Poll of the Day: Which Option Is MOST LIKELY To Occur In The Next 4 Years?

Takeaway: What do you think? Cast your vote. Let us know.

Poll of the Day: Which Option Is MOST LIKELY To Occur In The Next 4 Years? - poll 10 13 16


CHART OF THE DAY | Presidential Election Polls: What We Can Learn From Brexit

CHART OF THE DAY | Presidential Election Polls: What We Can Learn From Brexit - cod chart


We can learn much about current presidential election uncertainty by thinking about pre-Brexit polling in Britain. 


A New York Times story today calls into question current presidential election polling. The key claim is that a USC/LA Times poll overweights small groups thereby positively distorting Donald Trump's favorability among voters. Hedgeye Director of Research Daryl Jones discusses what this means in today's Early Look (our morning newsletter to investors):


"Interestingly, if we remove that poll from the last 10 major polls, Clinton's lead jumps to +8. Perhaps then, the non-consensus view is not that the polls are wrong and Trump still has a shot, but rather the polls are wrong and Clinton is going to win and the Democrats are going to run the table? The market might like a Clinton Presidency better than a Trump Presidency, but it probably won’t like a clean sweep by the Democrats.


That all said, anyone remember the polls before Brexit?"


Point taken. As you can see in the chart above, just before the British referendum about whether to stay or leave the European Union odds were heavily staked in favor of the stay camp. We all know how that turned out. Whether or not Clinton is actually leading in the polls doesn't necessarily matter. 

A lot can happen in the next 25 days. 

Cartoon of the Day: Economic "Growth"

Cartoon of the Day: Economic "Growth" - sine curve cartoon 10.12.2016


U.S. economic growth continues down the slope, from 3% to 2% to 1% to...

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What The Media Missed: ‘It’s Literally A Lie’ To Say U.S. Growth Isn’t Slowing

In this brief excerpt from The Macro Show, Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough explains what mainstream media networks missed about U.S. economic growth and the broader implications for investors.

3 Reasons To Sell Kroger’s Bounce | $KR

Takeaway: Supermarket chain Kroger faces growing underfunded pension fund liabilities that are particularly at risk in a financial market downturn.

3 Reasons To Sell Kroger’s Bounce | $KR - kroger 10 12 16


The pop in Kroger (KR) shares today isn’t sustainable. The stock is up on a Wall Street analyst report arguing that the company’s "Venture Concepts could ultimately unlock $4 to $12/share value for Kroger." 


However, much like the risks embedded in Kroger’s exposure to underfunded pension plans, buying the supermarket chain’s shares up here could unwind quickly and unexpectedly.


Hedgeye Consumer Staples analyst Howard Penney has been warning about risks embedded in Kroger shares. A principle concern is Kroger’s exposure to a large number of multi-employer pension plans that the company keeps intentionally underfunded.


Kroger is one of the largest unionized employers in the United States. About 375,000 of their employees are covered by roughly 300 collective bargaining agreements. Kroger employees participate in 36 multi-employer pension plans (MPP), with a combined $70 billion in assets and $100 billion in associated liabilities.


“Kroger’s management team and industry analysts continue to ignore and understate the risks that multi-employer pension plans (MPPs) present to Kroger’s future growth prospects,” Penney wrote in a recent institutional research note.


That’s a big problem. Here’s what you need to know:


  • Underfunded: A Segal Consulting survey found that 53% of the retail food MPPs surveyed were in the “red zone,” meaning they had either “immediate and significant funding problems” or would be unable “to pay benefits within 15 to 20 years.”
  • Risky In Financial Market Downturn: Milliman data shows that every 4% decline in asset returns pushes MPP funding status down by 15% to 20%.
  • Problem Is Getting Bigger: In 2015, Kroger’s pension liability ballooned 61% to $2.9 billion. That number will go even higher this year, hindering the company’s ability to grow and likely leading to lower equity value.


Bottom Line: Kroger’s problems run deep. Sell.


*  *  *

Editor's Note 

Want to read more? Click here to check out Penney’s Investopedia article on Kroger.

Fed Forecast: Rainbows and Butterflies ... For Years To Come!

Takeaway: The average U.S. economic cycle lasts 59 months before recession. We are 28 months past that.

Fed Forecast: Rainbows and Butterflies ... For Years To Come! - dudley cycles 2


REALITY: The U.S. economy is in its 87th month of economic expansion... an extremely long expansion by historical standards.


History is clear on this. Average U.S. economic cycle last 59 months before recession. We are now 28 months past that. 


That's why this new statement from New York Fed head Bill Dudley is up there as one of the more irresponsible statements (maybe not "the most irresponsible") we've read recently.


"I think this economic expansion can last a good while longer," Dudley. The Fed, he said, is aiming for a best-case scenario in which the economy grows at a "moderate rate over the next five to 10 years" while unemployment remains around 5 percent or a bit lower "and just have a very long-lived economic expansion."




We invite and encourage Mr. Dudley to peruse some recent Hedgeye commentary.

  1. Slowing jobs growth = Slowing U.S. economy
  2. The Profit Peak Is In For S&P 500 Companies
  3. Worrisome updates from CEOs of multi-billion companies (here and here)
  4. 21 of 32 key economic indicators got worse heading into Fed's September meeting.


We wouldn't bet that economic reality ceases to exist ... just because the Fed says so.

Fed Forecast: Rainbows and Butterflies ... For Years To Come! - Fed forecast cartoon 11.13.2015


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