USD, EUR and Commodity Divergences

Client Talking Points

USD

Investors pushed out the dots yesterday as global growth slowing and China’s quasi-acknowledgement of economic reality pushed bets on the probability of a September lift-off back below 50% and pushed the dollar -1.1% lower on the day. With dollar correlations still strong, across durations, ↓ Dollar still  = ↑  (commodity/energy) re-flation and XLE followed the currency correlation playbook gaining +1.86% and leading sector performance  … but the slow-growth rotation remained equally strong with XLU up 1.8% on the session (+2.8% MTD vs SPX -0.85%).  The USD is up modestly this morning and Jackson Hole – the next major currency catalyst – is, on the margin, Euro bearish.  Jackson Hole = Aug 27-29th, September FOMC = Sept 17th.  

EUR

We remain the EUR/USD bears. The next days will bring parliamentary votes on Greece’s 3rd bailout.  Make no mistake, the top Eurocrats (Draghi & Merkel) are incentivized to plug Greece’s credit hole. Expect ‘debt relief’ in some form, but no great solution to Greece’s larger structural issues nor the flawed nature of a currency union regulating uneven economies with one monetary policy. We expect slower growth in the region from here, which should put increased pressure on Draghi to issue more QE.  

COMMODITY DIVERGENCES

3-factor price signaling in the commodities complex is sending mixed signals. Relative USD correlations (near-term vs. historical norms) are tracking more positively (less negatively correlated) and price volume signals vs. USD movements are diverging across the space. Nat. Gas and RBOB Gas finished +~3-4% vs. Corn and Soybeans -5-6%, all on heavy volumes. We continue to like base metals, materials, and crude on the short side, but time and price is key. Most look oversold on a near-term duration on our screens. We would look to short on strength.  

Asset Allocation

CASH 60% US EQUITIES 4%
INTL EQUITIES 5% COMMODITIES 0%
FIXED INCOME 24% INTL CURRENCIES 7%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
HOLX

In an analysis of the demographics of the newly insured, Pap testing, HPV, and mammography were at the top of the list of products that would be positively impacted by the ACA.  As we reach the #ACATaper stage, will HOLX take a hit to their Diagnostic segment? It is possible, in our view, but so far a minor risk. As we learned last week from a lab operator, Qiagen is likely to continue to cede their 14% HPV testing share to HOLX. So while the #ACATaper appears to be finally here, there are offsets. On a disappointing note, our 3D Tomo Tracker update for July came in at 24 facilities. Down sequentially from June, and down from a peak of 54 in May. Our forecast algorithm, which is based on these updates, remains unchanged. While 20 is low, it is probably a blip in the longer term adoption cycle.

PENN

PENN has emerged as the first domestic gaming growth story in 10 years with a new casino in Massachusetts this year and one in San Diego next year. Meanwhile, regional gaming trends have stabilized, providing near term earnings visibility and upside. Upcoming catalysts include the monthly release of State gaming revenues for July, including Massachusetts, and positive earnings revisions.

TLT

Sometimes the macro rotation and allocation playbook is relatively straightforward. As growth slows and "reflation" deflates, you want to be buying A) Long-term Bonds and B) stocks that look like bonds. Bond proxies and defensive yield consistently outperform alongside the dual deceleration in demand and prices and Utilities and REITS remain the go-to sectors for growth slowing, defensive yield exposure.

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

$SHAK announces 4M share offering priced at $60 - someone thinks its a good buy here

@HedgeyeHWP

QUOTE OF THE DAY

One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.

E. M. Forster

STAT OF THE DAY

Only 1.9% of Facebook users continue to use the popular 1990s-era acronym LOL to signify their laughter in a post.


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