McCullough: Stop Whining, Stick With The Process


During the live Q&A section of The Macro Show earlier today, Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough provides a “stick with the process” pep talk for a subscriber worried about his short positions.

What The Bond Market Tells Us About U.S. Growth (Or The Lack Thereof)

Takeaway: Despite the Fed's talk of rate hikes, we remain the bulls on Long Bonds (TLT).

What The Bond Market Tells Us About U.S. Growth (Or The Lack Thereof) - tlt lowdown


"Unfortunately, the bond market isn’t buying into the hope that GDP is +2.5% here in Q2 (we’re still below 1%) – at 1.86% this am the 10yr Yield is signaling at 1.68% is still very much in play ahead of next week’s #EmploymentSlowing report," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote in a note sent to subscribers earlier today.


Take a look at the 10-year Treasury since the Fed's December "rate hike."


What The Bond Market Tells Us About U.S. Growth (Or The Lack Thereof) - 10yr treasury 5 25


The flattening of the 10s/2s yield spread to a year-to-date low is another explicitly bearish U.S. growth signal.


What The Bond Market Tells Us About U.S. Growth (Or The Lack Thereof) - 10s2s yield spread


That's why we remain THE BULLS on Long Bonds (TLT).


Stick with it here.

TIF | It’s Time To Man-Up

Takeaway: When you call yourself a luxury brand, but your reputation on the Street starts to converge with Kohl’s, you know there’s a problem.

We don’t know what’s more surreal…Tiffany’s horrible results, its forecast accuracy, its seemingly blasé attitude towards consistently missing forecasts, the arrogance of its management team in addressing its issues, or lastly – it’s multiple. What we are sure of, however, is that this stock is still a short barring a massive correction today that erases a third of TIF’s market cap. Here’s our brief thoughts on each of the aforementioned points…

1) Horrible Results. There’s no ifs ands or buts about this. The company comped down 9% (or -16% on a 2-yr stack), with sales down in every region (excl. Japan easy comp). Margins were off by 256bp, and pre-tax income was down by 29%. Virtually every line of the P&L eroded sequentially in a very material way. But the balance sheet was no better. The days in inventory was 612, which was up 52 (!) days versus last year. To put that into context, TIF has to wait longer to convert a dollar of earnings into cash than Kohl’s, Target, JC Penney, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Wal-Mart -- combined. There are absolutely no redeeming financial characteristics here.

2) Forecast Accuracy. There are too many examples to fit here, but let’s look at the last two annual updates.  On the Jan 2015 holiday update, TIF guided to FY15 $4.15-$4.20 in earnings, which was 15% below expectations at that time.  By year end they reported $3.83.  On this year's holiday update, it gave initial 2016 guidance of ‘minimal growth in earnings’, which just 4 months later is now guided to a mid-single digit decline, assuming back half improvement. Needless to say, we don’t think that back half improvement will come.

3) Complacency in Missing. Is it me, or has management grown seemingly comfortable in missing numbers? It really does not seem to bother them anymore. The only other management team we can think of that is this comfortable missing numbers is Kohl’s.  KSS can’t be the affiliation a once-great company like TIF aspires to keep. But by its actions, you’d never know.

4) Arrogance. Ok…you just missed – AGAIN, guided down for the seventh time in two years, which just happens to be just two weeks after your CFO resigned. And all we get is what was likely a pre-recorded message by IR with no Q&A? TIF has one of the most stand-up IR programs in the business, but let’s face it…when you miss by this magnitude – and this frequency – you get the CEO on the phone, take your lumps, and stand accountable to your business. Heck, when Macy’s dropped a lousy quarter on the Street last November, Terry Lundgren (CEO) jumped on the call for the first time in almost a decade to show his confidence and support.  So…we can’t expect this from Tiffany, but we can from Macy’s?  The question here is whether TIF management really wants this to be a public company.

5) Multiple. First we heard from people that a ‘low 20s’ multiple is fair. Then ‘20x’. Then 17-18x was ‘cheap’. But what’s really the appropriate multiple for a company that is shrinking earnings at a mid-teens rate, and seemingly has no strategy to ever grow again sans a rebound by spending in US Tourist markets? The best we’d give it is a 10% discount to the market – or 15x. We’re well below the Street next year, which we think will be another down year. We’re looking at earnings of $3.25, vs the Street at $4.15. Give our number a 13-14x multiple and we’re looking at a stock about $20 lower than what we’ve got today ($40-$43).


TIF | It’s Time To Man-Up - 5 25 2016 TIF SIGMA chart1


TIF | It’s Time To Man-Up - 5 25 2016 TIF Earnings chart2


TIF | It’s Time To Man-Up - 5 25 2016 TIF CCC chart3


TIF | It’s Time To Man-Up - 5 25 2016 TIF Algo chart4

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.

Daily Market Data Dump: Wednesday

Takeaway: A closer look at global macro market developments.

Editor's Note: Below are complimentary charts highlighting global equity market developments, S&P 500 sector performance, volume on U.S. stock exchanges, and rates and bond spreads. It's on the house. For more information on how Hedgeye can help you better understand the markets and economy (and stay ahead of consensus) check out our array of investing products




Daily Market Data Dump: Wednesday - equity markets 5 25


Daily Market Data Dump: Wednesday - sector performance 5 25


Daily Market Data Dump: Wednesday - volume 5 25


Daily Market Data Dump: Wednesday - rates and spreads 5 25

Investors are Frustrated

Client Talking Points

S&P 500

Will 1 big up day give U.S. stocks their 1st real up week (into month-end) in the last 6 weeks? Maybe we should all buy/cover high again so that we can sell 50 handles lower! Inasmuch as our signal was clear to buy/cover around 2030-2040, it’s crystal clear to start selling again in the 2080-2090 range as Equity Volatility makes yet another higher-low.


Unfortunately, the bond market isn’t buying into the hope that GDP is +2.5% here in Q2 (we’re still below 1%) – at 1.86% this morning the 10YR Yield is signaling at 1.68% is still very much in play ahead of next week’s #EmploymentSlowing report.


Gold down to +15% year-to-date – what a disaster that is! If you haven’t owned it all year, here’s another BUY signal. It’s been a great way to play #GrowthSlowing and we have Durable Goods, GDP, and Labor all being reported in the next week.


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

Asset Allocation

5/24/16 52% 6% 0% 8% 28% 6%
5/25/16 58% 2% 0% 10% 28% 2%

Asset Allocation as a % of Max Preferred Exposure

5/24/16 52% 18% 0% 24% 85% 18%
5/25/16 58% 6% 0% 30% 85% 6%
The maximum preferred exposure for cash is 100%. The maximum preferred exposure for each of the other assets classes is 33%.

Top Long Ideas

Company Ticker Sector Duration

When Janet does have to acknowledge the deterioration in U.S. growth, we expect the policy shift to be dollar bearish on the margin. And, to the contrary, if the Fed RAISES RATES (June) into this slow-down, they’ll be the catalyst for DEFLATION (down yields) again anyway. And there’s nothing Gold (GLD) likes more than a falling dollar and falling interest rates which is why we added it to the long-side of Investing Ideas this week. Remember, this is the same week various Fed members were in public calling for a rate hike with the worst jobless claims print since 2012. #GoodLuck.


McDonald's (MCD) continues to evolve. The company's latest step is testing never frozen burgers at 14 units in the Dallas, TX area. This initiative could give them the ability to compete with better burger concepts such as Shake Shack, In-N-Out and Five Guys.


Meanwhile, there has been chatter about the lack of identity for their value platform in 2Q16. MCD is truly still in the testing phase as to what their national value message will be. We can appreciate the fact that they are testing multiple formats before fully committing.


In the meantime, the tailwind from all-day breakfast will continue to propel growth going forward, until lapping this initiative in 4Q16. We continue to favor MCD as one of the best LONGs in the market right now, due to actual growth and style factors that are friendly in volatile markets.


If you haven’t yet, you got another chance to buy long-term Treasuries at lower highs this week. If you’re already long of Long Bonds (TLT, ZROZ), stick with it. None of the relevant data released this past week suggests that growth could inflect and trend positive:

  • Thursday’s Jobless Claims Report was the worst print, in Y/Y rate of change terms, since 2012, and it was the fourth consecutive week of increasing jobless claims
  • Industrial Production declined -1.1% Y/Y for April, marking the 8th consecutive month of Y/Y contraction: #IndustrialRecession

Tying together a continued deceleration in growth with policy expectations, the most important callout is that our expectation for growth in Q2 is well below consensus and Fed expectations (which have been horribly inaccurate). 

Three for the Road


Why Hedgeye's Howard Penney Is Still Bearish On Shake Shack… @KeithMcCullough $SHAK



Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.



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CHART OF THE DAY: How To Risk Manage Our Favorite Macro Positions

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.


"... Since Utilities (XLU) and Long-term Bonds (TLT) already signaled immediate-term TRADE oversold (lower) last week, the only big thing that I like on the long side that is signaling oversold today (i.e. it’s at the low-end of the risk range today) is Gold.


Gold’s immediate-term risk range is now $1215-1260. So I’d buy some at $1215 and sell some at $1260."


CHART OF THE DAY: How To Risk Manage Our Favorite Macro Positions - 05.25.16 EL Chart

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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.