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Client Talking Points

VIX

+16.1% in a straight line in 2-days after bouncing off a generationally low level of complacency (front month VIX has never held, sustainably, below 10 – and we don’t think it’s different this time). The risk range is now 10.32-12.69.  

RUSSELL 2000

The RUSSELL 2000 is down -3% in 2 days back to almost flat year-to-date after failing right at the same spot it stopped going up in March. We don’t think portfolio managers who were long U.S. domestic momentum are allowed to live through another March-May, but we’ll see.

GOLD

Rock solid amidst U.S. domestic growth style factors going haywire. Gold is up another +0.3% this morning to +10% year-to-date. We’ll walk through why Down Dollar, Up Gold remains one of our better Macro ideas on Friday’s third quarter Macro Themes Call.

Asset Allocation

CASH 12% US EQUITIES 6%
INTL EQUITIES 12% COMMODITIES 24%
FIXED INCOME 26% INTL CURRENCIES 20%

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

COMMODITIES: inflation, as an investment style, continues to beat growth in 2014.

@Keith McCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

STAT OF THE DAY

Brazil’s 7-1 loss against Germany in the World Cup yesterday matched Brazil’s worst ever international defeat in its celebrated history, and marked its first loss on home soil in 63 competitive matches.