Client Talking Points
But if we blame China and Oil for everything, all good – after seeing the Shanghai Composite re-test its year-to-date lows, the Chinese had a slew of central-planning headlines to change that. Including “cutting 5-6M jobs from zombie enterprises” (imagine the U.S. did that?) – bullish move there vs. expectations, Shanghai Composite “off the lows” +1.7%.
Oil is prodding the top-end of its immediate-term $28.48-34.75 risk range (WTI) so we would be looking to re-load on Energy related shorts again (newsflash: at $35-45 Oil and Oil Volatility = 60-70, most credit issues remain). You simply have to be there selling the top-end of the risk range so that you can cover lower.
Imagine consensus blamed the following reality for terrible U.S. Equity returns in the last 6 months: 485/500 S&P companies have reported an aggregate Sales decline of -4.5% (and an earnings year-over-year decline of -8.5% on non-GAAP numbers); that made-up EPS decline is right inline with the year-to-date decline of the Russell 2000 of -8.7%.
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Top Long Ideas
Our preferred growth slowing vehicle remains Utilities (XLU) in equites. Hitting on Friday’s revised GDP report (Q/Q SAAR Q4 GDP revised to +1.0% from +0.7%), a deep-dive into the number doesn’t support an incrementally stronger economy:
General Mills (GIS) hit an all-time high last week when it reached $60.18 on Thursday. Although this would not be a great entry point, it is also not a reason to get out if you have a long-term view. Nothing has changed in our fundamental story and we have no reason to lose faith in our thinking to date.
Over the course of the past few years, GIS has made strategic acquisitions within the natural & organic / wellness space (we call it the string of pearls approach). Although they are not largely meaningful to top or bottom-line right now, they are changing the way the company thinks about its broader portfolio.
We continue to believe GIS is one of the best positioned consumer packaged foods companies due to its strong brands and best-in-class people and organization.
Our preferred growth slowing vehicle remains (Long-Term Treasuries) TLT in fixed income. A flattening in the yield spread (10YR Treasury Yield – 2YR Treasury Yield) continued last week into double digit basis point territory (currently at 96 basis points). Year-to-date the yield spread has declined 44 basis points while the 10YR Treasury Yield has dropped 47 basis points. As a reminder the yield curve flattens as the economy slows with policy and/or liquidity management driving the short-end higher and defensive positioning and/or discounting of lower future growth/inflation driving the long end lower.
Three for the Road
TWEET OF THE DAY
A #SuperTuesday16 Preview with @PotomacResearch & @HedgeyeDJ
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Your decisions reveal your priorities.
Jeff Van Gundy
STAT OF THE DAY
Kate Spade & Co (KATE) short interest into this morning's print is the highest in 3 years.