Retail Callouts (6/9): Ideas List, WMT, FDO, FOSL, JWN, KORS, KATE, AEO

Takeaway: Updated Hedgeye Retail Ideas list. WMT curious shopper data disclosure. FOSL - Tory Burch watch line to debut in Fall


*Deleted RL and WSM from Short Bench and added both to Long Bench.

Retail Callouts (6/9): Ideas List, WMT, FDO, FOSL, JWN, KORS, KATE, AEO - ideas




TUESDAY (6/10)

  • FRAN - Earnings Call: 8:30am
  • ULTA - Earnings Call: 5:00pm



  • RH - Earnings Call: 5:00pm



  • LULU - Earnings Call: 9:00am




WMT - Shopper Data Stats


Retail Callouts (6/9): Ideas List, WMT, FDO, FOSL, JWN, KORS, KATE, AEO - chart2 6 9


Takeaway:  This is one of the strangest tweets we've ever seen from a company.  We're not sure how WMT thinks customers will react to it touting how much information it has on their shopping behavior.  From where we sit, it makes a lot more sense for WMT to simply pipe down and use the information to optimize the pricing part of equation around the type of product it has in its stores. It's presumably doing that already -- which we'd arguably makes this a bearish statement by the company. It has 30 petabytes of shopping information, and still can't comp. McMillon shouldn't have signed his name to this tweet.


FDO - Carl Icahn discloses 9.4% stake in Family Dollar



  • "Carl Icahn reported a 9.4% stake in Family Dollar Stores Inc., calling the stock undervalued and saying he plans to agitate for changes."
  • "Icahn said he plans to seek discussions with the retailer’s management to discuss 'strategies to enhance shareholder value,' potentially including the 'exploration of strategic alternatives.' The billionaire investor made the statement in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
  • "Icahn said he and his affiliates 'may also determine to seek shareholder board representation if appropriate.'"


Takeaway: Interesting move here. From where we sit, FDO clearly has a sub-par real estate portfolio when compared to it's arch-rival, Dollar General. After shifting incrementally to consumables to drive traffic, now it's resorting to less desirable items like tobacco. We've looked at FDO so many times, and never did we ever walk away thinking that it is a long -- except in a situation where you want a levered bet on the low-end US consumer (something we have not wanted in a while). The point here is that FDO strikes us as one of those companies where an activist can't be the catalyst for meaningful change inside the company. If anything, it'd be that Icahn looks to get this company sold.


FOSL, JWN - Tory Burch Extends Brand Into Watches



  • "Tory Burch has teamed with Fossil Group to launch her first watch collection, due out in October.
  • Burch and Fossil first inked the deal in February 2013, and over the past 15 months have worked together to shape the debut collection. The final selection features nine models done in multiple colorways, and will be unveiled to press on Wednesday."
  • "The... collection ranges in price from $350 to $695. The price point places Burch higher than watches by Kors (which retail from $140 to $550) and Marc by Marc Jacobs (priced from $150 to $350)."
  • "The initial collection will be available exclusively at Nordstrom, as well as at Tory Burch stores and on"


Takeaway: Logical next category for Tory Burch following in the footsteps of KORS and KATE who have looked to watches, jewelry, and accessories to support the next leg of growth. Not a direct competitor to the two aforementioned names given Burch's much higher price points, but definitely competition on the fringe. FOSL keeps winning these licenses given its high-quality, low-cost status in the industry, which has helped offset the secular slowdown in the watch category.




AEO - American Eagle to open UK stores



  • "The fashion chain is in talks to open a store at Westfield’s Stratford City shopping centre, as well as at its west London centre and Bluewater in Kent."
  • "The company has filed documents at Companies House to create a UK subsidiary called American Eagle Outfitters UK Limited, paving the way for it to open stores."
  • "A total of 31 international retailers opened stores in London for the first time last year, including US fashion retailer J Crew and luxury brand Tom Ford.  This means that 57pc of international brands – almost three in five – have a presence in London."


CWTR - Sycamore Acquires Coldwater Creek IP Assets



  • "Private equity firm Sycamore Partners has acquired the intellectual property assets of bankrupt women’s specialty retailer Coldwater Creek."
  • "The purchase, which included customer lists, was through a Sycamore affiliate, CWC Direct LLC, last month at a bankruptcy court auction in Delaware. A Delaware bankruptcy court has already approved the acquisition."
  • "A source familiar with Sycamore’s plans said the financial firm intends to reestablish the business in the future. The entity would operate as a separate company under Sycamore’s growing portfolio that now includes Talbots, Hot Topic and the former Jones Group brands."

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!


The table below lists our current investment ideas as well as a list of potential ideas we are in the process of evaluating (watch list).  We intend to update this table regularly and will provide detail on any material changes.

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 1


Consumer Staples rose +0.4% week-over-week versus the broader market (S&P500) up +1.3%.  XLP is up 5.2% year-to-date versus the SPX at 5.5%.



6/10/14 HAIN Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference 10:35am EST

6/10/14 REV Annual General Meeting TBD

6/11/14 BNNY William Blair Growth Stock Conference 9am EST

6/11/14 SMG William Blair Growth Stock Conference 3:40pm EST

6/12/14 JAH Annual General Meeting TBD


XLP remains bullish on immediate term TRADE and intermediate term TREND durations from a quantitative set-up.

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 2


The Hedgeye U.S. Consumption Model has shown steady improvement over the past month, with 5 of the 12 U.S. Economic Indicators flashing green.

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - z us consump


Despite the bullish quantitative set-up for the sector, we continue to believe that the group is facing numerous headwinds, including:


  • U.S. consumption growth is slowing as inflation rises, in-line with the Macro team’s 1Q14 theme of #InflationAccelerating, and Q2 2014 theme of #ConsumerSlowing
  • The economies and currencies of the emerging market – once the sector’s greatest growth engine – remain weak with the prospect of higher inflation in 2014 eroding real growth
  • The sector is loaded with a premium valuation (P/E of 19.9x)
  • Less sector Yield Chasing as Fed continues its tapering program
  • The high frequency Bloomberg weekly U.S. Consumer Comfort Index (recently rescaled for cosmetic and not component reasons) has not seen any real improvement over the past 6 months, but rose to 35.1 versus 33.3 in the prior week

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 44

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 5

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 66



Positive Divergence:  HSH 10.6%; NWL 5.9%; SAFM 4.3%; NUS 4.0%; SJM 3.0%

Negative Divergence:  BNNY -14.1%; RDEN -8.7%; TSN -5.5%; LO -3.9%; FLO -1.7%




In the charts below we look at the largest companies by market cap in the Consumer Staples space from both a quantitative perspective and fundamental aspect where we can offer one.  As you will see over time, sometimes our fundamental view does not align with the quantitative setup (though not often).


BUD – big cap-slow-growth-low-beta, this Bud is for you! #confirmed bullish intermediate-term TREND with $106.94 support

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 7


DEO - #confirmed bearish to bullish TREND reversal still holding its head above $125.51 TREND support here too

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 8


KO – bullish intermediate-term TREND intact with TREND support of $39.97

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 9


PEP – breakout to higher-highs is always a thing of beauty – if only there was some volume behind this move; TREND support = $84.17

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 10


GIS – since February 2014 this name has looked as good as any on this list; TREND support = $52.91

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 11


MDLZ – signaling some exhaustion (overbought) to the upside, bullish TREND with $35.88 support, this remains

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 12


KMB – one of the top names on this list for the last 6 months – no change on that front; TREND support = $108.16

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 13


PG – worst looking name on the list; bearish TREND breakdown on an absolute basis ($80.73 TREND resistance)

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 14


MO – big-cap-slow-growth-low-beta, yep. Bullish intermediate-term TREND support of $38.94 intact

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 15


PM – same as the MO mo in all the aforementioned slow-growth #YieldChasing Style Factors; bullish TREND support = $84.71

Just Charts - This Bud is for You!  - 16



Howard Penney

Managing Director


Matt Hedrick



Fred Masotta



Chart of the Day: 10 VIX

Takeaway: Front-month VIX officially crashed last wk (-21.7% year-to-date) .

Chart of the Day: 10 VIX - VIX

Early Look

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They Say It’s Different This Time

Client Talking Points


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). 


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). 


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


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.


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


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



“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


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. 

June 9, 2014

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Got Baggage?

“For most of us, failure comes with baggage.”

-Ed Catmull


Got baggage? I do. Over the years, it just piles up.


The way I see it, athletically, professionally, and personally, if I wasn’t always failing somewhere, I wouldn’t learn a darn thing.


The guys at Pixar like to say things like “fail early and fail fast” and “be wrong as fast as you can” (Creativity Inc., pg 109). I like that attitude. In this business, there’s nothing worse than being wrong and staying wrong.  We just want to get on with getting it right.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


For most of 2014, being long the Russell 2000 has been as wrong as being bullish on US GDP growth and/or interest rates. Last week, that wasn’t the case. On no-volume (Friday’s Total US Equity volume was -32% vs. the 3 month avg), the Russell 2000 was +2.7%.


After getting smoked on the short side pretty much every way you can over the course of my career, I have learned to wait and watch for my signal. Thankfully, I waited until Friday to re-issue the sell signal on the Russell 2000. I did it in the morning, so it’s -0.22% against me.


As far as my score goes, being wrong by 1 basis point is still being wrong – so the #1 question on my mind this weekend was whether or not I am going to be wrong and stay wrong this week?


In order to answer the US growth question, here are the signals I care about most:


  1. Long-term Interest Rates
  2. US Consumption Growth
  3. US Dollar Rate of Change


If you ignored the first 4-5 months of the year, on that scorecard things looked better than bad last week:


  1. US Treasury 10yr Yield was +12 basis points on the week to +2.60%
  2. US Consumer Discretionary Stocks (XLY) were +1.9% on the week
  3. US Dollar Index was up a whopping +0.1%


Not to be confused with the year-to-date TREND:


  1. UST 10yr Yield is still -43 basis points after starting the year at 3.03%
  2. US Consumer Discretionary and the Russell 2000 are both only +0.1% YTD
  3. USD hit its YTD low in May then v-bottomed when Europe opted for negative interest rates


In other words, who needs to learn from failing with Currency Devaluation Policies To Inflate, when all America has to do is wait for Europe or Japan to take a turn failing faster?


This is all quite sad to watch as we’re sucking every last lemming into buying, well, anything at 10 VIX. As you can see from our Chart of The Day, if you want to fail really, really, fast in this business, get your clients levered-long the US stock market at 10 VIX (US Equity Volatility Index).


I know, I know – they (as in the dudes on the Old Wall who had you chase them to all-time bubble highs in the summer of 2007 when the VIX was at 10 last time) say it’s different this time.


Really? Last week the VIX officially crashed (-5.7% to -21.6% YTD). All the while, that crowded hedge fund short position we’ve been writing about in the SP500 got squeezed. After peaking at -114,248 net short futures and options contracts (SPX Index and E-mini) on May 27th, the Pain Trade was higher.


So here’s your 2nd chance to sell everything US consumer and housing growth that you could have sold in JAN-FEB of 2014. If we’re right, you don’t want to make the same mistake twice. The VIX has never held, sustainably, below 10. Even for those of us with a lot of baggage, never is a very long time.


Got Baggage? - VIX


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.41-2.61%


RUT 1130-1169

USD 80.02-80.73

EUR/USD 1.35-1.37


Best of luck out there this week,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

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