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INITIAL CLAIMS: ACCELERATING IMPROVEMENT

Takeaway: Claims continue to lead the charge on the labor market front, although there may have been some tailwind from the July 4th week.

Positive Thinking

While most of us were barbecuing and reciting the Declaration of Independence last week, something else positive happened as well. Fewer people filed for initial unemployment insurance benefits.

 

There's been a steady stream of positive newsflow on the labor market front of late. Recent numbers from ADP, NFP, JOLTs and claims have all been pointing in the same direction. Claims numbers this morning suggest the rate of improvement may be accelerating still. The year-over-year improvement in NSA jobless claims surged to 16% in the latest week, up from 9% improvement in the previous week. Meanwhile, the 4-wk rolling average of NSA claims improved to 11% from 9%. One caveat is that the July 4th holiday last week may have created some distortion in the number. We'll see what next week brings.

 

The Data

Initial jobless claims fell 11k to 304k from 315k WoW. The prior week's number was unrevised. 

 

The headline (unrevised) number shows claims were lower by 11k WoW. Meanwhile, the 4-week rolling average of seasonally-adjusted claims fell -3.5k WoW to 311.5k.

 

The 4-week rolling average of NSA claims, which we consider a more accurate representation of the underlying labor market trend, was -11.4% lower YoY, which is a sequential improvement versus the previous week's YoY change of -8.7%

 

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Yield Spreads

The 2-10 spread fell -3 basis points WoW to 207 bps. 3Q14TD, the 2-10 spread is averaging 210 bps, which is lower by -11 bps relative to 2Q14.

 

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Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT

 


ICI Fund Flow Survey - Negative Inflection in U.S. Fund Flows...Bonds Keep Chugging

Takeaway: The latest survey of mutual fund trends relayed the biggest weekly outflow in U.S. stock funds in 79 weeks since the first week of 2013

Investment Company Institute Mutual Fund Data and ETF Money Flow:

 

In the most recent 5 day period, aggregate bond funds including both taxable and tax free products netted another $3.2 billion in new investor subscriptions. Conversely, the combined equity mutual fund complex had substantial outflows with $8.8 billion alone coming out of domestic equity mutual funds, their 10th consecutive week of redemptions and the worst outflow in 79 weeks since the first week of 2013. The broad take-away is that the U.S. retail investor has been retrenching for most of the first half of the year (with only one week of outflows in the past 21 weeks in taxable bonds and 25 consecutive weeks of tax-free or muni bond inflows). This compares to over 2 consecutive months of outflows in U.S. stock funds. We are positioned accordingly with this emerging asset allocation having removed T Rowe Price from our Best Ideas list on May 14th (see report here) and are positioned more conservatively with our ongoing Long recommendation of leading fixed income manager Legg Mason (see our LM research here).

 

Total equity mutual funds put up a significant outflow in the most recent 5 day period ending July 2nd with $7.8 billion coming out of the all stock category as reported by the Investment Company Institute. The composition of the $7.8 billion redemption continued to be weighted towards domestic equity funds with a massive $8.8 billion coming out of domestic stock funds which was offset by a $1.0 billion inflow into international products. This significant drawdown in domestic equity funds was the biggest outflow in 79 weeks since the first week of 2013 and has become an intermediate term trend with now the tenth consecutive week of outflow in the category. The running year-to-date weekly average for equity fund flow is now a $1.9 billion inflow, which is now below the $3.0 billion weekly average inflow from 2013. 

 

Fixed income mutual fund flows had a solid week of production with the aggregate $3.2 billion that came into the asset class besting the 2014 running year-to-date average inflow of $2.2 billion. The inflow into taxable products of $2.9 billion made it 20 of 21 weeks with positive flow for the category and the inflow into municipal or tax-free products of $277 million was the 25th consecutive week of positive subscriptions. The 2014 weekly average for fixed income mutual funds now stands at a $2.2 billion weekly inflow, an improvement from 2013's weekly average outflow of $1.5 billion, but still a far cry from the $5.8 billion weekly average inflow from 2012 (our view of the blow off top in bond fund inflow). 

 

ETF results were broadly negative with outflows in both equity and fixed income products. Equity ETFs experienced $1.1 billion in redemptions, breaking two consecutive weeks of strong subscriptions, while fixed income ETFs suffered another outflow of $1.1 billion. The 2014 weekly averages are now a $1.6 billion weekly inflow for equity ETFs and a $856 million weekly inflow for fixed income ETFs. 

 

The net of total equity mutual fund and ETF trends against total bond mutual fund and ETF flows totaled a negative $11.0 billion spread for the week ($8.9 billion of total equity outflow versus the $2.1 billion inflow within fixed income; positive numbers imply greater money flow to stocks; negative numbers imply greater money flow to bonds). The 52 week moving average has been $5.9 billion (more positive money flow to equities), with a 52 week high of $31.0 billion (more positive money flow to equities) and a 52 week low of -$37.5 billion (negative numbers imply more positive money flow to bonds for the week). 

 

Mutual fund flow data is collected weekly from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and represents a survey of 95% of the investment management industry's mutual fund assets. Mutual fund data largely reflects the actions of retail investors. Exchange traded fund (ETF) information is extracted from Bloomberg and is matched to the same weekly reporting schedule as the ICI mutual fund data. According to industry leader Blackrock (BLK), U.S. ETF participation is 60% institutional investors and 40% retail investors.   

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Negative Inflection in U.S. Fund Flows...Bonds Keep Chugging - chart 1

 

 

Most Recent 12 Week Flow in Millions by Mutual Fund Product:

 

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Most Recent 12 Week Flow Within Equity and Fixed Income Exchange Traded Funds:

 

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ICI Fund Flow Survey - Negative Inflection in U.S. Fund Flows...Bonds Keep Chugging - chart 8

 

 

Net Results:

 

The net of total equity mutual fund and ETF trends against total bond mutual fund and ETF flows totaled a negative $11.0 billion spread for the week ($8.9 billion of total equity outflow versus the $2.1 billion inflow within fixed income; positive numbers imply greater money flow to stocks; negative numbers imply greater money flow to bonds). The 52 week moving average has been $5.9 billion (more positive money flow to equities), with a 52 week high of $31.0 billion (more positive money flow to equities) and a 52 week low of -$37.5 billion (negative numbers imply more positive money flow to bonds for the week). 

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Negative Inflection in U.S. Fund Flows...Bonds Keep Chugging - chart 9 

 

 

 

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT 

 

 

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA


LEISURE LETTER (07/10/2014)

Tickers: GPI, IGT, WYNN

EVENTS

  • July 15-17 Pre-RCL 2Q earnings Hedgeye Cruise pricing survey

COMPANY NEWS

GTECH/IGT – (Reuters) GTECH owners have authorised management to make an all-cash 4-billion euro offer for IGT, La Repubblica said.  The offer should be presented soon, it said. The interest came to light in June.

Takeaway: We don't doubt the interest but the rumored offer price is too low and not realistic - trial balloon?

 

GPI – Gaming Partners International announced the resignation of CFO Michael Mann. GPI chairman Alain Thieffry was appointed interim CFO until a replacement for Mr. Mann is hired. GPI is a US-based casino equipment supplier and recently announced the acquisition of GemGroup, a US manufacturer of playing cards, casino chips and table layouts for US$19.75 million.

Takeaway: Mr. Mann's tenure was very short - he signed on to the roll less than a year ago, in September 2013. Our sources tell us that the GemGroup acquisition is not paying off as expected.

 

IGT (GGRAsia) reporting an increased interest by gaming operators in IGT's newest Asian themed games including San Xing Bao Xi, Azure Dragon and Great Zodiac Race.  On a side note, IGT recently unveiled games related to Tokidoki lifestyle brand - which it licensed earlier this year.

Takeaway: IGT is finally targeting Asian gaming markets with Asian themed games.  We saw the new games in Vegas a few weeks ago and it was clear that management is targeting this market where it's share is very low.

 

WYNN (GGRAsia) The revamping of two VIP rooms at hotel casino Wynn Macau has had a negative impact on the property's VIP overall market share. 

Takeaway: This has certainly contributed to lower share in Q2 for the property and probably helped boost Galaxy's share which has been trending higher.

INDUSTRY NEWS

New Jersey Gaming Expansion (PIX11) Venture capitalist and developer of Liberty National Golf Course (Jersey City), Paul Fireman, is in discussion with the State of New Jersey to build a 95 story casino-hotel-condo development on the bank of the Hudson River across from Liberty National Golf Course.

Takeaway: A property located just across the Hudson River from Manhattan would negatively impact the RWNY, Empire City at Yonkers, as well as Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods and of course Atlantic City.

 

Macau Cotai Water Jet – announced additional daily sailings effective July 16, 2014 with a 0630 sailing from HK's Macau Ferry Terminal to Macau's Taipa Ferry Terminal as well as a 1930 sailing from Macau Taipa to SkyPier at HKIA.

Takeaway: We have heard repeated commentary that the high speed ferries are often sold out in advance of sailing time.  As a result, the casual walk-up mass gambler will often need to wait 2-4 hours for ferry transit on a non-soldout ferry.

 

Missouri Smoking Measure – Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill that could shield St. Charles' Ameristar Casino from any future countywide smoking ban. The measure, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, adds St. Charles to a list of cities exempt from county health rules if they set up their own municipal health departments. St. Charles Mayor Sally Faith, who sought the bill, worries that millions of dollars in city tax revenue from the casino would be reduced if smoking is prohibited and attendance dropped. Under current law, cities with at least 75,000 residents with their own health agencies are exempt from county rules "to enhance the public health." The bill adds St. Charles, which had 65,794 residents in the 2010 census to that category.

Takeaway: Good news for Ameristar St. Charles in a challenging, demand environment.

MACRO

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.


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LODGING: STRONG EARNINGS SEASON

We're mostly above the Street but we suspect Q2 earnings season could mark a near term top in the stocks

 

CALL TO ACTION

Very strong Q2 RevPAR translates into upside revenue and EBITDA revisions for the lodging operators and REITs, but could Q2 earnings season represent the near-term peak in the stocks?

SET-UP

During Q2, US RevPAR growth developed slowly due to the April calendar shift vs the prior year.  However, the April showers transitioned to a robust May and June. May posted Upper Upscale RevPAR growth 7-8% while June moderated slightly.

 

We believe HLT and H have the most upside versus current consensus estimates and even we might be conservative.

DETAILS

Despite the optimism by lodging management teams surrounding the recovery of the Group travel segment, their 2014 annual guidance commentary and expectations remained somewhat muted.  However, the strong Q2 RevPAR results should contribute to an earnings season of EBITDA and EPS beats.  We believe the street will revise lodging estimates higher over the coming weeks.

 

When we reach “the news” (the Q2 earnings releases), expectations should be elevated.  Going forward, there are some warning signs that Q2 earnings and higher 2H estimates could represent the near term peak of sentiment. 

 

Namely, we are concerned by the sizable insider selling across lodging c-corps and REITs during Q2 – despite “fifth inning commentary”.  Next, our Hedgeye Industrial team is warning of slowing airline operating metrics in June – a trend our counterpart expects to continue into 2H14.  Third, we are mindful of somewhat higher consumer prices, which act as a tax on consumer spending and a headwind for all consumer discretionary stocks.  Indeed, the head of tourism marketing for New York City was recently quoted as saying that spending by NYC tourists was not as robust as he expected.

 

Don’t get us wrong – we like the hotel fundamentals and business spending remains strong.  Our long-term outlook (and very near term) remains positive.  However, for traders and investors looking to take some profits, late July/early August might be an opportunistic time.

 

Our Q2 estimates as compared to the street are as follows:

 

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LODGING: STRONG EARNINGS SEASON - b


EUROPE, INDIA & GOLD

Client Talking Points

EUROPE

Stocks are seeing follow through from the immediate-term TRADE breakdown signals we’ve been issuing for the last few weeks. Eurostoxx50 and DAX are both trading below both our TRADE and TREND lines now, illiquid equity markets like Portugal down -3% this morning to -4% year-to-date.  

INDIA

India is not Europe – and it didn’t trade like most of Asia last night either, it was up +1.3% to +22.7% year-to-date with Nikkei down -0.6%. On pullbacks the BSE Sensex remains one of our favorite equity markets in the world. Below is a Real Conversation VIDEO Keith hosted with Jim Grant on India, Gold, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_zkysr1cu4&list=PLuhl1D-19WCkgKMcG5DMRaCJ4ZZWxMCMV

GOLD

Love the Down Dollar, Down Rates, Up Gold move – that lagging economic report (Thursday’s jobs report) sucked a lot of people into doing precisely the opposite of what we’ve wanted you to do all year - Buy Gold Bond as U.S. growth slows sequentially (and the Fed gets more dovish) in Q3..

Asset Allocation

CASH 16% US EQUITIES 4%
INTL EQUITIES 10% 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

Norwegians rejoice as consumer price inflation (CPI) goes negative -0.2% y/y (JUNE).

@Keith McCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Never confuse motion with action.”

- Benjamin Franklin

STAT OF THE DAY

The EIA estimates that Oil and Gas make-up 70% of total annual exports in Russia of around $515 billion.



Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.64%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.57%
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