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Retail Callouts (10/9): GPS, JCP, TGT, AMZN, DKS, EBAY, SHLD

Takeaway: GPS is not over bc Murphy is leaving, Murphy is leaving bc GPS is over. Even though JCP CEO role is a huge step-down, we can’t rule it out.

EVENTS TO WATCH

 

Thursday (10/9)

FDO - Earnings Call: 5:00pm

 

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

 

GPS - Gap Inc.’s Glenn Murphy to Pass Reins to Digital Leader Art Peck as Next Chief Executive Officer

(http://www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/media/pressrelease/2014/med_pr_gapincs_glenn_murphy_pass_reins_art_peck.html)

 

  • "Gap Inc. announced that Art Peck, the president of its Growth, Innovation and Digital division, has been selected by the Board of Directors to succeed Glenn Murphy as the company’s next chief executive officer, effective February 1, 2015. Murphy and Peck have worked side-by-side for the better part of a decade as Gap Inc.  dramatically improved its financial performance while expanding globally."

 

Takeaway: This is so bad for Gap, on many levels. The reality is that Murphy is too good for the Gap -- at least the Gap that he helped create. Since he joined the company in 2007 (at the age of 45!), he engineered a 15% EPS growth CAGR on a top line that only grew about 1%. GPS was never a top line growth story, and Murphy knew that. But he freed up 500bps in operating margin, and subsequently fed accelerated share repo, which drove earnings and the stock. But we've sensed for the better part of a year that Murphy took the company has far as he could operationally, and now is at a point where he has to worry about things like fashion (clearly not where he wants to be). We won't say that Gap is in trouble without him, but that Gap is likely in trouble, which is why he is leaving. The speculation, of course, is where he will go. It's uncanny that JCP's Mike Ullman reiterated yesterday that a CEO transition is on the front burner, and then just 8 hours later Murphy announces that he's leaving GPS. We think that JCP is a big step down for him, but if the money is right, we can't rule it out. If, by the grace of the retail Gods (and a big check), JCP were to get Murphy, it would be an absolutely huge hire.

 

 

Negative Datapoint for AMZN, Positive for EBAY -- ChannelAdvisor Comp Sales

 

Takeaway: ChannelAdvisor works with a host of 3rd party sellers who use the AMZN and EBAY marketplaces and uses the sales results from its clientele to back into these monthly comp numbers. In September, AMZN had its first sequential deceleration of 2014.  At the same time EBAY saw its first acceleration since March, reversing the large divergence seen between the two during 2014.  EBAY marketplaces, which is 52% ($8.3B) of current EBAY revenue at 82% gross margins, will become its own company with the PayPal spinoff expected next year.

 

Retail Callouts (10/9): GPS, JCP, TGT, AMZN, DKS, EBAY, SHLD - 10 9 chart1


 

Golf:  Amazon golf comps slowed but with a solid 39% gain.  Inventory remains high in the space, apparently, as Amazon golf sales are a good proxy for excess inventory in the channel. Still not good for DKS .

 

Retail Callouts (10/9): GPS, JCP, TGT, AMZN, DKS, EBAY, SHLD - 10 9 chart2

 

 

TGT - Target’s new CEO makes Canadian turnaround his priority

(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/target-ceo-using-urgent-hands-on-tactics-to-get-retailer-back-on-track/article20996463/#dashboard/follows/)

 

  • "The new chief executive officer of Target Corp. is taking a hands-on approach to fixing the company’s problems in Canada, making regular trips to check stores here as he heads into the all-important holiday season."
  • "Brian Cornell said in an interview on Wednesday he will travel to Canada from Target’s head office in Minneapolis on a 'regular' basis to oversee the turnaround efforts."
  • "He has 'put on pause' the company’s earlier plan to appoint a non-executive chairperson with domestic experience to oversee the troubled Canadian operations."

 

Takeaway: What does it say about Canada, when a new CEO 8-weeks into the job has put a part of the business that accounts for about 7% of total company square footage and 2.5% of revs at the top of the priority of list? Sure it's disproportionally dilutive to earnings, taking down numbers by about 20%, and we have a hard time seeing how it ever turns a profit. But, there is a lot that needs to be fixed in the core US business that needs the CEO's attention. Like un-boxing itself from the competitive set its developed over the past 5 years as it made its move into groceries, pushed the RedCard, and lost its cache in apparel and home. Now it finds itself right in the middle of five unique competitors - 1) WalMart, 2) Department Stores, 3) Dollar Stores, 4) Supermarkets, and 5) Amazon. If there is one thing we take away from this article it's that Cornell has a lot of wood to chop on the HR front. That means that he's spent the past two months meeting the organization, and either he thinks changes need to be made, or gaps need to be filled. It's probably both.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

SHLD - Sears stock down again on reports of halted vendor shipments

(http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/sears-stock-down-again-on-reports-of-halted-vendor-shipments-1.2792697)

 

  • "Sears Canada stock plunged by eight per cent and U.S. parent Sears Holding Corp. was down by 15 per cent after reports that a vendor had stopped shipments to U.S. stores."
  • "Bloomberg News said Wednesday that a Sears vendor was halting shipments because it couldn’t obtain insurance to ensure it would be paid for its products."

 

M - Bloomingdale's goes high-tech at new store in Palo Alto, California

(http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/bloomingdales-goes-high-tech-new-store-palo-alto-california)

 

  • "Bloomingdale’s goes high-tech with the opening of its store in Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, California, on Oct. 10. In a nod to the digitally-savvy locale, the three-level, 125,000-sq.-ft. store features a wide array of high-tech innovations to make shopping easier. Among the offerings: state-of-the-art smart fitting rooms, a buy online, pick-up in-store feature and the launch of same-day-delivery where shoppers located within a 15-mile radius from the store can buy select merchandise on bloomingdales.com and have the product delivered within a five-hour window. And all sales associates are outfitted with mobile checkout devices."

 

H&M's & Other Stories Opens in New York

(http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/specialty-stores/hms-other-stories-opens-in-new-york-7972951?module=hp-topstories)

 

  • "H&M’s new format, '& Other Stories,' is starting a new chapter."
  • "The chain on Friday will open its first store in the U.S., in SoHo, as well as a U.S. e-commerce site."
  • "The 6,400-square-foot store is at 575 Broadway. It has two entrances: on Broadway, which attracts a mixed audience, including tourists, and on Mercer Street, which is filled with designer and luxury brands."

LEISURE LETTER (10/09/2014)

Tickers: LVS, PENN, GLPI, PEB, NCLH

EVENTS

  • October 9: Todd Jordan in Macau
  • October 16: Hedgeye cruise pricing survey (mid-October)

COMPANY NEWS

880:HK SJM  (Macau Business) When Jai Alai Palace will reopen is uncertain because work on renovating the establishment remains suspended while it awaits government permission to proceed. The government ordered the suspension of the work in March while the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau considers an application for permission to modify the building.

Takeaway:  The approval process for Macau projects have been very slow.

 

LVS (Inquirer)– a Marina Bay Sands food court, 1983, was closed temporarily for thorough cleaning, after a photograph of cockroaches patronizing one of its stalls went viral online. Marina Bay Sands issued a statement to say that they were “aware of a pest incident” that occurred at 1983 – A Taste of Nanyang on October 6. The food court, which is run by Koufu, is located at the South Promenade of The Shoppes. “We immediately took action and worked with the tenant to conduct checks and investigate the incident,” said the statement.

Takeaway: An unfortunate and unwelcomed guest, but we've seen much worse Singapore locals hawker / food centers. 

 

3918:HK NagaCorp – New startup airline, Bassaka Air, was granted its aircraft operation certificate (AOC) by the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation. Representatives from Bassaka Air, which has partnered with the state-owned China International Travel Services (CITS) and will lease its two Airbus A320 aircraft from casino firm NagaCorp to ferry in Chinese tourists, said the first flight is yet to be confirmed.  Bassaka AIr's CEO Joseph Strekker  denied the casino operator had any financial interest in BA, however confirmed the aircraft were leased from NagaCorp.

Takeaway: While technically unrelated businesses, the airline was clearly established to support tourism to NagaWorld. 

 

PENN & GLPI – Sioux City and its residents bid bon voyage to the former Argosy riverboat casino when it departed Sioux City down the Missouri River. The three-deck boat is bound for Wood River, Ill., where its new owner operates a large shipyard and salvage operation. 

Takeaway: The final headline in this matter will be the ruling and resolution of the current litigation over the license. 

  

PEB – entered into an agreement to acquire an upscale, full-service hotel
and adjacent commercial real estate and land parcel in the Boston, Massachusetts region for $261.0 million from an unaffiliated third party. The
Company expects to fund the purchase price with available cash and borrowings on its senior unsecured credit facility. The closing is expected to
occur before the end of 2014,

Takeaway: PEB filling a noticeable hole in its Northeast footprint.

 

NCLH – received antitrust clearance from FTC regarding purchase of Prestige Cruises.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Japanese Gaming Expansion (Yomiuri Shimbun) The integrated resort enabling legislation was revised to exclude Japanese nationals from gaming participation. As a result, only foreign nationals will be initially allowed to gamble at casinos.

 

This policy was agreed Tuesday at a meeting of senior members of the league dedicated to promoting international tourism.  The league, chaired by Hiroyuki Hosoda, executive acting secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, will make an official decision at a general meeting next Thursday. The league plans to add a clause in the bill that Japanese nationals would be allowed to gamble at casinos through the enactment of another law.

Takeaway: Besides this major change, the enabling legislation also includes the following stipulations "integrated resorts will be limited to central government-designated areas based on applications from local governments" AND "central, relevant local governments can collect levies from firms that open and operate casinos, and entrance fees from users".

 

UnionPay Crackdown Continues in Macau (LUSA) The value of transactions using unregistered China UnionPay Co Ltd terminals in Macau amounted to MOP300 million (US$37.6 million) in the first eight months of 2014. Lusa quotes the city’s Judiciary Police as saying they have identified 51 suspects (39 from mainland China and 12 from Macau) involved in what they describe as illegal transactions. They have investigated 40 cases since the beginning of the year, with 34 of the cases sent to the territory’s Public Prosecutions Office. Jewellery and watch shops inside the precincts of the city’s casinos were banned from applying for new UnionPay swipe terminals since July 1. The existing swipe card devices operated by such shops have not been removed but the Macau government has not excluded that possibility.

Takeaway: Despite the crackdown, it appears the use of illegal devices continues.

  

Biloxi Margaritaville Casino – A U.S. bankruptcy judge has given MVB Holding until midnight Oct. 27 to vacate the former Margaritaville Casino building and turn the keys over to the property owners. Mississippi Gaming Commission regulations say the building can’t reopen as a casino unless it has a 300-room hotel, an upscale restaurant and an amenity that would make it unique and draw new people to the market.

Takeaway: The redevelopment plan remains unclear given the hotel mandate. 

 

EBOLA Screening to Begin – The government plans to begin taking the temperatures of travelers from West Africa arriving at five U.S. airports as part of a stepped-up response to the Ebola epidemic. The additional layer of screening would begin at New York Kennedy and the international airports in Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago and Atlanta. He said the new steps would include taking temperatures and would begin Saturday at JFK. The new measures also will include more screening questions for passengers arriving from the countries worst hit by the outbreak -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Takeaway: A good first step, but more precautions are warranted.

 

Business Travel Trends – According to the Global Business Travel Association, during the second quarter of this year, U.S.-originated business travel added up to $72.8 billion, a 7.1% year-over-year increase. Although, notably, there was a 0.1% decline in the actual number of trips. However, more business people are traveling. The report found that travel volume is expected to rise only 2.3% for the year, but spending will grow by 7% year-over-year due to the higher prices for hotel rooms, airfare and food. International outbound business travel is also expected to rise in volume by 5.6% for the year 2014, followed by a 6.5% increase in 2015 despite slowing growth in Europe, China and Latin America, according to the report.

Takeaway: Positive trends for the lodging industry.

 

Virgin Hotels – Virgin Hotels announced the opening of its first hotel in Chicago, scheduled to open on January 15, 2015, with “chambers” starting at a US$209 rate. The hotel with 250 guestrooms, 40 one-bedroom suites and two "rock star" suites will also have a large gym on the top floor of the building as well as a spa that will open in the spring. The company also launched its new web-site virginhotels.com.

Takeaway: All inclusive entertainment, fee unlimited-highspeed internet -- we look forward to putting our heads onto a pillow and trying the custom-designed hybrid bed and other creature comforts.

 

 

MACRO


German Recession Fears Increase – German exports plunged 5.8% in August by their largest amount since the height of the financial crisis and leading institutes slashed forecasts for growth, fueling debate on whether Berlin is doing enough to prop up the domestic and European economies. This was the latest sign that Europe's largest economy is faltering amid broader euro zone weakness and crises abroad which have battered confidence and delayed German firms' investment plans.

 

Hedgeye remains negative on consumer spending and believes in muted inflation, a Quad Four set-up.  Following  a great call on rising housing prices, the Hedgeye Macro/Financials team is 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.


Decidedly Dovish

Client Talking Points

UST 10YR

Epic decline for the UST 10Yr (-71 basis points year-to-date, -23%) as long-term yields effectively crash vs. consensus expectations of rates rising. Most bond proxies in equity land (Utilities) ripped on the dovish Fed move yesterday; don’t confuse that with growth.

USD

Massive correlation risk in the market as of Friday (when Gold was pinned sub $1180 and EUR/USD was $1.25) reversed, fast – this back and forth Currency War between the Japanese, Europeans, and Americans is very much on – and consensus is way too long of U.S. Dollars given a dovish Fed.

JAPAN

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe does not like Dovish Dollar because he gets up Yen (down Nikkei) on that; Nikkei down another -0.66% overnight to -3.5% year-to-date – it will be interesting to see if the Japanese react to ECB and Fed devaluation moves in the coming months.

Asset Allocation

CASH 68% US EQUITIES 0%
INTL EQUITIES 6% COMMODITIES 2%
FIXED INCOME 24% INTL CURRENCIES 0%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
EDV

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.

TLT

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.

RH

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

FX: Currency War #on as Fed takes its turn (Euro up)

@KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.

-Don Shula

STAT OF THE DAY

Over the last 34 years, on our way to becoming the biggest debtor nation in history, the U.S. has borrowed some $10.4T, with an average annual deficit-to-GDP ratio of ~3.2%.


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THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP – October 9, 2014


As we look at today's setup for the S&P 500, the range is 45 points or 1.98% downside to 1930 and 0.31% upside to 1975.        

                                                                                                                       

SECTOR PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 1

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 2

 

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 10

 

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

  • YIELD CURVE: 1.87 from 1.87
  • VIX closed at 15.11 1 day percent change of -12.15%

 

MACRO DATA POINTS (Bloomberg Estimates):

  • 8:30am: Init. Jobless Claims, Oct. 4, est. 295k (prior 287k)
  • 8:45am: Bloomberg Oct. U.S. Economic Survey
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, Oct. 5 (prior 34.8)
  • 10am: Wholesale Inventories, Aug., est. 0.3% (prior 0.1%)
  • 10:15am: Fed’s Bullard speaks in St. Louis
  • 10am: Freddie Mac mortgage rates
  • 10:30am: EIA natural-gas storage change
  • 11am: ECB’s Draghi, Fed’s Fischer speak in Washington
  • 11am: U.S. announces plans for auctions of 3M/6M/1Y bills
  • 1pm:  U.S. to sell $13b 30Y bonds in reopening
  • 1:10pm: Fed’s Tarullo speaks in Washington
  • 1:15pm: Fed’s Lacker speaks in Asheville, N.C.
  • 1:30pm: Fed’s Fischer speaks in Washington
  • 3:40pm: Fed’s Williams speaks in Las Vegas

 

GOVERNMENT:

    • Senate, House out of session
    • President Obama speaks on economy
    • 8am: Financial Services Roundtable holds Global Financial Summit, participants incl. CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad
    • 9am: IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim preview IMF, World Bank annual mtgs
    • 9:15am: Sec. of State John Kerry, U.K. Foreign Sec. Philip Hammond at Boston global climate change, clean energy event
    • 11am: ECB President Mario Draghi speaks at Brookings Institution; Draghi, Fed Board Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer follow w/conversation
    • 3pm: Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson at CSIS discussion on border security
    • U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Abortion Issue in N.H.; Kansas Sen. Debate

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • Alcoa Earnings Rebound as Aluminum Use Rises in Autos, Aerospace
  • Barclays to Pay $20m to Settle Libor Suit, Plaintiffs Say
  • McClendon Said to Weigh Bid for Freeport’s California Assets
  • Gap Tumbles After Saying Murphy Will Step Down as CEO Next Year
  • AMD Appoints Lisa Su Chief Executive, Replaces Rory Read
  • Twitter News Head Schiller Exits as Executive Turnover Continues
  • Icahn Says He Plans to Send Open Letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook
  • Russia Moves Ruble Band Most Since March, Spends $1.85b
  • Nurse Tested for Ebola in Australia After Volunteering in Africa
  • Worldwide PC Sales Declined 1.7% in Third Quarter, IDC Says
  • Morgan Stanley Bankers Poised for Biggest Wall Street Bonus Bump
  • Tesla to End ‘The D’ Suspense to Stay Ahead on Electric Autos
  • Boeing Predicts Demand for 1,340 New Planes in Northeast Asia
  • Brooklyn Home Prices Reach Record as New York Buyers Bid Higher
  • CEOs Tout Reserves of Oil, Gas Revealed to Be Much Less to SEC
  • Hong Kong Protest Leaders Say They May Walk Away From Talks
  • China Outlines Plans to Ease Capital Controls, Boost Use of Yuan
  • Elevation Partners Said to Tell Investors No New Fund Is Coming
  • Google Asks Supreme Court to Decide Oracle Suit: Reuters
  • Citigroup Set to Return $16m to Customers After Pact: WSJ
  • Fidelity 1 of 13 Fin Groups Targeted by JPMorgan Hackers: FT

 

EARNINGS:

  • Lindsay (LNN) 7am, $0.56
  • PepsiCo (PEP) 7am, $1.29 - Preview
  • Helen of Troy (HELE) 4:01pm, $0.73
  • Barracuda Networks (CUDA) 4:15pm, $0.04
  • Family Dollar (FDO) Aft-Mkt, $0.77 - Preview

 

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION (HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG)

  • CEOs Tout Reserves of Oil, Gas Revealed to Be Much Less to SE
  • Brent Crude Declines as Germany Nears Recession; WTI Steady
  • Sugar Shortage Seen Looming by Drake Amid Drought in Brazil
  • China Battles GMO Unease From Field to Dinner Table: Commodities
  • Noble Said to Hire Gazprom’s Kapic to Trade European Power, Gas
  • EU Carbon Contango Crushed as Yield Is Better Than ECB: Vertis
  • Copper Advances Most in Three Weeks as Dollar Continues to Slide
  • Alcoa Earnings Rebound as Aluminum Use Rises in Aerospace
  • Gold Futures Rise to Highest in More Than 2 Weeks on Fed Minutes
  • Food Prices Slide a Sixth Month to Four-Year Low as Grains Fall
  • Solar’s $30 Billion Splurge Proves Too Much for Japan: Energy
  • Investors Shun World’s Richest Mineral Store in South Africa
  • Nickel Seen by ANZ Rising in Next Few Months on Slower Exports
  • Aurubis Raises Copper Premium for Europe by 4.8% for Next Year
  • Rio’s Bullish Iron Ore Outlook Bolsters Glencore Case for Bid

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 5

 

CURRENCIES


THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 6

 

GLOBAL PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 3

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 4

 

EUROPEAN MARKETS

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 7

 

ASIAN MARKETS

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 8

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - 9

 

 

The Hedgeye Macro Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CHART OF THE DAY: Energy Price Sensitivity (Wildcatters Energy E&P Index)

CHART OF THE DAY: Energy Price Sensitivity (Wildcatters Energy E&P Index) - 10.09.14 Wildcatters Index

 

As you can see in today’s chart, the Thomson Reuters Wildcatter’s Index (small and mid-cap E&Ps) has retreated -33% from its June YTD highs. If you top-ticked that move, it was the same day you shorted oil at the 2014 highs.  



Biting the Hand That Feeds

“If I were investing in oil and gas stocks, there is one question I would ask CEO’s: what portion of your capital is going to have to go in to stay even?”

-Gwyn Morgan, Former CEO of EnCana, 2002

 

Shale Gas now accounts for 40% of all U.S. natural gas produced, with its share expected to increase to 53% by 2040 according to EIA estimates. The U.S. has approximately 31 years of current aggregate domestic natural gas production in technically recoverable shale reserves (assuming all natural gas produced is from shale: ~60 years of recoverable reserves at peak estimated production levels).

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported that the largest employment increases since the shale revolution commenced circa 2006 have occurred in the four U.S. states which just so happened to have engaged in the heaviest amount of hydraulic fracturing: North Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.


Although an increase in overall drilling has ceased, the production of natural gas has increased dramatically. Companies can produce 6x the amount of natural gas they could from the same well in 2010. Smarter, more efficient drilling and better technology have contributed to the increase in well productivity in the last few years.

 

Many domestic industries benefit from the increase in U.S. natural gas production from the petrochemicals and fertilizers space to the iron, steel, and glass manufacturing players. With an abundance of this resource seemingly available at what should be cheap prices for years to come, why not take advantage?

  • Collectively embrace new projects
  • Quickly approve LNG Export terminals to help both domestic producers and the trade balance
  • Build an interconnected domestic network of pipelines

Biting the Hand That Feeds - 16

 

Why bite the hand that feeds?


Back to the Global Macro Grind…


Just to (again) re-iterate our preferred #QUAD4 positioning (GROWTH SLOWING, INFLATION DECELERATING):

  • We still like bonds (treasuries and munis)
  • We still think growth and inflation are slowing in the U.S.
  • We still have no evidence to suggest the monetary policy response in #Quad4 is anything but dovish

We outlined the outlook for the domestic economy in a #QUAD4 scenario in our macro themes call last week (ping for replay access).

 

If there was any question about the Fed-fueled leverage embedded in overall market levels, Janet Yellen’s dovish commentary that lifted the S&P 500 44 handles off the lows to close on the highs of the day should give some insight as to why the economy and the stock market become diverged (even for long periods of time)… UNTIL IT ENDS.

 

The global economy was cited as “weaker than anticipated” yesterday and the stock market rallied +2.3% off the lows.

 

The release of the Fed minutes from the September 16-17 meeting revealed that committee members were worried that:

 

“further gains in the dollar could hurt exports and damp inflation”

  • The S&P 500 airlifted off the lows to close +1.7% d/d
  • The 10-Yr yield backed up for the fourth consecutive day and is now at a new YTD LOW (2.28%) with every tick
  • The USD retreated 44 bps (RED AGAIN THIS MORNING)
  • Gold is ripping this morning on the follow through (+1.6%)

 

Why not just buy stocks and let the Fed have their “Free Lunch” as my colleague Christian Drake explained in Tuesday’s Early Look?  Why complain? Why bite the hand that feeds?


While the Fed can admittedly talk the currency in either direction, a #QUAD4 scenario also implies the existence of deflationary headwinds in the commodity space.  

 

The answer to Gwyn Morgan’s aforementioned quote is difficult to answer at the beginning of a project.

 

Which E&P projects are NPV positive? How can we possibly know?


With so much uncertainty in energy prices years into the future, this question is often left unanswered until it’s boom or bust. Energy companies certainly don’t like the disinflation of prices since mid-summer.

 

As you can see in today’s chart, the Thomson Reuters Wildcatter’s Index (small and mid-cap E&Ps) has retreated -33% from its June YTD highs. If you top-ticked that move, it was the same day you shorted oil at the 2014 highs. 

 

The steep premiums for natural gas in some parts of the United States shed light on the capital intensive nature of investing in the re-birth of the North American energy boom fueled by evolutionary production of shale rock resources.

 

While the onsite production is ramping-up across the country and flooding the market with supply, refining and transportation availability is still lacking, causing large premiums in those regions where it’s difficult to distribute resources. Developing the infrastructure requires time, and the profitability of each project is at the mercy of unpredictable oil and gas prices.


Marginal production costs in the Utica and Marcellus regions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are as low as anywhere in the country. Yet, natural gas futures for January delivery in New England are priced $15 (highest nationally). If a producer in Utica could produce and refine for, call it $3, the spread is $12, so why not build a pipeline? Assume a pipeline was built from Harrison, WV to Boston (656 miles) at $3M/MILE (low-end of the cost structure).  The all in cost is approximately $2Bn.

 

While it’s easy to field one side of the argument to produce more oil and gas, create jobs, and export the extra supply (amidst a global slowdown), lower prices are squeezing domestic producers. With the lever-up, invest now-benefit later nature of the business, the most- sound companies who have picked the best projects to undertake will be able to withstand a further sell-off in oil and gas prices.

 

Rankings of Marginal Production Costs of U.S. Shale Plays (Lowest to Highest):

  1. Utica
  2. Southwest Marcellus
  3. Permian
  4. Northeast Marcellus
  5. Eagle Ford
  6. Granite Wash
  7. Niobrara
  8. Barnett
  9. Haynesville

Rankings of Natural Gas Production per New Rig (Highest to Lowest):

  1. Marcellus
  2. Haynesville
  3. Utica
  4. Niobrara
  5. Eagle Ford
  6. Bakken
  7. Permian

  

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 2.30-2.45%

SPX 1

RUT 1072-1123

DAX 8

VIX 14.16-17.58

USD 85.01-85.99

EUR/USD 1.26-1.28

Pound 1.60-1.62

WTI Oil 86.82-93.17

Nat. Gas 3.81-4.05

Gold 1195-1235

Copper 2.98-3.07

 

Ben Ryan

Analyst

 

Biting the Hand That Feeds - 10.09.14 Wildcatters Index

 


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This indispensable trading tool is based on a risk management signaling process Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough developed during his years as a hedge fund manager and continues to refine. Nearly every trading day, you’ll receive Keith’s latest signals - buy, sell, short or cover.

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