Moody Multiples

This note was originally published at 8am on January 30, 2014 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“Emotions are short lived.”

-John Coates

 

Whereas “a mood is slower, more like a long-term attitude, a background and slow-burning emotion which slants our view of the world” (The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, pg 107).

 

I don’t know about you, but up until a few weeks ago, my view of the being long stocks was pretty damn bullish. That’s a good thing, because the US and many European stock markets kept hitting all-time highs. Now they aren’t.

 

And while there was definitely some emotion associated with fear (VIX) ripping +45.8% last week, I’m not so sure consensus is yet in the mood to sell every bounce. Too many bear scars from 2013, and the mood of those stock market bears doesn’t matter on the margin here anyway. It’s the mood of the bears who turned bullish too late that I think matters most.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

When my man Nouriel Roubini went bullish in December, that definitely got my attention. Then the #OldWall (sell-side economists and strategists) rolled out their bullish US growth and SP500 targets for 2014, and a credible contrarian bear case for US stocks began.

 

As I pointed out in yesterday’s rant, while he may call the Barron’s Roundtable, god doesn’t call me with a super-secret market multiple for the SP500. There isn’t one. That said, #history fans will note that the stock market’s multiple:

 

A)     Goes UP with #InflationSlowing and Consumption #GrowthAccelerating

B)      Goes DOWN with #InflationAccelerating and Consumption #GrowthSlowing

 

The lowest multiples in post WWII US stock market #history go to the dogmatic Republican/Democrat Keynesian presidential duos of:

  1. Nixon/Carter
  2. Bush/Obama

Both duos had bearish US Dollar TRENDs because:

  1. FISCAL POLICY = spend, spend, spend
  2. MONETARY POLICY = print, print, print

And, with the Purchasing Power of The People burning (US Dollar DOWN) and #InflationAccelerating, the SP500 traded at 7-11x EPS. Seven times earnings? Yep. Ole Jimmy Carter was a beauty.

 

I’m not saying the SP500 is going to 7-11x earnings. I’m saying that the probability of the SP500 seeing multiple compression from 16x (instead of consensus multiple expansion) goes up as A) inflation accelerates and B) growth slows.

 

Consensus multiple Expansion? Yep, here’s where my friends wash out on this (after having a mean estimate of 1528 for the SP500 for 2013 – nice call):

  1. #OldWall mean estimate for 2014 year-end = 1946
  2. Abby Joseph Cohen = 2088 target for 2014
  3. Tom Lee = 2075 target for 2014

Then you have the funny guy at Morgan Stanley who had the SP500 target of 1434 in 2013 (Adam Parker) who takes himself very seriously with his 2,014 SP500 target for, uh, 2014. It’s a good thing the sell-side has learned from 2008 and evolved…

 

The #OldWall’s magic-multiple thing is based on a consensus estimate for SP500 earnings of around $117/share. Tom Lee is up at $120, so he slaps a 17x “multiple” on that. Meanwhile Abby goes with the 18x, and there you have it – tah-dah!

 

But what if they are wrong on growth, inflation, and the SP500 earnings numbers? That’s when the consensus poop hits the fan. So watch out for stepping in that. Bear Droppings can ruin your bullish mood.

 

What about that Hedgeye Macro Theme #1 (#InflationAccelerating)?

  1. CRB Index (19 Commodities) was up another +0.8% yesterday (with the SP500 -1%) to +1.7% YTD
  2. Natural Gas Prices (for those of you who don’t live in a government hotel) = +30.3% YTD
  3. Oats (yes, I eat Oatmeal, every day!) = +18.9% YTD

So the other Goldman guy who is running the NY Fed now (Dudley) eats iPads and I eat oatmeal. No one cares. What Mr. Macro Market cares about is the 2nd derivative move – the slope of the line – the rate of change! And the fact of the matter is that #InflationAccelerating right now alongside US Consumption #GrowthSlowing is bearish for consumer stocks.

 

That’s a big reason why US Consumer Discretionary stocks (XLY) are -6.2% YTD and why the US stock market (SPX) is -4.0% YTD vs the CRB Index +1.7%. Dollar Down, Rates Down = Stocks Down. God called me on that too – it’s called a real-time US GDP #GrowthSlowing signal, and America’s mood will be changing if it becomes a reflexive one.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 2.67-2.80%

SPX 1757-1784

VIX 14.91-20.39

EUR/USD 1.35-1.37

Nat Gas 4.79-5.49

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Moody Multiples - Chart of the Day

 

Moody Multiples - Virtual Portfolio


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

Premium insight

McCullough [Uncensored]: When People Say ‘Everyone is Bullish, That’s Bulls@#t’

“You wonder why the performance of the hedge fund indices is so horrendous,” says Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough, “they’re all doing the same thing, after the market moves. You shouldn’t be paid for that.”

read more

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT Replay | Healthcare Analyst Tom Tobin Today at 2:30PM ET

Tune in to this edition of Sector Spotlight with Healthcare analyst Tom Tobin and Healthcare Policy analyst Emily Evans.

read more

Ouchy!! Wall Street Consensus Hit By Epic Short Squeeze

In the latest example of what not to do with your portfolio, we have Wall Street consensus positioning...

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Bulls Leading the People

Investors rejoiced as centrist Emmanuel Macron edged out far-right Marine Le Pen in France's election day voting. European equities were up as much as 4.7% on the news.

read more

McCullough: ‘This Crazy Stat Drives Stock Market Bears Nuts’

If you’re short the stock market today, and your boss asks why is the Nasdaq at an all-time high, here’s the only honest answer: So far, Nasdaq company earnings are up 46% year-over-year.

read more

Who's Right? The Stock Market or the Bond Market?

"As I see it, bonds look like they have further to fall, while stocks look tenuous at these levels," writes Peter Atwater, founder of Financial Insyghts.

read more

Poll of the Day: If You Could Have Lunch with One Fed Chair...

What do you think? Cast your vote. Let us know.

read more

Are Millennials Actually Lazy, Narcissists? An Interview with Neil Howe (Part 2)

An interview with Neil Howe on why Boomers and Xers get it all wrong.

read more