They Say It’s Different This Time

Client Talking Points

RUSSELL 2000

Trade or trend? They finally jacked the Russell on a no-volume rally back to break-even for the year-to-date. With intermediate-term TREND resistance at 1169, this is an important moment of truth – one that may need a few weeks to play out (supports are 1130 and 1094). 

VIX

Front-month VIX officially crashed last week (-21.7% year-to-date) and, unless it’s different this time, 10 VIX is not the spot where you lever yourself up on the long side of US Growth Style Factors (it has never sustainably held below 10 – see our Chart of The Day). 

EURO

Some called going to negative real rates the “biggest event in ECB history” – and the foreign exchange market didn’t do anything on the week in response to that; long-term TAIL support of $1.35 EUR/USD held. We think the next catalyst for Down Rates is the Fed getting more dovish, on the margin.

Asset Allocation

CASH 12% US EQUITIES 0%
INTL EQUITIES 12% COMMODITIES 26%
FIXED INCOME 28% INTL CURRENCIES 22%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
HOLX

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.

OC

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.

LM

Legg Mason reported its month ending asset-under-management for April at the beginning of the week with a very positive result in its fixed income segment. The firm cited “significant” bond inflows for the month which we calculated to be over $2.3 billion. To contextualize this inflow amount we note that the entire U.S. mutual fund industry had total bond fund inflows of just $8.4 billion in April according to the Investment Company Institute, which provides an indication of the strong win rate for Legg alone last month. We also point out on a forward looking basis that the emerging trends in the mutual fund marketplace are starting to favor fixed income which should translate into accelerating positive trends at leading bond fund managers. Fixed income inflow is outpacing equities thus far in the second quarter of 2014 for the first time in 9 months which reflects the emerging defensive nature of global markets which is a good environment for leading fixed income houses including Legg Mason.

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

TREASURIES: 2.61% for the 10yr yield w/ plenty of resistance overhead  - staying long bonds

@KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” - Paul "Bear" Bryant

STAT OF THE DAY

35, the number of points LeBron James of the Miami Heat scored last night as his team tied the NBA Finals series with San Antonio at one game apiece. 


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