The Best (Economic) News of the Week

Client Talking Points


The best economic news of the week is Oil continuing to break down. In case you missed it, Oil is diverging big time versus food inflation. Both Brent and WTIC remain below our long-term TAIL risk lines of $108.42 and $100.32, respectively. Brent is more decisively broken than WTI in our model.


Well, what do you know? Putin power gets limp in the face of falling oil prices. #GoodNews. Meanwhile, Russian stocks are back to signaling a negative divergence versus both Europe and Global Equities this week. Tough sledding for the RTSI which is down -0.9% this morning to -16% year-to-date.


The 10-year yield tested my intermediate-term TREND resistance of 2.81% yesterday and has so far failed this morning. This clearly makes tomorrow’s U.S. jobs report all the more important. Expectations are high, so a miss could give you 10 to 15 basis points of immediate-term downside in the 10-year yield. We’re watching this closely.

Asset Allocation


Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration

Hologic is emerging from an extremely tough period which has left investors wary of further missteps. In our view, Hologic and its new management are set to show solid growth over the next several years. We have built two survey tools to track and forecast the two critical elements that will drive this acceleration.  The first survey tool measures 3-D Mammography placements every month.  Recently we have detected acceleration in month over month placements.  When Hologic finally receives a reimbursement code from Medicare, placements will accelerate further, perhaps even sooner.  With our survey, we'll see it real time. In addition to our mammography survey. We've been running a monthly survey of OB/GYNs asking them questions to help us forecast the rest of Hologic's businesses, some of which have been faced with significant headwinds.  Based on our survey, we think those headwinds are fading. If the Affordable Care Act actually manages to reduce the number of uninsured, Hologic is one of the best positioned companies.


Construction activity remains cyclically depressed, but has likely begun the long process of recovery.  A large multi-year rebound in construction should provide a tailwind to OC shares that the market appears to be underestimating.  Both residential and nonresidential construction in the U.S. would need to roughly double to reach post-war demographic norms.  As credit returns to the market and government funded construction begins to rebound, construction markets should make steady gains in coming years, quarterly weather aside, supporting OC’s revenue and capacity utilization.


Darden is the world’s largest full service restaurant company. The company operates +2000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, including Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn and Capital Grille. Management has been under a firestorm of criticism for poor performance. Hedgeye's Howard Penney has been at the forefront of this activist movement since early 2013, when he first identified the potential for unleashing significant value creation for Darden shareholders. Less than a year later, it looks like Penney’s plan is coming to fruition. Penney (who thinks DRI is grossly mismanaged and in need of a major overhaul) believes activists will drive material change at Darden. This would obviously be extremely bullish for shareholders and could happen fairly soon driving shares materially higher.

Three for the Road


Stay with the process folks - buy the low end of range, sell the high @KeithMcCullough


"I never panic when I get lost. I just change where it is I want to go." - Rita Rudner


Doctors in Britain were paid £38.5 million by drugmakers last year, slightly less than 2012, according to new data underscoring the links between the pharmaceutical industry and prescribers. Industry payments to doctors have come under increased scrutiny following a number of scandals over sales practices, notably in the United States, and concerns that such ties could put commercial interests ahead of the best outcome for patients. (New York Times)

LEISURE LETTER (04/03/2014)





Friday, April 4

  • March NFP report


Tuesday-Thursday, April 8-10

  • Mid-America Gaming Congress (Columbus, OH)


Wednesday, April 9

  • SHO Investor Day


Thursday, April 10

  • HST Investor Day



GLPI - announced that Curtis Magleby has joined the Company as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development.  Mr. Magleby will be responsible for the identification and acquisition of gaming assets across the United States.  

TAKEAWAY:  GLPI hires a former banker and capital markets professional to lead the acquisition effort.  Given the cycle, we'd expect acquisitions announcements in 90-120 days. 


NYNY - Empire Resorts, Inc. announced it commenced a rights offering for approximate gross proceeds of $15,390,000. Empire granted, at no charge to the holders of record of its common stock and Series B Preferred Stock on March 31, 2014, the record date for the rights offering, one non-transferable subscription right for each 15 shares of common stock owned, or into which the Series B Preferred Stock is convertible, as more fully described in the prospectus supplement relating to the rights offering. Each subscription right will entitle the holder to purchase one share of common stock at a subscription price of $6.25 per share. 

TAKEAWAY:  Building capital for what purpose? 


HOT - announced Achim Lenders, is the company’s new vice president for its Global Food and Beverage division. More than 2,000 F&B venues will fall under his purview.  Lenders was most recently in a similar role for Hyatt Hotels Corp. He will oversee the alignment and development of Starwood’s multibillion- dollar global food and beverage strategy, reporting to John Peyton, the company’s senior vice president for global initiatives.

TAKEAWAY:  Sounds to us like a focus on costs and margins across the "other hotel revenue" segment.  


INDUSTRY NEWS            

Malaysia and another PR nightmare - following the unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, armed kidnappers raided a dive resort in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sabah late on the night of April 2 and left with a 28 year-old female Chinese tourist and a Filipino hotel employee. 

TAKEAWAY:  We would not be surprised to see decreased tourist interest in Malaysia and greater Indonesia, which would be a negative for hotels in the region. 


Las Vegas named to final 6 for RNC convention - Las Vegas is one of six cities that have made the next cut as judged by a 13-member site selection committee that heard bidder presentations last month in Washington.  Besides Las Vegas, cities still in are Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, Cleveland and Cincinnati while Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio, were eliminated. The RNC indicated a site decision is expected in late summer or in the fall. The party is considering the weeks of June 27 or July 18 for the 2016 convention.

TAKEAWAY:  As we said last month and we continue to believe Las Vegas is the 3:2 favorite.


Palm Hotel Las Vegas - to close Moon Nightclub for a new, not yet revealed, nightlife concept.  

TAKEAWAY:  Properties need to constantly reinvent to keep the buzz alive, which in turn, keeps patrons visiting = $$.


A hotel merger - very quietly and nearly dismissed as an April Fool’s joke, we hear hotel chatter that a merger between Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Raffles Hotels International is in the works.  We also read that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has suggested such an event.  The Prince’s Kingdom Holding has major equity interests in both hotel firms. 

TAKEAWAY:  While both private, M&A would be good for the lodging stocks. 


Hotel M&A 

  • FCH: Felcor sold Doubletree Suites in Charlotte for $37MM. Average price per key (APPK): $178k
  • Holloway Lodging Corporation has sold the Holiday Inn Express(R) hotel located in Kamloops, BC. Holloway realized cash proceeds from the sale of $8.9 million, representing a cap rate of approximately 7.6%. APPK: $119k
  • Carey Watermark Investors acquires Hyatt Place Austin Downtown for $87MM. APPK: $294k 
  • In 2013, $16.9 billion in hotel transactions occurred in the United States, according to the Hotel Transaction Almanac, a report from STR Analytics. This represents an increase of nearly $4.0 billion in asset trades compared to the US$13.0 billion that occurred in 2012.



Hedgeye remains negative on consumer spending and believes in more inflation.  Following  a great call on rising housing prices, the Hedgeye Macro/Financials team is turning decidedly less positive.

TAKEAWAY:  We’ve found housing prices to be the single most significant factor in driving gaming revenues over the past 20 years in virtually all gaming markets across the US.

Early Look

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The Art of Selling

“Selling is hard to teach because it is about what exists in your head and what goes on in your whole life.”

- Mrs. Shibata, the top salesperson at Dai-ichi Life in Japan


The quote above come from Philip Delves Broughton’s 2012 book “The Art of the Sale.”  In his book, Broughton studies the most successful habits of some of the best sales people across various industries worldwide – from a Moroccan man who sells carpets and tiles in a bazaar, to some of the world’s most famous actors and musicians, to the top saleswoman at Japanese life insurance Dai-ichi Life, to Steve Jobs making the complex simple with Apple’s revolutionary products.   


Selling is an art and there is no singular way to be successful at the art of persuasion.  Often times the same tactics fail to work consistently; hard work, persistence, patience, charisma, knowledge, perceptiveness and having extremely good product are all qualities that allow for the subjects in the text to find success selling.


The Art of Selling - handshake2


The biggest take-away is learning by observing.  Incorporating the best practices of others, while simultaneously discarding the negatives, helps us all optimize our daily processes in the never-ending, impossible, pursuit of perfection.


Whether we realize it or not, we are all selling something on a daily basis – pitching an idea to your PM, convincing your current or potential investors why your investment strategy is going to be most effective, or getting your kids to eat their daily serving of fruits and vegetables.  Many of our actions are “non-sales selling” practices – i.e. motivating & moving others.


So get out there and make a sale today.


Back to the Global Macro Grind...


In the interest of saving myself the embarrassment of providing my macro thoughts, I’ll leave you with three of our current, non-consensus investment ideas:


Long Brazil (BRL; EWZ) - Stealth call by the (self-proclaimed) best dressed member of the Hedgeye team, macro analyst Darius Dale; The Brazilian real is up +3.1% Mom and the EQZ ETF is up +12.8% MoM.  Our macro team makes calls on the slope of line, and in Brazil’s case, we believe the Growth/Inflation/Policy fundamentals are going from really bad to less – similar to Indonesia last year.  Depressed valuations and bombed-out prices make this an interesting market to get involved in if you think US monetary policy is getting easier, at the margins, like we do. 


After being the bears in 2013 and heading into 2014, we think EM capital and currency markets are poised to continue outperforming their developed market counterparts over the intermediate-term. In Brazil specifically, the World Cup and upcoming elections are two significant and underappreciated catalysts that could be very positive from both a macroeconomic and investor sentiment perspective.


Short C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) - This is a rare structural short with low barriers to entry with the advent of lower cost technology solutions creating an increase in the competitive landscape in 3rd Party Logistics.  We expect both margin and multiple compression to cut CHRW in half.  Sector Head Jay Van Sciver is presenting our black book tomorrow at 11am EST. 


Long Legg Mason (LM) – Legg is positioned as a prime beneficiary of pension fund flows out of equities and into fixed income with assets over-indexed to both institutional and fixed income exposure at 71% and 55% respectively relative to peers. We estimate half of the $1T in equity exposure outflows to be reallocated towards fixed income as institutional pension funds look to capture higher re-investment rates. With favorable style factors (i.e. high short interest and bearish sentiment), the highest free cash flow yield in the sector, and discounted multiple, LM continues to be one of our top longs.


Upcoming Events at Hedgeye:


Short CHRW – Tomorrow 11am est.

Long HOLX – Monday 4/7 11am est.

Q2 Macro Themes – Tuesday 4/8 1pm est.

Please email for access.


Covering some of the top investors on the West Coast, I have the privilege of learning from some of the top non-consensus thinkers in our industry.  It’s fun to learn from all of you on a daily basis, while hopefully helping you make some money in the process!


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.67-2.82%


VIX 12.77-14.72

USD 79.41-80.32

Gold 1


The best defense is a good offense,


Ryan Fodor

Associate, Sales


The Art of Selling - Chart of the Day


The Art of Selling - Virtual Portfolio

April 3, 2014

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Fade The Fed's Forecast

This note was originally published at 8am on March 20, 2014 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“If you have to forecast, forecast often.”

-Edgar Fiedler


You probably don’t know who Fiedler was. Like many Keynesian “economists” of the Nixon/Carter and Bush/Obama eras, his growth and inflation forecasts were useless.


But I like his quote.


And I really like the opportunity the market gave us yesterday to add to things we’ve liked from lower prices all year. That list of big macro stuff includes Commodities (Gold, Food, etc.), Foreign Currencies (vs. the USD), and Bonds (long-term Treasuries in particular).


Back to the Global Macro Grind


But, but, she said that the economy wasn’t slowing and that rates could rise, eventually…


“I do want to emphasize this is a forecast”

-Janet Yellen (March 19, 2014)


Fade The Fed's Forecast - yell


I hear you on what the market did in reaction to her forecast (Dollar up, Rates up, Gold down). Nice day-trade. But do you hear Mr. Macro Market’s trending forecast? He updates his forecast often.


So, now there are 2 big conflicting forecasts to concern yourself with:

  1. Janet Yellen’s forecast (which is based on what happened in the US in Q3/Q4 of 2013 – inflation fell, growth accelerated)
  2. Mr. Macro Market’s updated forecast of #InflationAccelerating and real #GrowthSlowing in kind

And, since you have to pick one of the two, which one will it be?

  1. A Fed forecast that is wrong at least 2/3rds of the time and is based on lagging economic data
  2. A market based forecast that is right more than 2/3rds of the time based on real-time market data

To recap the Fed’s forecast:

  1. Most of the Q114 slow-down was due to the weather
  2. As growth recovers in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, you should expect the Fed to continue to taper
  3. There is no inflation (its below the “committee’s objective”), so don’t worry about it

And to update you on what Mr. Macro Market has to say about that this morning:

  1. US DOLLAR is showing no follow-through to yesterday’s bid and remains bearish TREND @Hedgeye
  2. US 10YR TREASURY yield is showing no follow-through to yesterday’s ramp and remains bearish TREND @Hedgeye
  3. GOLD sold off to immediate-term TRADE support of $1321, and remains a bullish intermediate-term TREND too

So, on the “what Janet meant to say” part, you might need Hilsenrath to spell it out for you circa 3PM on a market Friday. I get that. You should too. Most people don’t have a macro process, and they have to take the Fed’s word for it, literally.


From a risk management perspective, if the following three things happen:

  1. US Dollar Index breaks out > $81.14 TREND resistance
  2. US 10yr Yield breaks out > 2.81% TREND resistance
  3. Gold snaps $1278 TREND support

Well, then I forecast that I will change my forecast. In the meantime, I say you fade the Fed’s forecast because I forecast that Janet Yellen will get less bullish on US Growth after growth slows.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.61-2.81%

SPX 1849-1878

VIX 12.99-17.57

USD 79.29-80.41

EUR/USD 1.37-1.39

Gold 1323-1385


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Fade The Fed's Forecast - Chart of the Day


Fade The Fed's Forecast - Virtual Portfolio

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real edge in real-time

This indispensable trading tool is based on a risk management signaling process Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough developed during his years as a hedge fund manager and continues to refine. Nearly every trading day, you’ll receive Keith’s latest signals - buy, sell, short or cover.