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Client Talking Points
Isn’t this getting fun? We’re pretty sure Janet Yellen never played team sports, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that her Fed forecasting team is all over the place at this point in talking to markets about rate hikes and USD. Massive inverse Correlation Risk continues to drive daily market moves with USD to CRB and SPY running -0.81-0.96 in March.
As opposed to v-bottoms on the SPY short-side, the long side has been easy year-to-date – as #GrowthSlows, Fed Easing has pounded the UST 10YR down to 1.81% (2YR just went from 0.90% to 0.77% in less than a week on Fed Head confusion) and Utilities (XLU) continued to lead the way on yesterday’s Yellen Ramp, closing up another +1.5% = +14.3% year-to-date XLU.
Heck, why buy Utes on Yellen turn-tailing dovish when you can go right to the vein and buy Gold? It was +3% yesterday (vs. Financials barely up at +0.18% XLF #terrible) to +17% year-to-date leading most things in absolute return space which we highly doubt will be trumpeted more than “the S&P is up” (+0.5% year-to-date) all day today (into month-end markups).
*Tune into The Macro Show with Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough live in the studio at 9:00AM ET - CLICK HERE.
|FIXED INCOME||23%||INTL CURRENCIES||4%|
Top Long Ideas
CME Group (CME) put up a decent fourth quarter earnings print with a slight revenue and earnings beat. Not that we put much weight on what happened last quarter but trends into the new operating period are looking even better. The exchange guided to just a +1% operating expense increase for 2016, guided to slightly lower annual taxes for '16 (with more activity coming from abroad), and again announced that open interest was setting a new record, at over 111 million contracts.
Even assuming some mean reversion to just over 16.5 million contracts (depending on product group), 1Q is running at ~$1.20 per share in earnings, which means the Street will need to perk up its current $1.06 estimate. Simply put, this is one of the few growth stories in the current macro environment within Financials.
We continue to like General Mills (GIS) as one of the best large cap names in the packaged food space. With that being said, the third quarter was not without its noise surrounding the numbers; Green Giant divestiture, Walmart clean store policies, foreign currency exchange, and grain merchandising just to name a few, muddied the waters. But digging through the noise, this is a business that is truly turning a corner. When they set sail on fiscal year 2016 back in June of 2015, we knew this was not going to be an easy ship to turn towards success. Now, with many key product platforms turning (through strong product innovation and renovation) in the right direction and operational improvements implemented through cost savings initiatives, GIS is on the cusp of success. We will be measuring this success by realization of sustained top line growth in the low single digit range.
In our model the second quarter is the toughest compare on both GDP and U.S. corporate profits so we want to be very careful going into that and be positioned defensively. Stay long Long-Term Treasuries (TLT).
While small/mid cap U.S. Equities reverted to their bear market mean last week (Russell 2000 down -2.0% on the week and -16.7% since US Corporate Profits peaked in Q2 of 2015), so did a few other US Equity Market Style Factors that had had a big 1-month bounce:
Three for the Road
TWEET OF THE DAY
The #Airbnb Impact On #Hotels & Timeshare https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/49984-the-airbnb-impact-on-hotels-timeshare… via @HedgeyeSnakeye @KeithMcCullough
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Courage is grace under pressure.
STAT OF THE DAY
A recent study drawing on 16 billion e-mails sent by more than 2 million people found that more than 90% of replies are sent within a day.
Takeaway: We will be updating our Short thesis on shares of T. Rowe Price tomorrow Thursday, March 31st at 11 a.m. EST.
Watch the the replay below.
The Asteroid Is Speeding Up: 1. The passive ETF asteroid is accelerating, but TROW remains committed to active only strategies. The firm's core (non-target date) mutual fund business is battling the biggest drawdown in history, just as several other passive drivers are poised to unfold. 2. TROW has the biggest stable of Large Cap strategies in the group, and it's precisely the Large Cap category that is losing the most share to passive. 3. The Department of Labor's Fiduciary rule is set to take effect and will make mutual funds less desirable to distribute because passive products (ETFs and index funds) help to avoid liability and complex reporting standards.
Target Date Is Slowing Down: TROW's main growth driver has been target date funds, but the once stalwart growth channel is now slowing substantially. Why? The target date (TD) fund arena has also been penetrated by passives. What was once a bastion for active management (90% TD market share), active TD funds are today increasingly being supplanted by passive with active TD market share now moving toward 60%. The TROW target date franchise also allocates "through" retirement, which means its TD funds have higher than average equity allocations. This results in increased volatility and a greater risk of underperformance during market declines.
Phase Transition. TROW shares continue to trade at a premium valuation to the asset management group despite substantially slowing growth. The stock is an early cycle beneficiary, but lags the market and the group in flat to down markets. Risks to a short position include the firm's dividend and buyback, but historically TROW buybacks have peaked at ~5%, which is what they're already doing.
CALL DETAILS - Thursday, March 31st at 11 am EST
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Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT
Risk Managed Long Term Investing for Pros
Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough handpicks the “best of the best” long and short ideas delivered to him by our team of over 30 research analysts across myriad sectors.
BREAKING... Believing the Fed's serially optimistic economic forecasts remains the biggest risk to investors.
Today, Fed head Janet Yellen said "caution" about further rate hikes was "especially warranted." While she was speaking, Treasury yields continued their downward descent.
Here's where we're at. The Fed continually dials back rate hike expectations and thereby jawboning Long Bond yields lower. The 10-year Treasury yield currently sits at 1.82%, 45 basis points below where it started at the beginning of the year.
Q: Who warned you?
The dovish Fed commentary confirmed what we have long known. It was a mistake to raise rates in December and interest rates will have to stay #LowerForLonger to prop up an already flimsy economy. (Reminder: Wall Street's "top strategists" predicted the 10-year Treasury yield will end the year between 2.5% and 3.5%. We'll see about that.)
As Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough likes to say, it still pays to be "the most bullish guy on Wall Street" on Long Bonds (TLT). Take a look at the performance of TLT year-to-date versus the S&P 500:
What else has worked this year? Other Hedgeye Long calls...
- Gold (GLD) up 16.6% year-to-date
- Utilities (XLU) up 13.4% year-to-date
(*Not exactly macro market expressions of confidence in the Fed's "all is good" mantra, huh?)
And if you think things get easier from here for Yellen & Co. don't hold your breath. As McCullough wrote in today's Early Look:
"We’re reiterating that the US economic and profit cycle won’t even have a chance of putting in a rate of change (cycle) bottom until Q2 which, candidly, won’t be reported until Q3."
Let's set aside for a second the fact that the Atlanta Fed's own Q1 2016 GDP forecast released yesterday just plunged 200 bps in the past month to a paltry 0.6%. It's our contention that as the developing corporate profit and industrial recession gets priced into the market (aka economic data continues to roll over), long-only equity investors can expect a lot more pain from here.
stick with what's been working all year.
Hedgeye’s Gaming, Lodging, and Leisure team hosted a presentation recently to introduce our proprietary Airbnb listings/price tracker and discuss the Airbnb impact on the lodging and timeshare space.
The total percentage of successful long and short trading signals since the inception of Real-Time Alerts in August of 2008.
LONG SIGNALS 80.45%
SHORT SIGNALS 78.37%