US STRATEGY – CHURNING

Yesterday, the S&P 500 was essentially flat on the day but six of the nine sectors declined.  For the second day in a row the Utilities (XLU) was one of the best performing sectors.  Also, for the second day in a row there was no overriding theme that dominated trading.

 

Ahead of the November sales data the Consumer discretionary (XLY) was the third best performing sector, improving 0.3%.  The gains were driven by SNA (3.4%), MDP (3.3%), RL (3.0%) and WHR (2.8%).  GME was the worst performing stock trading down 8.3%.  Deflation still rules with WMT cutting prices by 20% on the top 25 video games.

 

Yesterday’s MACRO calendar included some mixed employment data.  The ADP private employment fell 169,000 in November, weaker than consensus expectations for a 150,000 decline.  The absolute decline is the smallest drop since July of 2008 and the eighth consecutive monthly deceleration in job cuts.

 

While Materials (XLB) kept the RECOVERY trade alive yesterday, the Energy (XLE) sector was the worst performing sector on the day.  Weakness in OIL following bearish inventory data and geopolitical concerns surrounding Iran seemed to be the biggest drag on the group.   January crude settled down 2.3% at $76.60 a barrel.  The government said crude stockpiles rose by 2.09M barrels in the week-ended November 27th, compared with consensus for a 400,000 barrel decline.

 

I can’t help but to think that the underperformance of the Financials are not foreshadowing some more MACRO drama on the horizon.  Yesterday, the Financials (XLF) underperformed the broader market.  The high quality financial institutions were among the laggards for the second day in a row.

 

Despite yesterdays mixed performance, the appetite for risk accelerated with the VIX down another 3.6%. 

 

From a risk management standpoint, the ranges for the S&P 500, the Dollar Index and the VIX are seen in the charts below.  The range for the S&P 500 is 33 points or 1% upside and 2% downside.  At the time of writing the major market futures are trading higher.

 

In early trading today, crude oil rose above $77 a barrel as the dollar weakened.  Oil rebounded after losing 2.3% yesterday as the U.S. Energy Department reported that stockpiles swelled to the highest level since August.  The Research Edge Quant models have the following levels for OIL – buy Trade (75.61) and Sell Trade (78.88).

 

China’s central bank views gold prices as very high and will be wary of “bubble” assets, according to the Apple Daily.  The story citied Hu Xiaolian, a deputy governor at the People’s Bank of Chin!  Regardless, gold rose to a record $1,218.25 an ounce in the morning “fixing” in London.  The Research Edge Quant models have the following levels for GOLD – buy Trade (1,176) and Sell Trade (1,224).

 

Copper futures in Shanghai advanced for a fourth day to the highest level in 15 months on global economic optimism.  The Research Edge Quant models have the following levels for COPPER – buy Trade (3.17) and Sell Trade (3.25). 

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director

 

US STRATEGY – CHURNING - sp1

 

US STRATEGY – CHURNING - usd2

 

US STRATEGY – CHURNING - vix3

 

US STRATEGY – CHURNING - oil4

 

US STRATEGY – CHURNING - gold5

 

US STRATEGY – CHURNING - copper6

 


Cartoon of the Day: Hard-Headed Bears

How's this for "hard data"? So far, 107 of 497 S&P 500 companies have reported aggregate sales and earnings growth of 4.4% and 13.2% respectively.

read more

Premium insight

McCullough [Uncensored]: When People Say ‘Everyone is Bullish, That’s Bulls@#t’

“You wonder why the performance of the hedge fund indices is so horrendous,” says Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough, “they’re all doing the same thing, after the market moves. You shouldn’t be paid for that.”

read more

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT Replay | Healthcare Analyst Tom Tobin Today at 2:30PM ET

Tune in to this edition of Sector Spotlight with Healthcare analyst Tom Tobin and Healthcare Policy analyst Emily Evans.

read more

Ouchy!! Wall Street Consensus Hit By Epic Short Squeeze

In the latest example of what not to do with your portfolio, we have Wall Street consensus positioning...

read more

Cartoon of the Day: Bulls Leading the People

Investors rejoiced as centrist Emmanuel Macron edged out far-right Marine Le Pen in France's election day voting. European equities were up as much as 4.7% on the news.

read more

McCullough: ‘This Crazy Stat Drives Stock Market Bears Nuts’

If you’re short the stock market today, and your boss asks why is the Nasdaq at an all-time high, here’s the only honest answer: So far, Nasdaq company earnings are up 46% year-over-year.

read more

Who's Right? The Stock Market or the Bond Market?

"As I see it, bonds look like they have further to fall, while stocks look tenuous at these levels," writes Peter Atwater, founder of Financial Insyghts.

read more

Poll of the Day: If You Could Have Lunch with One Fed Chair...

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

read more

Are Millennials Actually Lazy, Narcissists? An Interview with Neil Howe (Part 2)

An interview with Neil Howe on why Boomers and Xers get it all wrong.

read more

6 Charts: The French Election, Nasdaq All-Time Highs & An Earnings Scorecard

We've been telling investors for some time that global growth is picking up, get long stocks.

read more

Another French Revolution?

"Don't be complacent," writes Hedgeye Managing Director Neil Howe. "Tectonic shifts are underway in France. Is there the prospect of the new Sixth Republic? C'est vraiment possible."

read more

Cartoon of the Day: The Trend is Your Friend

"All of the key trending macro data suggests the U.S. economy is accelerating," Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough says.

read more