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Delaying Time

This note was originally published at 8am on July 08, 2014 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“With physical time, there is no need to know why a cycle exists – only that it does.”

-The Fourth Turning


If there’s one quote that links cycles to the behavioral side of markets in The Fourth Turning, that’s it. With the Old Wall bearish on interest rates in 2013 (and bullish on them in 2014), never have so many told macro stories about growth that have gotten so few paid.


Delaying Time - p7


You can call it framing data, confirmation bias, emotional baggage – or some combination of all three. It’s all there, all of the time. And it’s your job to fight it’s behavioral gravity.


Sounds easy, right? Not so much. That’s why process matters. The best we can do each and every morning of our macro day is accept what is – not what we need it to be.


Back to the Global Macro Grind


If only consensus could delay the 3rd quarter due to the 1st quarter’s “weather”…


In other news, it’s Q3 and US growth, as an investment style, got pounded yesterday. If you don’t want to acknowledge that Biotech Stocks (IBB) and the Russell 2000 (IWM) were down -2.6% and -1.7%, respectively, just quote the slow-growth Dow. It was -0.26%.


If I go all interconnected macro on you, and move beyond the typical US stock market centric naval gazing  that is the Dow or the SP500, you’ll also note that yesterday’s US #Q3Slowing signals were manifest:


  1. Bond Yields – 10yr UST Yield failed, hard, at yet another lower high (2.81% TREND resistance intact)
  2. US Dollar – remained no bid within the context of a bearish TAIL risk view ($81.17 USD Index resistance)
  3. Volatility – front-month fear (VIX) once again ripped off the Braveheart line of 10, closing at 11.33


But, but, the Russell is still “up” this year. Yep, a whopping +1.8% YTD (and it’s July).


Instead of trying to justify why an equity market “should see multiple expansion”, we say you deal with what you have. US Equities trade at 16x earnings because we have boomer-style-stagflation. In that part of the cycle, bonds get multiple expansion, not stocks.


As you try to navigate this mess of “it’s different this time” narratives, always know where the other players positions are. Here are the most recent net long/short positions in macro from a CFTC Futures/Options perspective:


  1. BONDS – 10yr Treasury still has a net SHORT position of -27,891 contracts (that’s -25,538 shorter wk-over-wk)
  2. US STOCKS – SPX (Index + Emini) has a net SHORT position of -53,081 contracts (that’s +39,668 LONGER wk-over-wk)
  3. US DOLLAR – ramped to its biggest net LONG position of 2014 last week = +20,197 contracts


In other words, post the lagging economic indicator (i.e. old news of US #GrowthAccelerating that you should have been long of, in size, last year) that was US “jobs recovery” on Thursday:


  1. Consensus kept shorting bonds thinking rates will rise (consensus has had this view all year)
  2. Consensus hedge funds did what they usually do in US Equities (covered shorts high, after shorting low in May)
  3. Consensus ramped up the long rates, long USD bet that it should have had on in Q1 of 2013 as growth was accelerating


The hedge fund net positioning part is important. Whether or not you agree with AQR’s recent research view that hedge funds have a +0.93 correlation to beta right now or not, reality is that hedge funds are highly correlated to the levered long side of growth.


Hedge fund assets under management are also at all-time highs (approximately $2.7T), so the confirmation bias and emotion you see in the futures and options markets is important to monitor. It’s a collective snapshot of behavior.


In the immediate to intermediate-term (3 weeks to 6 months) most hedge funds are forced to chase performance – and the best way to play catch-up when you aren’t beating your bogey is to get long, with leverage.


Yes, from the asymmetric point that is the Russell 2000’s all-time high of 1208 (March 2014), that is scary.


So is the concept that an un-elected-central-planning-committee can delay things like economic cycles and time. As Ray Dalio appropriately says, most successful risk managers realize that nature is testing us, and she’s not that sympathetic.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.50-2.64%

SPX 1966-1985

RUT 1168-1208

VIX 10.32-12.61

USD 79.71-80.43

Gold 1310-1330


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Delaying Time - Chart of the Day


Client Talking Points


The European currency is also important to watch here as the EUR/USD tests breaking our $1.35 TREND support line – will Draghi get more dovish during vacation before Janet does (on USD) at Jackson Hole (August 21)? #DevaluationWar.


Big move in both Shanghai and Hong Kong stocks overnight (Hang Seng +1.7%) and both are now signaling bullish TREND, which is an interesting contrarian signal given how pervasively bearish Consensus Macro is now on China.


Front month bounced off 11.94 @Hedgeye TREND support yesterday, so this will be an important day for volatility – with an up open for U.S. Equities, will the TREND line hold? If it does, no resistance to 14.99.

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


RUSSIA: +2.2% on the bounce to 1266 RTSI (would need another 50pts to recover resistance)



The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.

-Lloyd Jones


Orange Juice prices are up another +0.4% in a down U.S. Equity tape yesterday to +12.3% year-to-date, orange-juice sales fall to a record low.


TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – July 22, 2014

As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 27 points or 0.79% downside to 1958 and 0.58% upside to 1985.                                                            













  • YIELD CURVE: 2.00 from 1.98
  • VIX closed at 12.81 1 day percent change of 6.22%


MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 7:45am: ICSC weekly sales
  • 8:30am: CPI m/m, June, est. 0.3% (prior 0.4%)
  • 8:55am: Redbook weekly sales
  • 9am: FHFA House Price Index m/m, May, est. 0.2% (prior 0.0%)
  • 10am: Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, July, est. 5 (prior 3)
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales, June, est. 4.99m (prior 4.89m)
  • 4:30pm: API weekly oil inventories



    • 9:30am: Senate Permanent Subcmte on Investigations hearing on abuse of fin’l products to avoid taxes w/testimony from Renaissance Tech’s Peter Brown, Mark Silber, Jonathan Mayers
    • 10:30am: Senate Energy and Nat. Resources Cmte hearing on federal rev. from oil, gas, and mineral prod. on public lands
    • 11:30am: U.S. Chamber of Commerce press call on SEC’s vote on imposing add’l reform rule on money mkt mutual funds
    • 2pm: Senate Veterans Affairs Cmte hears Robert McDonald on his VA secretary nomination
    • U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Georgia Runoff; Adelson May Inject Cash



  • Credit Suisse to exit commodities after biggest loss since 2008
  • Apache faces breakup push in Jana’s $1b activist stake
  • Pershing Square’s Ackman’s Herbalife presentation at 10am
  • U.S. senate finance cmte 10am hearing on tax code, inversions
  • Malaysian Air likely near end as publicly traded company
  • AMS ends talks to buy Dialog to create $4.5b chipmaker
  • Yahoo said to buy startup flurry for more than $300m
  • Tesla idles California plant adding robots to build electric SUV
  • Papa John’s, Burger King, Dicos stop using Chinese meat supplier
  • Kindred raises offer for Gentiva, matching mystery bidder
  • Putin risks isolation as rebels release MH17 crash victims



    • Allegheny Technologies (ATI) 7:30am, $0.01
    • Altria Group (MO) 6:58am, $0.66 - Preview
    • Carlisle (CSL) 6am, $1.18
    • Centene (CNC) 6am, $0.72
    • CIT Group (CIT) 6:30am, $0.84
    • Coca-Cola (KO) 7:30am, $0.63 - Preview
    • Comcast (CMCSA) 7am, $0.72 - Preview
    • Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) 7:30am, $0.66
    • EI du Pont de Nemours (DD) 6am, $1.17 - Preview
    • Exact Sciences (EXAS) 7:30am, $(0.24)
    • FirstMerit (FMER) 7:30am, $0.36
    • Gannett (GCI) 8:30am, $0.64
    • Harley-Davidson (HOG) 7am, $1.46
    • Ingersoll-Rand (IR) 7am, $1.10
    • Kimberly-Clark (KMB) 7:30am, $1.50 - Preview
    • Lexmark Intl (LXK) 6:30am, $0.93
    • Lockheed Martin (LMT) 7:25am, $2.66 - Preview
    • McDonald’s (MCD) 7:58am, $1.44 - Preview
    • Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) 6:59am, $0.89
    • Neogen (NEOG) 8:45am, $0.21
    • Omnicom Group (OMC) 7am, $1.16
    • Peabody Energy (BTU) 8am, $(0.29) - Preview
    • Polaris Industries (PII) 6am, $1.39
    • Regions Financial (RF) 7am, $0.21
    • Rockwell Collins (COL) 7:30am, $1.17
    • State Street (STT) 7:12am, $1.26
    • Synovus Financial (SNV) 7am, $0.35
    • TD Ameritrade (AMTD) 7:30am, $0.34
    • Travelers (TRV) 6:57am, $2.07
    • United Technologies (UTX) 6:59am, $1.70 - Preview
    • Verizon Communications (VZ) 6:30am, $0.90 - Preview



    • ACE (ACE) 4:05pm, $2.23
    • Apple (AAPL) 4:30pm, $1.23 - Preview
    • Broadcom (BRCM) 4:05pm, $0.61
    • Covanta Holding (CVA) 4:01pm, $0.01
    • Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) 4pm, $0.01
    • Discover Financial Services (DFS) 4:05pm, $1.29
    • Eagle Materials (EXP) 4:15pm, $0.87
    • Electronic Arts (EA) 4:01pm, $(0.04)
    • FMC Technologies (FTI) 4pm, $0.63
    • FNB (FNB) 4:30pm, $0.21
    • Fulton Financial (FULT) 4:30pm, $0.22
    • Hatteras Financial (HTS) 4:30pm, $0.59
    • • Idex (IEX) 4:05pm,    $0.86
    • Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) 4:05pm, $2.82
    • Juniper Networks (JNPR) 4:05pm, $0.38- Preview
    • Linear Technology (LTC) 5:01pm, $0.56
    • Microsoft (MSFT) 4:01pm, $0.60
    • Nabors (NBR) 4:06pm, $0.23
    • Robert Half Intl (RHI) 4:02pm, $0.52
    • Total System Services (TSS) 4pm, $0.45
    • VMware (VMW) 4:01pm, $0.79
    • Xilinx (XLNX) 4:20pm, $0.61



  • Credit Suisse to Exit Commodities, Posts Biggest Loss Since 2008
  • Zinc Nears Three-Year High as Aluminum Advances in Bull Market
  • Metal ETFs Lure Investors at Fastest Pace Since ’09: Commodities
  • Europe White Sugar Exports Seen Jumping by Kingsman in 2017-2018
  • Soybeans Slide Fourth Day as U.S. Crop in Best Shape Since 1994
  • Gold Declines in London as Fed Outlook Curbs Investor Demand
  • Sugar Drops With World Surplus Weighing on Market; Coffee Falls
  • China Seen Boosting Soybean Imports as Animal Feed Demand Rises
  • Palm Nears 10-Month Low as Soybeans Extend Declines on U.S. Crop
  • Rebar Rises From 1-Month Low on Signs of Strengthening Demand
  • ANZ Bank Raises Nickel Price Ests. as Indonesia Ban Hurts Supply
  • WTI Rises for Second Day Before Stockpiles Data; Brent Gains
  • Record Corn Crop Potential in Western Illinois, Doane Tour Shows
  • Sugar Seen Hovering Around 16-17 Cents by Kingsman Rest of Year


























The Hedgeye Macro Team
















July 22, 2014

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CHART OF THE DAY: Leading vs. Lagging Indicators: You Choose


CHART OF THE DAY: Leading vs. Lagging Indicators: You Choose - Chart of the Day


Risk managing macro rarely has anything to do with “valuation” or even reported supply and demand metrics. Most of the big moves in macro happen on the margin when there is a phase transition in price momentum, volume, and volatility.

Cyclical Times

“In cyclical time, a society always evolves.”

-The Fourth Turning


Are you long Millenial evolution? “From the Arthurian Generation through today’s Millenial Generation, there have been twenty-four generations in the Anglo-American lineage. The first six were purely English. Millenials are the fourteenth in the American line.” (The Fourth Turning, pg 95)


So get in the burrito line. With +17% same store sales and +29% year-over-year revenue growth, evidently Millenials are eating lots of Chipotle (CMG). They are texting, tindering, and talking about things baby boomers don’t talk about too.


Being long new patterns of consumption and short old ones is a profitable way to look at the world. Having been on the long/short side of consumer stocks for almost my entire career, this is where I’ve seen some of the biggest moves – and they go both ways!


Cyclical Times - millenials


Back to the Global Macro Grind


BREAKING: US Orange Juice Sales Fall To Record Low –Wall Street Journal


Yep. Damn Millenials are drinking the fruitier and frumpier stuff that costs 10x more. But, no worries, there’s no inflation in food/beverages – ask the Fed. With Orange Juice prices up another +0.4% in a down US Equity tape yesterday to +12.3% YTD, there’s deflation in whoever is short OJ demand.


As we age in this business (I’m a 13th gen dude and will be 40 within the next 6 months) we learn that most things we learned early on were in some way, shape, or storytelling form, false.


Risk managing macro, for example, rarely has anything to do with “valuation” or even reported supply and demand metrics. Most of the big moves in macro happen on the margin when there is a phase transition in price momentum, volume, and volatility.


How about long Copper (JJC)?


  1. Worldwide supply is hitting all-time highs
  2. But prices are starting to breakout from a TREND signal perspective


Or are they?


I’m not wed to a Millenial or Copper. I am happily married with three children and a risk management process that will hopefully allow me to be less wrong than I have been over the course of the last 15 years.


But in Real-Time Alerts I issued a buy signal in Copper on last week’s pullback. This morning I am getting buy signals for both the Shanghai Composite Index (China) and the Hang Seng. Both broke out above my intermediate-term TREND signal. We don’t have a research call to support that signal (yet), but do you always need one? Or is Mr. Macro Market telling you that you are going to get one?


What is a phase transition?  


A phase transition is the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one phase or state of matter to another by heat transfer.” –Wikipedia


And, in modern macro times, the heat transfer of price, volume, and volatility is measurable.


So why don’t more investors care about multi-duration, multi-factor, risk analytics. Why do so many still hinge on some gospel like “valuation” for direction, when reality is that market multiples expand and contract much more on economic and/or market phase transitions than anything else?


If you can answer all these questions, let me know. Because I can’t.


What are the most interesting big macro time/price cycles (for asset classes) that have gone from bearish to bullish from 2013 to 2014?


  1. US Treasuries
  2. Commodities
  3. Gold
  4. Emerging Market Equities
  5. Chinese Equities?


That last one I won’t buy until Darius Dale gives me the green light. But there’s no reason to sit in 50% cash when very liquid asset classes like this are getting people paid. On the bear side, we’re all about shorting USA baby-boom #ConsumerSlowing patterns:


  1. US Housing
  2. US Casual Dining Stocks
  3. Broadline Retailers


In macro investing, it’s important to contextualize where you are in the cycle. Almost every single short idea we have that isn’t purely bottom-up is what we call an “early cycle” call. Plenty of the mid-to-late-cycle ideas out there (like being long inflation) will eventually run their course. It’s our job to always evolve our process and try to signal when they do.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.46-2.56%


RUT 1132-1155

VIX 11.94-14.99

Gold 1

Copper 3.18-3.24


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Cyclical Times - Chart of the Day

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