What Do You Care?

This note was originally published at 8am on December 02, 2013 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“If a science has an adjective, it probably isn’t a science.”

-Richard Feynman


As far as American physics goes, California’s Richard Feynman was as cool as cool gets. Above and beyond his brilliant contributions to the field, Feynman was a great communicator. His ability to teach reminded us how well he understood the subject matter.


Just before he passed away in 1988, Feynman left us with some behavioral thoughts and life lessons. One of the two books he published during the year of his death was titled What Do You Care What Other People Think?


“The book’s title is taken from a question his first wife, Arline, often put to him when he seemed preoccupied with his colleague’s opinions about his work.” (Wikipedia) Is there a better question for how your portfolio is positioned, every day?


Back to the Global Macro Grind


I certainly hope you don’t care what most “economists”  think about your portfolio. But I highly suggest you respect what Mr. Macro Market thinks. He can save you from missing the big obvious stuff.


One of the glaringly obvious things you should have cared about in 2013 was Mr. Macro Market’s phase transition to bucking up for GROWTH as an investment Style Factor. With the SP500 closing up another +2.8% in November, here are the YTD growth scores:

  1. LOW YIELD (Higher Growth) Stocks +41.3% YTD (vs High Yield, Slower Growth, Stocks +15.8%)
  2. TOP 25% EPS GROWTH Stocks (by SP500 quartile) +39.2% YTD
  3. HIGH BETA Stocks +37.9% YTD (vs Low Beta +23.3%)
  4. NASDAQ and Russell2000 +34.5% and +34.6%, respectively, YTD
  5. GOLD -25.9% YTD

In other words, being long the Gold Bond thing didn’t work like it did during the pervasively SLOW GROWTH 2010-2012 period of A) Interest Rate Repression B) Dollar Debauchery and C) Bernanke’s Policy To Inflate.


All it took to get growth expectations up (i.e. priced by Mr. Macro Market) were: 

  1. US Dollar that didn’t go down (US Dollar Index peaked at +6% YTD in July)
  2. Tapering Expectations = #RatesRising
  3. US GDP #GrowthAccelerating 

Oh, and you needed all 3 of those things to happen, all at the same time. In the absence of central planners trying to get in gravity’s way, even Keynesian “economists” call these pro-growth cycle moves “coincident” indicators.


No matter what the #EOW (end of the world) consensus view on US growth was 1 year ago today (when consensus “economists” expected +1.6% US GDP Growth and SP500 of 1528 for 2013), here we are – tracking closer to +3% US GDP growth and SP500 = 1800.


What did you care if #OldWall was off on GDP by almost 50% and the SP500 by 272 points? And what do you care about where consensus is today? Do you all of a sudden “buy growth”? Or is now precisely the time you should start to get out?


Using the same Hedgeye playbook (our GIP Model: Growth, Inflation, Policy):

  1. US GROWTH: odds that the slope of US Growth’s acceleration peaking in Q313 are rising
  2. US DOLLAR: whatever was left of USD strength continues to erode (down for 3 consecutive weeks)
  3. US RATES: 10yr Yield is signaling a lower-high vs the YTD high in US growth expectations (SEP 10yr of 2.97%)

All the while, from a purely quantitative modeling perspective, the SP500:

  1. PRICE is making higher-highs now on decelerating VOLUME (not good)
  2. VOLUME is trending down -9-14% versus our TREND based average into the “all-time highs” (not good)
  3. VOLATILITY (VIX) front month VIX continues to make a series of higher-lows (not good)

Up PRICE on down VOLUME and rising implied VOLATILITY as lagging GDP and employment data jams people into chasing the highs? Isn’t that just peachy.


But what do the central planners perpetuating Down Dollar and Rate Repression from here care? What do you care? Sadly, US currency and rate markets were only allowed to trade “freely” until the said “scientists” at the Fed said no-taper (SEP 18th), after all.


Our immediate-term Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.70-2.81%

SPX 1797-1815

VIX 13.01-14.19

USD 80.46-80.91

Pound 1.62-1.64

Gold 1223-1276


Best of luck out there today,



What Do You Care? - Chart of the Day


What Do You Care? - Virtual Portfolio

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

Got Process? Zero Hedge Sells Fear, Not Truth

Fear sells. Always has. Look no further than Zero Hedge.

read more

REPLAY: Review of $EXAS Earnings Call (A Hedgeye Best Idea Long)

Our Healthcare Team made a monster call to be long EXAS - hear their updated thoughts.

read more

Capital Brief: 5 Things to Watch Right Now In Washington

Here's a quick look at some key issues investors should keep an eye on from Hedgeye's JT Taylor and our team of Washington Policy analysts in D.C.

read more

Premium insight

[UNLOCKED] Today's Daily Trading Ranges

“If I could only have one thing of the many things we have it would be my daily ranges." Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough said recently.

read more

We'll Say It Again: Leave Your Politics Out of Your Portfolio

If your politics dictates your portfolio positioning, the Democrats and #NeverTrump crowd out there have had a hell of a week.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: 'Biggest Tax Cut Ever'

President Donald Trump's economic team unveiled what he called last week, "the biggest tax cut we’ve ever had.” Before you get too excited about that hang on a sec. "Trump Tax Reform ain’t gettin’ done anytime soon," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in today's Early Look.

read more

Neurofinance: The Psychology Behind When To Sell A Bull Market

"Most momentum investors stay invested too long, under-reacting and holding tight after truly bad news finally arrives to break the trend," writes MarketPsych's Richard Peterson.

read more

Energy Stocks: Time to Buy the Dip? | $XLE

What the heck is happening in the Energy sector (XLE)? Energy stocks have trailed the S&P 500 by a whopping 15% in 2017. Before you buy the dip, here's what you need to know.

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Hard-Headed Bears

How's this for "hard data"? So far, 107 of 497 S&P 500 companies have reported aggregate sales and earnings growth of 4.4% and 13.2% respectively.

read more