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Client Talking Points

JAPAN

So here's what we're looking at this morning: #TaperTalk equals Up Dollar equals Down Yen equals Nikkei Up +1.9% to +50.2% year-to-date. Cool, no? That’s exactly the global macro environment we had for nine months until Ben Bernanke decided not to taper.

UK

A strong currency is “bad for exports” right? Wrong! UK Factory Orders hit an 18 YEAR-HIGH this morning with #StrongPound. A little austerity and no QE goes a long way towards the purchasing power of the people and producer margins.

UST 10YR

The 10-year Treasury yield tested the top-end of my immediate-term 2.63-2.81% risk range on #TaperTalk and backed off. A) I don’t think the Fed is going to taper in December and B) I think this will foster a 2.3-2.9% type 10-year risk range for the intermediate-term. Confusion on tapering should eventually breed contempt (volatility) in both stocks and bonds. Stay tuned.

Asset Allocation

CASH 50% US EQUITIES 8%
INTL EQUITIES 8% COMMODITIES 6%
FIXED INCOME 6% INTL CURRENCIES 22%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
FXB

Our bullish call on the British Pound was borne out of our Q4 Macro themes call. We believe the health of a nation’s economy is reflected in its currency. We remain bullish on the regime change at the BOE, replacing Governor Mervyn King with Mark Carney. In its October meeting, the Bank of England voted unanimously (9-0) to keep rates on hold and the asset purchase program unchanged.  If we look at the GBP/USD cross, we believe the UK’s hawkish monetary and fiscal policy should appreciate the GBP, as Bernanke/Yellen continue to burn the USD via delaying the call to taper.

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

Buy-the-damn-bubble (for now) @KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I love everything about investing except maybe the fact that I’m actually in the investment industry." -Christian Drake (Hedgeye analyst)

STAT OF THE DAY

Got Pounds? A measure of new orders at U.K. factories rose to the highest in almost two decades in November and expectations for the next three months improved, the Confederation of British Industry said. The CBI’s manufacturing gauge climbed to 11 from minus 4 in October, the highest since March 1995.