“I really grinded over those four or five-footers – that was the difference.”
Love that quote. After acknowledging that “I didn’t have my best ball striking”, that’s how an impressively transparent and accountable young man boiled down his #history making win at the US Open yesterday.
In sharp contrast, Dustin Johnson (who 3 putted from 12 feet to lose the Championship) said “I did everything I was supposed to do. I hit the ball well – I just really struggled to get it in the hole – I wasn’t hitting bad putts, they just weren’t going in.”
Actually, getting the ball in the hole (under pressure) is what you are supposed to do, Dustin. I don’t care who you are. Nice ball striking is, well, nice. But If you want to be a Champion, you gotta #grind boy. #Grind, grind, grind.
Back to the Global Macro Grind…
So you have “nice” short ideas and did all your bottom-up research but missed that A) the Fed was going to be Lower-For-Longer last week and B) that Greece was going to extend and pretend again this morning?
SP Futures +19 handles pre-open! #Fun
Or at least more fun than trying to stick some of those greens at Chambers Bay. No matter what conditions your game is best suited for, you need to play the macro game that is in front of you.
The “buy everything” call we’ve had into a prevailing consensus wind of “it’s just time for the Fed to hike” has a few very simple components:
- Down Dollar = asset price reflation
- Down Rates = #YieldChasing
And here’s how those 2 core factors off the tee box looked last week (golfers, think of them like wind and pin):
- US Dollar Index down for the 3rd straight week into and out of the Fed meeting, -0.9% week-over-week
- US 10yr Treasury Yield down for the 2nd consecutive week, -13 basis points week-over-week to 2.26%
US stocks enjoyed that (Dow Jones Industrials Index up for the 2nd straight week putting it back in the black for 2015 at +1.1% YTD), but the biggest recipient to Down Dollar + Down Rates = Up Gold, absolutely loved that, closing +1.8% on the week.
Actually let me take that back – not all “stocks” liked the Dovish Down Dollar + Down Rates move. Here’s how our two favorite S&P Sector Shorts and Global Equities did with the pin tucked in the front, and some USD devaluation tailwind:
- US Financial Stocks (XLF) down -1.2% week-over-week, taking them back to 0.0% for 2015 YTD
- US Industrial Stocks (XLI) down another -0.4% week-over-week to down -1.5% for 2015 YTD
- European Stocks (EuroStoxx600) down -1.0%, taking their 3-month correction to -3.8%
If you stayed out of those big performance pot-bunkers, you were probably pleased. That said, you still had to grind over those putts once you got on the greens. There were two holes in particular that had huge breakers:
- Chinese Stocks (Shanghai Composite) -13.3% week-over-week, but +25.1% in the last 3 months
- Greek Stocks (Athens Index) -11.3% week-over-week, taking them to -5% in the last 3 months
Sure, Greek stocks are up +8% this morning on whatever extension and pretension macro market players are going to have to deal with next, but they’re also still -11.3% in the last month so this isn’t for the faint of heart.
In terms of how we’re setup right now (you can see my tilts in the Hedgeye Asset Allocation Model every day), we have one of our lowest cash positions since April. I’d characterize our cross-asset class weights being as balanced as they’ve been in a while too.
If you’d like me to rank our Best Ideas in ETF terms, here’s what I’m thinking (Top 3):
- ITB - US Housing Stocks (they’ve corrected on rate fears)
- XLV – US Healthcare Stocks (they haven’t corrected, and should continue to outperform)
- GLD – Gold, yep – #grind
Japanese Stocks (DXJ) are still our favorite in the International Equity bucket. And I’d be a seller of European Equities on this morning’s Greek ramp. If you’re looking for a natural head-to-head twosome, I’d put Japan up against Germany, long/short.
I’m also thinking I should stop with the golf metaphors and just get ready to #grind. Today’s gap-up open in both European and US equities is going to provide for quite a day. Like the reasons or not – we still need to put the alpha ball in the hole.
Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:
UST 10yr Yield 2.16-2.38%
Oil (WTI) 59.05-61.35
Best of luck out there this week,
Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer