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Are You Bullish? A Brief Update On The No Volume "Rally"

Takeaway: Volume was up +22% on yesterday's selloff.

 Are You Bullish? A Brief Update On The No Volume "Rally" - volume cartoon 5.20.2014


The lack of conviction in the recent "rally" is obvious.


While exchange volume has dried up to a meager drip since the February 11 bottom, that all changed yesterday with a shocking flood of activity ... on a Down Day.


Here's analysis via Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough in a note sent to subscribers earlier this morning. 


"Algos/quants lifting little offers on up days; liquidation on the big down days – we still think this is a Liquidity Trap. Total U.S. Equity Volume ramped +22% vs. its 1-month average yesterday (SPX -0.92%, Nasdaq -1.2% on the day)."



For More...


Watch Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough in the video below entitled, "You’re ‘Crazy’ Buying Stocks Now."


Washington Needs to Wake Up! Strong Dollar = Strong America

Takeaway: Down Dollar, Bailouts, Reflation? That’s not an America anyone should be proud of,. That's the 'Inequality' standard.

Washington Needs to Wake Up! Strong Dollar = Strong America - dollar cartoon 07.02.2014 


The Purchasing Power of The People (for Americans, US Dollars) is being burned for the sake of Wall Street and The Election. For those of you who aren't paid to be willfully blind, this is how it works:


US GDP Slows -> Yellen Burns The US Dollar -> Gas Prices Rise


Now, that might be good for propping up the stock market (U.S. Dollar index -0.88 correlation to S&P 500) but it's not good for the purchasing power of everyday Americans. In effect, if Yellen can't keep Oil Up (Dollar Down), she can't keep the stock market up - screw The People.


It's not a partisan issue either. Remember Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton? Republican and Democrat? #StrongDollar, Strong America?


That’s what all Americans (not just the 1% of us “making money” on Wall St.) had in the 1980s and 1990s. That’s what allowed their purchasing power to manifest into everything that was not US Dollar Devaluation by the Federal Reserve. That was awesome.


Washington Needs to Wake Up! Strong Dollar = Strong America - strong dollar strong america




Every time the GDP cycle slows (and profit growth slows in conjunction with that), what do both Republicans and Democrats (Bush and Obama Administrations) beg for? Same thing Nixon and Carter did => Down Dollar, Bailouts, Inflations/Reflations, etc.


Not good.


That’s not an American Standard anyone in this profession should be proud of. That’s the “Inequality” standard. And, until a legitimate leader figures this out, we’re heading down history’s littered path of failed monetary policies. Sadly, if an un-elected Fed is allowed to devalue the Dollar into the US election… rising gas, rent, and food prices will most definitely be the struggle for both the American People and their economy.


Washington Needs to Wake Up! Strong Dollar = Strong America - Fed Up cartoon 03.22.2016


You see, inasmuch as Down Dollar asset “reflation” is a windfall for us “rich people,” it’s a passive aggressive consumption tax on the rest of the country (who these politicians patronize as “folks”).


As Senior Macro analyst Darius Dale pointed out recently  (see chart below), the Fed's massive monetary policy experiment to reflate asset prices was undoubtedly pocketed by the wealthiest (top 10%) of Americans. Meanwhile, Bernanke eroded the purchasing power of every working class Americans to 40 year lows.


In other words, Fed policies paid the few ... and crushed the many.


Washington Needs to Wake Up! Strong Dollar = Strong America - dale inequality


Maybe one of these big time “for The People” candidates should figure this out. For people with non-partisan standards, it’s really not that complicated. So while everyone on Wall Street is begging for Yellen to devalue the U.S. Dollar, I can draw only one conclusion and it looks like this:



Sadly, Old Wall has always found novel ways to line its pockets.


How much longer will working class Americans stand for it?

[UNLOCKED] Keith's Daily Trading Ranges

We've made some new enhancements to Daily Trading Ranges - our proprietary buy and sell levels on major markets, commodities and currencies sent to subscribers weekday mornings by CEO Keith McCullough. Click here to view a brief video of McCullough explaining how to use it most effectively.


Subscribers now receive risk ranges for 20 tickers each day -  the last five of which are determined by what's flashing on Keith's screen and by what names subscribers are asking about. Click here to subscribe.


  • Bullish Trend
  • Bearish Trend
  • Neutral

10-Year U.S. Treasury Yield
1.90 1.70 1.84
S&P 500
2,060 2,093 2,076
Russell 2000
1,115 1,155 1,140
NASDAQ Composite
4,781 4,869 4,805
Nikkei 225 Index
16,101 17,602 16,666
German DAX Composite
9,971 10,408 10,321
Volatility Index
13.69 17.94 15.22
U.S. Dollar Index
93.43 95.11 93.73
1.12 1.14 1.13
Japanese Yen
107.01 110.59 108.11
Light Crude Oil Spot Price
41.24 46.60 45.88
Natural Gas Spot Price
1.88 2.30 2.06
Gold Spot Price
1,230 1,277 1,268
Copper Spot Price
2.13 2.31 2.23
Apple Inc.
93 103 95
Amazon.com Inc.
590 680 602
McDonald's Inc.
125 130 128
Utilities Select Sector SPDR
46.43 49.90 48.13
Alphabet Inc.
692 740 705
Facebook Inc.
111 120 117

real-time alerts

real edge in real-time

This indispensable trading tool is based on a risk management signaling process Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough developed during his years as a hedge fund manager and continues to refine. Nearly every trading day, you’ll receive Keith’s latest signals - buy, sell, short or cover.

Volume, Gold and Japan

Client Talking Points


Algos/quants lifting little offers on up days; liquidation on the big down days – we still think this is a Liquidity Trap. Total U.S. Equity Volume ramped +22% vs. its 1-month average yesterday (SPX -0.92%, Nasdaq -1.2% on the day).


Gold absolutely loves the U.S. GDP #GrowthSlowing call – ramping to +20.2% year-to-date this morning and since not a lot of managers are long it, it’s probably best to focus on whether the SPX is up or down 2%!


Unfortunately, they do have to re-open the Japanese stock market on Monday (closed overnight) with Yen +1% and Nikkei futures -3%; we think this is the epicenter of the #BeliefSystem (in centrally planning equity markets) breaking down.


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

Asset Allocation


Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration

McDonald's (MCD) released earnings Friday reporting strong numbers across every important metric. Consider, for example, Q1 EPS $1.23 versus FactSet's consensus estimate of $1.16. Same-store sales in the U.S. were +5.4% vs consensus +4.4%. Revenue in the U.S. was $2.02B vs consensus $1.98B. Company-operating margin was 15.4% vs consensus 14.9% and year-ago 14.3%. We are sticking with our $150 target and believe that $7.00 in EPS for 2017 is not out of the question.


Please note we are removed CME Group from Investing Ideas (long side) on Thursday. "I thought there was going to be more upside to the numbers than there was," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote yesterday. "The market reaction looks right on that (companies that beat big go up big – see FB). So I’ll remove it today, as I think the U.S. stock market broadly has a ton of risk pending May-July."


Earnings analysis via Financials analyst Jonathan Casteleyn:

 "CME Group had solid earnings results this week with revenue up +11% and earnings up +18% year-over-year. Investors will be hard pressed to find similar growth in the Financials sector with interest rates that continue to compress and very low banking and trading activity. In contrast, the average result for Financial companies in the S&P 500 thus far in earnings season has been top line revenue declines of -3.3% with earnings decay of -14.5%. With 2Q16 trading volumes up +4% year-over-year to start the new quarter, CME will likely put up another solid quarter and out comp the rest of the sector again."


The market is currently pricing in a rate hike but not until … late 2017. So if you’re looking for reasons to buy the market at all-time highs, don't expect a boost from incremental Fed policy. To be clear, the dovish Fed commentary of late is a direct result of U.S. growth slowing. Friday’s manufacturing PMI continued its downward trend (it peaked in rate of change terms in August 2014). Clearly, the market gets decelerating growth, which is why Utilities (XLU) are leading equity sector divergences YTD (+9.3%) and the U.S. Treasury 10-year yield down 0.35% over that same period. (That translates into TLT +6.5% and ZROZ +10.2% year-to-date.)


With that being said, the alpha on our long utilities and Long Bonds (TLT & ZROZ) vs. short Junk Bonds (JNK) position has gone against us in the last two months. Notably, we have no direct exposure to commodities or commodity-related sectors, but being short of JNK amidst a huge rally in commodities has not been a good position. Much of the beaten down resource-leveraged credit has rallied.

Three for the Road


Again, My Thoughts On This Lousy GDP Report  https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/50593-my-thoughts-on-this-lousy-gdp-report… via @hedgeye



Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.

Oscar Wilde


According to a YouGov survey conducted in 10 countries across four continents U.S. Democrats and Republicans are about as likely as each other to prefer blue as their favorite color (33% for Democrats and 29% for Republicans). However, 17% of Republicans like red – twice the number of Democrats who do (8%).


Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt and chart from today's Early Look written by Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough. Click here to learn more. 


"... Why does the Fed have to keep making up new policies? That’s simple. It’s because they keep getting their growth and inflation forecasts wrong. Since the Fed is un-elected and un-accountable, they tend to corroborate a view from the highest office in the land, where Obama was allowed to call people like me “peddlers of economic fiction” in his State of The Union Address."


CHART OF THE DAY: Fed Forecast = WRONG - 4 29 cod

Making It Up

“The Fed is simply making it up as it goes along.”

-Jim Rickards


In his new book, The New Case For Gold, that’s what my friend Jim Rickards had to say about the US Federal Reserve. If you haven’t seen it yet, Jim and I had a good conversation about US #GrowthSlowing, Gold, etc. on @HedgeyeTV that has close to 100,000 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70xBQ2lL_pE


“Forward guidance is only credible if you actually believe it. Still, considering the fact that the Fed has had 15 different policies since 2008, it is difficult to know what to believe anymore… this is not a disciplined experiment… 15 policies in 7 years? That’s clear evidence of improvisation.” (pg 77)


Why does the Fed have to keep making up new policies? That’s simple. It’s because they keep getting their growth and inflation forecasts wrong. Since the Fed is un-elected and un-accountable, they tend to corroborate a view from the highest office in the land, where Obama was allowed to call people like me “peddlers of economic fiction” in his State of The Union Address.  


Making It Up - Easy money cartoon 04.28.2016


Back to the Global Macro Grind


In other real-world news, despite some of the warmest winter weather that the US has ever seen (and ever is still a long time), US GDP slowed to 0.5% for the 1st quarter of 2016. #Peddle that.


As my bi-partisan economic #truth seeking partner @Hedgeye, Darius Dale, wrote to our Institutional Subscribers yesterday, our forecast for the 1st half of 2016 represents the slowest pace of US domestic economic growth since the back half of 2012.


Having popularized broken sources that completely missed this, it’s no wonder that the Old Wall’s Media (CNBC, Bloomberg, WSJ, etc.) has reverted to some of the most absurd comments I’ve read about US GDP in the last 20 years. Check this one out:


“Near zero GDP growth has become somewhat common… and may not be an indicator of pending recession risk as it once was.” -Bloomberg


And people in our profession wonder why The American People don’t trust us…


Yes, whether people like me or not, we are all in this profession together. I’m not some blogger who has been banned by the industry for insider trading. I’m not hiding behind a pseudonym either. I’m right here, running it right up the middle, every day.


Until politicians (elected and un-elected) completely blow up markets again, we still have a chance to start-over by telling one another the truth about the economic, profit, and credit cycle.


Since it’s clearly slowing, the Fed is trying to do what the Bernanke/Yellen Feds have always done:


Devalue the Dollar (erode the purchasing power of the American people – higher rent, gas prices, etc.) in a last gasp effort to “reflate” the stock market before #Recession replaces ISIS as the most important topic in the US Election.

*note: Bloomberg supports Obama and the Clintons


So, no worries, as long as Oil/Gas prices keep ramping (into month-end portfolio performance reporting), the SP500 isn’t going to go down much more than it did yesterday (-0.92%). The “Ex-Energy” Nasdaq will (-1.20%)!


Obviously Dollar Devaluation trades are getting some people paid (not The People). But, with the SP500 barely “up” for the YTD, the low-beta alpha is being made in being long those big liquid Macro positions that thrive during US #GrowthSlowing periods:


  1. Long-term Treasury Bonds (TLT) = +7.1% YTD
  2. Utilities (XLU) = +11.2% YTD
  3. Gold (GLD) = +20.1% YTD


That’s right. The peddlers of “the US economy is great” narrative don’t talk about Mr. Macro Market nailing GDP slowing from 3% to 1.4% to 0.5% in Gold +20.1% YTD terms, do they? Maybe that’s why our Gold video is going to hit 100,000 views.


While I may be accused of being “terrible” (for 2 months) for not changing my mind on the SP500 and loading up on MLPs when the TRENDING US economic data didn’t change, I’ve had much worse things happen to me in my career.


And when it’s all said and done, I’ll go to my grave resting peacefully, knowing that I helped build a firm that is independent of Washington and Wall St. conflicts of interest – a firm that didn’t have to make things up in order to get paid.


Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges (with intermediate-term TREND research views in brackets) are now:


UST 10yr Yield 1.70-1.90% (bearish)

SPX 2060-2093 (bearish)
RUT 1115-1155 (bearish)

NASDAQ 4 (bearish)

Nikkei 16101-17602 (bearish)

DAX 98 (bearish)

VIX 13.69-17.94 (bullish)
USD 93.43-95.11 (bullish)
EUR/USD 1.12-1.14 (neutral)
YEN 107.01-110.59 (bullish)
Oil (WTI) 41.24-46.60 (bearish)

Nat Gas 1.88-2.30 (bearish)

Gold 1230--1277 (bullish)
Copper 2.13-2.31 (bearish)

AAPL 93-103 (bearish)

MCD 125-130 (bullish)

XLU 46.43-49.90 (bullish)


Best of luck out there today,



Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer


Making It Up - 4 29 cod

Daily Trading Ranges

20 Proprietary Risk Ranges

Daily Trading Ranges is designed to help you understand where you’re buying and selling within the risk range and help you make better sales at the top end of the range and purchases at the low end.