Client Talking Points
The Russell 2000 sadly, closed down -1.4% on BABA day and is down that much for the year-to-date. The bubble in illiquid/small cap stocks (over 50x trailing earnings) will only be clear in hindsight, but we remain bearish of it in the meantime vs. big cap liquidity on the long side.
The biggest ramp in USD since 1997 has embedded some serious correlation risk into macro markets – on a 30-day correlation basis (which the machines chase), USD and SPX have a positive correlation of +0.68, whereas Brent Oil and Gold have negative correlations of -0.86 and -0.95, respectively. USD big time overbought signal too.
Correlation to USD remains as obvious as the round trip move the CRB Index has had during 2014 – on a 90 and 120 day basis the USD correlations to the CRB Index are -0.81-0.83. In our GIP model, this is called a Quad 4 move (when both growth and inflation are slowing, at the same time = #deflation).
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Top Long Ideas
The Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV) is an extended duration ETF (20-30yr). Now that we have our first set of late-cycle economic indicators slowing in rate of change terms (ADP numbers and the NFP number), it's time to really think through the upcoming moves of this bond market. We are doubling down on our biggest macro call of 2014 - that U.S. growth would slow and bond yields fall in kind.
Fixed income continues to be our favorite asset class, so it should come as no surprise to see us rotate into the Shares 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) on the long side. In conjunction with our #Q3Slowing macro theme, we think the slope of domestic economic growth is poised to roll over here in the third quarter. In the context of what may be flat-to-decelerating reported inflation, we think the performance divergence between Treasuries, stocks and commodities may actually be set to widen over the next two to three months. This view remains counter to consensus expectations, which is additive to our already-high conviction level in this position. Fade consensus on bonds – especially as growth slows. As it’s done for multiple generations, the 10Y Treasury Yield continues to track the slope of domestic economic growth like a glove.
Restoration Hardware remains our Retail Team’s highest-conviction long idea. We think that most parts of the thesis are at least acknowledged by the market (category growth, real estate expansion), but people are absolutely missing how all the pieces are coming together to drive such outsized earnings growth over an extremely long duration. The punchline of our real estate analysis is that a) RH stores could get far bigger than even the RH bulls seem to think, b) Aside from reconfiguring 66 existing markets, there’s another 19 markets we identified where the spending rate on home furnishings by people making over $100k in income suggests that RH should expand to these markets with Design Galleries, and c) the availability and economics on large properties for all these markets are far better than people think. The consensus is looking for long-term earnings growth of 28% -- we’re looking for 45%.
Three for the Road
TWEET OF THE DAY
EUROPE: stoxx start the wk red w/ Greece -1.2% and Russia -1.2% leading losers
QUOTE OF THE DAY
The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.
STAT OF THE DAY
U.S. Healthcare Stocks (XLV) are up +1.7% on the week to +17% year-to-date.