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#GrowthSlowing and Deflation

Client Talking Points

JAPAN

The Weimar Nikkei completed her +20% centrally planned ramp overnight, closing up another +1.1% vs. 14,532 on OCT 17th – it’s a good thing that was “fundamental” – in other news, Global #GrowthSlowing continues and the rest of Asian Equity markets trading from up small (HK +0.3%) to down -0.2-0.5% (KOSPI, India, Philippines).

OIL

#Quad 4 deflation continues to manifest in both Oil prices and Energy related countries, stocks, and bonds – this will be one of the big things, in the end, that will have mattered. Brent is seeing follow through selling after having a -2.6% down day yesterday (-29% year-to-date), and WTIC -0.4% $76.85 looking at lower-lows.

RUSSIA

Russia is down another -1.9% this morning (Russian Trading System -26.1% year-to-date) as European Equities try to bounce (again) after getting slammed yesterday; both Italian and Spanish CPI showed 0% inflation post European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s Policy to Inflate.

Asset Allocation

CASH 68% US EQUITIES 0%
INTL EQUITIES 0% COMMODITIES 0%
FIXED INCOME 28% INTL CURRENCIES 4%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
EDV

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.

TLT

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).

XLP

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

TWEET OF THE DAY

TV TODAY: Hedgeye CEO @KeithMcCullough will be live on @FoxBusiness from 9:30am to 10:10am. @OpeningBellFBN

@Hedgeye

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

- Winston Churchill

STAT OF THE DAY

Nearly 7 million Americans are stuck in part-time jobs that they don’t want (Wall Street Journal).


LEISURE LETTER (11/13/2014)

Tickers:  NCL, CCL

EVENTS

  • Nov 13:  CHDN acquires Big Fish ; pw: 35368078
  • Nov 13-16
    • Macau Grand Prix
    • Hedgeye Cruise Pricing Survey
  • Nov 16-18: Quantum of the Seas investor event
  • Nov 17:  Potential Carnival Corp announcement?

COMPANY NEWS

NCL – (8K) "On November 12,  named executive officers and other executive officers who hold Management Units agreed to exchange their Management Units for ordinary shares of the Parent (the “Exchange”). The Exchange is a taxable transaction for the officers. As a result, on the date of the Exchange, each of our executive officers has agreed to sell a number of ordinary 

shares of the Parent necessary to cover the estimated taxes triggered by the Exchange."

Takeaway:  Tax-related management share sale.  NCL remains our top long idea among the cruisers heading into 2015.

 

CCL P&O Cruises and Cunard have cancelled all Black Sea port visits in 2015 citing safety and security concerns.  A total of 13 cruises are affected by the decision -- two of them on P&O and the others on Cunard's Queen Victoria.  The ships will go as far as Istanbul then turn round, rather than go into the Black Sea itself.  No information on which ports will replace the Black Sea ones.

http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=6061

 Takeaway:  Black Seas will not play a role in 2015.

 

CCL (Princess) – According to Princess President, Jan Swartz said, "We met or exceeded every metric' in their $20m media campaign this year, including raising brand awareness, purchase consideration, web traffic and new visitors. As a consequence, Princess is planning a 2015 Wave season campaign, within the 'come back new' genre but with fresh spots, and television will again be among the media mix.

 

The latest Princess promotion is a two-for-one pricing discounts on  on more than 50 warm-weather destinations in its Winter Clearance Sale.  In addition, passengers can secure their stateroom with a reduced, $100 per person non-refundable deposit. The sale runs through Dec. 2. 

http://www.seatrade-insider.com/news/news-headlines/princess-to-roll-out-another-big-wave-season-campaign.html

Takeaway: The 'success' doesn't explain the huge discounting and promos by Princess this summer and winter seasons.

 

CHDN– acquires Big Fish, a mobile and online game maker

  • The transaction is structured on a cash-free/debt-free basis and is valued at up to $885M, including a base consideration of $485M and a potential earn-out payment of up to $350M based on 2015 Adjusted EBITDA, and a potential bonus payment to the founder and current CEO of Big Fish, Paul Thelen, of $50M based on 2016 bookings.
  • The purchase price will be paid in cash, except for approximately $15M paid in CDI common stock to Paul Thelen.
  • Subject to the satisfaction of these conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

INDUSTRY NEWS

AC –  State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney laid out a five-point, $305 million plan to stabilize Atlantic City’s finances , allowing casinos to pay a set amount in annual taxes, while redirecting the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s casino assessment to pay down $25 million to $30 million of the resort’s debt per year.

 

The plan would allow the resort’s casinos to collectively pay $150 million over the next two years. The next 15 years worth of payments would be indexed to gross gaming revenue.

 

Sweeney, who has publicly feuded with billionaire financier Carl Icahn over benefits for casino workers, proposed mandating casino license holders provide baseline health and retirement benefits. 

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/sweeney-lays-out-plan-for-atlantic-city-s-future/article_2a504d24-6910-11e4-9924-f78bf4d8194c.html

 

Revel – Brookfield Asset Management wants to invest at least $200 million into Revel and reopen it next year 

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/11/new_revel_casino_owners_plan_200_million_in_renovations_say_officials.html

Takeaway: Revel will be back.

MACRO

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.


CHART OF THE DAY: How 'Bout That Weimar Nikkei!

"[T]hose who were long Japanese stocks for a centrally planned “economic recovery” (i.e. those who were down, in Nikkei terms -10-15% at one point this year before Abe/Kuroda devalued, again)," wrote CEO Keith McCullough in today's Morning Newsletter, "have seen a +20% return from Japan’s October 17th low of 14,532 (as the economy continued to slow). 'So,' call being long Japan (or Germany’s stock market in 1924) for the wrong reasons, a win!"

CHART OF THE DAY: How 'Bout That Weimar Nikkei!  - 11.13.14 Chart


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Oh, Snap!

“The vow that binds too strictly snaps, itself.”

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

Tennyson was a beauty. He was an epic British poet throughout Queen Victoria’s era, but I think he would have crushed it on Twitter these days too (short that stock on yesterday’s #bounce, btw). His lyrics were short, and to the point.

 

“Break, Break, Break”… “Tears, Idle Tears”…

 

His poems were almost hand made for this morning’s headline news that one of our modern central planning overlords – The Abe, in Japan – is going to call a “snap election” immediately following a +20% ramp in the Weimar Nikkei. Oh snap!

 

Oh, Snap! - Alfred

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

Weimar Nikkei? Yes, as in 1919’s Weimar Republic – i.e. the said “democracy” that emerged in Germany post WWI and capitulated into currency devaluation (stealing from its People’s purchasing power) and centrally planned brain washing.

 

Could the Japanese vote for that?

 

Anything can happen. On the why would they part, I won’t review Japan’s 2014 economic data for you as I’ve written about it in multiple Early Looks this year, but here’s the quick recap: with Japanese Household Spending -5-6% year-over-year, the economic outcome of “Abenomics” sucks.

 

But, but… those who were long Japanese stocks for a centrally planned “economic recovery” (i.e. those who were down, in Nikkei terms -10-15% at one point this year before Abe/Kuroda devalued, again) have seen a +20% return from Japan’s October 17th low of 14,532 (as the economy continued to slow).

 

“So”, call being long Japan (or Germany’s stock market in 1924) for the wrong reasons, a win!

 

In Burning Currency terms, that is…

 

To be balanced, that’s probably why some of the Mo Bros (buy-high, and try to sell higha!) on Twitter who are long Nikkei now are more of a short than the company ($TWTR) itself. They would have loved the German “chart” in the 1920s too. #lol

 

But, after getting slammed (again) yesterday, European Equities (ex-Russia, which is down another -1.9% this morning, crashing to -26.1% YTD – and we remain short it, in Real Time Alerts), opened up on the “snap election” news.

 

And US Liquidity Trap chasers of mid-September (i.e. the Mo Bros who bought high SEP 19th, to be in the fetal position within 3 weeks at the October lows) are loving this bad sushi smell in the US equity futures this morning as well….

 

How does this end?

 

  1. #Badly, but … in the meantime,
  2. Either Abe wins the election and burns the Yen beyond the -30% drop it has had versus the US Dollar, or
  3. Abe loses, the Yen rips, the Nikkei crashes (again) – and the phase transition into #Bubbles popping continues

 

While plenty of the “Dow is up” naval gazers (it’s up +6% YTD btw, versus something like #GrowthSlowing Long Bond $TLT’s total YTD return of +18%) will call everything “good”, there remains a very obvious way to play the scenario of Abe winning:

 

SELL/SHORT: Oil and Energy stocks, bonds, and countries.

 

“Again!” as Kurt Russell said in Miracle – follow the central planned yield-chasing #bubbles as they pop:

 

  1. Japan and Europe burning their currencies = US Dollar Up
  2. Dollar Up, Rates Down = #Quad4 Deflation
  3. Deflation = Oil crashing (-28% since June), and Energy Stocks (XLE) down another -0.9% yesterday

 

You can also go downstream into the #OldWall banker sewer and short some up “upstream” MLP stocks:

 

  1. Linn Energy (LINE or LNCO, pick one, or both)
  2. Breitburn Energy Partners (BBEP)
  3. Vanguard Natural Resources (VNR)

 

On the long side, provided that you are still of the #GrowthSlowing view that the January 1st, 2014 Nikkei and Russell 2000 growth bulls missed (i.e. that growth would be cut in half this year, and long-term bond yields would fall), stay with our two favorite SP500 Sector Styles – long Healthcare (XLV) and Consumer Staples (XLP).

 

Remember, until they all “Break, Break, Break”, you don’t have to snap when the most widely held hedge in world history (short SPY) goes up. When growth and inflation expectations are slowing, there’s always a smarter bear market somewhere.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 2.30-2.40%

SPX 1

RUT 1137-1188

VIX 12.16-16.32

Yen 111.98-117.77

WTI Oil 75.02-78.21

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Oh, Snap! - 11.13.14 Chart


November 13, 2014

November 13, 2014 - Slide1

 

BULLISH TRENDS

November 13, 2014 - Slide2

November 13, 2014 - Slide3

November 13, 2014 - Slide4

 

 

BEARISH TRENDS

November 13, 2014 - Slide5

November 13, 2014 - Slide6

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November 13, 2014 - Slide8

November 13, 2014 - Slide9

November 13, 2014 - Slide10

November 13, 2014 - Slide11
November 13, 2014 - Slide12


ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows

Takeaway: After a two month slide, taxable bonds rebounded posting their first subscription in 8 weeks

Investment Company Institute Mutual Fund Data and ETF Money Flow:

 

After an exciting month of October whereby over $36 billion alone spilled out from the taxable bond fund category, the latest ICI survey relayed some stability with a $5.0 billion inflow by investors, the first subscription since the week ending September 10th. A post-mortem of the beneficiaries of the October snap redemption shows that broadly bond ETFs hoovered up the most "money in motion," with several select Total Return Funds including the Metropolitan West Total Return Fund (a unit of TCW), BlackRock's flagship fund, and Jeff Gundlach's DoubleLine substantially improving assets-under-management in the month. Interestingly, but not a surprise to us, the Janus Uncontrained Bond Fund, had a very modest benefit and as a result we remain skeptical of the resulting market cap improvement of that company without the support of new assets-under-management (read our JNS research here).

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart12

 

In other survey data, U.S. equity mutual funds put up another worrisome $1.7 billion redemption making it 25 of the past 28 weeks with outflows. We continue to recommend underweight or short positions to those managers with outsized U.S. equities exposure (read our research here). Passive fund flows via ETFs continue to be substantial with a year-to-date high of $17.7 billion into total equity ETFs last week and another inflow into bond ETFs, the 6th straight week of fixed income subscriptions. The blood letting continued specifically in the Materials Sector SPDR with another 19% of assets-under-management alone coming out of that product over the past 5 days. Conversely there has been strength in Utilities (XLU) and the 20+ Treasury ETF (TLT) products with respective inflows improving AUM by 7% and 8% during the week.

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart1

 

 

In the most recent 5 day period ending November 5th, total equity mutual funds put up net outflows with $302 million coming out of the category according to the Investment Company Institute. The composition of the outflow was squarely the result of domestic stock fund redemptions as a $1.7 billion loss more than nullified the $1.4 billion which came into international stock funds. The two equity categories have been polar opposites all year with international stock funds having had inflow in 43 of the past 44 weeks, versus domestic trends which have been very soft with inflow in just 15 weeks of the 44 weeks thus far year-to-date. The running year-to-date weekly average for all equity fund flow continues to decline and now settles at a $1.1 billion inflow, now well below the $3.0 billion weekly average inflow from 2013. 

 

Fixed income mutual funds napped their drawdown schedule of the past 5 weeks putting up inflows in both the taxable bond fund category and also in tax-free munis. Taxable fixed income netted a fresh $5.0 billion in investor money with municipal bond funds putting up a $399 million inflow, making it 42 of 44 weeks with positive subscriptions in tax-free bonds. The 2014 weekly average for fixed income mutual funds now stands at a $985 million weekly inflow, an improvement from 2013's weekly average outflow of $1.5 billion, but still a far cry from the $5.8 billion weekly average inflow from 2012 (our view of the blow off top in bond fund inflow). 

 

ETF results were very strong during the week with substantial inflows in equity funds and decent subscriptions into passive fixed income products. Equity ETFs put up a 2014 year-to-date high subscription with a $17.7 billion inflow which made the $564 million inflow into passive bond products look very modest. The 2014 weekly averages are now a $2.1 billion weekly inflow for equity ETFs and a $1.1 billion weekly inflow for fixed income ETFs. 

 

Mutual fund flow data is collected weekly from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and represents a survey of 95% of the investment management industry's mutual fund assets. Mutual fund data largely reflects the actions of retail investors. Exchange traded fund (ETF) information is extracted from Bloomberg and is matched to the same weekly reporting schedule as the ICI mutual fund data. According to industry leader Blackrock (BLK), U.S. ETF participation is 60% institutional investors and 40% retail investors.   

 

Most Recent 12 Week Flow in Millions by Mutual Fund Product: Chart data is the most recent 12 weeks from the ICI mutual fund survey and includes the running weekly year-to-date average for 2014 and the weekly quarter-to-date average for 4Q 2014:

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart2

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart3

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart4

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart5

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart6

 

 

Most Recent 12 Week Flow Within Equity and Fixed Income Exchange Traded Funds: Chart data is the most recent 12 weeks from Bloomberg's ETF database (matched to the Wednesday to Wednesday reporting format of the ICI) and the running weekly year-to-date average for 2014 and the weekly quarter-to-date average for 4Q 2014. The third table are the results of the weekly flows into and out of the major market and sector SPDRs:

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart7

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart8

 

Sector and Asset Class Weekly ETF and Year-to-Date Results: In specific callouts, the blood letting continued in the Materials Sector SPDR with another 19% of assets-under-management alone coming out of that product over the past 5 days. Conversely, the Utilities (XLU) and 20+ Treasury ETF (TLT) had respective inflows of 7% and 8% during the week.

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart9

 

 

Net Results:

 

The net of total equity mutual fund and ETF trends against total bond mutual fund and ETF flows totaled a positive $11.4 billion spread for the week ($17.4 billion of total equity inflow versus the $6.0 billion inflow within fixed income; positive numbers imply greater money flow to stocks; negative numbers imply greater money flow to bonds). The 52 week moving average has been $2.9 billion (more positive money flow to equities), with a 52 week high of $17.7 billion (more positive money flow to equities) and a 52 week low of -$37.5 billion (negative numbers imply more positive money flow to bonds for the week). 

 

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart10

 

Exposures: The weekly data herein is important for the public asset managers with trends in mutual funds and ETFs impacting the companies with the following estimated revenue impact:

 

ICI Fund Flow Survey - Return to Normality - Stock Fund Outflows...Taxable Bond Inflows - ICI chart11 

 

 

 

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT 

 

 

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 


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