Retail Callouts (11/11): ICSC, KATE, M, TGT, KSS, BABA, ZQK

Takeaway: No snapback in ICSC on easy compares. KATE/NB partnership no lose for KATE. More Black Friday moves by TGT. Creating our own KSS word cloud.



Retail Callouts (11/11): ICSC, KATE, M, TGT, KSS, BABA, ZQK - 11 11 chart2




ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers -- Sales index of 80 general merchandise retailers)

Takeaway: Very slight sequential bump to +2.1% vs +1.8% last week. Not enough to reverse the downtrend we've been seeing for the past month. What's interesting is that last year, we saw disposable personal income growth go negative in November and December. That suggests to us that we should be seeing a pop in sales growth as we head into the final stretch of the year. Guess not.


Retail Callouts (11/11): ICSC, KATE, M, TGT, KSS, BABA, ZQK - 11 11 chart1





Retail Callouts (11/11): ICSC, KATE, M, TGT, KSS, BABA, ZQK - 11 11 chart3


KATE - How New Balance Became Fashion's No-Risk Source for Sneaker Cred



  • "Last week the company told analysts that New Balance is stitching up a special line of its WX711 and the coming WX811 in Spade’s 'signature bright colors and graphic prints.' The shoes will start selling in February for $95 at both Kate Spade and New Balance stores.


Takeaway: At first blush, this wasn't exactly what we had in mind when it came to the Saturday-New Balance partnership. Very little branding from what we can see outside of the text towards the heel of the shoe plus some funky pattern on the midsole = a black New Balance shoe with Zebra stripes.  But the reality for KATE is that this partnership has zero downside. They're using the Saturday banner, which has zero relevance to the consumer. They can't damage what does not exist in the event that this initiative goes South.  We're a lot more interested to see how the West Elm partnership goes for KATE.


M - Macy's Set to Unveil Visual Search App



  • "(Macy's) today will unveil a new app that allows customers to snap photos of outfits they like, upload them and have the same or similar items identified from its existing inventory and made available for immediate purchase."


Takeaway: Smart move by Macy's here. We'd be shocked if it directly generates even a hundredth of a point in comp. But it is a way for Macy's to collect information regarding consumers likes/dislikes that will help the company merchandise the store better. We still think Macy's is a short here. But we recognize and admire what it's doing as industry forces pressure earnings and cash flow.


TGT- Target opening at 6pm Thanksgiving, Announces Black Friday Deals


Takeaway: Target is opening 2 hours earlier -- again -- are giving 10% off gift cards on November 28th, and that's on top of offering free shipping on every single item (no matter how low priced) on Target online. Could Target win back traffic in Cornell's first holiday at Target? Sure. But we seriously question what kind of Gross Margins TGT will put up over the next two quarters.


KSS: A Play On Words



Retail Callouts (11/11): ICSC, KATE, M, TGT, KSS, BABA, ZQK - 11 11 chart4

Takeaway: Hey, give KSS a little credit here. At least the company is being consistent with consumers and investors alike. At the company's analyst meeting on 10/29, the company mentioned the word 'Frozen' 10 times throughout the day. In fact, we ran our own word cloud from the KSS Analyst Day transcript looking for traditional Wall Street words like revenue, margin, and profit as well as some of the 'head scratcher' words we heard during the 7+ hour meeting ie. Love, Frozen, and Greatness Agenda. This is the result. Not a surprise that the word 'Love' = 27x ('Love will drive our business'), and 'Greatness Agenda' 18x. The word 'Profit', which we think is a pretty important one, was mentioned only 10x, 'Earnings' only 2x, and 'Revenue' only 1x.


BABA- Alibaba Singles' Day Sales Top $5.9 Billion



  • "Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. turned an obscure Chinese holiday into the country's biggest shopping event. Now it's aiming to take the success of Singles' Day global by tapping foreign brands, including Calvin Klein and Blue Nile Inc."
  • "Those companies, along with Costco Wholesale Corp., Origins Natural Resources Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., are participating in Tuesday's event for the first time. Alibaba said it sold more than 36.2 billion renminbi, or $5.9 billion, of merchandise within 14 hours of the promotion kicking off, eclipsing last year's record."


Takeaway: To put this number in perspective, US Consumers spent $1.25bn on Cyber Monday last year on ALL online sites.  Alibaba alone clocked in 4.7x that amount on Singles' Day.  BABA did $1bn of volume in the first 18 minutes, and $2bn in the first hour alone.


ZQK - Quiksilver Reaches Agreement to Sell Surfdome to SurfStitch Group



  • "Quiksilver expects to receive net proceeds of approximately (US)$16 million for its equity interest, loans and other amounts due from Surfdome. The all-cash transaction, which is subject to SurfStitch reaching agreement to purchase the minority interest in Surfdome, is expected to close before the end of the current calendar year."


Takeaway: No brainer for ZQK on this one. The balance sheet needs every nickel it can find. Though the company did not release precise economics, we think that the income from Surfdome was well below $1mm annually. $16mm in proceeds makes a lot of sense from where we sit.





India to Ban Import of Animal Tested Cosmetics



  • "In a historic move for the beauty industry in India a ban on the import of cosmetics tested on animals will go into effect Thursday."


RSH- RadioShack Resorts to Thanksgiving Openings to Boost Sales



  • "More than 3,000 of RadioShack’s stores will be open on Nov. 27 from 8 a.m. to midnight"

LEISURE LETTER (11/11/2014)

Tickers: H


  • Nov 11
    • Stations Casino Q3 earnings: 4:30pm
  • Nov 13-16
    • Macau Grand Prix
    • Hedgeye Cruise Pricing Survey
  • Nov 16-18
    • Quantum of the Seas investor event


H – Hyatt Hotels and Playa Hotels & Resorts B.V., announced the upcoming opening of Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The new all inclusive resort, which is scheduled to open December in time for the winter holiday season, is at the site of the former Dreams Puerto Vallarta. It is the culmination of an approximate $20 million expansion, renovation and repositioning that is intended to reinvent this resort destination in a way that brings effortless indulgence to the all inclusive vacation experience.

Takeaway: Based on our search, we found availability beginning on Sunday, December 28 at a nightly rate of $368 for a Ziva Terrace King Bed.


Insider Transactions:

BYD - Vice Chairman Marianne Boyd Johnson sold 22,800 shares, sold 800 shares at $11.84 each and another 22,000 at $11.54 each out of the Marianne Boyd Gaming Properties Trust. The trust still owns 5.612 million shares.

Takeaway:  Not sure why she is selling but it does not appear to be related to the expiration of options.  Ms Boyd has sold 74,300 shares so far in November.


Macau's Secretary for Economy & Finance – Lionel Leong Vai Tac is rumored to be the favorite to replace Francis Tam Pak Yuen as Secretary for Economy and Finance, the official that oversees Macau’s gaming industry. Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment and member of the Executive Council and the National People’s Congress.,english/

Takeaway: If true, it will be interesting to see how Mr. Leong Vai Tac works with the gaming operators - in a prior business life, he provided laundry services to many of the Macau casinos/hotels.


Macau Population Increase – The population of Macau was 631,000 at the end of September, 7,000 more than three months earlier. The Statistics and Census Service attributes the increase to the influx of migrant workers, whose number rose by 7,567 to 162,877. In the third quarter 1,971 babies were born in the city, 419 people died, 2,656 Chinese immigrated and 538 people gained the right of abode.



Zhuhai MICE – last week, the Zhuhai International Convention & Exhibition Center (ZCEC) opened to its first event when it hosted the China (Zhuhai) International Automobile Exhibition.  Costing 7 billion yuan ($1.14 billion), the 269,000sqm CEC is comparable to the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition and the Guangzhou (Pazhou) International Convention & Exhibition center. The first phase, with floor space of 700,000sqm, encompasses the International Exhibition Wing with six 5,000sqm halls at ground level; International Convention Wing with the 2,000sqm Plenary Hall; Opera Theater, Concert Hall; 35 meeting rooms; and support facilities. The 30,000sqm exhibition floor accommodates 1,600 standard 3-square-metre booths. The CEC also has a 4,500sqm column-free, divisible Grand Ballroom with a 4,000sqm kitchen capable of catering round-table banquets of up to 6,000 people.

Takeaway: Increased competition for MICE from Zhuhai and more importantly MICE attendees will not need a Macau visa. 


Macau Loansharking Increasing – A total of 177 loansharking cases, mostly related to ‘gaming activities’ in the city, were recorded for the first nine months of this year, according to Secretary for Security Cheong Kuoc Va. The number of registered loansharking cases as at end-September represent a rise of 48.7% when compared with the same period last year, making it one of the types of crime recording the most rapid increase so far. Of the 98 people arrested for the loansharking cases in the period this year, most were from mainland China.

Takeaway: Increased loanshark activity, an outward sign of tighter credit for the mass population.


Macau Visitation Overstay Crackdown – for the January to September period, Macau Immigration Security Units have seen more mainland Chinese overstay using permits other than the individual visit scheme visas. A total of 31,198 of these overstays were recorded for the period, which is 5,520 more people than a year ago, while the number of overstays using a permit for the individual visit scheme in the period is 3,426 people, 75 people less than the same period last year.  However, Secretary for Security Cheong Kuoc Va noted the number of overstays from the mainland has already fallen since July, the month authorities imposed the new rule requiring mainland Chinese passport holders transiting Macau to and from another country or territory be granted a stay of five days maximum instead of seven.


Florida Casino Boat Files for Bankruptcy – the Palm Beach-based, 600-passenger Island Breeze Casino filed for bankruptcy.  The operators are hoping to restart operations next month after reaching an agreement with its Miami slot machine leaser. The Island Breeze charges a $15 boarding fee to non-members and $10 fee to player club members.

Takeaway: Apparently not quite the "from Palm Beach to Vegas in 30 minutes" experience as advertised.  The operators promised the Port of Palm Beach the vessel would carry 125,000 passengers per year OR pay $5 for each person below that headcount.


Real Estate to be 11 GICS Sector – last night MSCI and S&P announced Real Estate will become the 11th Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) sector with implementation to be effective after market close on August 31, 2016. Both, MSCI & S&P are requesting feedback on the implementation by February 13, 2015. 

Takeaway: While likely an initial 3.5% weighting in the Index (based on current weighting), this segregation likely paves the way for additional REIT inclusions in the Index. 


Japan Consumer Sentiment dropped for the third consecutive month in October.  The Japanese Consumer Confidence Index was 38.9 in October, down from 39.9 in September. A reading below 50 suggests consumer pessimism


Hedgeye Macro Team remains negative Europe, their bottom-up, qualitative analysis (Growth/Inflation/Policy framework) indicates that the Eurozone is setting up to enter the ugly Quad4 in Q4 (equating to growth decelerates and inflation decelerates) = Europe Slowing.

Takeaway:  We're seeing bottoms up slowing in Europe cruise pricing in our monthly survey. Europe has been a tailwind for CCL and RCL but a negative pivot here looks increasingly likely. Following CCL's earnings release, we recently turned negative on those stocks based on the negative European thesis. 


Hedgeye Macro Team remains negative on consumer spending and believes in muted inflation, a Quad4 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.


Takeaway: Our Macro Playbook is a daily 1-page summary of our investment themes, core ETF recommendations and proprietary quantitative market context.


Long Ideas/Overweight Recommendations

  1. iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (MUB)
  2. iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT)
  3. Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury ETF (EDV)
  4. Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV)
  5. Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP)

Short Ideas/Underweight Recommendations

  1. SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE)
  2. iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)
  3. iShares MSCI European Monetary Union ETF (EZU)
  4. iShares MSCI France ETF (EWQ)
  5. SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP)




  • Short More Oil Exposure: With the CRB Commodities Index (19 commodities across energy, aggs and metals) down a full -1% yesterday, our quant models are now registering lower-lows of support over the immediate-to-intermediate term. For crude oil specifically, our immediate-term risk range for WTI is now $75.69-79.16. In the context of how markets actually function, we find Consensus Macro gobbledygook about Europe and Japan “exporting deflation” unsubstantiated at best. To wrap some math around their storytelling, the trailing 6M correlation between the U.S. Dollar Index and WTI Crude Oil is -0.90. What the market is very clearly telling you is that as bullish as you are on the spoos due to ECB/BoJ money printing is as bearish as you should be on the energy complex and the earnings (SPX multiple?) and CapEx (GDP, job growth) associated with it. Our Tactical Asset Class Rotation Model (TACRM) is telling a similar tale, continuing to register a “DECREASE Exposure” signal for the broader asset class. Since the start of 2008, the CRB Index has registered a cumulative -41.9% 1-week forward return during such commensurate signal periods. As such, we continue to anticipate more downside for “oily” equity exposure over the intermediate term. The phase transition in energy has only just begun...


***CLICK HERE to download the full TACRM presentation.***



#Quad4 (introduced 10/2/14): Our models are forecasting a continued slowing in the pace of domestic economic growth, as well as a further deceleration in inflation here in Q4. The confluence of these two events is likely to perpetuate a rise in volatility across asset classes as broad-based expectations for a robust economic recovery and tighter monetary policy are met with bearish data that is counter to the consensus narrative.


Oil: More Downside? (11/5)


#EuropeSlowing (introduced 10/2/14): Is ECB President Mario Draghi Europe's savior? Despite his ability to wield a QE fire hose, our view is that inflation via currency debasement does not produce sustainable economic growth. We believe select member states will struggle to implement appropriate structural reforms and fiscal management to induce real growth.


Top Ten Reasons to Stay Short the Euro (11/5)


#Bubbles (introduced 10/2/14): The current economic cycle is cresting and the confluence of policy-induced yield-chasing and late-cycle speculation is inflating spread risk across asset classes. The clock is ticking on the value proposition of the latest policy to inflate as the prices many investors are paying for financial assets is significantly higher than the value they are receiving in return.


Early Look: My Bubble’s Birthday! (11/7)


Best of luck out there,




Darius Dale

Associate: Macro Team


About the Hedgeye Macro Playbook

The Hedgeye Macro Playbook aspires to present investors with the robust quantitative signals, well-researched investment themes and actionable ETF recommendations required to dynamically allocate assets and front-run regime changes across global financial markets. The securities highlighted above represent our top ten investment recommendations based on our active macro themes, which themselves stem from our proprietary four-quadrant Growth/Inflation/Policy (GIP) framework. The securities are ranked according to our calculus of the immediate-term risk/reward of going long or short at the prior closing price, which itself is based on our proprietary analysis of price, volume and volatility trends. Effectively, it is a dynamic ranking of the order in which we’d buy or sell the securities today.

investing ideas

Risk Managed Long Term Investing for Pros

Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough handpicks the “best of the best” long and short ideas delivered to him by our team of over 30 research analysts across myriad sectors.


Takeaway: November should look better YoY than October but Macau is headed for another downturn in December

Analysis of November trends and our monthly forecast



Please see our note:


Call Today 11am EST | Are Global Central Banks Out of Bullets?

Call Today 11am EST | Are Global Central Banks Out of Bullets? - HE M centralbanks


The Hedgeye Macro Team, led by CEO Keith McCullough, will be hosting a conference call TODAY, Tuesday November 11th  at 11:00am EST featuring Professor John B. Taylor of Stanford University.


Professor Taylor is a highly regarded scholar known for his research on the foundations of modern monetary theory and policy, which has been applied by central banks and financial market analysts around the world. In the call entitled, Are Global Central Banks Out of Bullets?, Professor Taylor will discuss his view of global monetary policy and where it goes from here.



  • Assessment of monetary policy over the last five years.  What has worked and what hasn’t?
  • In light of recent moves by the ECB and BOJ, what will the Fed do next? And what can any of the central banks do if current policies remain ineffective?
  • While the Presidential election is two years away, will the nature of the Fed and its policy change under Republican leadership?
  • Where is the U.S. economy now and how will that impact Fed decision making?
  • An update on emerging market policy based on Professor Taylor’s recent visits to various emerging markets
  • Looking forward, what can the Fed due to regain its credibility over the long run?



  • Toll Free Number:
  • Direct Dial Number:
  • Conference Code: 855296#
  • Materials: CLICK HERE (The slides will be available approximately one hour prior to the start of the call)

Email for more information




  • Currently a Professor of Economics at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution
  • Formerly served on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and as a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers
  • Served as Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs from 2001- 2005
  • Oversight of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank
  • Responsible for coordinating financial policy with the G-7 countries
  • Accredited author, his latest the winner of the 2012 Hayek Prize, entitled: "First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring Americas' Prosperity"
  • Received numerous awards for his work as a researcher, public servant, and teacher

Awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award for his overall leadership at the U.S. Treasury, the Treasury Distinguished Service Award for designing and implementing the currency reforms in Iraq, and the Medal of the Republic of Uruguay for his work in resolving the 2002 financial crisis   

Reiterating #Quad4 Deflation

Client Talking Points


The CRB Index (19 commodities) deflated another full -1% yesterday and remains bearish TREND @Hedgeye. Energy stocks (XLE) were down another -0.9% on the day. Commodity risk ranges have mostly all opened up to the downside (signaling lower-lows for Oil, Copper, etc.) – immediate-term risk range for WTI crude is now 75.69-79.16.


Popular consensus is that Down Oil = Up Consumer Stocks, but that isn’t working; Consumer Discretionary (XLY) was both down on a market up week (last week) and down again on a market up day yesterday; by our math 2/3 of the country is in a spending recession (no wage growth and highest cost of living, all-time).


Very similar market dynamics to the SEP highs in the U.S. stock market (SPX made all-time highs, while Russell made lower-highs on decelerating volume); Total U.S. Equity Market Volume (including dark pool) was -8% and -25% vs. the 1 month and year-to-date averages yesterday.

Asset Allocation


Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration

The Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV) is an extended duration ETF (20-30yr). U.S. real GDP growth is unlikely to come in anywhere in the area code of consensus projections of 3-plus percent. And it is becoming clear to us that market participants are interpreting the Fed’s dovish shift as signaling cause for concern with respect to the growth outlook. We remain on other side of Consensus Macro positions (bearish on Oil, bullish on Treasuries, bearish on SPX) and still have high conviction in our biggest macro call of 2014 - that U.S. growth would slow and bond yields fall in kind.


We continue to think long-term interest rates are headed in the direction of both reported growth and growth expectations – i.e. lower. In light of that, we encourage you to remain long of the long bond. The performance divergence between Treasuries, stocks and commodities should continue to widen over the next two to three months. As it’s done for multiple generations, the 10Y Treasury Yield continues to track the slope of domestic economic growth like a glove. We certainly hope you had the Long Bond (TLT) on versus the Russell 2000 (short side) as the performance divergence in being long #GrowthSlowing hit its widest for 2014 YTD (ex-reinvesting interest).


The U.S. is in Quad #4 on our GIP (Growth/Inflation/Policy) model, which suggests that both economic growth and reported inflation are slowing domestically. As far as the eye can see in a falling interest rate environment, we think you should increase your exposure to slow-growth, yield-chasing trade and remain long of defensive assets like long-term treasuries and Consumer Staples (XLP) – which work decidedly better than Utilities in Quad #4. Consumer Staples is as good as any place to hide as the world clamors for low-beta-big-cap-liquidity.

Three for the Road


GOLD: widening risk range (not good) = $1121-1201/oz $GLD



It's about work before glory, and what's inside of you.

-Michael Jordan


According to Moody’s Analytics, adults under age 35 currently have a savings rate of negative 2%, that compares with a positive savings rate of about 3% for those age 35 to 44, 6% for those 45 to 54, and 13% for those 55 and older.

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