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Van Sciver: I’m Pretty Excited About The CAT Short Call

In this excerpt from our Short Caterpillar Black Book presentation held on August 4, 2016, Hedgeye Industrials analyst Jay Van Sciver discusses where CAT ranks on his list of short calls.


The Fed's War On Active Management

Takeaway: The Fed is hell-bent on making ETF distributors and robo-advisors out of all of us. Who will fight back against such tyranny?

The Fed's War On Active Management - fed

 

The divergence between asset prices and their fundamentals is only matched by the divergence between sentiment among active managers and all-time highs in the SPY.

 

The latest ICI data show that a net $26B was pulled out of long-term, US-focused stock mutual funds in the week-ended August 3rd. ICI has now recorded 23 straight weeks of outflows from these funds, for a total of ~$100B. It compares this to the $170.7B that left such funds for all of 2015. In the past 17 months, ICI has recorded only four weeks of net inflows for such funds. The Fed is hell-bent on making ETF distributors and robo-advisors out of all of us.

 

Who will fight back against such tyranny?

 

The Fed's War On Active Management - fund flows 8 10

 

Editor's Note: The snippet above is from a note written by the Hedgeye Macro team and sent to subscribers this morning. Click here to learn more.


Daily Market Data Dump: Thursday

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, rates and bond spreads, key currency crosses, and commodities. 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

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

Daily Market Data Dump: Thursday - equity markets 8 11

 

Daily Market Data Dump: Thursday - sector performance 8 11

 

Daily Market Data Dump: Thursday - volume 8 11

 

Daily Market Data Dump: Thursday - rates and spreads 8 11

 

Daily Market Data Dump: Thursday - currencies 8 11

 

Daily Market Data Dump: Thursday - commodities 8 11


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CHART OF THE DAY: Poking the Productivity Bear

Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt and chart from today's Early Look written by Hedgeye Director of Research Daryl Jones. Click here to learn more.

 

"... As we've highlighted in the Chart of the Day, productivity, which is a proxy for the goods and services produced each hour by Americans, has now declined for three straight quarters. As the chart shows, productivity declined both sequentially and year-over-year. This was also the first time since 1979 that productivity has declined for three quarters in a row."

 

CHART OF THE DAY: Poking the Productivity Bear - 08.11.16 chart


Poking the Bear

"You can't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get." 

-Michael Phelps

 

The bear was poked at the Olympic Games in Rio earlier this week. A South African swimmer foolishly decided to taunt Michael Phelps before the 200 meter butterfly semi-final. Specifically, Chad le Clos cockily shadowboxed and danced right in front of Phelps.

 

In the middle graphic below, we feature the stare down that Phelps gave his opponent before the race. The look is very clear: le Clos had poked the bear. No surprise the bear awoke and responded in kind by crushing his competition in the race to win gold in the event.

 

With that win, Phelps broke an Olympic record for individual medals in a career. The record was previously held by Leonidas of Rhodes who set the record more than 2,000 years ago. Over the course of his Olympic career, Phelps has won (so far) 25 medals. Not a bad career, Mr. Phelps. 

 

Poking the Bear - 8 11 16 EL mid

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

The SP500 is currently up about 6.4% on the year. Within that, sector performance has been very diverse. One of our favorite sectors, Utilities, continues on a gold medal pace and is up more than 17.0% on the year. Meanwhile, the Financials sector is picking up the rear and is up barely 0.2% in the year-to-date.

 

As we all know, not dissimilar to the Olympic Games, there will be plenty of performance surprises before the end of the year. One sector we have front and center in that regard is Energy. Currently up 11.6%, admittedly after having a dreadful year last year, energy has the potential to finish out of the medals as supply and demand turn bearish.

 

On the supply front, our colleague Joe McMonigle, formerly Vice Chair of the International Energy Agency, wrote a note yesterday addressing the fact that OPEC was unlikely to agree to any supply freeze. According to McMonigle:

 

"The same script is being used again after prices dipped into bearish territory in July. But the freeze proposal is again not serious because OPEC is producing at record levels. Ironically, OPEC's record July production of 33.41 million barrels a day is a major contributing factor in the current weakness in crude prices."

 

Take a look at this video from HedgeyeTV to get McMonigle's succinct thoughts on what OPEC might or, more likely, might not do. (Click here to watch.)

 

While supply has been an ongoing concern, the river card for oil bears through year-end may be demand. In OPEC's report yesterday, the cartel highlighted this fact that oil demand increased at lower than expect rates.  

 

The IEA also tempered expectations for demand in 2017 on the back of economic growth slowing in 2017. While the Paris-based agency still has demand growth at historically healthy +1.2 million barrels per day in 2017, that will be lower than 2016 and below prior expectations. And in the oil markets, as in most markets, expectations are the root of all heartache.

 

Flipping back to the equities, the resilience of the SP500 has certainly surprised many-a-bear this year despite economic data generally coming in lower than most "pundits" predicted at the start of the year. On that front, the non-farm worker productivity numbers again highlighted dismal long-term growth prospects.

 

As we've highlighted in the Chart of the Day, productivity, which is a proxy for the goods and services produced each hour by Americans, has now declined for three straight quarters. As the chart shows, productivity declined both sequentially and year-over-year. This was also the first time since 1979 that productivity has declined for three quarters in a row.

 

To the extent you still believe the numbers being reported by the government, this is just another reason to accept that rates will be lower for longer. Without productivity gains, it is very difficult to see inflation, other than monetary inflation, increasing much, if at all.

 

On the topic of long-term growth and productivity, the United Nations came out with an interesting report yesterday on global aging. According to the report, by 2030 there will be close to 60 nations globally in which there will be more people over 65 than under 15. Interestingly, this aging phenomenon, of more 65-year olds than 15-year olds, began in a single country, Italy, in 1995.

 

In part, this increase in the older cohort is due to people living longer, which is a good thing, but in practice it also creates future imbalances in the economy. Productivity in aggregate will be lower as the less productive segment of society, those who are older and retiring, will be increasing. There will also be a shrinking workforce to support the growing retirement and pension costs. 

 

In thinking about the really long term, governments will have few choices to get out of this quagmire - cut benefits, higher taxes, or borrow - and none of them lead to particularly healthy growth outcomes. We are such a believer in the long-term implications of demography, that we recently brought on renowned demographer Neil Howe to lead our research in the area. If you haven't met with Neil or aren't receiving his work, please contact .

 

In his book The Fourth Turning, published in 1997, Howe wrote the following:

 

"Wherever we're headed, America is evolving in ways most of us don't like or understand. Individually focused, yet collectively adrift, we're wondering if we're heading toward a waterfall. Are we?"

 

That's a sentiment that is certainly as true today as when he wrote it.

 

Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:

 

UST 10yr Yield 1.44-1.60%

SPX 2154-2189

VIX 11.01-14.83
EUR/USD 1.09-1.12

Gold 1 

 

Keep your head up and stick on the ice,

 

Daryl G. Jones

Director of Research

 

Poking the Bear - 08.11.16 chart


Credit, Spain, & The Fed

Client Talking Points

#CREDITCYCLE

High yield credit indices have recovered and spreads in resource sectors have been smashed with the flattening of the treasury curve. After widely diverging from average high yield spreads when the U.S, dollar broke out in July of 2014, high yield energy spreads have been more than cut in half since February from +1600bps to +724bps. Spreads are now well below 2015 levels when energy prices were much higher. A number of factors suggest a lot of money is behind a recovery in the energy sector. If strong dollar continues to manifest with another leg down through the end of this year in crude prices, the market will get another reminder that there IS a credit cycle.     

SPAIN

With 8 months and counting of no government, Spain’s acting PM Rajoy, leader of the People’s Party, says his conservative party's leadership would meet next week (August 17th) to vote on whether to agree to 6 reforms demanded by the centrist Ciudadanos party as a condition to form a coalition government. While this news may provide for a relief rally, we reiterate our Q3 Macro theme of #EuropeImploding and will not be recommending being long Spanish equities. 

The Fed's War on Active Management

The divergence between asset prices and their fundamentals is only matched by the divergence between sentiment among active managers and all-time highs in the SPY. The latest ICI data show that a net $26B was pulled out of long-term, US-focused stock mutual funds in the week-ended August 3rd. ICI has now recorded 23 straight weeks of outflows from these funds, for a total of ~$100B. It compares this to the $170.7B that left such funds for all of 2015. In the past 17 months, ICI has recorded only four weeks of net inflows for such funds. The Fed is hell-bent on making ETF distributors and robo-advisors out of all of us. Who will fight back against such tyranny?

Asset Allocation

CASH US EQUITIES INTL EQUITIES COMMODITIES FIXED INCOME INTL CURRENCIES
8/10/16 61% 3% 3% 10% 14% 9%
8/11/16 61% 3% 3% 10% 14% 9%

Asset Allocation as a % of Max Preferred Exposure

CASH US EQUITIES INTL EQUITIES COMMODITIES FIXED INCOME INTL CURRENCIES
8/10/16 61% 9% 9% 30% 42% 27%
8/11/16 61% 9% 9% 30% 42% 27%
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
GLD

See update on TLT/UUP.

TLT

Back to growth ... we’ll refrain from commenting on Friday’s headline non-farm payrolls number in isolation, and rather offer some perspective on the cyclical nature of the non-farm payroll data series (you’ve heard it before):

  • On a Y/Y rate of change basis, Non-Farm Payrolls peaked in February of 2015;
  • Once growth in this series peaks and rolls over, it doesn’t return and we move toward economic contraction on the margin. Read: Bullish for Long Bonds (TLT);

A print of +282K jobs was needed for July to avoid another Y/Y sequential deceleration in the series. NFP additions were +255K. While this beat expectations of +180K (which was cheered by just about every mainstream media outlet), the TREND in this series remains slow-moving, predictable, and most importantly past peak.

UUP

Our team’s macro process is both fundamental and top-down, and we get the top-down signals in real-time. The bottom-line is that both the CRB Commodities Index and crude oil have recently broken down from a quantitative risk management perspective. While this is a key factor contributing to our recent addition of the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP), it also signals that TIP does not have as much upside as we thought. As Keith McCullough wrote to subscribers this week:

 

“Changing my mind on longer-term longs has happened infrequently this year, but it should happen. That’s how the game goes.”

Three for the Road

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made."

-Gabby Douglas

STAT OF THE DAY

If the gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games were entirely made of gold they would be valued at nearly $22,000 each, which is why 1912 was the last time all-gold medals were awarded. The “podium value” of this years gold medal is roughly $560. 


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