Rear-View Progress

This note was originally published at 8am on December 06, 2013 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“All progress comes from the creative minority.”

-George Gilder

 

So, US GDP Growth goes from 0.14% (at this time last year) to 3.6% in Q3 of this year, and all I hear consensus whine about are “inventories.” I wonder if that slope of US #GrowthAccelerating’s line had anything to do with the long-end of the yield curve being up +127 basis points (or Gold crashing) year-over-year…

 

Newsflash: businesses build inventories when confidence is rising. These are called coincident indicators. Both the US Dollar and US interest rates peaked in Q3 – so did US consumer and business confidence. So the I (Investment) in C+ I + G = GDP, went up.

 

Would the 2013 growth bears have preferred Investment to go down (and G (government) spending to go up instead)? Who knows. And who actually cares what they think anyway? For them, it’s all rear-view. Mr. Macro Market looks forward.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

Now that Bond Yields ripped to a lower-high (vs the SEP 2013 high) on a lagging economic indicator (that was a Q3 GDP report; it’s the end of Q4), and the stock market had another little meth withdrawal on that (“taper-talk” drives them batty), what’s next?

  1. TREASURY YIELDS = immediate-term TRADE overbought at 2.88% on the UST 10yr
  2. US EQUITIES = immediate-term TRADE oversold at 1779 on the SP500
  3. US EQUITY VOLATILITY (VIX) = immediate-term TRADE overbought at 15.58

So, would a bad jobs report be good for stocks (and bad for bonds)? Would another good jobs report be bad for stocks (and good for bonds)? Inquiring “lower-class folks” who don’t get to play at the insider Fed Whale tables want to know…

 

We mince no words calling this a centrally-planned-casino at this point. And since some of us are pretty darn good at buying bubbles, we feel lucky when stocks and bonds hit the high and low-ends of our risk ranges. It’s all about playing the probabilities, baby!

 

That’s why, after 5 consecutive no-volume down days for the US stock market (a correction in the SP500 of -1.2%), we bought-the-damn-bubble #BTDB (again) yesterday, taking our Cash position (asset allocation model) down to 38% (started the wk at 58%).

 

Where do we think US Growth goes from here?

  1. Down

That might be the easiest question to answer since we said US growth would go UP (from 0.14%) 1-year ago.

 

What could happen if we’re right about that?

  1. 2014 #OldWall GDP and SP500 consensus will be wrong (again) because it’s taking “forecasts” UP (it’s called anchoring)
  2. Most rear-view macro investors will probably perpetuate one more series of US stock market tops
  3. #GrowthSlowing, sequentially (from 3.6%) starts to give the US stock market multiple compression by Q2 of 2014

As most of you know, I’m not a forensic-US-stock-market-multiple-analyst. In fact, I think picking an “earnings number” for the SP500, then licking your finger on what multiple to slap on that is one of the more laughable things I hear people say with a straight face.

 

I’m more of a market history, math, and behavioral mutt myself. And history tells you that the US stock market:

  1. Sees multiple expansion when A) GROWTH accelerates and B) INFLATION slows
  2. Sees multiple compression when A) GROWTH slows and B) INFLATION accelerates

In other words, US economic STAGFLATION periods (1970s, 2010-2012, etc.) saw the SP500 trade at 7-12x earnings and #StrongDollar (deflating the inflation) periods of US real-consumption GROWTH accelerating saw multiples trade anywhere from 17-35x earnings.

 

Therefore, in my own little mind, provided that I think I know where the slopes of the 2 lines (GROWTH and INFLATION) are going in the next 3-6 months, I can start to prepare the sails of change in my positioning. In Macro, mental flexibility is forward progress.

 

Our immediate-term Risk Ranges (with TREND bullish or bearish) are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 2.77-2.88%

SPX 1779-1813 

DAX 9068-9288 

VIX 13.31-15.58 

USD 80.22-80.66

Pound 1.62-1.64 

EUR/USD 1.35-1.37 

 

Happy b-day to my brother Ryan and best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Rear-View Progress - Chart of the Day

 

Rear-View Progress - Virtual Portfolio


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