Hawkish Expectations

Client Talking Points

USD

Not surprisingly, the USD is up (this week) into the “relatively hawkish” #LateCycle Employment Fed statement – but how much USD (and rates) upside is there? Not much, for now as both the Japanese and European #BeliefSystem of FX devaluation continues to break-down, pressuring USD inasmuch as slowing housing and consumption data does.

RUSSELL 2000

Right there with the Financials (XLF -6.0% year-to-date) as Best Ideas Shorts in 2016 year-to-date is the Russell 2000 (down -1.6% yesterday to -6.1% year-to-date) as both a are much purer play on the short side of the U.S. economy slowing than the global one. We know that doesn’t fit the perma bull narrative. But it does fit yesterday’s U.S. Retail Sales and Housing (NAHB) data! #slowing.

HEALTHCARE

Another Sector Style that continues to underperform in 2016 (XLV down -1.7% yesterday to -6.7% year-to-date, with Biotech, IBB, -3.8% on the day). We know. We know. It was Valeant( VRX). But remember what the macro message is there – don’t be long storytelling, leverage, and “pricing” when the macro risk = #Deflation.

 

*Tune into The Macro Show with Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough live in the studio at 9:00AM ET - CLICK HERE

Asset Allocation

CASH 64% US EQUITIES 0%
INTL EQUITIES 0% COMMODITIES 6%
FIXED INCOME 24% INTL CURRENCIES 6%

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration
XLU

Utilities (XLU) remains the alpha generating trades in equities, year-to-date XLU is up 11.3% versus -1.1% for the S&P 500. Factor exposure is very important to us, especially when volatility is in a bullish TREND set-up and small cap, illiquid stocks continue to underperform. Here's another way to look at it:

Volatility

+ Illiquidity

+ Too many hedge funds chasing performance...

= #Pain

We continue to expect utilities to outperform the broader market given this current environment.    

GIS

This stock is not likely going to go up 20% in the next year, but we do believe it will fare better than most in the consumer staples sector, especially as we head into an economic slowdown. That's why GIS is up 5.5% year-to-date versus down -1.4% for the S&P 500.

 

In the past few newsletters we've noted the effect Walmart is having on GIS, how its Yogurt business is faring against competitors, and how the company is broadening the distribution of its top 450 SKUs. On the M&A front, barring any screaming deals in the market place we don’t see General Mills (GIS) buying anything over roughly $1 billion in sales, just given the added complexity it would cause. So they will most likely continue the string of pearls approach in the Natural & Organic/Snacking categories. This does not rule out the possibility of GIS being bought, 3G & Kraft Heinz could be getting back in the mix as well, although it seems too soon for another deal this big.

TLT

Growth and inflation continue to decelerate in the Eurozone and globally. In other words, there is very little central planners can do to stop the cycle and the inevitable deleveraging that must take place in credit Long-Term Treasuries (TLT) remains the alpha generating trade in fixed income this year. 

Three for the Road

TWEET OF THE DAY

Rickards: Why Gold Is Going To $10,000  https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/49747-rickards-why-gold-is-going-to-10-000… via @hedgeye

@KeithMcCullough

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain        

STAT OF THE DAY

50 billion burgers are consumed in America per year.