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Retail Callouts (11/14): Retail Sales, JWN, TGT, NKE, KATE, WMT, GPS

Takeaway: Retail sales not equal to Dept. Store #s. JWN better than the rest. TGT takes page from WMT playbook. NKE to players: don't mess with kicks.



Takeaway: A sequential tick up on both the 1 and 2 yr trend lines, though it wasn't reflected in the commentary we've heard from retailers over the past few days. Maybe the answer is as simple as people are buying less of what Department Stores are selling. If that answer works for M and KSS then it's good enough for us.


Retail Callouts (11/14): Retail Sales, JWN, TGT, NKE, KATE, WMT, GPS - 11 14 chart1




JWN - 3Q14 Earnings


Retail Callouts (11/14): Retail Sales, JWN, TGT, NKE, KATE, WMT, GPS - jwn sigma


Takeaway: The things that we like about JWN, in a space where we have an overwhelmingly negative view, all looked solid. 3.9% Revenue growth, 5% square footage growth, 22% DTC growth on the full-price banner, and 34% growth in Hautelook/Rack.com. After the week of earnings we've seen across the department store space the top line was all that mattered (+9% reported, ~+8% if you exclude the estimated Trunk Club benefit). But, the earnings algorithm was weak, 9% revenue growth translated into a 5% growth in earnings (ex. Trunk Club dilution EPS growth = 11%). The SIGMA trajectory is punk with inventories growing 15 percentage points ahead of sales and margins declining. That almost always equates to a negative margin event in the short term. We added JWN to the long bench on 10/16, but still aren't comfortable with a name operating  in a space where we think 93mm square feet needs to disappear over the next 5 years.


TGT - Target Follows WMT E-comm Acquisition Playbook



  • "Powered Analytics' Fabric product uses mobile technology, location data and machine learning to connect a retailer's app to the in-store shopping experience."

Retail Callouts (11/14): Retail Sales, JWN, TGT, NKE, KATE, WMT, GPS - ecomm


Takeaway: TGT taking a page out of the WalmartLabs playbook. To keep score - WMT has acquired 15 small tech startups since 2010. Everything from a streaming video service to a recipe and meal planning service. TGT's acquisition strategy has been more company focused to date, i.e. chefs.com and dermstore.com. Maybe none of WMT's deals are homeruns but it has allowed the company to build its digital acumen through the acquisition of people and technology. TGT is way behind on this front and we'd point out has one of the worst dot.com track records in all of retail over the past 8 years.


NKE - Nike warns NFLers Not To Mess With Kicks

Retail Callouts (11/14): Retail Sales, JWN, TGT, NKE, KATE, WMT, GPS - nke


Takeaway: We don't blame Nike for reinforcing its endorsement policy and protecting its investment. The company is shelling out $220mm per year for the NFL deal on top of what it is paying its endorsees to wear it's gloves/cleats, and pay to wear fees. Players are billboards and that strategy doesn't work if you can't see the swoosh. Maybe the answer is neon colorways à la the London Olympics or the 2014 World Cup - though we doubt the NFL would let that fly.





KATE - Kate Spade Opens 1st West Coast Location



  • "Kate Spade has opened its first West Coast (Canada) store at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver. The 2,000 square foot location is in the mall's southern component, called Park Royal South, next to the mall's new Michael Kors store."


WMT - Wal-Mart Told Store Managers to Match Online Prices With Amazon



  • "Greg Foran said the directive was meant to formalize a practice already in place in many stores. 'About half of the stores were doing it anyway,'"


GPS - Old Navy Blasted for Higher Cost of Its Women’s Plus-Size Jeans



  • "The petition charges Old Navy with sexism, noting that a pair of women’s plus-size jeans can cost about $15 more than regular jeans, while a pair of men’s jeans costs the same no matter the size."

LULU - Lululemon pushing menswear, expansion



  • "In an effort to boost its menswear sales, Lululemon has begun opening more dual-sex flagship stores. And on Black Friday, the yoga apparel company will open its first men's only store in Manhattan."


BABA - Alibaba's boutique shop 11 Main opens doors on mobile



  • "The shopping site 11 Main, which opened on the Web in June, can be browsed on new smartphone apps especially designed for Apple and Android devices. An iPad app will launch this year."


AMZN - Hachette Looks Like the Winner as Its War With Amazon Ends



  • "Hachette Chief Executive Michael Pietsch announced that the book publisher has reached a new multiyear agreement with Amazon.com, ending months of contentious contract negotiations. The deal, which will cover print and e-book distribution, will begin next year."

GLD: Removing Gold from Investing Ideas

Takeaway: We are removing GLD from our high-conviction stock idea list.

We are removing Gold (ETF: GLD) from investing ideas on the bounce within a bearish @Hedgeye TREND (+1%) to step aside from the steamroll that is #QUAD4 deflation.


Both gold and oil (the most tightly correlated commodities to the USD) are bearish on an intermediate-term TREND basis vs. the USD in a bullish TREND set-up. The bearish TREND set-up for the Japanese Yen and Euro against the dollar remains intact and are models suggest these large currency moves have even more room to run.


GLD: Removing Gold from Investing Ideas - br5


With growth setting up to surprise to the downside in the U.S. (which was the set-up which got us into gold on the long-side back in May), deflation’s ugly head (growth slowing and rates moving lower) has more to say over the intermediate-term. Economic data continues to confirm an early cycle slowdown continues with extremely difficult CPI comps even if commodities started going down in Q4 and Q1 2015 (when inflation surprised to the upside) because of the year-over-year comparative basing effect.     



The Small Cap Bottom Is In? Really? You Sure About That?

This is an excerpt from Hedgeye morning research. Click here to learn more.


The Russell 2000 (IWM) tried her best @Hedgeye TREND resistance (1187) and failed (again).


The Small Cap Bottom Is In? Really? You Sure About That? - 59


We can’t begin to count how many people who A) missed shorting this in July now saying B) the small cap “bottom is in!” But it’s a lot of people. 


So fade that as the Liquidity Trap that has been this index just made yet another lower-all-time-#Bubble high.

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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.


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 France ETF (EWQ)
  4. iShares MSCI European Monetary Union ETF (EZU)
  5. SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP)




  • #Deflation Risk, Revisited: The topic of deflation risk is one that continues to permeate into the consensus narrative across the investment community; in light of this, we consider it our fiduciary duty to help steer the debate with analysis, as opposed to perma-bull storytelling. With respect to our CPI model (CLICK HERE to review that methodology), we continue to anticipate disinflation in headline CPI readings over the intermediate term. This would be the case even if commodity prices stopped going down today and remained flat, due to the comparative base effects of #InflationAccelerating in 1H14. Of course, additional commodity price deflation – which our TACRM model continues to imply – would only perpetuate downward concavity in reported inflation; sub-1% YoY CPI readings are very probable over the intermediate term. Since the start of 2008, the CRB Index has declined by a cumulative -43% on a 1-week forward basis when TACRM is generating a “DECREASE Exposure” signal for Commodities as a primary asset class like it is currently.
  • #ConsumerSlowing, Confirmed: Speaking of developing downward concavity, how about domestic consumption growth? Lost amid the perma-bull storytelling about lower gas prices is the fact that Retail Sales growth continues to slow on a trending basis, decelerating from a +4.4% YoY in SEP to +4.1% YoY in OCT! 
  • Wait for Perma-Bulls To Puke Up the "Lower Gas Prices Thesis" Before Buying Consumer Stocks: We have built a very sophisticated model to track the weighted average cost basis of non-discretionary items like rent, food, energy and utilities within the consumer’s PnL and this model is showing seven consecutive months of sequential deflation. That is the longest streak of consumer "tax cuts" since at least the start of 2007! At some point, this will benefit U.S. consumption growth, but with both the data (i.e. slowing Retail Sales and Real PCE growth) and the market (of the nine S&P sector SPDRs, the XLY has the third-lowest VAMDMI reading behind XLE and XLB) not confirming the disgustingly misguided perma-bull narrative, we find it prudent to wait for a meaningful pullback in the U.S. equity market before allocating capital to consumer growth stocks.










***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.


Early Look: Bad #Deflation (11/14)

Oil: Supply, Supply, Supply (11/13)


#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: Battlefield’s Vortex (11/11)


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.

Morning Macro Call 11/14/14


Here is a complimentary look at Hedgeye's daily Morning Macro Call for institutional subscribers.

LEISURE LETTER (11/14/2014)



  • Nov 13-16
    • Macau Grand Prix
    • Hedgeye Cruise Pricing Survey
  • Nov 16-18: Quantum of the Seas investor event
  • Nov 17:  Carnival Corp announcement (Source: Seatrade Insider)


LVS/GENTING – The Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore (CRA) has fined Marina Bay Sands a total of S$197,500 and Resorts World Sentosa, S$20,000, for various breaches of the Casino Control Act.  The two casino operators had failed to prevent Singapore citizens and permanent residents from entering or remaining in their casinos without valid entry levies. They also failed to bar minors from entering.


Takeaway:  Another MBS/RWS fine.


CZR – Richard Stockton College, located just outside Atlantic City, announced it signed a letter of intent to buy the shuttered 1.4 million square Showboat Atlantic City casino resort, including 1,329 hotel rooms and on 28 beachfront acres, from Caesars Entertainment Corp and turn the property into a branch campus.  



326:HK China Star Entertainment – is planning to sell its Lan Kwai Fong hotel property on the Macau peninsula. There is currently a casino licensed by Macau gaming concessionaire SJM Holdings Ltd inside the hotel building, but China Star didn’t mention what would happen to that operation. China Star said in August it wanted to focus its operations on gaming in Macau. The company has also signed a binding letter of intent, dated October 31, 2014, to dispose of the rights over four plots of land on the Macau peninsula, adjacent to the Lan Kwai Fong hotel property. A subsidiary of China Star paid HKD550 million (US$70.9 million) for the four plots in 2010. The seller was Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM) SA, the company founded by Stanley Ho Hung Sun. At the time of the deal, Mr Ho was identified as chairman and director of Lan Kwai Fong (Macau) Ltd, a 50% owned subsidiary of China Star.


Takeaway: We are interested to learn if the buyer of the hotel will continue to operate the hotel or potentially convert to some other form of residential property. 


114090:KS –  Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd, which operates three foreigners-only casinos in South Korea under the Seven Luck brand, reported Q3 2014 operating profit fell 41.7% year-on-year to KRW39.2 billion (US$35.7 million) due to a drop in hold from 16% to 12% on a year-over-year basis while revenue declined 12.3% year-on-year to KRW135.6 billion. Further hindering results were higher costs which increased 10% year-on-year.



IGT Shareholders of Italy's GTECH who did not vote in favor of a planned merger with U.S. International Game Technology will have time until Nov. 27 to exercise their right of withdrawal.



023250:KS – Kangwon Land Inc, the operator of the only casino resort in South Korea where the country’s nationals are allowed to gamble, reported Q3 2014 net profit of KRW105.5 billion (US$95.9 million), up 0.9% from a year earlier based on reported revenue of KRW394 billion, a 5.2% increase year-over-year while GGR for the period grew by 5.9% to KRW376 billion.  Non-gaming revenue however fell by 6.6% to KRW18 billion mainly attributable to a 3.6% year-on-year drop – to 83,300 – in the number of visitors.  


Takeaway:  At least this Asian property saw GGR growth in Q3


MGMMGM Grand Detroit has been fined $350,000 by state regulators for violating multiple casino regulations, including serving alcohol to minors and allowing an employee to embezzle close to $700,000. 


Takeaway: Unfortunate lapses in oversight results in regulatory fines/penalties. 


Hannounced the completion of the sale of 38 hotels to a company organized by Lone Star Funds for approximately $590 million. The portfolio of 38 hotels consists of Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels comprising 4,950 rooms across more than ten states.


HLT – Hilton and Blackstone are eager to close the $1.95 billion sale of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel to Anbang Insurance. To speed up the review, Blackstone and Hilton are considering asking the government to go ahead with an investigation. The firm can file its own request for a review rather than wait for officials to act. The Waldorf deal is slated to close Dec. 31, although the companies can agree to a March 31 extension, “subject to certain additional limited adjournments,” Hilton said in a regulatory filing.


Takeaway: We are confident Hilton will complete the Waldorf Astoria sale to Anbang.


HLT – Hilton Worldwide intends putting its Sydney hotel on the market. JLL has been appointed to sell the asset in 2015. Price expectations are for well over $450 million as offshore interest surges for hotel assets in Australia. It has 579 rooms at 488 George Street, opposite Sydney’s Queen ­Victoria Building. The newly refurbished Hilton has 23 meeting rooms, 4,000 square meters of food and beverage space and an 25 meter indoor pool.


Takeaway: We believe, but have not confirmed the $450 million is Aussie Dollars or approximately USD$391 million or approx USD$675,300 - substantially higher than our USD$250,000/key estimate. We applaud Hilton's effort to sell non-US assets.  HOT should take note. 


PEBannounced it acquired The Westin Colonnade Coral Gables for $59.4 million. The 157-room upper-upscale hotel is located in Miami on Miracle Mile in the heart of Coral Gables, Florida. The hotel will continue to be operated by Davidson Hotels and Resorts. For the trailing twelve months ended September 2014, the hotel operated at 80% occupancy, with an average daily rate of $198 and room revenue per available room of $159. During the next 12 months, the Company currently forecasts that the hotel will generate EBITDA of $2.9 to $3.4 million and NOI after capital reserves of $2.3 to $2.8 million.

Takeaway: South Florida remains red hot for lodging transactions.  We expect more South Florida hotel transactions over the coming weeks/months as Blackstone recently listed for sale several assets.


RHP premiered its holiday season with The Gaylord Texan is kicking off the holiday season with it's annual ICE! exhibit featuring a "Frosty the Snowman" theme sculpted from more than 2 million pounds of ice by master artisans from Harbin, China over the past 30 days. The Gaylord Opryland Resort transformed its grounds with 2 million lights and opened its 31st annual A Country Christmas, featuring such attractions as ICE! featuring ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, Restless Heart’s “A Season of Harmony” dinner show. Both exhibits and shows run through Jan. 3, 2015,

Takeaway:  We previously donned a parka to experience the Gaylord Texas ICE! exhibit and slide down the ice slide. We were impressed with the creativity and magnitude of the exhibit.


Govt says LRT to link with Guangdong railway by tunnel

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io said the city’s light rail transit (LRT) in Cotai will be linked to the Hengqin border by a tunnel under the Shizhimen channel which separates Cotai from the island in Zhuhai.  Lau also said that the Cotai-Hengqin Lotus Flower border checkpoint will be rebuilt to accommodate an LRT station.


He added that the government had no timetable yet for the reconstruction of the border checkpoint and when the construction of the tunnel will begin.

According to previous media reports, Guangdong expects the extension of its inter-city railway to Hengqin to be completed by 2016 with the line planned to be 17 kilometres long, with seven stops between Zhuhai station and Hengqin's Changlong Park.  The LRT will cover the peninsula, Taipa and Cotai. Construction in Taipa and Cotai is underway. The government has said that it expects the LRT section in Taipa to start operating in 2016.


Takeaway: Macau's infrastructure projects have experienced multiple delays. A long road is ahead.


Push for Macau Casinos to be 100% Smoke FreeThe labor activist group Forefront of the Macao Gaming says the government has to be more efficient in enforcing the smoking ban on casino mass floors in the city. The association is also calling for the whole of gaming venues – including VIP rooms – to be smoke free. Members of the Forefront of the Macao Gaming met with officials of Macau’s Health Bureau on Wednesday. 



NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Supports Sports Betting – In a New York Times OpEd, the Commissioner wrote "I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated."


Takeaway: A profound comment from a professional sports commissioner, whose league recently filed legal proceedings against the State of New Jersey.  


Anbang Plans HKSE Listing – the Chinese insurer buying New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, is planning an initial public offering that could raise about US$2 billion (RM6.67 billion), said people with knowledge of the matter. The Beijing-based company aims to start the share sale as early as next year and prefers Hong Kong as a listing destination.


Takeaway: Anbang pursuing the Berkshire Hathaway strategy?



China October new yuan loans CNY548.3B vs consensus CNY626B and CNY857.2B in September

  • Loan growth +13.2% y/y vs +13.2% in September
  • Deposits +9.5% y/y vs +9.3% in September
  • Total social financing CNY662.7 vs consensus CNY887.5B and CNY1.05T in September
  • M0 +3.8% y/y vs +4.2% in September
  • M1 +3.2% y/y vs +4.8% in September
  • M2 +12.6% y/y vs consensus +12.9% and +12.9% in September

 Takeaway: New yuan loans was below expectations in October


Singapore retail sales up 5.5% YoY in September. Excluding motor vehicles, total retail sales grew by 0.6% YoY


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: European pricing has been a tailwind for CCL and RCL but a negative pivot here looks increasingly likely in 2015. Following CCL's F3Q 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.