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EARLY LOOK: The Deuce

This note was originally published at 8am this morning. INVESTOR and RISK MANAGER SUBSCRIBERS have access to the EARLY LOOK in real-time, published by 8am every trading day.

 

 

 

EARLY LOOK: The Deuce - Chart 1

 

 

"Nobody can really guarantee the future. The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them and make our plans with confidence."
- Henry Ford II


Staying as far away as I can from America’s professional politicians on Washington’s Sunday talk shows, this morning I’m rolling with an outstanding risk management quote from the man they called “The Deuce”, Henry Ford’s grandson, Henry Ford II.
 
According to my good friend who is currently working for Ford, Henry Ford II “doesn’t quite get the historical credit he deserves and is often remembered for his personal gruffness and feud’s with Lee Iacocca in the 1970’s, but his leadership and accomplishments during his era at Ford were amazing.”
 
After serving in the Navy in WWII, Henry Ford II came home to rid his family’s company of complacency and bureaucracy. He may not have been as “experienced” or as “polished” as some of America’s corporate executives are today, but as President of the Ford Motor Company (1945-1960) then CEO (1960-1979), he definitely sized up chances, calculated risks, and executed his plans with confidence.
 
Ford came public under Henry Ford II’s leadership in 1956. Don’t worry, I’m not wasting this morning’s missive on General Disaster’s pending IPO.  Instead, I’m going to get right into the math associated with last week’s macro market moves and focus specifically on the impact of another deuce – the US Dollar not going down for the 2nd week in a row!
 
Now before we get into some Dollar correlations, let’s first realize this: a deuce does not a TREND make. In our TRADE, TREND, and TAIL risk management process we are wed to 3s. In order for us to start thinking about shifting a strategy point of view (like covering our short position in the USD), we need to see at least 3 consecutive weeks confirm the direction of price.
 
Last week the US Dollar Index was barely up week-over-week (by +0.13%) for just the 2nd week in the last 12, closing out the week at $83.06. This followed the prior week’s significant +3.2% week-over-week move off of its recent 12-week low after Ben Bernanke didn’t give into the Fiat Fools begging for quantitatively easing America into becoming the debt-laden bureaucracy of Japan.
 
Measuring the math associated with a US Dollar Index not going down on our most immediate term risk management duration (TRADE = 3-weeks or less) is actually quite revealing.
 
The following are the 3 most negative TRADE (or inverse) correlations to the US Dollar:

  • SP500 = -0.97
  • Crude Oil = -0.94
  • Commodity Index = -0.93


Here are the 3 most positive TRADE correlations to the US Dollar (again, using 3-weeks or less as our duration):

  • Coffee = +0.85
  • Cotton = +0.79
  • Gold = +0.75


In other words, the decision by the Fed NOT to obliterate the credibility of America’s currency in one fell swoop has really hammered US stocks and the price of oil. The size of the Fed’s balance sheet actually contracted for once last week by $13.9B to $2.32 TRILLION.
 
Maybe not so ironically, prices at the pump going down also lifted US Consumer Confidence. In the last 2 weeks, despite stocks going down, the ABC/Washington Post Consumer Confidence reading has improved from minus -50 to minus -45.
 
In the very immediate term, could it be that The Deuce  of Dollar UP has provided Americans with some things that they really want?

  1. The value of their currency stopped burning.
  2. The price of oil is down -8.6% in the last 2 weeks.
  3. The probability of their least favorite American politician being voted out keeps going up.

 

Food for thought on a Monday morning in America where all that is conventional wisdom about the Fiat Republic’s dollar devaluation policy is ripe for change. It’s time we “estimate our ability to deal” with change and start leading this country with confidence.
 
My immediate term TRADE support and resistance lines for the SP500 are now 1059 and 1087, respectively.
 
Best of luck out there today,
KM


August’s Turn

Our call has been for an inflection in European data in August to the downside.  Today, PMI Manufacturing data showed a significant decline in Germany and for the Eurozone average. Services also fell in France and the Eurozone, while German Services continued their steady gain.  We contend that Manufacturing and Services numbers from Europe, especially Germany, France, and the UK, will trend downward throughout the remainder of the year.

 

As we’ve outlined in previous notes, our thesis for this slowdown includes: 

  1. August Data - we expect to see a sequential slowdown (month-over-month) in the fundamental data following the exuberance of the World Cup.
  2. Headwinds  - European markets will be pinned against significant macroeconomic headwinds in the back half of 2H10, including suppressed growth, consumer demand, and confidence as a result of government austerity measures.
  3. Housing - continued downward pressure on the housing market, in particular in Spain and the UK.
  4. Legacy - ongoing uncertainty about European sovereign debt, including bank exposure to sovereign debt, which was largely unaccounted for in the 91 bank stress test, as well as continued fiscal and political weakness throughout the region (Greece and Hungary in particular).

Matthew Hedrick
Analyst

 

August’s Turn - m1

 

August’s Turn - m2


WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES

Last week, 2 of the 8 risk measures registered positive readings on a week-over-week basis and 6 were negative.  The metrics mostly showed modest declines, with the TED spread the only significant bright spot.  

 

Our risk monitor looks at the following metrics weekly:

1. CDS for all available US Financials (29 companies)

2. CDS for large European Financials (39 companies)

3. High Yield

4. Leveraged Loans

5. TED Spread

6. Journal of Commerce Commodity Price Index

7. Greek Bond Spreads

8. Markit MCDX

 

1. Financials CDS Monitor – Swaps were modestly negative last week.  Swaps tightened for 9 of the 29 reference entities, while 20 widened.    Conclusion: Negative.

 

Widened the most vs last week: AXP, AIG, MMC

Tightened the most vs last week: MTG, UNM, MBI

Widened the most vs last month: JPM, BAC, PMI

Tightened the most vs last month: MET, MBI, PRU

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - cds US

 

2. European CDS Monitor – In Europe, swaps for 22 of the 39 reference entities widened and 17 tightened.   Conclusion: Negative.

 

Widened the most vs last week:  Erste Group, KBC Group, Bank of Ireland

Tightened the most vs last week: DnB NOR, Sberbank, Svenska Handelsbanken

Widened the most vs last month: Intesa Sanpaolo, Societe Generale, Hannover Rueckversicherungs

Tightened the most vs last month: DnB NOR, Nordea Bank, Svenska Handelsbanken

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - CDS euro

 

3. High Yield (YTM) Monitor –High Yield rates were almost flat last week, rising 1 bp. Rates closed the week at 8.48% versus from 8.47% the week prior. Conclusion: Negative.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - high yield

 

4. Leveraged Loan Index Monitor – The leveraged loan index rose 1 point last week, closing at 1492 versus 1491 the week prior, its second week with almost no change.  Conclusion: Positive.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - leveraged loan index

 

5. TED Spread Monitor – Last week the TED spread continued to fall, closing at 18 bps versus 22 bps the prior week. Conclusion: Positive.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - TED spread

 

6. Journal of Commerce Commodity Price Index – Last week, the index fell 1 point, closing at 12.73 versus the prior week’s close at 13.65.  Conclusion: Negative.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - JOC

 

7. Greek Bond Yields Monitor – We chart the 10-year yield on Greek bonds.  Last week yields rose 27 bps, ending the week at 1075 bps versus 1048 bps the prior week. Conclusion: Negative. 

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - greek bonds

 

8. Markit MCDX Index Monitor – The Markit MCDX is a measure of municipal credit default swaps.  We believe this index is a useful indicator of pressure in state and local governments.  Markit publishes index values daily on four 5-year tenor baskets including 50 reference entities each. Each basket includes a diversified pool of revenue and GO bonds from a broad array of states. Our index is the average of their four indices.  Spreads rose last week, closing at 220 versus 213 the prior week.  Conclusion: Negative.

 

WEEKLY RISK MONITOR FOR FINANCIALS: MODEST DECLINES - Markit

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

Allison Kaptur


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THE M3: VISITOR DATA; CHANGI AIRPORT TRAFFIC; S'PORE INFLATION

The Macau Metro Monitor, August 23rd, 2010

 

VISITOR ARRIVALS FOR JULY 2010 DSEC

Total visitor arrivals rose by 23.2% YoY to 2,162,069.  Mainland China visitors increased by 34.0% YoY to 1,142,017 (52.8% of total visitor arrivals), with 477,119 traveling under IVS, up by 40.3% from July 2009. Visitors from Hong Kong (670,953), Taiwan, China (121,273), Japan (32,892) and the Republic of Korea (28,590) rose by 15.4%, 3.5%, 28.4% and 40.1% respectively.

 

RECORD MONTHLY PASSENGER TRAFFIC FOR CHANGI AIRPORT Channel News Asia

Changi Airport Group said 3.7 million passengers passed through the airport in July, up 16% YoY.

 

JULY INFLATION CLIMBS 3.1% Strait Times

Singapore CPI climbed 3.1% YoY in July, in line with the market forecast.  The cost of housing also went up 2.7% YoY and food prices were 1.5% higher YoY.

 

 

 

The Deuce

"Nobody can really guarantee the future. The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them and make our plans with confidence."

- Henry Ford II

 

Staying as far away as I can from America’s professional politicians on Washington’s Sunday talk shows, this morning I’m rolling with an outstanding risk management quote from the man they called “The Deuce”, Henry Ford’s grandson, Henry Ford II.

 

According to my good friend who is currently working for Ford, Henry Ford II “doesn’t quite get the historical credit he deserves and is often remembered for his personal gruffness and feud’s with Lee Iacocca in the 1970’s, but his leadership and accomplishments during his era at Ford were amazing.”

 

After serving in the Navy in WWII, Henry Ford II came home to rid his family’s company of complacency and bureaucracy. He may not have been as “experienced” or as “polished” as some of America’s corporate executives are today, but as President of the Ford Motor Company (1) then CEO (1), he definitely sized up chances, calculated risks, and executed his plans with confidence.

 

Ford came public under Henry Ford II’s leadership in 1956. Don’t worry, I’m not wasting this morning’s missive on General Disaster’s pending IPO.  Instead, I’m going to get right into the math associated with last week’s macro market moves and focus specifically on the impact of another deuce – the US Dollar not going down for the 2nd week in a row!

 

Now before we get into some Dollar correlations, let’s first realize this: a deuce does not a TREND make. In our TRADE, TREND, and TAIL risk management process we are wed to 3s. In order for us to start thinking about shifting a strategy point of view (like covering our short position in the USD), we need to see at least 3 consecutive weeks confirm the direction of price.

 

Last week the US Dollar Index was barely up week-over-week (by +0.13%) for just the 2nd week in the last 12, closing out the week at $83.06. This followed the prior week’s significant +3.2% week-over-week move off of its recent 12-week low after Ben Bernanke didn’t give into the Fiat Fools begging for quantitatively easing America into becoming the debt-laden bureaucracy of Japan.

 

Measuring the math associated with a US Dollar Index not going down on our most immediate term risk management duration (TRADE = 3-weeks or less) is actually quite revealing.

 

The following are the 3 most negative TRADE (or inverse) correlations to the US Dollar:

  1. SP500 = -0.97
  2. Crude Oil = -0.94
  3. Commodity Index = -0.93

Here are the 3 most positive TRADE correlations to the US Dollar (again, using 3-weeks or less as our duration):

  1. Coffee = +0.85
  2. Cotton = +0.79
  3. Gold = +0.75

In other words, the decision by the Fed NOT to obliterate the credibility of America’s currency in one fell swoop has really hammered US stocks and the price of oil. The size of the Fed’s balance sheet actually contracted for once last week by $13.9B to $2.32 TRILLION.

 

Maybe not so ironically, prices at the pump going down also lifted US Consumer Confidence. In the last 2 weeks, despite stocks going down, the ABC/Washington Post Consumer Confidence reading has improved from minus -50 to minus -45.

 

In the very immediate term, could it be that The Deuce  of Dollar UP has provided Americans with some things that they really want?

  1. The value of their currency stopped burning.
  2. The price of oil is down -8.6% in the last 2 weeks.
  3. The probability of their least favorite American politician being voted out keeps going up.

Food for thought on a Monday morning in America where all that is conventional wisdom about the Fiat Republic’s dollar devaluation policy is ripe for change. It’s time we “estimate our ability to deal” with change and start leading this country with confidence.

 

My immediate term TRADE support and resistance lines for the SP500 are now 1059 and 1087, respectively.

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

The Deuce - cat


THE DAILY OUTLOOK

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - August 23, 2010

As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 28 points or 1.2% (1,059) downside and 1.4% (1,087) upside.  Equity futures are trading above fair value in response to gains seen across Europe as a rise in basic materials temporarily offsets deeper economic concerns.

  • PERFORMANCE LAST WEEK: Dow (0.87%), S&P (0.70%), Nasdaq +0.29%, Russell +0.21%
  • PERFORMANCE MONTH-TO-DATE: Dow (2.41%), S&P (1.5%), Nasdaq (3.32%), Russell (6.16%)
  • PERFORMANCE QUARTER-TO-DATE: Dow +4.5%, S&P +3.98%, Nasdaq +3.34%, Russell +0.21%
  • PERFORMANCE YEAR-TO-DATE: Dow (2.06%), S&P (3.89%), Nasdaq (3.94%), Russell (2.34%)
  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: -502 (+1408) Breadth positive on a down day
  • VOLUME: NYSE - 1124.11 (+4.7%) - Volume up on a down day
  • SECTOR PERFORMANCE: Every sector down but the XLU; XLE notable to the down side
  • MARKET LEADING/LAGGING STOCKS LAST WEEK: McAfee +57.0%, Salesforce.com +15.95% and Intuit +15.66% - Devry -11.07% Supervalue -8.28% and Sears -7.45%

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

  • VIX - 25.49 -3.59% and down 2.86% for the week
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO - 2.03 up from 1.31  

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

  • TED SPREAD: 17.348, -1.070, (-5.812%)
  •  3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD .15% -.01%
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.13 from 2.09

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION:

  • CRB: 267.01 -0.45% and -0.66% for the week - 2nd down week in a row
  • Oil: 73.82 -1.27% and down -2.57% for the week - 2nd down week in a row
  • COPPER: 331.15 -0.84% - up 1.19% for the week - Up 4 of the last 5 weeks
  • GOLD: 1,227 -0.42% - up 1.09% for the week; now 3 straight weeks

CURRENCIES:

  • EURO: 1.2712 -0.87%; down 0.33% for the week (2nd down week)
  • DOLLAR: 83.057 +0.74%; up 0.13% for the week (2nd up week)

 OVERSEAS MARKETS:

  • ASIA - Most markets closed mixed with economic concerns offset by strong resource sector. In Japan, the Nikkei extended losses amid worries a strong yen will threaten the economic recovery. Shanghai closed flat after moving in a narrow range as investors took profits in stocks which recently outperformed.
  • EUROPE - Regional markets were firmer boosted by stronger resource and financial sectors with ongoing M&A news/speculation also helping to counter-balance concerns about the sustainability of the economic recovery. Economic data out from the Eurozone proved mixed. Volume remains light.
Howard Penney
Managing Director
THE DAILY OUTLOOK - levels and trends

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