THE DAY

From April to June, 75% of Twitter's users accessed the service from mobile devices, compared to 66% in the same three months in 2012. In addition, 65% of its ad revenue came from mobile. Facebook, in comparison, gets 41% of its ad revenue from mobile devices.


What's New Today in Retail (11/7)

Takeaway: Sports apparel solid. Adidas rev miss, inventories dicey. WMT PR takes punch to the jaw. Labor unrest building in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

EVENTS TO WATCH OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS

 

FNP - Earnings Call: Thursday 10/7 10:00 am

BEBE - Earnings Call: Thursday 10/7 4:30 pm

TUMI - Earnings Call: Thursday 10/7 4:30 pm

 

ECONOMIC DATA

 

Athletic Apparel Data

 

Takeaway: Trends in athletic apparel are like a broken record -- but not broken. The industry put up 27% growth vs last year. We estimate that about 1,000bps is due to easy comparisons from a storm-impacted 2012. But still…a mid-teens organic growth rate is nothing to shake a stick at.  The biggest surprise for the week was Reebok, which has been a perennial dog. But over the past three weeks its' sales went from -28% to +22% to +74%.  UnderArmour is also putting up some solid numbers. One thing worth noting is that this Sportscan data tends to include the more marginal retailers in its sample.  Perversely, we almost don't want to see a high-end brand like UA do too well with this sample.

 

What's New Today in Retail (11/7) - chart1 11 7

What's New Today in Retail (11/7) - chart2 11 7

What's New Today in Retail (11/7) - chart3 11 7

What's New Today in Retail (11/7) - chart4 11 7

 

COMPANY NEWS

 

ADS - Adidas looks to World Cup as sales and profit drop

(http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/nov/07/adidas-sales-profit-drop-world-cup)

 

  • "Adidas, the world's second largest maker of sports gear behind Nike, said third quarter operating profit dropped 6% on sales down 7%, hit by distribution problems in Russia, currency effects and poor sales of golfing products."
  • "Adding to its woes, it has been outperformed by Nike on its home turf. Nike reported an 8% rise in sales in western Europe in its first fiscal quarter to the end of August, compared with a fall of 6% for Adidas at constant currencies in its third quarter."
  • "One bright spot for Adidas this year has been the Reebok brand, which saw sales rise 5% in the three months to the end of September, the second quarter in a row of growth as a renewed focus on fitness pays off."

 

Takeaway: Adidas puts up a slight miss -- entirely driven by top line weakness. (looks like the stronger Reebok apparel sell-through is happening just in time). The company missed top line expectations in every region of the world except Western Europe. Most troubling is the company's inventory levels, as its sales/inventory spread plummeted by 1,500bp. As evidenced by the SIGMA chart below, Adibok is looking at bloated inventories and positive margins. That's one of the worst places to be -- as the margin level gives management some degree of confidence that it can clear inventory profitably. But that it almost never the case. The company reiterated guidance…we'd question that move.

 

What's New Today in Retail (11/7) - chart5 11 7

 

AEO - American Eagle Outfitters Updates Third Quarter EPS Guidance to $0.19

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81256&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1873334&highlight=)

 

  • "American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. is updating its third quarter EPS outlook to $0.19 per diluted share, which excludes non-cash charges associated with closing a distribution center, as previously disclosed. This compares to EPS from continuing operations of $0.41 for the same period last year. The company’s previous EPS guidance was $0.14 to $0.16. The revised outlook reflects slightly better than expected margin results."
  • "Total net revenue for the thirteen weeks ended November 2, 2013 decreased 6% to $857 million from $910 million for the thirteen weeks ended October 27, 2012. Total consolidated comparable sales decreased 5%, including sales from AEO direct, against a 10% comparable sales increase last year. AEO direct sales increased 17% during the period."

 

Takeaway: This was pretty much AEO kicking sand in Abercrombie's face, which slashed guidance yesterday in its latest admission that it can't do anything right.

 

NKE - Nike Names New Vice President of Action Sports 

(http://www.sportsonesource.com/news/article_home.asp?Prod=1&section=1&id=48660)

 

  • "Nike, Inc. announced that effective immediately Scott LeClair, currently VP and GM of Nike Skate and Nike Snow, will become Nike's new VP of Action Sports. He will be responsible for leading the category as well as for Hurley International, LLC. Nike veteran Roger Wyett, 56, who was previously in the role, has decided to retire."
  • "LeClair, 47, joined Nike in 1992 and has led Nike's skate and snow business since June 2012. He has held previous roles in North America and was GM of Nike's West Territory based in Los Angeles, before moving to Japan to lead the running category and then the merchandising function. He will report to Jayme Martin, VP & GM of global categories."

 

Takeaway: Roger Wyatt is a loss for Nike. The level of role shuffling inside the company right now is unprecedented in Nike's history. We don't love it.

 

WMT - Wal-Mart Web Glitch Creates a Frenzy

(http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303309504579182221073798190?mod=WSJ_business_whatsNews)

 

  • "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. suffered from a website glitch Wednesday that set off a shopping frenzy as customers tried to snap up expensive items, such as computer monitors and televisions, for less than $10."
  • "The retailer said it would not honor customer orders. Instead, it will send these customers a $10 Wal-Mart gift card in the next five days that can be used toward future purchases.
  • 'Given the wide discrepancy in pricing, we are notifying customers who ordered these items that their orders have been cancelled and that they'll be refunded in full,' said spokesman Ravi Jariwala. 'We apologize again for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.'"
  • "The error led to very low prices being displayed for items such as treadmills that normally cost $600 being offered at $33, televisions priced at $2,000 on sale for a couple hundred dollars, and videogames such as 'Grand Theft Auto V' that typically sell for $60, going for $18 on Walmart.com."

 

Takeaway: WMT simply can't get out of it's own way. First there was the debit card debacle several weeks back, and now this. It's hardly going to hurt customer loyalty in aggregate, but for a company that is in a constant battle to enhance its image, this hardly helps.

 

GPS - Old Navy will give away $1 million to one lucky Black Friday shopper

(http://blogs.marketwatch.com/behindthestorefront/2013/11/06/old-navy-will-give-away-1-million-to-one-lucky-black-friday-shopper/)

 

  • "Gap Inc.’s. Old Navy discount clothing chain will be giving  the first 500 shoppers in line at North American stores when they open at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day the chance to enter a sweepstakes to win $1 million. The sweepstakes game is titled 'Overnight Millionaire.'"
  • "To be sure, Old Navy has hosted $1 million giveaway contests in the past for other occasions, even though it never had an actual winner, spokeswoman Andrea Hicklin said, adding the Overnight Millionaire sweepstakes will guarantee a winner and is the largest giveaway the company has ever had for Black Friday."

 

Takeaway: The sad reality is that this will probably work.  If it doesn’t, it's a bad sign for GPS.

 

7936 - Asics Americas Revenues Jump in Six Months 

(http://www.sportsonesource.com/news/article_home.asp?Prod=1&section=4&id=48665)

 

  • "Asics  Corp. reported revenues grew 21.4 percent in the first six months through Sept. 30, to ¥153.66 billion ($1.56 bn) from ¥126.6 billion a year ago. The gains were due to strong sales of running shoes in the Americas, Europe and other regions and the effect of foreign exchange rates. On a currency-neutral basis, sales grew 12.0 percent in the Americas and gained 7.3 percent in Europe. Sales dipped slightly in Japan."

 

Takeaway: We see so many US companies getting dinged by FX. But here's the inverse. US sales up 12% -- and is the strongest-performing region. Yet consolidated sales are up 21%.

 

COST - Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports October Sales Results

(http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=83830&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1873524&highlight=)

 

  • "Costco Wholesale Corporation today reported net sales of $8.15 billion for the month of October, the four weeks ended November 3, 2013, an increase of six percent from $7.66 billion during the similar four-week period last year."
  • "For the nine weeks ended November 3, 2013, the Company reported net sales of $18.01 billion, an increase of six percent from $17.00 billion during the similar period last year."

Comps

  • US - 4% (4 weeks), 4% (9 weeks)
  • Intl - 3% (4 weeks), 1% (9 weeks)
  • Total - 3% (4 weeks), 3% (9 weeks)

Comps ex. Gas & FX

  • US - 5% (4 weeks), 5% (9 weeks)
  • Intl - 7% (4 weeks), 6% (9 weeks)
  • Total - 6% (4 weeks), 6% (9 weeks)

 

Takeaway: Note how the big delta in sales is entirely FX-related…per the comment above on Asics.  Gas is slightly hurting reported comps as well -- something that will only intensify in the coming two quarters as we anniversary a spike in oil in Jan-Mar of 2012.

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

 

BANGLADESH: Factories threaten shutdown over wage plans

(http://www.just-style.com/news/factories-threaten-shutdown-over-wage-plans_id119645.aspx?lk=dm&utm_source=daily-html&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=06-11-2013&utm_term=id83599)

 

  • "Bangladesh's apparel manufacturers have reacted angrily to plans announced this week to raise the minimum wage for millions of garment workers by 77%."
  • "Factory owners have threatened to shut down all facilities if the government-appointed national wage board does not review its recommendation to lift wages to BDT5,300 (US$68.17) within the next 15 days."
  • "'The country's ready-made garment (RMG) sector is not in a position to afford this amount,' says Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
  • The BGMEA chief also said the proposed new minimum wage for entry-level workers would be 'suicidal' for the sector."
  • "'We'll request the board to revise its proposal to BDT4,500 (US$57.88) as the minimum wage,' Islam said. "If it is not solved within 15 days, the BGMEA and the BKMEA will announce shutdown of all factories.'"
  • "Islam also claims the country's garment sector will lose 37% of its competitiveness if the recommended wage is implemented, since the cost of production has increased by 13% over the last few years."
  • "Meanwhile, more than 50 factories closed yesterday (5 November) as several thousand apparel workers went on the rampage in the Gazipur industrial belt, protesting that the latest wage proposal is still too low."

 

Indonesian Workers Stage Massive Protests

(https://www.sourcingjournalonline.com/indonesian-workers-stage-massive-protests/)

 

  • "A recent two-day nationwide strike of Indonesian workers demanded an increase in wages, health insurance coverage and an end to violations of labor outsourcing laws and new legislation to protect workers’ rights."
  • "Workers across the board – garment, textile, teachers, transport and other skilled, semi-skilled and non-skilled laborers – formed a coalition of  employees who participated in the protest."
  • "Although some three million workers were expected to strike, less than 50,000 reportedly took part in the walk-offs and shutdowns."

November 7, 2013

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BULLISH TRENDS

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BEARISH TRENDS

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investing ideas

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Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough handpicks the “best of the best” long and short ideas delivered to him by our team of over 30 research analysts across myriad sectors.

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

 

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

 

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – November 7, 2013


As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 20 points or 0.93% downside to 1754 and 0.20% upside to 1774.                                                             

                                                                  

SECTOR PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 1

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 2

 

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 10                                                                                                                                                                  

 

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

  • YIELD CURVE: 2.35 from 2.35
  • VIX closed at 12.67 1 day percent change of -4.52%

MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 7am: BoE seen holding bank rate at 0.5%
  • 7:45am: ECB seen holding rates at 0.5%
  • 8:30am: ECB’s Draghi holds press conference
  • 8:30am: Init. jobless claims, Nov. 2, est. 335k (prior 340k)
  • 8:30am: GDP, 3Q, est. 2.0% (prior 2.5%)
  • 8:30am: U.S. announces amounts of 3Y notes, 10Y notes, 30Y bonds to be sold at following week’s quarterly refunding
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg consumer comfort (prior -37.6)
  • 10am: Mortgage delinquencies, 3Q (prior 6.96%)
  • 10am: Freddie Mac mortgage rates
  • 10:30am: EIA natural-gas storage change
  • 11am: Fed to buy $1.25b-$1.75b in 2036-2043 sector
  • 1:30pm: ECB’s Draghi speaks in Hamburg
  • 1:30pm: Fed’s Dudley speaks in NY
  • 1:50pm: Fed’s Stein speaks in Chicago
  • 3pm: Consumer credit, Sept., est. $12b (prior $13.625b)

GOVERNMENT:

    • FAA to outline civilian drone guidelines
    • 9:30am: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert; Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos; and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh III, testify before Senate Armed Svcs Cmte hearing on sequestration and national defense
    • 10am: Treasury Sec. Jack Lew tours exporter of telecom equipment in Gaithersburg, Md.
    • 10am: Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee holds hearing on “Housing Finance Reform: Essential Elements to Provide Affordable Options for Housing.”

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • Twitter IPO raises $1.8b at $26/shr, pricing above range
  • Twitter IPO yields one of smallest fee rates this year
  • Microsoft’s internal CEO candidate list said to include Turner
  • Toll Bros. to buy Shapell Homes for ~$1.6b
  • Emirates pressing Boeing on 777X performance before deal
  • Southwest, JetBlue showing interest in AMR-US Airways slots
  • Qualcomm looked at some BlackBerry assets, CEO says
  • Fmr. AIG real estate exec. settles pay case for $274m
  • Washington voters defeat measure requiring GMO food labels: AP
  • Chinese domestic fund managers to offer U.S. products: WSJ
  • U.S. Oct. retail sales may have slowed vs Sept.

AM EARNS:

    • AES (AES) 6am, $0.34
    • AMC Networks (AMCX) 8:30am, $0.87
    • Ameren (AEE) 7:48am, $1.23
    • American Realty Capital (ARCP) 6am, $0.19
    • ANSYS (ANSS) 7:09am, $0.75
    • Apache (APA) 8am, $2.16 - Preview
    • Apollo Global Management (APO) 7am, $0.93
    • BCE (BCE CN) 6:52am, C$0.78
    • Cablevision Systems (CVC) 8:30am, $0.12
    • Calpine (CPN) 6am, $0.65
    • Canadian Tire Corp (CTC/A CN) 7:31am, C$1.77
    • CI Financial (CIX CN) 11:27am, C$0.39
    • Coty (COTY) 6am, $0.29
    • Crescent Point Energy (CPG CN) 8am, C$0.30
    • Dynegy (DYN) 7:30am, $0.14
    • Fifth & Pacific (FNP) 7:32am, $(0.01)
    • Flowers Foods (FLO) 6:30am, $0.21
    • Great-West Lifeco (GWO CN) 10:24am, C$0.59
    • Himax Technologies (HIMX) 6am, $0.11
    • IGM Financial (IGM CN) 10:30am, C$0.79
    • International Game Technology (IGT) 6:30am, $0.34
    • Laredo Petroleum Holdings (LPI) 6:55am, $0.16
    • Manulife Financial (MFC CN) 6am, C$0.32
    • Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) 8:10am, $1.46
    • New Residential Investment (NRZ) 6:30am, $0.18
    • Radian Group (RDN) 7am, $(0.07)
    • RioCan Real Estate Investment (REI-u CN) 7am, C$0.40
    • Rockwell Automation (ROK) 7am, $1.53
    • Royal Gold (RGLD) 8am, $0.24
    • Saputo (SAP CN) 9:39am, C$0.76
    • Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) 7am, $0.84
    • SouFun Holdings (SFUN) 6:45am, $0.88
    • Starwood Property Trust (STWD) 6:45am, $0.54
    • Stratasys (SSYS) 7am, $0.42
    • Tim Hortons (THI CN) 7:30am, C$0.77
    • TMX Group (X CN) 6am, C$0.74
    • Towers Watson (TW) 6am, $1.33
    • Vermilion Energy (VET CN) 6:55am, C$0.77
    • Visteon (VC) 6am, $1.16
    • Wendy’s (WEN) 7am, $0.06 - Preview
    • Westlake Chemical (WLK) 6am, $2.20
    • WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) 8am, $0.18
    • Windstream Holdings (WIN) 6:15am, $0.09
    • WPX Energy (WPX) 7am, $(0.21)

PM EARNS:

    • Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX) 4:01pm, $0.09
    • Amarin (AMRN) 4:02pm, $(0.32)
    • Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) 4:03pm, $(0.12)
    • AuRico Gold (AUQ CN) Aft-mkt, $0.02
    • AVG Technologies (AVG) 4:15pm, $0.47
    • CareFusion (CFN) 4:02pm, $0.39
    • Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) 4:05pm, $(0.23)
    • Credicorp (BAP) 6pm, $2.43
    • CubeSmart (CUBE) 4:30pm, $0.24
    • Groupon (GRPN) 4:01pm, $0.01 - Preview
    • Mettler-Toledo Intl (MTD) 4:01pm, $2.60
    • Molycorp (MCP) 4:01pm, $(0.28)
    • Monster Beverage (MNST) 4:05pm, $0.57
    • Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) 4:15pm, $(0.40)
    • Northern Oil and Gas (NOG) 4:30pm, $0.32
    • NVIDIA (NVDA) 4:20pm, $0.25
    • Pengrowth Energy (PGF CN) 4:30pm, C$0.02
    • Pharmacyclics (PCYC) 4:01pm, $0.76
    • Priceline.com (PCLN) 4:01pm, $16.22 - Preview
    • Santarus (SNTS) 4:05pm, $0.33
    • tw telecom (TWTC) 4:01pm, $0.12
    • Walt Disney (DIS) 4:15pm, $0.76 - Preview
    • Westar Energy (WR) 5pm, $0.99

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION (HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG)

  • LME Changes Warehousing Rules to Shorten Withdrawal Times
  • Brazil Soy Crop Surpassing U.S. Expands Global Glut: Commodities
  • Coffee Falls to 7-Year Low on Latin American Supply; Sugar Drops
  • Corn Touches Three-Year Low as USDA Seen Raising Crop Outlook
  • Brent Falls to Lowest Since July on Warm Weather Across Europe
  • World Food Prices Advance for First Time in Six Months on Sugar
  • Rebar Climbs on Speculation Air Quality Efforts May Curb Output
  • Gold Swings Between Gains and Losses in London Before U.S. Data
  • Tin Shipments From Indonesia Jump as Trade Rule Gains Traction
  • ArcelorMittal Turns Optimistic on 2014 as Profit Beats Estimates
  • China Seen by Klapwijk Boosting Gold Reserves as Prices Drop
  • Crude Forecasters Diverging as Contango Emerges: Energy Markets
  • Warmer Start to Winter Weakens Gas Demand Throughout Europe
  • Crude Traders Sticking With Brent Amid Manipulation Claims

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 5

 

CURRENCIES

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 6

 

GLOBAL PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 3

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 4

 

EUROPEAN MARKETS

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 7

 

ASIAN MARKETS

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 8

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 9

 

 

The Hedgeye Macro Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Soft Tyranny?

This note was originally published at 8am on October 24, 2013 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided…”

-Alexis de Tocqueville

 

If we need a French guy to tell us what, precisely, is wrong with an un-elected US Federal Reserve whose Chairman has unlimited power over both the value of your currency and rate of return on your savings, so be it.

 

“… men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which government is the shepherd.”

 

Isn’t it sad? But which part is the saddest? Is it the cowardice in free-market leadership, or the groupthink grounded in how much people will pander to a man that gets them paid? I don’t know anymore. I read this Tocqueville passage at a picnic table at a rest stop in Maine last night. I lit up a cigar, and I felt like I was going to puke.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

The thought of Gold ripping and #GrowthSlowing because an un-accountable central planner doesn’t allow economic gravity to get marked-to-market makes me sick to my stomach. I run a small business in America. I have a payroll to meet and people to inspire – it gets a lot tougher when the economy slows than when it’s accelerating.

 

Not that anyone in Washington cares, but I’ll be fine. I started this firm during the thralls of 2008 when Bernanke thought the “shock and awe” rate cuts to 0% were going to save government from itself. So I can take a P&L punch. But if the buck keeps burning and rates keep falling, Bernanke, Obama, and “progressive” Republicans are going to knock some people right out.

 

I don’t agree with everything he says or thinks, but I think Mark Levin has this part of it right: “The nation has entered an age of post constitutional soft tyranny” (The Liberty Amendments, pg 4). And I’m not talking about politicized social issues or anything outside of my domain of required reading – I’m talking about the economy and markets.

 

How else would you describe a market that hangs on every breath of what an un-elected body @FederalReserve says and/or hints next? Forget the soft stuff – this is hard core tyranny.

 

So, after being the US #GrowthAccelerating bulls for the better part of the last year, how do we reposition for?

 

1.       Down Dollar

2.       Rates Falling

3.       #GrowthSlowing

 

Whether you like the probability of these things occurring or not, it’s officially rising. But you already know that. You can see the “growth style factors” in your portfolio slowing.

 

Yesterday’s US stock market correction (from the all-time highs) was led by the Financials (XLF). The only S&P Sectors in our 9 Sector Model that were up on the day were the 2 slowest growth sectors – Utilities (XLU) and Consumer Staples (XLP).

 

What else has been working this week?

  1. Gold
  2. Bonds
  3. Volatility

Isn’t that just great? Think about that for another few seconds – AT THE ALL-TIME HIGH IN THE US STOCK MARKET, GOLD, BONDS, and VOLATILITY WENT UP! And CNBC’s big government access ratings hit new lows.

 

This has never happened before…  that’s why it “enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies people.”

 

Why has it never happened before? That’s easy. We have never been at these all-time highs before – and the Bush/Obama Bernanke legacy now has plenty of “this time is different” economic policy that history will have plenty of time to review.

 

Is this time really different? Is it still 2008? Or do the people in Washington who are plundering your currency for political gain look like they are living through Bernanke’s said 1936 depression?

 

Or is it 2013 – the year when de Tocqueville finally nails it on US monetary policy being that soft tyranny that we are all so numb to that we just allow it to exist?

 

2013 FACT: as US economic growth accelerated (Dollar Up, Rates Up), the bond, currency, and stock markets all had this right. That’s why Gold got tapered. On September 18th, 2013, Ben S. Bernanke restrained market forces from acting as they were.

 

I don’t think torching the currency, starving savers or a risk free-rate of return, and trying to arrest economic gravity ends well for Americans. That’s why I went to 58% cash yesterday and I still feel like I am going to puke.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now as follows:

 

UST 10yr Yield 2.47-2.60%

SPX 1728-1754

VIX 12.01-14.62

USD 78.99-79.98

Euro 1.36-1.38

Gold 1316-1341

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Soft Tyranny? - Chart of the Day

 

Soft Tyranny? - Virtual Portfolio



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