• run with the bulls

    get your first month

    of hedgeye free







Quiet research day (the first in a while). The buzz today is coming from MAGIC in Vegas. The early word from MAGIC is actually pretty decent. The mood is largely more upbeat – even after accounting for the general hype that surrounds these trade shows. Trade rags suggest that ‘buyers are more hopeful’ this year. That’s kind of a scary thought when we have to rely on ‘hope’. As we say at Research Edge, ‘hope is not an investment process’. But exhibitor attendance is up 15% for the event- a sign that both companies and buyers are feeling slightly more confident than they did 6 months ago.




  • While not quite the same level of buzz generated by Michelle Obama’s fondness for J Crew, the First Lady was recently photographed wearing Crocs on her vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. This was not the first time the First Lady was doing her part to help generate some free publicity for the brand. Back in June, she was also photographed on the South Lawn at the White House wearing a different pair of Crocs.


  • Seasonal operator of pop-up stores, Spirit Halloween, is having no problem finding temporary locations for its 10 week per year concept. The store which sells Halloween merchandise from Labor Day through early November expects to operate 700 locations this year. The number of locations has grown from just 63 back in 1999. Additionally, the company is occupying bigger boxes ranging from 25-30k square feet, reflecting a large amount of former Linens N Things and Circuit City locations in this year’s portfolio.


  • Other call-outs from MAGIC.  The more sober times have created a desire among consumers for classic looks — suits and preppy-retro influences in men’s and clean, feminine looks for women. Value continues to be the buzzword as, which is consistent across retail. As a result, promotions are still a necessary evil, as they always are, but per the buyers ‘the markdowns are planned and not panic-driven like they were at the end of last year.’  That’s kind of laughable, no?  “We don’t plan to panic like we did last year.”  Women’s buyers cited the need for novelty in their merchandise mix while keeping an eye on cost; wholesale prices in the $15 to $40 range were those most embraced by retailers looking to keep recession-friendly merchandise on their racks. Retailers across the board were also watching their inventory levels closely and were maintaining the 10 to 20 percent decrease in orders they had instituted for fall. Young men’s business has been good for back-to-school at Macy’s accourding to its GMM. Specifically, T-shirts, woven shirts and denim were standouts. In the men’s area, everything old is new again for the retro style.




-A look at August Retail Sales and the impact of a later August - U.S. retailers are likely to get an "incomplete" mark for the key back-to-school season when they report August sales this week, as a later Labor Day is expected to pull some sales into September, pressuring August results. Retailers that report August sales  are expected to deliver a comp decline of 3.9%. Investors are looking for signs that consumers, who account for about 70% of U.S. economic activity, are loosening their purse strings after pulling back during the worst recession since the Great Depression. The sales view is likely to be distorted by the shift of Labor Day -- which falls on the first Monday in September -- to September 7 in 2009 from September 1 in 2008. That shift means seven more pre-Labor Day selling days, including the entire holiday weekend, will be in the September sales reporting month this year. Last year, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend fell in August. Many people traditionally postpone back-to-school shopping until the weekend of Labor Day, which could result in a couple of percentage points of sales growth could be lost this August. <reuters.com>


-The slowdown in the UK footwear market is expected to have faster sales growth expected in the following years after the current global recession - According to market intelligence provider Key Note, consumers who have cut their spending in 2009 are likely to purchase replacement shoes when the recession is over. The footwear market in the UK reached a record high of over US$11.3bn in 2008, with spending on footwear up by 17.7% between 2004 and 2008 due to the thriving high-street retailers. Key Note forecasts that the value of the UK footwear market will contract by 0.3% in 2009, but will recover well in 2010. The overall growth will reach 17.9% over the period from 2009 to 2013. The report also identifies future trends in the UK footwear market such as a more serious approach to innovative and functional footwear as well as "green" products, and predicts that market leader Clarks is likely to continue performing well, despite downturns on the high street. <fashionnetasia.com>


-Vietnamese footwear exports to UK up, leather exports down - While Vietnam's footwear exports to the UK saw substantial increase, leather exports have shown a downturn trend in the H1 of 2009. Shoe exports hiked 21.1% in the six month period compared to the prior year, with export turnover for shoes rose to GBP211.54m, but leather product exports decreased 11.1% to GBP9.163m. However, the Vietnam Leather and Shoes Association said footwear exports to the UK decreased 33.35% in June compared to same period last year. Steady growth in the previous months offset this decline though. Exports of leather products were down by 62.8% in June. <fashionnetasia.com>


-Wildfires in California threaten Los Angeles retail - A fast-moving wildfire north of Los Angeles that has burned more than 85,700 acres could be another blow to California’s faltering economy. The latest natural disaster, along with rising unemployment, plunging real estate values and a hemorrhaging state budget, is causing more than 10,000 homes to be evacuated. Four major shopping centers are located south of the Station Fire: Glendale Galleria and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Westfield Santa Anita in Arcadia and Paseo Colorado in Pasadena. All remained open on Monday. A spokeswoman for Westfield Santa Anita, an enclosed mall, said there were close to double-digit traffic increases over the previous weekend, most likely because of people seeking air-conditioned refuge from the triple-digit temperatures and smoky air. Business could be non-existent for retailers that depend on shoppers who have evacuated their homes. Because of the intensity of smoke and soot, public health officials warned the public to avoid outdoor activities. <wwd.com/business-news>


-Japan may be inching its way out of a recession but specialty retailers and fashion brands are still forging ahead with their retail expansion - Over a two-week period, a flurry of new stores are opening here including Opening Ceremony, Ron Herman, Tom Ford, Rick Owens, Tila March, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Kitson and a new retail concept from Issey Miyake. A large retail and entertainment complex called Marunouchi Brick Square also will open in the city center to house tenants like Land of Tomorrow, Cath Kidson and Brooks Brothers. Although most observers agree Japan’s future growth prospects are limited as its aging population shrinks and it emerges from a long period of macroeconomic stagnation, it’s clear the country remains a critical market for luxury goods, worth something close to $20 billion. Plus this is an advantageous time to expand here as real estate prices and rental rates linger in the doldrums. <wwd.com/retail-news>


-German Retail Sales Increase for First Time in Three Months as Prices Ease - Retail sales in Germany rose for the first time in three months in July as lower prices boosted purchasing power and consumers grew more optimistic about the economic outlook. <bloomberg.com>


-Barneys Said to Weigh Debt Swap, Bankruptcy as Holt Renfrew Shows Interest - Barneys New York is weighing a debt restructuring or bankruptcy filing that may wrest control from the Dubai government-owned firm that loaded it with debt in a 2007 leveraged buyout, three people briefed on the matter said. <bloomberg.com>


-Wolverine World Wide made exec changes to enhance product development, innovation, and grow its apparel and accessories business - Wolverine World Wide made two executive appointments to its Outdoor Group this week. Bill Dodge, formerly GM of the Rockford, Mich.-based company’s Patagonia brand, has been named VP of footwear product development. Dodge will be replaced by former national sales director Jaime Barbor. Mark Sandquist has joined the Outdoor Group as president of global apparel from Columbia Sportswear, where he served as VP of global apparel, equipment and licensing. Sandquist, who will eventually transition from Portland, Ore. to the Wolverine headquarters in Rockford, will oversee apparel, bags and belts. Both Dodge and Sandquist will report directly to Jim Zwiers, president of the Outdoor Group. According to Zwiers, the Outdoor Group is focusing on three main categories, which is where the new appointments will be devoting their energies: connecting with consumers, raising brand awareness and product leadership and innovation. “With the acquisition of Chaco,” by Wolverine earlier this year, he said, “[we] believe this to be a compelling set of brand opportunities.” <wwd.com/footwear-news>


 -Oxford Industries gets an Executive Vice President - Oxford Industries, Inc. is pleased to announce that Scott Sennett, formerly Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at StyleMark, Inc., the world's largest diversified accessories and eyewear company, has joined its Oxford Apparel Group as Executive Vice President. Mr. Sennett brings to Oxford Apparel over 24 years of leadership and general management experience in brand strategy, sales and marketing, licensing, merchandising, product development, supply chain and risk management as well as a consistent record of positive results working with leading retailers for both licensed, branded and private label fashion accessories and eyewear. Previous to his position with StyleMark, Mr. Sennett held key positions with the Lantis Eyewear Corporation and Motive Eyewear, Inc., both now a part of StyleMark, Inc. <prnewswire.com>


-Tommy Bahama has launched a new footwear division - The company had previously licensed out the category to Phoenix Footwear Group, though Tommy Bahama terminated that agreement last March. The company will now bring footwear sales, marketing and distribution in-house, while Jimlar Corp. will oversee the development and manufacturing of the collection, and collaborate with the Tommy Bahama design teams. The line will debut for spring 2010 and will be on display at this week’s Magic tradeshow in Las Vegas. <wwd.com/footwear-news>


-Under Armour is looking for an ad agency for a project involved its expanding women's line - An internal team has supported Under Armour's advertising efforts for most of its history. According to adage.com, the company has narrowed its review to  Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and independent Cramer-Krasselt. Adage noted that it wasn't clear whether those agencies would be competing against Under Armour's internal team, led by creative director Marcus Stephens, or would eventually be collaborating with UA's internal team. Adage.com noted that while Under Armour has not previously worked with a full-service outside agency on a creative assignment, it has collaborated with various creative production and design shops, such as Shilo and Asylum. It also retained Deutsch for PR and consulting work in 2007. Under Armor VP-Brand Steve Battista confirmed the company was talking to agencies and added, "As our brand grows and our business scales internationally, we're open to any and all partners that we can find in the advertising and marketing world." <sportsonesource.com>


-Check out the new Crocs core styles recently released - Crocs, Inc. has introduced a new Crocband Collection that combines the features of its Beach and Cayman styles with the appeal of retro sneakers. <sportsonesource.com>


-Marks & Spencer has launched its Indigo casual womenswear sub-brand in store today - The casual clothing line, aimed at women aged 30-plus, had been introduced to 100 stores and on the chain’s website. The label was devised to increase M&S’s share in the increasingly competitive womenswear market after research showed that women in this age bracket wanted a dedicated range, rather than having to select casual pieces from across its other ranges. The range has a heavy focus on denim and was designed to offer good value on quality fabrics. <drapersonline.com>


-Wal-Mart Marketplace was launched on Monday - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has launched Wal-Mart Marketplace to bring a million new products to walmart.com and enable a select group of retailers to offer additional products on the site. The goal is to give customers access to expanded assortments in categories such as apparel and accessories, home, baby, toys, sporting goods and sports memorabilia. Wal-Mart has selected three retailers for the launch of Marketplace. CSNStores.com, which consists of hundreds of specialty stores, from Diaper Bag Boutique to MacLaren Strollers at CSN and Every Room Divider to Shoes Got Soul. The latter offers brands such as Aerosole, Nina, Etienne Aigner and Franco Sarto. The remaining two retailers are Ebags.com, which sells Michael Michael Kors Fulton shoulder bags for $348, Kate Spade Bloomington Liannes, $179.99, and Cole Haan’s Village bucket tote, $348, and Pro Team, a subsidiary of Dreams Inc., which manufactures licensed sports apparel and collectibles. “It’s been a program we’ve been working on for some time,” walmart.com spokesman Ravi Jariwala said of Wal-Mart Marketplace. “We were very diligent about carefully selecting these partners. It differentiates our program from other programs out there. Rather than open up our marketplace program to everyone, we did our homework to find select retailers known for their customer service and ability to offer large assortments.” Purchases will be handled by walmart.com’s secure check-out process, with fulfilment, order support, shipping, customer service and exchanges the responsibility of each Marketplace retailer, Jariwala said. “It’s a nice way to extend our assortment and give customers the comfort of walmart.com, which they trust,” she said. The Wal-Mart Marketplace business model seems similar to Amazon.com, which years ago created a marketplace of third-party sellers. Amazon receives a commission on products sold via its marketplace. Wal-Mart declined to discuss the arrangement with Marketplace retailers. “We don’t disclose details of our partner relationships,” Jariwala said. <wwd.com/retail-news>


-Fred's gets a direct store delivery receiving system from SofTechnics - SofTechnics, the premier provider of mobile price and inventory management solutions for the retail sector, announced today that Fred's, Inc. (Nasdaq (GS): FRED), one of the nation's leading discount stores, is rolling out Direct Store Delivery receiving. The solution is comprised of the in-store receiving application; a module within SofTechnics' SoftGrocer suite that is tightly integrated with Fred's host and internal accounting systems. The Memphis, Tennessee-based discount chain operates over 650 stores in 15 states and will have SoftGrocer fully rolled out to all stores by September, 2009. Fred's is utilizing in-store receiving for improved gross margins, accuracy, and control of their entire line of direct delivery products, which is an ever-expanding assortment of items within their stores. <reuters.com>


-Target ads nine new vinyl billboard ads in Times Square on Friday - Target is cutting against the grain of digital-age flash with nine new vinyl billboard ads going up in Times Square on Friday that will eventually be repurposed into tote bags designed by Anna Sui. Iconic images, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, and words conjuring up the city such as “coffee,” “knish” and “Cheers New York,” will be splashed across the vinyl panels, in a combination of bold graphic symbols, pop art and verbal cues. Target anticipates offering about 1,600 Anna Sui totes fashioned from the vinyl billboards, Basgen said. Between 300 and 575 bags will be made from each of the panels, which vary in size from 3,256 square feet to 5,942 square feet. Black vinyl handles, black enamel studs and a black metal zipper will complete the items. The unlined bags, 15 inches high by 17 inches wide, are priced at $29.99. Marketing the totes via the Times Square campaign reflects Target’s mission to give its customers “style and value,” Basgen said, as well as its efforts to “recycle and create excitement about Target exclusives, like its design partnership with Anna Sui.” <wwd.com/business-news>


-Dan Bazinet has left his post as CEO of Birkenstock USA - Bazinet was named to the top spot at the firm last fall. During his short tenure, he worked to carve out unique identities for each of the company’s brands as well as bolster relationships with retailers. The company has been plagued in the past by inventory problems, but Bazinet said earlier this year that it had resolved its supply-chain issues. <wwd.com/footwear-news>


-Adidas uses US Open as way to market its Mi Adidas online make your own website - Tennis stars Sam Querrey and Melanie Oudin are gearing up to unveil their signature Mi Adidas shoes on the U.S. Open courts when the tournament kicks off this week. The elite athletes used miadidas.com, the athletic company's customization site, to put their own twist on their respective pairs of Adidas' Barricade V tennis shoes. Querry's Barricade V's feature a bold primary color scheme with his name emblazoned on the side, while Oudin is expected to don a neon pink, yellow, and blue set with her competitive mantra "believe" enscripted on the surface. Although Querrey and Oudin's shoes won't be available to the public, Adidas offers customization options for its tennis, basketball, running, and soccer performance footwear on Miadidas.com, with prices ranging from $95-240. <wwd.com/footwear-news>


-Professional tennis player Maria Sharapova recently unveiled her Cole Haan-branded handbag and footwear line in New York City, home of the upcoming U.S. Open Championships. Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan features a ballet flat, an ankle-wrapped stiletto, a flat over-the-knee boot, an ankle bootie and a strappy platform sandal. Handbags include a small frame clutch, a lambskin hobo and a signature chain-link satchel. The line retails from $138 to $328. <licensemag.com>


-Roger Federer works closely with Nike in designing and creating his custom tennis shoes -The process starts in the Nike Sports Research Lab, long before Federer ever laces up his signature shoe, the Lunarlite Vapor Tour. Federer asked for responsive shoes, and Nike provided him with Lunarlite foam, a light and resilient patented material. The foam is placed in the middle of the sole, along with a carbon-fiber shank that supports Federer’s arches. Nike also uses what it calls Flywire, which was first introduced during the 2008 Olympics in track spikes and borrows from suspension-bridge technology to stabilize the top part of Federer’s shoe and lock his foot in place. Nike also designs shoes for Rafael Nadal, Federer’s chief rival. The company focuses on power for Nadal and speed for Federer. A Nike representative explained the difference in an e-mail message: “Roger’s playing style consists of nimble footwork that is forefoot intensive, and a style of play that covers the entire court, while Rafa is a more explosive player with a more heel-focused game consisting of primarily lateral movements on the baseline.” <nytimes.com>


-Given the economy, high-end bridal designers and upmarket bridal salons are scrambling for new ways to woo their clients, whether it’s introducing lower-priced collections or beefing up marketing. At the same time, they’re tightening their own purse strings by establishing summer hours to cut back on overhead expenses and steady their businesses. Already, a handful of venerable retailers have shuttered, or are looking to close, their doors in the face of slumping bridal interest, fast on the heels of Saks Fifth Avenue, which eliminated 16 out of 18 of its bridal salons earlier this year. Philadelphia-based Suky Rosan, known for lines such as Vera Wang and Romona Keveza, closed earlier this summer. Others planning to phase out later this month include Yolanda in Boston and Louise Blum in Houston.  <wwd.com/retail-news>


-The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment Inc. in a deal worth $4 billion - Indicating the potential licensing and media benefits of the business combination, Robert A. Iger, Disney’s president and chief executive officer, said on a Monday conference call that the “popularity of Marvel characters and stories transcends gender, age, cultural and geographic boundaries, and can be told successfully across a wide range of both traditional and new media platforms.” The addition of Marvel’s portfolio of more than 5,000 characters “presents Disney with a unique opportunity to strengthen its strategic position as a leading global provider of high-quality branded content.” Tom Staggs, Disney’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, noted on the call that the acquisition includes “rights to Marvel’s vast library of characters; many of these are not yet widely known. Over time, we expect to more fully develop these characters across multiple platforms and territories.” <wwd.com/business-news>



Taubman Group has said that it is in discussions with eSun Holdings to reinvest in a shopping center at Macau Studio City.  eSun Holdings has slowed construction of Macau Studio City and Taubman’s previous agreement with eSun has been terminated because conditions attached to the agreement weren’t met.  However, according to Morgan Parker, Taubman’s Asia president, “we consider Macau Studio City the best retail opportunity in Macau and are keen to remain associated with the project if Cyber One is able to secure financing.”

Furthermore, Parker says, we believe that Macau “represents the best proxy to accessing the Chinese consumer” but stressed that Taubman is not interested in buying the malls Las Vegas Sands Corp. is putting up for sale there.



During the month of June, Macau lost an average of 75 non-resident workers per day. At the end of June, Macau had 83,616 non-resident workers, 2,271 less than those registered at the end of the previous month. Most of the labor force imported into Macau came from Mainland China (46,628 workers), even though that number was also reduced during June by 889 workers.

The population of Macau was estimated to be 544,200 at the end of June, 5,000 less than it was at the end of last year.  

Circumstances Rule

“Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances.”



Unless you are Warren Buffett or managing your own money, odds are that you don’t own your own duration. Your investors do. In this Pressure Cooker of daily, weekly, and monthly returns, circumstances rule asset managers; asset managers do not rule circumstances.


Yesterday, I had some fascinating feedback about my views on Duration Mismatch (i.e. you can be the smartest human on the planet, but if you get the timing wrong, guess what? you’re wrong). I’d like to thank our exclusive network of subscribers for calling it like it is, away from their bosses, from their g-mail accounts. One thing is crystal clear - there is an increasingly pent up level of frustration in the institutional investing community when it comes to the rigid investment mandates of its employers.


Being rigid in a dynamic ecosystem like this interconnected global marketplace is not where you want to be. Being forced to be bullish or bearish will get you whipped around. While it’s implied that it’s difficult for investors to think outside the box when they have one drawn around their head, it’s equally problematic to be mentally inflexible when you actually have a flexible investment mandate.


One of the top stories on Bloomberg this morning outlines Duration Mismatch to a tee. You have some of the long standing pariahs of Macro alongside some of the up and comers battling The New Reality that markets can crash (versus consensus expectations) just as well to the upside as they can on the downside. You guys are all big boys – and at the end of the game guys, you know that the only thing that matters out here on the field is the score.


The score for the SP500 for the month of August had to frustrate the short selling community to the core. For the month of August, the SP500 was up another +3.4% taking Q3 to-date performance all the way up to +11.02%. Yes, those last 2 little basis points were especially for those who bought into the Great Depression narrative fallacy.


I certainly don’t profess to get it right all of the time. That said, I acknowledge that I am a player who passionately celebrates with his teammates when we score a goal. For whatever reason in this business you’re not allowed to celebrate. Why is pretty straightforward. Almost all of the time, a lot of people are losing.


We can explain our performance problems away with whatever storytelling we want. The odds are that the manic media will actually bite on the crutch. The New Reality remains however: Transparency, Accountability, and Trust will continue to extend its talons into asset management. The question of the next 3 years will be: What is it that you are doing with my money and why? Don’t make excuses – you get paid to make money or show me my redemption when you aren’t.


Making money used to be a lot easier when you were perceived to be a master of the hedge fund community and you were able to float something out into the marketplace, picking up a spread on information premium. Today, those margins are being clipped. There is no longer a premium associated with one’s assigned intellect. Global liquidity and information transfer have crushed storytelling.


Here’s a real-time example of what I mean. Yesterday, on multiples occasions I was flashed with notes insinuating that last night’s Chinese PMI (Producer Manufacturing Index) was going to be a bomb. I’d say that as early as 3-years ago, that might have actually scared me into selling my EWH (Hong Kong ETF). There is nothing that frightens me more than someone having inside information and committing capital to it.


Today, we have an office in Hong Kong and our own people and contacts on the ground. We’re not alone. Asset management supply has ramped massively in the last 3-years. If there’s a place where someone can get Research Edge in this world, they are probably there. The days of “I heard” this coming out of China or Japan aren’t over. They are simply being audited.


Last night’s Chinese PMI number ended up being the best number printed in the last 16 months! If the rumor mongering weren’t so pathetically predictable out there, it would be sad. AFTER Chinese stocks have corrected -22.7% from their YTD high, you have people coming out of the woodwork with stories that I couldn’t make up if I tried.


Fortuitously, we sold out of our Chinese local A-share exposure (last week) before yesterday’s -6.7% one day crushing. We remain long the Hong Kong ETF as we think the risk management setup in the H-share is more palatable given the meltup we have seen in global equity markets. On the actual news, the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong traded up +0.75%. It is only -5.7% off of it’s YTD highs.


The rest of the economic news this morning in global macro is pretty much more of the same. There is plenty of lagging economic data in Europe (better than expected German unemployment at 8.3%, sequentially improved German retail sales, etc…) that paints the lines on this ultimate fighting field of daily risk management – the one that has been trading higher across equity, currency (ex-US), and commodity markets for the better part of the last 6-months. Markets looked forward, not behind.


Looking forward at the month of September, there is plenty to worry about. If you don’t wake up worried in this market, you probably aren’t awake. Be sure however to consider that crashes can occur versus expectations on both side of this ball. The Ball Underwater that I called out late last week is definitely in motion here. The US Dollar has stabilized and everything priced in Dollars is starting to pop.


I bought some of that bubbly oil back yesterday via the USO. It was down -4.5%. I have an addiction to buying things when they are red. It’s a personal bias and it can get me run over. Trust me, I get the drill.  Between now and the end of September, my goal is not to get run-over. That’s it.


I have immediate term TRADE downside support for the SP500 at 1003 and for the Nasdaq I’m looking at 1991. Could the immediate term highs for the year be in the rear-view? We will have to see, won’t we. Just remember that you don’t have to be bullish or bearish. You have to be right. Circumstances rule this game.


Best of luck out there today,






USO – Oil FundWe bought USO on 8/31 near the lows on the day in oil. USO isn’t the perfect ETF, but this is the right price.   


XLV– SPDR Healthcare We’re finally getting the correction we’ve been calling for in Healthcare. It’s a good one to buy into. Our Healthcare sector head Tom Tobin remains bullish on fading the “public plan” at a price.


EWH – iShares Hong KongThe current lower volatility in the Hang Seng (versus the Shanghai composite) creates a more tolerable trading range in the intermediate term and a greater degree of tactical confidence.


QQQQ – PowerShares NASDAQ 100We bought Qs on 8/10 and 8/17 to be long the US market. The index includes companies with better balance sheets that don’t need as much financial leverage.


CYB – WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan The Yuan is a managed floating currency that trades inside a 0.5% band around the official PBOC mark versus a FX basket. Not quite pegged, not truly floating; the speculative interest in the Yuan/USD forward market has increased dramatically in recent years. We trade the ETN CYB to take exposure to this managed currency in a managed economy hoping to manage our risk as the stimulus led recovery in China dominates global trade.


TIP– iShares TIPS The iShares etf, TIP, which is 90% invested in the inflation protected sector of the US Treasury Market currently offers a compelling yield. We believe that future inflation expectations are currently mispriced and that TIPS are a efficient way to own yield on an inflation protected basis, especially in the context of our re-flation thesis.


GLD – SPDR Gold - Buying back the GLD that we sold higher earlier in June on 6/30. In an equity market that is losing its bullish momentum, we expect the masses to rotate back to Gold.  We also think the glittery metal will benefit in the intermediate term as inflation concerns accelerate into Q4.




LQD – iShares Corporate Bonds – Corporate bonds have had a huge move off their 2008 lows and we expect with the eventual rising of interest rates that bonds will give some of that move back. Shorting ahead of Q4 cost of capital heightening as access to capital tightens.


DIA  – Diamonds Trust- We shorted the financial geared Dow on 7/10, 8/3, and 8/21.


EWJ – iShares Japan –While a sweeping victory for the Democratic Party of Japan has ended over 50 years of rule by the LDP bringing some hope to voters; the new leadership  appears, if anything, to have a less developed recovery plan than their predecessors. We view Japan as something of a Ponzi Economy -with a population maintaining very high savings rate whose nest eggs allow the government to borrow at ultra low interest levels in order to execute stimulus programs designed to encourage people to save less. This cycle of internal public debt accumulation (now hovering at close to 200% of GDP) is anchored to a vicious demographic curve that leaves the Japanese economy in the long-term position of a man treading water with a bowling ball in his hands.


SHY – iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bonds – If you pull up a three year chart of 2-Year Treasuries you'll see the massive macro Trend of interest rates starting to move in the opposite direction. We call this chart the "Queen Mary" and its new-found positive slope means that America's cost of capital will start to go up, implying that access to capital will tighten. Yields are going to continue to make higher-highs and higher lows until consensus gets realistic.

Early Look

daily macro intelligence

Relied upon by big institutional and individual investors across the world, this granular morning newsletter distills the latest and most vital market developments and insures that you are always in the know.

India: Fragile...

The Indian Space research organization terminated its Chandrayaan mission yesterday after losing contact with the unmanned vehicle, a setback for the agency which had hoped would get more than double the orbit time from the craft. The Indian space program is symbolic of the nation’s aspirations and, although the mission was not a failure having logged almost 315 days, it was a disappointment to the public.


Here on earth, GDP data released yesterday showed that the Indian economy experienced renewed vigor in the second quarter, expanding by 6.13% year-over-year; the first sequential increase since 2007.


The stimulus programs enacted earlier this year have had a pronounced impact, with increased government expenditures as a major driver (see chart below). Like the Chandrayaan, this figure was both a success and a disappointment for the administration. It came in lower than consensus had anticipated and as reports surface that the official five year economic growth estimates will be lowered to 7.8% (from 9%), the reality of stagnation in some core industries is sinking in.


India: Fragile...  - india 1


The glass half full case here is fairly straightforward: Although central government debt has risen significantly to finance stimulus programs, overall debt levels remain at a manageable level of GDP and are primarily domestically funded (see chart below).  Additionally, the still low rate environment and negative wholesale inflation levels have created a degree of demand resilience in pockets of the consumer and light industrial sectors.


India: Fragile...  - india2


The glass half empty case is equally easy to digest: Although official trade data for July will be released tomorrow, recent corporate filing data suggests that much of the emerging demand from neighboring China has passed India by (external trade currently accounts for less than a third of GDP by most estimates).  With drought conditions declared in 278 districts, the disappointing monsoon rains have left bleak prospects for the harvest that half the nation’s population depends on for their meager livelihood. Although wholesale inflation remains negative, CPI measures have remained worryingly high and Ministry of Finance officials have openly discussed fears of inflationary pressure later in the year.


I have held a negative bias against the Indian Equity market since we started early last year due to overlapping macroeconomic, tactical and fundamental factors and I have not always been right (recall that we were gored by India bulls in the aftermath of the NCP’s national election victory). Although this latest data is definitely encouraging, I still find myself grappling with fundamental doubts that the economy’s trajectory will be sustainable without a more rapidly developing mass-consumer class or more competitive export industries.


We currently have no position in India, long or short.


Andrew Barber
Director w Barber


Keith and I were going over our First Look in our 8:30 meeting today – as always.  The setup here is vital, in that any which way we slice it, we need to bank on an economic recovery in 2010 in order to get the group to work meaningfully from here as we’ve seen a 39% step-up in earnings growth expectations, and we’re trading at peaky 16x multiples on those numbers. Tough to make a long call here without a major earnings outlier or take-out.


But this one is all about duration, or ‘Duration Mismatch’– which is the crux of Keith’s Early Look today. I did not include the chart below in my initial comments, but probably should have. It takes the NTM consensus EPS growth rate and implied multiple back to the turn of the decade (I previously honed in on the past 2 years). What it shows is that coming out of the recession, we saw 100% earnings growth, and had 23x earnings multiples on top of that. I could write a dissertation as to why this time is different because of the dissimilar factors impacting the Consumer, the Economy, and the structural margin changes this industry has gone through.


But the reality is that as long as a chart like this exists, certain people will think it can happen again. Picking the top will be like preparing Fugu – that blowfish sushi that has enough neurotoxin to kill 30 people if prepared wrong.


 Fugu - 1

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 80.51%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.32%