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Eurozone: Buy Buy Buy?

This note was originally published at 8am on March 06, 2015 for Hedgeye subscribers.

“One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words”

-Fred R. Barnard

 

While he later changed “one look” to “one picture”, the ad man Fred Barnard is attributed with the modern day adage, which he first used in the advertising trade journal Printers’ Ink on December 8, 1921 to promote the use of images in advertisements that appear on the sides of streetcars.  

 

A year ago Hedgeye hired Bob Rich as our in-house cartoonist and illustrator. Formerly a staff illustrator for The Republican newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts and an editorial cartoonist for The New Haven Register, Bob has won numerous awards for his work.  To say the very least, he has flourished in his role at Hedgeye.  His creative and skillful ability to depict in a cartoon what we analysts spend hours trying to put into words is enviable. And through a recent desk reshuffle in the office, I also have the pleasure of sitting next to Bob, which selfishly affords me the opportunity to encourage him to do European related cartoons, my area of coverage on the macro team.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

With news of record inflows by investors into European securities; the EUR/USD at a 11 year low; and confirmation that ECB President Mario Draghi will once again do “whatever it takes” to expand the ECB’s balance sheet, to shore up risk (including Greece) and to maintain the existing Eurozone fabric, do you go all in on Europe?  

 

Bob’s cartoons below tell it all – for us the mismatch between the Eurozone’s economic fundamentals and its financial markets still remains stark. And the rub between betting all in on Eurozone securities based on Draghi’s QE program versus the threat of blindly following him over the proverbial QE cliff, is THE risk management question. 

Eurozone: Buy Buy Buy? - 1. BRICH

 

With no crystal ball in sight, here are Hedgeye’s key Eurozone take-aways as we size up going all in on Europe:

  • Our highest conviction investment signal is to stay short the EUR/USD
  • Our Eurozone GIP (Growth/Inflation/Policy) predictive model shows a steady move from QUAD 1 to QUAD 4 to QUAD 3 over the next three quarters. This negative economic view should force the ECB to keep its foot on the QE funnel for longer than its original target [SEPT 2016] as growth surprises on the downside (see our Chart of the Day below), all of which should pressure the EUR/USD lower.
  • We expect that Fiscal Consolidation and Structural Reforms across the region over the intermediate to longer term are unlikely to be carried out (or at the very least not within the ECB’s timeline) to promote economic productivity and job creation, further muting inflation and growth targets.
  • And we expect a confluence of factors to support a strong USD, including 1). policy expectations surround when the Fed will hike rates, not IF, and 2). supportive commodity and business cycle dynamics (for more see my colleague Ben Ryan’s recent note)
  • Our quantitative models show that the EUR/USD is broken  across all durations (TRADE, TREND, and TAIL). We call this a bearish formation and do not see any long term TAIL support until $0.80.
  • On Equities… Juiced By the Draghi QE Drugs:  As risk managers we cannot turn a blind eye to the power of QE to propel equities higher, however we don’t have to be holding the proverbial bag on the way down either. We continue to recommend strong balance sheets at the country level, like Germany (etf EWG), and will tactically trade around QE’s influence on the peripheral markets . YTD we’ve already seen some monster moves across equity markets with the German DAX and Italian FTSE MIB indices each up over +17%.
  • On Fixed IncomeLow Yields Can Go Lower: In yesterday’s ECB press conference Draghi indicated a willingness to buy even government bonds with negative yields as low as the current deposit rate (-0.2%). This flexibility from the Bank, shows once again a commitment to “support” the Eurozone project at all costs. Further, his appetite to support the periphery specifically appears enormous.  Again in his statements he suggested that so long as Greece can pass its reform review, the ECB will reinstate the waver on the conditionality that it will only buy investment grade paper.  Yamas!

 

This coming Monday the ECB will commence its sovereign bond purchase program (€60 Billion/month of its ear-marked €1.1 Trillion package). While it’s tempting to point to the Fed’s QE impact to juice stocks higher, as risk managers we do not think it’s prudent to simply draw a 1-factor like-for-like comparison. This time may in fact be different.

 

As outlined, our highest conviction investment signal is to remain short the EUR/USD. That said, we’ll certainly be navigating the macro waters to trade around what influence Mr. Draghi’s QE wand has on European securities.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 1.89-2.18%

SPX 2085-2117

DAX 11217-11642

USD 95.07-96.68
EUR/USD 1.09-1.12

Oil (WTI) 48.20-52.04

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Matthew Hedrick
Associate

 

Eurozone: Buy Buy Buy? - EUROZONE


Dollar Down Move – Lasted A Day

Client Talking Points

RUSSELL 2000

One of the sneaky ways to be long #StrongDollar is being long the Russell 2000 vs the S&P 500 – that’s because the Russell gives you domestic revenues, whereas SPX gets you the wrong kind of foreign currency exposure to the USD. The Russell was up another +0.4% yesterday to an all-time closing high of 1254 (+4.2% year-to-date) vs SPX down -0.5% on the day (+1.5% year-to-date) #divergences.

JAPAN

The Japanese Nikkei loves that smell of Burning Yens, up another +0.4% overnight to fresh 15 year highs = +12.2% year-to-date as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda made a bunch of stuff up about his inflation hopes and said he was going to get “innovative with monetary policy” – thanks buddy (in English that means he’ll go from 90 Trillion Yen in money printings to > 100 Trillion).

UST 10YR

It was a good week for longer-term investors who get #Deflation and global #GrowthSlowing. The UST 10YR was down -14 basis points on the week to 1.97% this morning, with next support at 1.91% and resistance at 2.05% - lower for longer remains our call on rates.

Asset Allocation

CASH 35% US EQUITIES 16%
INTL EQUITIES 13% COMMODITIES 0%
FIXED INCOME 24% INTL CURRENCIES 12%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
MTW

Manitowoc  (MTW) is splitting the business into two companies. Given the valuation differential between the sum-of-the-parts and the current enterprise value of the company, the break-up should be a substantial positive. The low-end of our sum of the parts valuation is $26, and the low-end is not based on a MIDD comp (not that there is anything wrong with a MIDD comp).  In theory, spin-offs and break-ups unlock shareholder value while increasing operating potential of the formerly smothered units. 

ITB

iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) is a great way to play our long housing call, U.S. #HousingAccelerating remains 1 of the Top 3 Global Macro Themes in the Hedgeye Institutional Themes deck right now. Not only did U.S. home prices accelerate (in rate of change terms) in the Core Logic data this week to +5.7%, but the supply/demand data has been improving throughout the last 3 months.

TLT

Low-volatility Long Bonds (TLT) have plenty of room to run. Late-Cycle Economic Indicators are still deteriorating on a TRENDING Basis (Manufacturing, CapEX, inflation) while consumption driven numbers have improved. Inflation readings for January are #SLOWING. We saw deceleration in CPI year-over-year at +0.8% vs. +1.3% prior and month-over-month at -0.4% vs. -0.3% prior. Growth is still #SLOWING with Real GDP growth decelerating at -20 basis points to +2.5% year-over-year for Q4 2014.The GDP deflator decelerated -40 basis points to +1.2% year-over-year.

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

VIDEO (1min) Trade the Market Using Math, Not Magic https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/43052-mccullough-trade-the-market-using-math-not-magic

@KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

It's not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it's what you put into the practice.

-Eric Lindros     

STAT OF THE DAY

In 2014 the average price of brisket increased 47% from 2013, this year it is up 14%.


CHART OF THE DAY: How Are Those "Talks" Going In Europe? (Greek Equities - ASE Index)

CHART OF THE DAY: How Are Those "Talks" Going In Europe? (Greek Equities - ASE Index) - 03.20.15 chart

 

Editor's Note: This is a brief excerpt from today's Morning Newsletter written by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough. Click here to subscribe. 

 

Oh, then Draghi woke up and gave the Greek guys a buzz telling them to just float it out there that they are “feeling confident” about their talks with the Germans:

 

  1. After hitting fresh YTD lows (see Chart of The Day), Greek stocks bounced +3% on that and…     

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 80.32%
  • SHORT SIGNALS 78.48%

Giant Macro River

“It was the transformation of the ocean from a death sentence to a sort of giant river.”

-Peter Zeihan

 

After a mentally exhausting month on the road where I was debating investors on what the Fed could and should do, now we have the proverbial giant macro river card priced into the marketplace, and I can go back to reading my books and brackets.

 

Since my NCAA brackets are basically an uneducated guess from a 5’9 right-hand-only-dribble-Canadian who doesn’t know the difference between the SEC and whatever division UAB played in this year, my picks did well yesterday.

 

Go figure. Guessing works some of the time – but it gets you run over in macro markets most of the time. So let’s go back to analyzing the transformation of an interconnected, but non-linear, global currency, commodity, fixed income, and equity market.

Giant Macro River - z9

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

The transformation of the oceans (across the last six centuries) is a fantastic metaphor for macro markets to consider as you watch your basketball brackets this weekend. If you’re not into doing either – let me save you the required reading and give you the history point:

 

The most lasting impact of the deep water revolution, wasn’t the shifting of the spice trade, the fall of the Ottomans, or even the rise of the British Empire… Deepwater navigation cracked the world open, launching the Age of Discovery, which in turn condensed the world both culturally and economically.” (The Accidental Superpower, pg 31)

 

Never mind not having a modern day #process to contextualize and risk manage the oceans. Trading macro used to be a death sentence for people who A) didn’t have live quotes and/or B) liquid macro securities that helped them express their macro themes.

 

Today, all of that has changed. Currency markets are some of the deepest and most liquid in the world – and most central planners wake up every morning looking for ways to manipulate them.

 

Last night, BOJ (Bank of Japan) overlord Kuroda was trying to jawbone the Yen lower by suggesting he could come up with some moarrr “innovative monetary policy.” What he meant by that is he can do moarr and moarrr of what has not worked, and take Japan’s annual money printing from 80-90T Yen to something greater than 100 TRILLION Yens…

 

Awesome, eh?

 

Yeah, these guys are totally awesome. As they are blowing up the purchasing power of The People, they are providing us an excellent map of how to navigate the River Alpha of Global Macro returns.

 

How did Kuroda impact macro markets?

 

  1. Yen Down (Dollar Up) = Nikkei Up
  2. With Burning Yens testing YTD lows, Weimar Nikkei ramped to a 15yr high at +12.2% YTD
  3. Janet’s attempts to devalue the US Dollar past 1-day were foiled

 

Oh, then Draghi woke up and gave the Greek guys a buzz telling them to just float it out there that they are “feeling confident” about their talks with the Germans:

 

  1. After hitting fresh YTD lows (see Chart of The Day), Greek stocks bounced +3% on that and…    
  2. The Euro (vs. USD) bounced to another lower-highs too at $1.06…
  3. So Janet doesn’t have to intervene just yet –until Euros and Yens are both on their lows again, I guess

 

This is, of course, the problem with trying to centrally plan your own domestic waterways as the rest of the world is trying to boil the currency ocean. If your “policy” is linear and local in its design, it’s going to get wiped out by non-linear global macro risks.

 

“So”, Janet, while I’m a fan of the no policy mistake move this week… and I think that the move you made on the non-impatience vs. “patient” was cute… in trying to devalue the Dollar from here, I think you’re up this river without a paddle until you make your next move.

 

How do we invest in these #StrongDollar + Down Rates Global Macro waters? No real change from where I’ve been:

 

  1. Commodity #Deflation = rocks, so avoid those (reiterating the asset allocation of 0%, which we’ve had for 6 months)
  2. US Equities = domestic consumption opportunities abound (Russell 2000, Housing, Consumer, Healthcare)
  3. Int’l Equities = owning central plans to ramp stocks markets (Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.)

 

And in FX and Fixed Income you obviously own what the long-term investors in Global #Deflation and #GrowthSlowing do – US Dollars and Long-term Treasuries. It’s a Giant Macro River, and I’m happy owning the deepest and most liquid parts of it.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 1.91-2.05%
SPX 2069-2107
RUT 1

DAX 110
USD 97.97-100.69
EUR/USD 1.04-1.08

 

Best of luck out there today and have a great weekend,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Giant Macro River - 03.20.15 chart


March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015 - Slide1

 

BULLISH TRENDS

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BEARISH TRENDS

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March 20, 2015 - Slide13



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