Ironic Inflation?

This note was originally published at 8am on May 06, 2014 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up.”

-George Saunders

 

Since I won’t see any of our competitors on the Old Wall write about anemic stock market volume or US #ConsumerSlowing today, I stretched and cited an American short story writer from Texas. Since you don’t have a lot of time this morning, I’ll keep it tight.

 

“When I’m explaining something to you, if I’m being long-winded, and twisty… I could make you feel vaguely insulted. And you’d have a right to be.”

-George Saunders

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

Ironic Inflation? - Sell in May 05.05.2014

The irony in talking about the truth on Wall Street today is that more and more people agree with it. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be a net short position in the SP500 (Index + Emini futures and options contracts = net short position of 10,057 contracts coming into the open yesterday).

 

If buy-side pros weren’t getting real on #InflationAccelerating slowing US growth, you wouldn’t be seeing every hedge fund in America that was running +60-80% net long on January 1 tightening up their net exposures to the growth side of the US stock market either.

 

Yesterday’s no-volume +0.19% bounce to lower-highs on the SP500 (Russell2000 was -0.3% on the day) had the following volume readings:

  1. Total US Equity Volume was DOWN -26% versus the 1-month average yesterday
  2. Total US Equity Volume was DOWN -40% versus the 3-months average yesterday

In other words, next to Easter Monday, it was the lowest volume Monday we have witnessed all year (and it wasn’t Easter Monday!). So what was it? Was it the weather? When the weather is nice on the East Coast, does everyone take Monday’s off?

 

You’d be hard pressed to convince me that as a country socializes its downside (and in doing so limits its upside) that its people don’t get lazier. Before you know it, it’ll be cool to work less than they do in France. Ah, la belle Providence, RI!

 

Enough of my opinion on this no-trust-no-volume-rally-to-all-time-bubble-highs. I’m sure everyone will be able to get out, at the same time. Here’s what else was happening in the real-world of #InflationAccelerating yesterday:

  1. Wheat prices up another +1.9% to +18% YTD
  2. Corn prices up another +1.9% to +16% YTD
  3. Coffee prices up another +0.9% to +77% YTD

I know, I know. If you back all this stuff out, there’s no inflation. Got it. If you can find me an employer who dynamically adjusts your paycheck to real-time food, shelter, and energy, let me know. I’ll short his stock.

 

BREAKING:Ruble Plunge Hitting Russians” –Bloomberg

 

Unlike some of Mike’s inflationary Big Government Intervention policies in NYC, that headline from his mother ship of market storytelling is economically accurate. When a government burns the purchasing power of its people (its currency), its poor people get hit, hard.

 

BREAKING: “US Dollar Hits Fresh YTD Lows, Hammering Americans” –NY Times


#kidding

 

The NY Times, CNBC, and/or any of its government access offspring wouldn’t dare put what helped JFK get elected (“Strong Dollar, Strong America” on the cover of the NY Times #1960s). That would incriminate Obama for having a Down Dollar policy that is pulverizing America’s poor.

 

With the US Dollar Down for the 3rd consecutive week:

  1. The Euro is punching a fresh YTD high up at $1.39 (vs USD)
  2. The British Pound continues to crush it (+6% vs USD in the last 6 months) to a fresh YTD high of $1.69
  3. The Yen continues to signal bullish TREND in our model (vs USD) at +3% YTD

And that’s with these Japanese dudes printing what, 60-70 TRILLION Yens a year? Hooowah! Gotta love the irony in America’s domestic currency policy when compared to that.

 

In our government PIG model (our GIP – Growth, Inflation, Policy model, bass-ackwards), using the weapon of mass inflation (P – Policy) there are 2 big things the government can use to drive the value of your hard earned currency:

  1. FISCAL policy (to spend moarrr, or not, remains the question)
  2. MONETARY policy (to print, print, print, or to tighten, remains the question)

On the fiscal side, as US growth slows, you can bet your Madoff that Obama is going to spend. On the monetary side, as Janet realizes it’s not just the weather that the US Consumer is eating this summer, I think she’ll get easier (or rhetorically un-taper).

 

That’s Dollar Bearish, Rates Bearish, and real US Growth Bearish. Since the Policy To Inflate cranks up your cost of living. There’s no irony in that.

 

Ironic Inflation? - Chart of the Day

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now as follows:

 

UST 10yr Yield 2.56-2.67%

SPX 1856-1890

RUT 1099-1140

USD 79.05-79.74

EUR/USD 1.37-1.39

Pound 1.67-1.69

Natural Gas 4.59-4.85

Gold 1273-1318

Corn 5.01-5.31

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


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