The Economic Data calendar for the week of the 11th of April through the 15th of April is full of critical releases and events. Here is a snapshot of some of the headline numbers that we will be focused on.
In this complimentary edition of About Everything, Hedgeye Demography Sector Head Neil Howe discusses why manufacturers and retailers should prepare for the possibility that “goods” aren’t coming back anytime soon. And, even when (and if) the industrial sector emerges from its long-term atrophy, the underlying framework of the “old economy” will look entirely different than what we see today.
Click here to read Howe's accompanying About Everything research note.
In a brief HedgeyeTV political recap, Potomac Research Group’s JT Taylor and Hedgeye’s Daryl Jones discuss the results of GOP and Democratic primaries in Wisconsin and who will be the likely presidential nominees on each side.
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Below is a brief excerpt from our Potomac Research Group colleague and Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Morning Bullets sent to institutional clients each morning. For more information on how you can access our institutional research please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although Donald Trump lost by double digits in WI, his campaign continues to assure supporters that he will hit the magic number. The mother lode of delegates will now be found in the Northeast (where Trump is polling well) and CA where he holds a lead over Ted Cruz - and his appeal to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's supporters has been well-received. Trump needs to win 62 percent of the remaining delegates - a tough task - but if his northern firewall holds, then again we believe it will all come down to CA.
On the heels of his WI victory, Cruz is finding himself unwelcome parts of the Empire State. Polls already have him in third behind John Kasich, and if Trump lands to a sizeable victory here, it would wash away any aura of Cruz gaining ground. Cruz has little wind in his sails following his WI victory, and the positive coverage that would normally follow such a win has been usurped by Trump's huge lead in NY polls and from his "New York values" comments made earlier in the primary. To make matters worse, his scheduled appearance at a Bronx high school was cancelled due to a threatened student walkout and protests. Kids these days.
Appointing UT Sen. Mike Lee to the SCOTUS is suddenly the hot idea in Washington, and the not-so-subtle promotion of him may coincide with Trump's promised list of possible SCOTUS nominees. Lee is a conservative purist and is idolized by the more ideological wing of the Republican Party - which is currently rallied around Cruz. By invoking Lee's name and placing him on his SCOTUS shortlist, Trump could narrow his rift with conservatives, but we still don't see signs of him emerging as the great Republican unifier.
Wall Street's pie-eyed enthusiasm to "buy stocks now" was made even more palpable yesterday. According to FactSet, the average analyst's bottom-up S&P 500 target price for the year ahead was 2256.59. That implies 10.5% upside from yesterday's close. Meanwhile, analysts have been pulling back their expectations for Q1 S&P 500 earnings and Reuters reports "weak earnings expectations sets [the] stage for stock gains."
First off, just consider the accuracy of that 2256.59 bottom-up S&P 500 target. Here's FactSet:
"The average difference between the bottom-up target price estimate at the end of the month one year ago and the final price for the index at the end of the same month one year later has been +6.8%. In other words, industry analysts on average have overestimated the final price of the index by 6.8% at the end of each month during the previous year."
The reason for the serial over-optimism? Sell side analysts have been perennially bullish. Remember: "Of the 11,584 ratings on S&P 500 companies at the end of the first quarter (March 31), 50.8% were Buy ratings, 43.8% were Hold ratings, and 5.4% were Sell ratings."
This while analysts have, in fact, begun ratcheting back their earnings expectations for Q1 2016. According to FactSet:
"During the first quarter, analysts lowered earnings estimates for companies in the S&P 500 for the quarter. The Q1 bottom-up EPS estimate (which is an aggregation of the estimates for all the companies in the index) dropped by 9.6% (to $26.32 from $29.13) during this period."
That was the largest drop for a quarter since Q1 2009.
And yet the latest bit of permabull storytelling suggests that falling earnings expectations will send stocks higher, as companies beat those dismal expectations.
That argument doesn't hold water. What this bullish interpretation doesn't account for is that all S&P 500 sectors are bumping up against tough comps in Q1 and Q2 of 2016. For our take on this, watch Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough in the video below:
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