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Calm before the ?

Calm before the ?

October 14, 2009

 

As we approach earnings next week, the flow in retail is quiet.  That’s not a bad thing by any means… Here are some notables over the past 24 hrs.

  • I can’t ignore yesterday’s front page NY Times article highlighting Disney’s plans to re-enter the world of retailing.  After growing the original Disney Store chain to 600 stores, ultimately losing about $100 million per year, selling the chain to Children’s Place, and finally buying it back after contractual obligations were not met, Disney is looking to resurrect its own retail business.  The article goes on to suggest each store will require $1 million in capital investment in order to create a fresh, modern, and innovative “theme park” environment within the stores.   The influence of Steve Jobs is also noted, as he sits on Disney’s board and happens to run a company that operates highly successful retail stores.   I’m not convinced the Apple connection will make this attempt at retailing any more successful than in the past.
  • NPD released its annual holiday survey on consumers’ holiday spending intentions.  Notable callouts include a 4% increase in the amount of respondents who plan to spend less (30% of total) while those planning to spend about the same as last year dropped by the same amount (59% of total).  Electronics categories showed a sharp 20% increase in the 18 to 24 year old demographic saying electronics are “the gift to purchase”.   Value, special sales, and convenience are top factors in determining motivation behind purchasing decisions for Holiday ’09.
  • Just one day after Kanye West’s apparel line, Pastelle, was revealed online it appears that it will never actually make its way into production.  Perhaps the MTV music award debacle and subsequent cancellation of his upcoming tour were leading indicators for what was shaping up to be a challenging launch for his first apparel line.  Recall, Kanye interned with Gucci which was likely what gave him the confidence to to become a designer as well as a hip-hop artist.
  • A sad exchange  on CNBC this morning… Byron Wein (who his co-host Joe Kernen, in poor form, is referring to as Byron-asaurus), Guest Host on CNBC Squawk Box, with Ron Gettelfinger, President of the UAW:

Q: [Do you think we’ll get to a point where the US automakers start to regain share?]

A: [We have a lot of great product out there – all we need to do is get more people in the showroom and we’ll be ok.]

 

I understand the political nature of the ‘production guys’ blaming it on the ‘marketing guys’…but this is the same kind of behavior and mentality that got the US Auto industry into its current hole.

 

 

MORNING NEWS 

 

-Retailers Discovering Heavy Traffic From Facebook - Facebook quickly has become the top social site for retailers since the company revamped for business two years ago. Putting up a brand page that users can “fan” is free, and companies can interact with fans through a variety of means, including news feeds, widgets, targeted ads, giveaways and contests, event RSVPs and comments. Facebook estimates that, for every 10,000 fans a brand has, it will reach 1.5 million people. That’s because every Facebook user has an average of about 150 friends, and news, comments, games and other Facebook events are automatically distributed across groups of friends.  <wwd.com>

 

-Brands Scan Consumers' Brains - Brain scanning is being used to help predict how shoppers will respond to products and shopping environments. And firms ranging from teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. to The Walt Disney Co. want to encourage the impulse to purchase, partly by stimulating the senses through smells, sound and light. The pressures of the recession and reduced consumer spending are spurring more companies to turn to techniques such as sensory marketing and neuromarketing, which measures the brain’s responses to common experiences, like touching a soft, new piece of clothing or shopping for a luxury handbag. The testing and use of neuromarketing has roughly doubled this year, compared with 2008, among the world’s 100 biggest brands, said consultant Martin Lindstrom, the author of “Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy” (Doubleday, 2008). <wwd.com>

 

-CIT CEO Peek Leaving Firm - Amid rumblings that CIT Group Inc. is struggling to get bondholder support for its proposed debt swap, the lender said Tuesday that chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey M. Peek will resign at yearend. News of the transition came Tuesday morning, not long after reports circulated that CIT, a major lender to small and midsize businesses, might have to consider a pre-negotiated bankruptcy as its proposed debt swap faced ongoing resistance.  <wwd.com>

 

-Burberry Sees Profit Estimates Rising as Sales Gain - Burberry Group Plc, the largest U.K. luxury goods maker, expects analysts to raise full-year earnings estimates after reporting a 4.6% gain in second-quarter sales and saying licensing revenue will drop less than forecast. Chief Financial Officer Stacey Cartwright said pretax profit estimates are likely to rise to the “upper end” of a 160 million-pound ($255 million) to 190 million-pound range.  New outlets in the Asia and Americas region added to sales, which were also helped by sterling’s weakness against the dollar and euro. Burberry gets more than half its sales outside the U.K. <bloomberg.com>

 

-Tarlazzi in Bankruptcy -  Angelo Tarlazzi is the latest fashion house here to file for the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Private equity fund Xaap Finance, which took a 67 percent stake in Tarlazzi last year with plans to accelerate growth, recently put the brakes on financing. Bruno Degeorges, chief executive officer at Tarlazzi, said the company is in talks with a potential new investor looking to inject 3 million to 5 million euros, or $4.4 million to $7.3 million at current exchange rates.  <wwd.com>

 

-Unilever’s Polman Eyes M&A, Emerging Market Growth - Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer-goods company, sees more opportunity for acquisitions as the pace of consolidation in the industry increases, Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman said. “Times are good right now” for acquirers, Polman, who became CEO in January, said on the sidelines of a conference in London today. “There are good brands out there. We’ll see even more consolidation than before,” he said, adding that Unilever is “always looking” at takeover opportunities. Polman last month broke Unilever’s nine-year streak of avoiding major acquisitions by offering to buy Sara Lee Corp.’s personal-care and European detergent unit for 1.28 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in cash. With Sara Lee, London- and Rotterdam- based Unilever has “sharpened its value equation” with a range of cheaper products, Polman said today.  <bloomberg.com>

 

-Prada Workers in Temporary Lay off -  Prada SpA has signed an agreement with Italian union CGIL to put 250 employees in “Cassa Integrazione,” or on temporary work suspensions via special public funds. The affected workers, who will take a rotation leave of between four to six weeks, are employed in one of Prada’s largest production plants for accessories in Levanella a Montevarchi in Tuscany. Alessandro Mugnai, secretary of Filtea, the fashion arm of CGIL, one of Italy’s leading unions, explained the move is a way to make up for a cyclical and in-between-seasons decline in production, coupled with a general slump in consumer demand because of the recession. <wwd.com>

 

-Benetton closes down sheep skin tannery which recently opened in Trelew - After investing some US$15 million in the southern Argentina town of Trelew to open a sheep skin tannery, the Italian Benetton Group slammed on the brakes and halted the project. The tannery had a capacity to process 60,000 sheep skins per month and an operating area of 15,000 square meters. It was fully equipped with new machinery imported from Italy but now there are only 10 operatives working there storing raw skins. <fashionnetasia.com>

 

-Giorgio Armani Touted for Senate Post - Santo Versace, chairman of the Versace company and member of the Italian Parliament with Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, has sent a letter to the president of the Italian republic, Giorgio Napolitano, asking him to consider appointing Giorgio Armani as a senator for life. The Senate’s website said the distinction is granted “for outstanding merits” in social, scientific, artistic or literary fields. <wwd.com>

 

-Hollister to Open on Fifth Avenue - The division of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. launched its first Manhattan store in July in SoHo. And now, Abercrombie & Fitch is preparing to open a second Hollister location at 668 Fifth Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets in the former Hickey Freeman space. Crown Acquisitions Inc., which coowns the building, said the Hollister unit will be in a two-level, 15,500-square-foot space, which will open next year. In May, Abercrombie & Fitch said it would open a smaller Abercrombie children’s store in Hickey Freeman’s former location. <wwd.com>

 

-Puma Supports Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust - Puma announced their support of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT), a non-profit organization based in Kenya that supports the preservation of biodiversity within the Maasai tribal lands of East Africa by promoting conservation, education and health services within the Maasai community. As part of the partnership, PUMA will be one of the official sponsors of the Maasai Marathon, a group of thirty runners lead by three Maasai warriors, Parashi Ntanin, Samson Parashina and Martin Sunte, and actor/conservationist Edward Norton, who will run in the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 1st for the MWCT. <sportsonesource.com>

 

 

INSIDER TRANSACTION ACTIVITY:

 

M:

  • Terry Lundgren, Chairman, President & CEO, exercised 300,000 options for net proceeds of $5.78mm.
  • Karen Hoguet, CFO, exercised 11,500 options for net proceeds of $225k.

SWY: Kenneth Shachmut, SVP, exercised 50,000 options for net proceeds of $1mm.

 

PERY: Joseph Lacher, Director, exercised 15,000 options for net proceeds of $255k.

 

WTSLA: Edmond Thomas, President & CEO, exercised 75,000 options for net proceeds of $276k.

 

KR: Mary Van Oflen, Vice President & Controller, exercised 4,500 options for net proceeds of $99k.

 

CTR:

  • Timothy Greer, EVP-Director of Stores, exercised 6,000 options for net proceeds of $134k.
  • John Howe, EVP-CFO, exercised 2,5000 options for net proceeds of $55k.
  • Stuart Uselton, SVP-Tresury, Tax, & Credit, exercised 1,500 options for net proceeds of $34k.

NFLX: Neil Hunt, CPO, exercised 4,000 options for net proceeds of $188k.

 


RESTAURANTS TODAY

The press release for period 9 sales trends at CKE Restaurants hit at 1am today.  I wonder why?  Here is one clue - Carl’s Jr. sales trends are troubling…….  

 

BAD NEWS AT CKE - CKE reported P9 sales trends of -3.3% on a consolidated basis.  This includes a decline of 5.5% at Carl’s Jr. and -0.6% at Hardee’s.  Carl’s Jr. saw a 0.4% decline in its 2-years average trends on a sequential basis from period 8.  The company did not make a lot of excuses in its press release other to say that California is struggling and it was sticking with its premium product strategy. 

 

CALIFORNIA STRUGGLES – The two most recent data points from CPKI and CKE suggest that sales trends in California are not getting any better.  On the margin this is negative for CAKE and PFCB.

 

TWEEKS IN BOSTON - SBUX said it is withdrawing its Clover Brewed premium coffee offering from seven of its Greater Boston stores as it looks to fine-tune a test program of the Clover system.  Plans call for the seven Clover systems that will be removed from some stores to be redeployed in other Greater Boston stores over the next few months.

 

RESTAURANTS TODAY - fsr

RESTAURANTS TODAY - qsr

 

RESTAURANTS TODAY - carlsjr

RESTAURANTS TODAY - hardee s

 


US Strategy – HAWKS VS DOVES

Today we are waking up to another round in the “dollar credibility crisis.”  Pressuring the dollar overnight were comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, who said yesterday the U.S. economy would not snap back quickly from its deep recession, fueling expectations for continued low interest rates for an “extended period” of time.   Extended is, obviously, a duration with no defined end point, so no surprise that the dollar bears are licking their lips this morning

 

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 closed at 1,073, down 0.3% on the day.  The six day winning streak for the S&P 500 comes to an end on accelerating volume.  The streak came to an end due to (1) a more cautious view on the banks and brokers from Meredith Whitney, (2) the passage of healthcare reform and the pressure in managed care stocks and (3) disappointing earnings from JNJ, DPZ and JCI.

 

Yesterday’s portfolio activity included buying the Utilities (XLU).  Yesterday, we bought the low beta XLU with a reasonable dividend yield into lower prices associated with the morning's market correction.  We also covered our short in DRI.

 

The Technology (XLK) sector was the second best performing sector yesterday.  The XLK is the center of M&A activity as CSCO announced its second multi-billion dollar acquisition this month.  CSCO agreed to purchase STAR for $2.9B.  After the close last night INTC reported good numbers and is the primary driver of the early indication of a higher open for the S&P 500.  As Rebecca Runkle noted in her earnings review note last night, INTC has over $14BN in cash on its balance sheet.  Given the high cash levels on balance sheets of technology companies, we should expect sustained and accelerating M&A levels in the technology sector.

 

In addition to INTC, the other earning report of note is from J.P. Morgan, which printed a monster EPS number, at least versus expectations.  EPS came in at $0.82, which is up dramatically from the year ago quarter of $0.09, and well above consensus estimates of $0.51.  The top line was almost $3BN ahead of expectations as well, primarily driven by fixed income.  The bulls, of course, will probably look past the  fact this morning that J.P. Morgan added almost $2BN to consumer credit reserves, which brings the company wide total to $31.5BN, or 5.3% of total loans.  Loan reserves accelerating is not a good thing, even if irrelevant this morning.

 

Yesterday, the dollar index was down 0.2% on the day.  In early trading overseas, the dollar index is hitting a 14 month low; trading as low as 75.49.  The dollar fell after Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said interest rates will remain low for an “extended period” of time. The VIX declined slightly on the day (0.1%) and is now down 10% over the past week. 

Five of the nine sectors in the S&P 500 were up on the day, despite the S&P 500 declining 0.3%.  The three best performing sectors were Materials (XLB), Technology (XLK) and Consumer Discretionary (XLY), while Utilities (XLU), Healthcare (XLV) and Financials (XLF) were the bottom three.  We are currently long the XLV. 

 

Today, the set up for the S&P 500 is: TRADE (1,053) and TREND is positive (994).   Day 3 of perfection - the Research Edge quantitative models have 9 of 9 sectors in the S&P500 positive on TREND and 9 of 9 sectors are positive from the TRADE duration.         

 

The Research Edge Quant models have 1.5% upside and 2% downside in the S&P 500.  At the time of writing the S&P 500 is trading +13.00 to fair value; the NASDAQ is trading +22.50 and the Dow Jones is trading +108.00 to fair value.  The futures have been accelerating post the J.P. Morgan earnings report.


Howard Penney
Managing Director

 

US Strategy – HAWKS VS DOVES - S P500

 

US Strategy – HAWKS VS DOVES - s pperf

US Strategy – HAWKS VS DOVES - s plevels


Hedgeye Statistics

The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.

  • LONG SIGNALS 80.65%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.64%

A Perfect Day!

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
-Buddha
 
After veteran Fed Head, Donald Kohn, pandered to the most politicized policy making stance in US economic history last night, what is there not to like about anything priced in Burning Bucks? This is perfect! Isn’t it?
 
The Credibility of the US Currency has been blown right out of the water, and now the Buck is Burning to lower-lows. This morning’s early trading sees the lowest price we’ve seen in 14 months for the US Dollar Index, trading down another -0.63% at $75.50. Importantly, the only prices that were lower than this for the US Dollar (since 1971 when the USD became the world’s “Reserve Currency”) was that which we saw right before the 2008 US stock market crash.
 
This is perfect!  Right? Go, Go, Jaime D-iego Earnings, GO!
 
In the immediate term, of course, it is! Never mind about the intermediate term or long term implications. Let’s jack this Dow Jones party up to 10,000 feet and start paying out them Wall Street bonuses again baby! If your neighbor says anything about it, just “tilt your head back, and laugh at the sky!”
 
The #1 headline on Bloomberg this morning is: “Stocks, Oil Climb on China Exports; Dollar Drops, Gold Gains.” Doesn’t this sound like a perfect environment for the Fed Heads to fear-monger you into thinking about Bernanke’s Great Depression text books? The Vice Chairman of the Fed (Kohn), who has never seen an asset price bubble that he understood, has a view that the chance of accelerating prices isn’t something we need to worry about “for awhile.”

What Almighty Incompetent One is “awhile”? Oh, right - the Fed doesn’t do specific durations. That’s perfect too! Now we can really jack this party’s volume up. Let’s ignore the accelerating prices that are marked-to-market though, and take Geithner’s Aides word for it. They are paid to be willfully blind. They’ll never know how loud we actually have this bullish Dollar debasement volume dialed up to anyway!
 
Perfect is as perfect does. Sounds like October of 2007… unfortunately…
 
For now, look at these bullish country level stock market prices accelerating which, ostensibly, the compromised and conflicted get paid to ignore.  Just “tilt your head back and laugh” some more:
 
1.      SP500 futures 1082 = that’s only +60% higher than said Great Depression Part Deux in March

2.      China closed up another +1.2% to +63% YTD, after reporting a sequential ramp in exports of 700 basis months month-over month!

3.      Hong Kong and Australia tacked on +1-2% moves overnight, taking both markets to higher-highs at +52% and +32% YTD, respectively

4.      Germany is leading Western European stock markets to new YTD highs, trading +1.8% so far this morning to +21% YTD

5.      Russia adds another +3.4% to its YTD deflation of +129%! Oops, I mean reflation – or Mr. Kohn is that an acceleration?

6.      Brazil’s Bovespa closed up at a fresh YTD high yesterday of +72%; accelerating prices anyone?

 
With that Buck Burning, don’t be bringing up the Commodity side of year-over-year price accelerations now either. That’s not going to be perfect for our newfound narrative of PERFECT! Shhhh… talk about rents or housing or something would ya…
 
Instead of seeing that oil moving from $35/barrel in Q4 of 2008 to $75/barrel this morning, or that the price of Gold or, God forbid, TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities), let’s let this Buck Burn at the stake. This is perfect for Debtors, Bankers, and Politicians. Never mind the citizenry… they don’t really watch this American Financial Wizard of Oz show on YouTube do they?
 
Yes, fortunately, they do. In face of the US stock market making higher-highs and the US Dollar making lower-lows, this week’s reading on American Consumer Confidence (ABC/Washington Post weekly data) dropped a full 3 points to minus -48 (down from -45). Maybe not so perfect for everyone after all…
 
Of course this isn’t perfect for everyone. In the long run, our long standing position as the world’s financial reserve fiduciary will be dead. In the meantime, them Intel and JP Morgan earnings really look perfect though don’t they! Give me a big CNBC Booooyah!
 
I have a higher-high of immediate term TRADE resistance now for the SP500 at 1090. Immediate term support remains at 1053. Our Macro Team will be holding our Q4 Research Edge Macro Themes conference call this afternoon. If you’d like information about the call, please email .
 
Best of luck out there on this perfect day for America!
KM


LONG ETFS
 
XLU – SPDR Utilities
We bought low beta Utilities with a reasonable dividend yield on 10/13.

EWT – iShares Taiwan
With the introduction of “Panda Diplomacy” Taiwan has found itself growing closer to mainland China. Although the politics remain awkward, the business opportunities are massive and the private sector, now almost fully emerged from state dominance, has rushed to both service “the client” and to make capital investments there.  With an export industry base heavily weighted towards technology and communications equipment, Taiwanese companies are in the right place at the right time to catch the wave of increased consumer spending spurred by Beijing’s massive stimulus package.

EWG – iShares Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel won reelection with her pro-business coalition partners the Free Democrats. We expect to see continued leadership from her team with a focus on economic growth, including tax cuts. We believe that Germany’s powerful manufacturing capacity remains a primary structural advantage; with fundamentals improving in a low CPI/interest rate environment, we expect slow but steady economic improvement from Europe’s largest economy.

CAF – Morgan Stanley China Fund
A closed-end fund providing exposure to the Shanghai A share market, we use CAF tactically to ride the more volatile domestic equity market instead of the shares listed in Hong Kong. To date the Chinese have shown leadership and a proactive response to the global recession, and now their number one priority is to offset contracting external demand with domestic growth. Although this process will inevitably come at a steep cost, we still see this as the best catalyst for economic growth globally and are long going into the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic.

GLD – SPDR Gold We bought back our long standing bullish position on gold on a down day on 9/14 with the threat of US centric stagflation heightening.   

XLV – SPDR Healthcare
We’re finally getting the correction we’ve been calling for in Healthcare. We like defensible growth with an M&A tailwind. Our Healthcare sector head Tom Tobin remains bullish on fading the “public plan” at a price.

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

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

 
SHORT ETFS
 
XHB – SPDR Homebuilders
We were the bulls on a Q2 housing turn but, as the facts change so do we: now we are getting cautious on 1H 2010 US Housing. Rates up as access to capital tightens is not good for new home builders as we enter into a new year and series of potential catalysts for renewed pressure in the secondary market, including the expiration of the $8,000 tax credit.

USO – US OIL Fund WTIC Oil traded just north of our overbought line on 10/12. With the US Dollar hitting another higher-low, we shorted more of oil’s curve.

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

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


THE MACAU METRO MONITOR

LAS VEGAS SANDS SHARE OFFER SET FOR NOVEMBER scmp.com

Las Vegas Sands will launch the initial public offering of its Macau business late next month.   The company is seeking to raise up to US$2.5 billion in the offering.  The SCMP cites “sources familiar with Sands’ plan” as saying that the operator expects to complete the offering in about four weeks after receiving regulatory approval for a share offering and listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

 

Once regulatory approval is obtained, LVS’ bankers can begin to market the share sale to potential investors.  The bankers believe that Wynn’s recent IPO success in Hong Kong has presented “a good platform for the listing”, according to sources cited by the SCMP.  The IPO comes after the restructuring of US$3.3 billion in Macau-specific debt in exchange for higher interest payments and the raising of US$600 million in pre-flotation bond sales that could convert into shares in the Macau unit following a stock market listing in Hong Kong.           

 

 

 

MACAU’S HO IN LAST-DITCH BID TO REIN IN CASINO FIRMS scmp.com

Edmund Ho Hau-wah seems to be making a final push to act on previous pledges to control development in Macau’s gaming market.  Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak-yuen said on Monday that the administration of the outgoing chief executive is planning to review the number of table games in operation. In addition, it plans to raise the age limit for players and dealers to 21 from 18 and relocate machine parlors away from residential areas. 

 

All of these measures have been previously announced by the current administration but none has been carried out.  It seems that much of the renewed interest is due to “prodding from Beijing” to do something to rein in growth before the new government comes in.  Given that the current administration only has two months left in office, there is little time to bring measures before the new legislature which will be sitting its first session on Friday. 

 

 

 

PACKAGE TOURS AND HOTEL OCCUPANCY RATE FOR AUGUST 2009 dsec.gov.mo

Information from the Statistics and Census Service indicated that visitor arrivals in package tours increased in August by 3.7% y-o-y, putting an end to continuous y-o-y decline for the past three months.  The average hotel occupancy rate in Macau rose to 80.4%, or by 3.7% compared to the same period in 2008.  August saw a total of 631,454 guests check into hotels and guest houses in Macau, up by 15% y-o-y, with the majority coming from Mainland China (47.6% of total) and Hong Kong (27.9%). 


Game of Chicken: SP500 Levels, Refreshed...

When I was a kid, I used to play this game of chicken. Today, with the Dollar testing its YTD lows, it feels like the SP500 is playing the same…

 

The USD Index is down -0.29% at $75.90. The 2009 YTD low is 13 cents away from that print. Can the Burning Buck mark a lower-low as the SP500 tries its best to climb above its YTD closing high? That’s the game of chicken that the REFLATON trade wants to play.

 

In October of 2007 I wasn’t brave enough to stay in it on the long side until the bitter end. Thank God for that. Today, the risk management setup is far from similar, but it is October, and them chilly mornings can wake you up like they did with selloffs like we saw today.

 

I have only bought and covered positions today (bought Utilities (XLU); covered Darden (DRI). Since my 1054 line held, however low beta my buys may be, I’m definitely a better buyer on today’s weakness. Until this Buck stops Burning, the math will force us to play this US government sponsored game of chicken…

 

Today’s intraday US stock market recovery puts my refreshed TRADE lines of immediate term support/resistance at 1054 (dotted green) and 1089 (dotted red). In the Virtual Portfolio I now have 20 longs and 9 shorts.

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Game of Chicken: SP500 Levels, Refreshed...  - chart1013

 


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