Though largely ignored by the mainstream media last week, due to of all the hoopla surrounding the Fed's symposium in Jackson Hole, second quarter GDP was revised down to 1.1% from 1.2%, on Friday. U.S. #GrowthSlowing!
Takeaway: This short is far from played out.
CNN just reported nearly 10,000 workers are suing Chipotle for allegedly cheating them on their pay in a class action lawsuit.
"Current and former Chipotle (CMG) employees claim that the company made them work extra hours "off the clock" without paying them. It's a practice known as wage theft, and Chipotle is allegedly doing it all over the United States.
'Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave,' according to the class action lawsuit known as Turner v. Chipotle. It's named after a former Chipotle manager in Colorado, Leah Turner, who claims she had to work without pay and was told to make workers under her do the same in order to meet budget goals."
Hedgeye Restaurant analyst Howard Penney has been the bear on the Chipotle for some time, criticizing management for their hubris surrounding the E. coli scandal and then actually denying that any problem even exists at the company.
Given this awful news today, it's clear management's issues run much deeper than we initially thought.
We're comfortable saying the Chipotle short call has yet to fully play out.
In this excerpt from The Macro Show earlier today, Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough explores what could happen to the S&P 500 following Friday’s Jobs Report.
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Takeaway: What do you think? Cast your vote. Let us know.
The bond market is sending Fed officials a clear signal: Hike now at your own peril.
It's the same message Fed officials have selectively chosen to ignore all year. If you’re still keeping score, the Fed pivoted hawkish in December, dovish in March, hawkish in May, dovish in June, and hawkish in August. That’s right, 5 policy pivots in 7 months.
Here's the much discussed passage from Fed head Janet Yellen's prepared remarks in Jackson Hole:
"Based on this economic outlook, the FOMC continues to anticipate that gradual increases in the federal funds rate will be appropriate over time to achieve and sustain employment and inflation near our statutory objectives. Indeed, in light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months. Of course, our decisions always depend on the degree to which incoming data continues to confirm the Committee's outlook."
Investors clearly believe Yellen's hawkish rhetoric. Fed Funds futures on September and December hike probabilities just popped back up to 42% and 64%, respectively. Note: Before hawkish comments from Fischer and Yellen, those probabilities were 32% and 57%, respectively on Thursday.
All eyes are on Friday's Jobs report. As Yellen's speech clearly indicates, the Fed is closely watching for strength in non-farm payrolls to justify future rate rises ("in light of the continued solid performance of the labor market... the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months.").
And though largely ignored by the media last week, remember, second quarter GDP was revised down to 1.1% from 1.2%, on Friday, Consumer Confidence hit a four-month low and 90% of the Housing market (see Existing Home Sales) slowed to -1.6% year-over-year. So clearly, one of the few things the Fed has left to trumpet is relative strength in the labor market.
Even that premise is faulty. As we've shown many times before (see chart below), non-farm payrolls put in their year-over-year rate of change peak in February 2015 and have been declining ever since. As Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough points out in today's Early Look, "it’s now mathematically impossible for labor to accelerate in Q3."
The 10s/2s yield spread continues its crash to year-to-date lows this morning as the market fears Fed tightening into an economic slowdown.
In other words, U.S. #GrowthSlowing. This is the call that's driven asset prices all year. So, whether or not the Fed hikes rates into a slowdown or turns dovish on a Jobs Report bomb and the stock market pops doesn't really matter (outside of risk managing any short-term investor hyperventilation). Our favorite macro positions continue to crush the performance of the S&P 500 year-to-date (see below) as investors continue to price in economic reality.
Investors have become disillusioned by supposed Fed omnipotence. That's being price into markets daily.
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.
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