Idea Flow

“I don’t really make decisions, I go with the flow.”

-Nicole Kidman


For most, Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman requires no introduction; in this analyst’s humble opinion, her role as Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever should forever be remembered as one of cinema’s all-time great damsels in distress.


Idea Flow - forever08


Lacking adequate contextualization for her quote above, we thought we’d spend some time this morning discussing “flow” in a more relevant context: investment ideas.


Be it the Surf Lodge in Montauk or the White Briar/Princeton combo in Avalon, NJ, I’ve done my fair share of “going with the flow” this summer. In fact, how I’ve approached social life in my late-twenties is not unlike how I’ve approached generating investment ideas – by remaining open-minded and gravitating towards those destinations that others are also likely to find most attractive.


That’s easier said than done, however, especially in the context of investing. How does any investor – fully equipped with his or her confirmation biases – remain open-minded enough to consistently and presciently spot those attractive destinations? While I’m sure asking 20 different analysts and portfolio managers will net about 19-20 different responses, my answer to that omnipotent question is simple: by doing the same thing each and every day.


Back to the Global Macro Grind...


My repeatable process commences each morning by writing down 186 unique, color-coded quantitative signals into my notebook. These signals can be anything from the MoM delta in India’s OIS spread, to the SPY’s Volatility-Adjusted Multi-Duration Momentum Indicator (VAMDMI) score per our Tactical Asset Class Rotation Model (TACRM), to the top-20 and bottom-20 VAMDMI scores across the universe of global macro ETFs. It culminates with absorbing all of the relevant economic data and policy rhetoric in my geographical coverage area and categorizing the deltas as sequential accelerations, decelerations, tightenings and/or easings.


While this process is far from perfect, it does tend to afford me a consistent opportunity to kick the tires on many developing investment themes and ideas. From there, we apply a healthy dose of “secret sauce” to determine whether or not a particular theme or idea is worthy of communicating to our subscribers.


For those of you who with the ability to invest capital internationally, we thought we’d create the table below to help synthesize and hold accountable our investment ideas across the Asia, LatAm and EM space, which is my primary coverage responsibility for the team. In addition to updating you on the active recommendations therein, we are also taking this opportunity to provide post mortem on our closed ideas over the TTM.


Active Long Ideas:


  • FXI: We continue to think the shaky foundation on which the Chinese economy currently resides will force officials to ease monetary and fiscal policy, at the margins. This should be supportive of industries tethered to China’s fixed asset investment bubble. (TREND duration)
  • EPI: If we could LBO a country, India would be our top choice. The country’s new “management team”, led by RBI Governor Dr. Rajan and Prime Minster Modi, is implementing the kinds of policies needed to structurally elevate India’s growth potential. (TREND and TAIL durations)
  • EEM, EMB, EMLC and CEW: When we were making the opposite call ~18M ago, there were not a lot of investors who agreed with us that US monetary policy was the driving factor behind capital flows, monetary conditions and asset prices in emerging markets. Now everyone gets it and the fundamentals (i.e. US #GrowthSlowing) and quantitative signals (see slide #4 of TACRM deck above) support remaining long of EM assets here. (TREND duration)
  • EIDO: Definitely long in the tooth as it relates to Jokowi hoopla, but the comps in our GIP (i.e. Growth/Inflation/Policy) model portend a favorable investing environment for at least the next 2-3M. (TREND duration)


Closed Long Ideas (TTM):


  • ARGT: Booking the loss here. Loose fundamental thesis on our part with even looser results.
  • EWT: Great trade. Semiconductor stocks (SOX Index) have done nothing but go straight up over the past two weeks; a failure to make a higher-high would auger negatively for the consensus storytelling about a sustained recovery in CapEx.
  • ENZL: Decent timing on booking the gain. It’s been lower-highs and lower-lows for New Zealand for ~3M now amid marginally dovish monetary policy.
  • EWZ, BZF and PBR: Great [near] bottom-tick back in FEB; booked the alpha too early amid fears of a growing probability of a Rousseff reelection. Silva’s entrance into the presidential race throws a wrench in the trade, but we think Brazil is setting up to be a nice short heading into 2015 if either of the female candidates emerges victorious.
  • FXY: Not much to see here; we merely traded around what we saw as likely consolidation amid a fiscal and monetary policy vacuum in Japan.
  • CQQQ and CHIQ: Great trade. Our long “New China”/short “Old China” theme would’ve returned +1,154bps on an equal-weighted basis.
  • EPI: Booked substantial alpha ahead of the election, fearing consternation. Rotated back into it a few weeks later and haven’t looked back since.
  • DXJ: Calling for Japanese equity reflation to occur concomitantly with aggressive yen debasement back in 4Q12 remains one of the hallmark calls of my analytical career.


Active Short Ideas:


  • FXA: While his latest guidance on rates isn’t necessarily supportive of our view, it’s clear that RBA Governor Glenn Stevens wants a lower Aussie dollar, citing Australia’s deteriorating labor market. Just wait until Aussie CPI decelerates for the next 1-2 quarters, which is something our GIP model currently identifies as the most probable outcome.
  • General commentary: You’ll note that there aren’t a ton of active short ideas here. That’s by design, as both the bottom-up fundamentals and top-down quantitative signals continue to support a long bias towards EM assets at the current juncture.


Closed Short Ideas (TTM):


  • KRW: Booking the loss here. We couldn’t have been more right about South Korea’s deteriorating GIP dynamics or the aggressive spate of fiscal and monetary easing we’ve seen in recent months. Conversely, inflows from international equity investors have buoyed the won – likely well above where the BoK and Finance Ministry want it to trade.
  • EWA: Booking the absolute return loss/relative return alpha here. The glass half-empty reads: we underestimated the resiliency of the Aussie housing market and the Aussie consumer. The glass-half full reads: Australia’s substantial underperformance relative to global equities highlights some of the structural headwinds we were calling for back in mid-2012.
  • DXJ: Good trade. As we predicted, Japan did not participate in the rally across global equities from the early-FEB lows through our late-MAY note to stop fading consensus on the “Abenomics Trade”.
  • CHIX and CHXX: See commentary above RE: CQQQ and CHIQ.
  • EPHE: A bad play by us that could’ve been much worse. The EPHE ETF has appreciated +15.5% since we turned broadly positive on EM assets earlier this year – inclusive of backing away from the short side of Filipino equities.
  • CLP: A decent play by us that could’ve been much better, had we stuck with it. The Chilean peso has declined an additional -5% versus the US dollar since we backed away from it on the short side.
  • EWZ: Outstanding call. Not much more to be said.
  • EEM, EMB, EMLC and CEW: This round of #EmergingOutflows was far less severe than the first (see below).
  • FXY: This is the centerpiece of the aforementioned Abenomics Trade (i.e. short yen/long Nikkei) and one of the best calls of my analytical career. We more-or-less top-ticked the all-time lower-high in the Japanese yen. It’s been mostly straight down ever since – and by a lot!
  • CHIX: Great thesis; terrible timing. Reminded us of the one thing many investors forget when they ponder Chinese tail risk: China is a state-run economy. At the drop of a dime, they can manufacture both liquidity and economic growth. While reflation policies are obviously unsustainable over the long term, they can be a lot more sustainable over the near-term than the P&L of anyone trying to short China at such favorable turns in policy.
  • EEM, EMB, EMLC and CEW: Another one of the hallmark calls of my analytical career. Turning bearish on EM assets when we did was greeted with a substantial amount of disbelief and contempt from investors – until after they went down in price… by a lot!


Obviously the nuggets above are intended to be brief, so please feel free to reach out if you’d like additional color on anything you see above.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.34-2.46% 

SPX 1 

RUT 1120-1167 

VIX 10.83-15.52 

USD 81.48-82.39 

Gold 1 


Keep your head on a swivel,




Darius Dale

Associate: Macro Team


Idea Flow - Asia COD

Chance of a Crash?

This note was originally published at 8am on August 07, 2014 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“We are taking a greater chance of having another crash at a time when the world is less capable of bearing the cost.”

-Raghuram Rajan


Crash? Yep. My man Dr. Raj doesn’t consider it improbable. Do you? The aforementioned quote comes from an interview the former Chief Economist of the IMF (2003-2006) and now Governor of the Reserve Bank of India just gave to the Central Banking Journal.


“Investors are counting on easy money – they put the trades on even though they know what will happen as everyone attempts to exit positions at the same time… there will be major market volatility if that occurs.”


I can assure you that “everyone” has not attempted to get out of the US stock market, yet. Just think, all we needed was a 2% down day (and a -3.5% correction from the all-time bubble highs), and volatility (VIX) ripped +65%! That’s called some wicked asymmetry.


Chance of a Crash? - EL chart 2


Back to the Global Macro Grind


I have no love lost for those who think that they can centrally plan things like gravity, economic cycles, etc. But if I had to pick one modern central planner to help me run money, it would be Dr. Raj. When it comes to real-time interconnected market risk, sorry Janet, but you wouldn’t make it past the first interview at a performance based fund.


Not only did Rajan tell linear-economist Larry Summers to go flower himself circa 2006 (Summers called Rajan’s views of market risks “misguided”), but he’s taken India on a path that American, European, and Japanese bureaucrats seemingly do not have the spine to traverse – that of raising interest rates in order to tone down the real cost of living (inflation).


India’s stock market (one of our favorite long ideas in 2014 – the Wisdom Tree India Earnings Fund (EPI) in Real-Time Alerts) not only took the rate hikes and inflation fighting policy from Dr. Raj in stride, they celebrated them. India’s BSE Sensex is up another +0.4% this morning to +23.2% for the YTD as these wacky things called investment and capex cycle expectations in India take hold.


Raising rates?


Sadly, if we’re right on both US Housing and GDP continuing to slow here in Q3, there isn’t a chance on this side of central planning hell that Janet Yellen is going to raise interest rates in the 1st half of 2015.


Being the bear on both US growth and rates this year, I get a lot of questions on Fed timing. I spent all of yesterday seeing Institutional Investors in NYC (8 meetings) and by the end of the day I came to the realization that the biggest risks to our current views are:


  1. We aren’t bearish enough on US growth
  2. We aren’t bullish enough on long-term Treasuries


Sounds a little crashy, but just fyi, markets do crash after making all-time bubble highs on no-volume.


Again, what I just wrote is that the risk to our current view is that we’re not bearish enough on the US stock market. Since we don’t do the “year-end bonus-target” thing for stock and bond market levels, here’s that current view:


  1. US Treasury 10yr Yield tests 2.21-2.41%
  2. SP500 corrects towards 1829


Yeah, on that 2.41% level for the 10yr, I know. What a leap that forecast is with the 10yr at 2.45% this morning! As my friends from Thunder Bay would say though, “the thing of it is” we’ve been looking for 2.41% since the 10yr was at 3%.


On the SP500 though, my current views are finally shifting to the bear side.


As most of you who have been following my team and my levels know, I have been more focused on having you sell the Russell 2000 than the SP500 YTD, primarily because the SP500 has many more slow-growth #YieldChasing components that I like(d).


Provided that the SP500 remains bearish on my intermediate-term TREND signal (1930 resistance), I see my long-term TAIL risk line of 1829 support as probable. What does probable mean in risk management speak? Well, it doesn’t mean improbable.


Other than a certified train wreck for whoever bought SPX 1987, what would 1829 look like?


  1. A -4.7% correction from yesterday’s closing price of 1920
  2. A -8% correction from the all-time high (1987) – the Russell 2000 has corrected -7% since July 7th


Oh, and about 1987… if you want to go all crashy in your investment meeting today, how ominous of a date/level is that?


If I am right in that I am not bearish enough on the SP500 (yet), and my long-term TAIL risk line of 1829 snaps. Oh snap, they will. That’s the point about my definition of TAIL risk – once it’s on, the only support strategy (level) I’ll be recommending is prayer.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:


UST 10yr Yield 2.43-2.53%

SPX 1899-1929

RUT 1107-1131

India’s BSE Sensex 25236-26311

VIX 14.92-18.59

Gold 1281-1314


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Chance of a Crash? - Chart of the Day

August 21, 2014

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The Hedgeye Daily Outlook

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – August 21, 2014

As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 39 points or 1.59% downside to 1955 and 0.38% upside to 1994.                              




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  • YIELD CURVE: 1.97 from 1.96
  • VIX closed at 11.78 1 day percent change of -3.52%


MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):          

  • Kansas City Fed symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyo. (runs through Aug. 23)
  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, Aug. 16, est. 303k (prior 311k)
  • Continuing Claims, Aug. 9, est. 2.520m (prior 2.544m)
  • 9:45am: Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI, Aug. preliminary, est. 55.7 (prior 55.8)
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, Aug. 17 (prior 36.8)
  • 10am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, Aug., est. 19.7 (prior 23.9)
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales, July, est. 5.02m (prior 5.04m)
  • 10am: Index of Leading Economic Indicators, July, est. 0.6% (prior 0.3%)
  • 11am: U.S. to announce plans for auction of 3M/6M bills, 2Y/5Y/7Y notes, 2Y FRN
  • 1pm: U.S. to sell $16b 5Y TIPS in reopening



    • President Obama on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard
    • Senate, House out on August recess
    • 8:30am: FedScoop holds summit on lowering cost of govt with IT, with CIOs, CTOs from federal agencies panelists
    • U.S. ELECTION WRAP: McConnell’s Senate Plan; Ads Hit Sullivan               



  • Countrywide co-founder Mozilo said to face subprime lawsuit
  • BofAML mortgage settlement with U.S. may come today
  • BofAML said to plan salary increase for junior bankers
  • JPMorgan said to consider raising some staff salaries >20%
  • Citigroup said to consider ~20% raise for junior bankers
  • Wal-Mart to lower prices for iPhone 5c, 5s: L.A. Times
  • Dollar General says it was misled during Family Dollar talks
  • Northrup, BAE, GD among 5 cos. splitting Navy CANES contract
  • Carlyle’s 2012 buyout Axalta files for $100m U.S. IPO
  • Media General cut price for Lin Media on loss of CBS deal
  • TV networks seek larger share of pay TV channel sales: WSJ
  • Independent TV studios attract big media M&A: N.Y. Post
  • Chinese hackers affecting U.S. medical tech, pharma cos.
  • Ford planning new hybrid car for late 2018: Reuters
  • Hertz investors said to want former Dollar Thrifty CEO
  • USAF grounds 82 F-16 jets due to cracks: L.A. Times
  • GE considering S. Korean fighter jet development: Yonhap
  • Chinese PMI misses ests., falls for first time since March



    • Buckle (BKE) 7am, $0.53 - Preview
    • Dollar Tree (DLTR) 7:31am, $0.64 - Preview
    • Hormel Foods (HRL) 6:30am, $0.48
    • Nordson (NDSN) 7am, $1.13
    • Perry Ellis Int’l (PERY) 7am, ($0.12)
    • Sears Holdings (SHLD) 6am, ($2.58)
    • Stage Stores (SSI) 6am, $0.52



    • Accuray (ARAY) 4:01pm, ($0.06)
    • Aeropostale (ARO) 4:01pm, ($0.50) - Preview
    • Brocade Communications Systems (BRCD) 4pm, $0.19
    • Fresh Market (TFM) 4:02pm, $0.35
    • GameStop (GME) 8:30am, $0.18
    • Gap (GPS) 4pm, $0.69 - Preview
    • Intuit (INTU) 4pm, $0.07
    • Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) 4:05pm, $0.28
    • Mentor Graphics (MENT) 4:05pm, $0.15
    • Ross Stores (ROST) 4pm, $1.08 - Preview
    • (CRM) 4:05pm, $0.12



  • Gold Drops to 2-Month Low on Fed Rate Outlook as Platinum Falls
  • Palm Oil Seen by UBS Extending Decline on Outlook for Supplies
  • Philippines Nickel Exports to China Plug Gap Left by Indonesia
  • U.S. Mint Platinum Coins Bypassed in Rush for Gold: Commodities
  • All Eyes on Atlantic as Potential Tropical Storm Starts Stirring
  • Israel Nears Gas Sales to Egypt as Mideast Unrest Flares: Energy
  • Market Shrugs 3M B/D Oil Supply Loss to Geopolitics: Julian Lee
  • China Spot Copper Fees Seen Rising as Mine Output Increases
  • U.K. Natural Gas Options Trading Signals Ukraine Supply Concerns
  • Wheat Extends Decline as Ukraine Tension Fails to Disrupt Supply
  • Ebola Virus Threat Sees Sierra Leone Miner Cut Iron-Ore Target
  • India Raises Royalty on Iron Ore Output to 15% From 10%
  • Wheat Harvest in Australia Seen Exceeding Forecast After Rains
  • Brent Spread May Widen as Speculators Add Bets: Chart of the Day
  • Gold Refiner Predicts Import Curbs by India Probably Permanent


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The Hedgeye Macro Team
















Long the Long Bond: Hedgeye Reiterates Our Call on $TLT

Takeaway: We're sticking with TLT.

If you’re bullish, you should be bullish on the Long Bond.


It’s crushing every major US equity index YTD (Russell 2000 is in negative territory for 2014: -0.70%). The 10-year yield has immediate term downside to 2.34% into Janet Yellen’s “pushing out the dots” in Jackson Hole.


Long the Long Bond: Hedgeye Reiterates Our Call on $TLT - Staying Long TLT

HAIN: Strong Q Looks Stronger Than It Is

HAIN remains on the Hedgeye Best Ideas list as a short.


On the surface, HAIN reported a strong quarter and the stock responded nicely, trading up ~11% on the day.  4Q14 adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $0.90 compared to $0.65 in 4Q13, good for a 35% increase year-over-year.  On the call, management reported a strong 7.5% organic growth rate for 4Q14 and 8.5% for FY14.  Guidance for organic growth remains in the mid-single digit to high-single digit range for FY15.


The adjustments made to continuing operations are a list of recurring and non-recurring items that, in our view, lower the quality of the reported number.  Notably, these adjustments are getting bigger each quarter.  In 4Q14 the adjustments to net income totaled $0.15, 50% greater than the $0.10 of adjustments in 4Q13.


The current adjustments to net income of $10.3 million are principally from:

  1. $6 million related to the voluntary recall
  2. Start-up cost of $3.8 million primarily related to Project Castle (the chilled desserts facility in the UK)
  3. $2.9 million of acquisition related fees and expenses, including integration costs from Tilda and Rudi’s
  4. $2.2 million non-cash valuation reserve on net operating losses incurred along with the start-up of the non-dairy facility in Europe


It’s amazing to see that a company can get away with adjusting earnings for growth related innovation and operating costs that are desperately needed to grow organic revenues.  The company also reported $4 million of non-recurring income including a true-up of contingent consideration earn outs, unrealized currency gains and gains from the sale of shares.


On top of that, the company continues to push SG&A lower in order to drive operating margins.  In 4Q14, SG&A on an “adjusted” basis (excl. amortization of acquired intangible assets) was 14.4% of net sales, a 110 bps improvement versus last year. 


HAIN: Strong Q Looks Stronger Than It Is - 8 20 2014 2 25 28 PM


Therefore, despite higher commodity costs, HAIN “effectively managed operating expenses” to report a 49% increase in “adjusted” operating income to $73.9 million and a 200 bps improvement in operating margin to 12.7%.  We continue to view the steady, significant reduction in SG&A as a competitive long-term disadvantage.  In fact, we’d go as far as to say that the company’s margin structure is highly unsustainable and, as a result, it is currently over-earning in an increasingly competitive environment.


One of the core tenets of our short call was the lack of leverage in the business model.  Despite a 200 bps improvement in operating margins, the company only reported “adjusted” EBITDA of $79.5 million or 13.6% of net sales versus 13.5% last year.  It’s clear to us that the management is far away from hitting its objective of delivering long-term growth EBITDA of 15% to 18% of net sales.


The company’s inability to leverage its cost structure is clearly illustrated in the chart below.


HAIN: Strong Q Looks Stronger Than It Is - 22


The biggest risk to our short thesis was the strong revenue growth the organic sector is seeing.  But, as you can see below, sales trends are expected to continue to slow at HAIN.  In order to sustain its past level of growth, management will need to acquire more brands in FY15. 


HAIN: Strong Q Looks Stronger Than It Is - 33


Net sales guidance for FY15 is between $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion, with approximately two-thirds of growth coming from acquisitions and one-third coming from organic sales.  If this plays out, HAIN expects to deliver FY15 EPS within the guided range of $3.72 to $3.90.


While today is painful, we are sticking with our short thesis.


Call or email with questions.


Howard Penney

Managing Director


Fred Masotta


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