Bespoke Brunch Reads: 7/24/16

Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week.  The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well.  We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

Brexit

Straws in the wind (The Economist)

Using the highest frequency of high frequency indicators, it appears that while consumer spending has not been hurt by Brexit, businesses are either putting off hiring, cutting staff, or putting off investment. [Link; registration required]

Economic Review: July 2016 Annex A (UK ONS)

The UK’s Office of National Statistics has published a simple and straightforward summary of forthcoming data releases and which periods they cover to help properly contextualize the impact of Brexit on economic data. [Link; note, Annex A is at the bottom, some browsers will not load at that point on the page so please scroll to bottom to view]

Brexit Wreaks Havoc on U.K. Economy as Recession Risk Increases by Jill Ward (Bloomberg)

This week’s Markit Flash PMIs were a significant indication that Brexit has hurt confidence and the expectations (as well as current activity) of businesses across the UK. [Link; auto-playing video]

Brexit, the Target2 angle by Izabella Kaminska (FT Alphaville)

Kaminska explores the seignorage and payment systems implications of the Brexit decision; we won’t try to summarize but do recommend the piece. [Link]

Economics

Summer Camp For Econos by Claudia Sahm (Postagon)

An overview of Sahm’s prep for the NBER Summer Institute, which includes an overview of recent research and some fun thoughts on the connection between economics and life. [Link]

The Empirical Economics of Online Attention by Andre Boik, Shane Greenstein, and Jeffrey Prince (NBER Working Papers)

Time spent online is inversely correlated to income when controlling for other factors, making it an inferior good per this excellent micro-data analysis. [Link, 50 pg PDF]

Politics

Kaine’s Wikipedia Page Edits Spike, Following Past VP Pick Trend by Danielle Bernstein (Bloomberg)

Ahead of the announcement of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, edits on his Wikipedia page rose dramatically, suggesting that it was being “prepped for prime time”. [Link]

Real Estate

Why Land and Homes Actually Tend to Be Disappointing Investments by Robert Shiller (NY Upshot)

While housing and land (collectively, real estate) have traditionally been seen as highly stable, reasonably profitable investments, one of the greatest modern asset pricing thinkers has other ideas. [Link; paywall]

Gas Stations Are Going Extinct In Manhattan by Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)

The ground beneath gas stations in New York City has outpaced their revenues, making it increasingly difficult if not impossible to fill up downtown. [Link]

Strange But True

Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Keep Having Sex and No One Is Sure How to Stop Them by Sarah Emerson (Vice Motherboard)

Drug kingpin and international organized crime don Pablo Escobar once imported a number of hippos into his compound in Colombia. Now, some of the massive animals have escaped and are officially the world’s largest (as well as possibly most dangerous) invasive species. [Link]

The $4 Million Battle Over Inflatable Pool Toys by Polly Mosendz (Bloomberg)

Sellers on Amazon have recently tried to hawk imitation versions of giant inflatable pool toys pioneered by BigMouth Inc. Is this story a bit goofy? Yes. Is it entertaining and interesting? We think so! [Link]

Latin America

My Venezuela Nightmare: A 30-Day Hunt for Food in a Starving Land by Fabiola Zerpa (Bloomberg)

A textual and photographic account of a week spent looking for food in inflation-stricken and socialism-wracked Venezuela. [Link]

Lessons for restoring the American dream from Latin America by Carol Graham (Brookings)

Western nations are facing populist anger over amongst other things, income inequality, but the perceived hotbed of inequality and political strife, Latin America, is in the opposite position. The middle class is growing and the social contract appears to be deepening; we draw special attention to Figure 1 in the article to follow. [Link]

Dollar Shave Club

Unilever Gets More Than a Name in Dollar Shave Club by Saabira Chaudhuri (WSJ)

This week the European consumer goods giant purchased a Silicon Valley “subscription model” shavng business for 10 figures. Here’s a bit of background on why that purchase might have happened. [Link; paywall]

Dollar Shave Club And The Disruption Of Everything by Ben Thompson (Stratechery)

We don’t necessarily believe the purported implications of this piece and the embedded reasoning but we think it’s fair to describe it as the “bull case” for why Dollar Shave Club was purchased. [Link]

Sports

U.S. Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad: ‘I’m just your basic Hijabi Zorro’ by Johnnette Howard (ESPN)

US Olympic fencing contender Ibtihaj Muhammad is a pioneer for American Muslim athletes and a fascinating personal story; a great preparatory read on the road to Rio! [Link; auto-playing video]

Long Reads

The Mystery of Urban Psychosis by Vaughan Bell (The Atlantic)

Paranoia and schizophrenia are both more common in dense urban areas, with all sorts of important questions for psychiatrists and implications for policymakers. [Link]

Blue Flames and Volcanic Hikes: the Harsh, Spectacular World of Sulfur Mining by Ranjeetha Pakiam (Bloomberg)

There aren’t many substances that are mined inside active volcanos under the watch of adventure tourists, but sulfur isn’t just any material. An amazing trip to East Java, Indonesia. [Link]

Oil in the Can by Eric Banks (Lapham’s Quarterly)

A fascinating walk through the history of horse race handicapping and the race to beat the house. [Link]

Investing

A Little-Noticed Kink in Smart-Beta ETFs Might Blindside Buyers by Dani Burger (Bloomberg)

Isolating single factors for performance amongst groups of stocks is very, very hard. That’s especially true for “smart beta” ETFs which purport to provide passive exposure to specific kinds of equity risk. [Link]

Financial Crime

HSBC Currency Trader Got Greedy on Christmas by Matt Levine (Bloomberg View)

As usual, Matt Levine is the best read on financial misconduct, in this case the allegations against the head of spot FX trading for HSBC that was recently charged with wire fraud in connection to an alleged abuse of a client related to a large sterling trade. [Link]

Banking

Italy’s bail-in headache by Silvia Merler (Bruegel)

An excellent overview of the current problems in the Italian banking sector which are much more about regulation and legal structure than they are about bad loans. [Link]

The Economics of the Young

Why Is Childcare Getting Even More Expensive? by Rebecca Greenfield (Bloomberg)

The cost of childcare isn’t just about wages, isn’t just about regulation, and isn’t just about a lack of economies of scale, but rather a combination of all these factors plus a little bit more. [Link]

Investing In Higher Educations: Benefits, Challenges, And The State Of Student Debt (Council of Economic Advisors)

An exhaustive overview of the economics of borrowing for education, including the current and innate challenges as well as the current Administration’s policy changes. While produced by an inherently political organization, this is an excellent resource for anyone interested in student loans. [Link, 77 pg PDF]

Stagnation Generation: the case for renewing the intergenerational contract by Laura Gardiner (Resolution Foundation)

This piece uses UK data but carries a very strong set of lessons for the US and other developed market. In our view, the conclusions are very worthwhile; society currently under-invests in the young and the economic impact is already being felt. [Link]

The Closer 7/22/16 – End of Week Charts

Looking for deeper insight on global markets and economics?  In tonight’s Closer sent to Bespoke clients, we recap weekly price action in major asset classes, update economic surprise index data for major economies, chart the weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC, and provide our normal nightly update on ETF performance, volume and price movers, and the Bespoke Market Timing Model.

Sample

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The BESPOKE Report – 7/22/16

It’s amazing how things can change in such a short period of time.  Four weeks ago today, global markets were more chaotic than perhaps any other time since the Financial Crisis in 2008 in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.  On that day, every one of the 25 largest global benchmark indices we track that were open for trading were down on the day.  The sell-off from that Friday followed through to the following Monday, and for the US it was an epic reversal in such a short period of time.  In the span of two trading days, the S&P 500 went from 1.6 standard deviations above its 50-DMA to 3.2 standard deviations below.  In the index’s entire history, there has never been a larger decline in the index’s OB/OS reading in that short a period of time.

As if that move wasn’t major enough, the rebound that followed was nearly as monumental.  In the span of ten trading days, the S&P 500 went from 3.2 standard deviations below its 50-DMA to 2.5 above.  That 5.7 point ten-day move in the index’s OB/OS reading was only eclipsed one other time in the S&P 500’s history, and that was 8/23/1982.  If you know anything about market history, you know that August 1982 was a good time to get long equities.

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So, how does the S&P 500 follow-up a twelve trading day period where it saw the most extreme two-day downside move and the second largest ten-day upside move?  Like a little kid coming off a sugar high, volatility has seen an outright collapse.  After closing above 25 on 6/24, the VIX closed below 12 this past Tuesday, marking the quickest decline from a 25+ reading down to a sub 12 reading on record.  Welcome to the dog days of summer!

You’ve just read the introduction to this week’s Bespoke Report newsletter.  You can read the entire thing by starting a 14-day free trial to our paid content below.

Have a great weekend!

 

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ETF Trends: Fixed Income, Currencies, and Commodities – 7/22/16

Below is our daily list of the twenty best and twenty worst performing ETFs over the last five trading days.  The biotech ETFs and semiconductors continued to rise to claim the top three spots. Healthcare providers also had a strong run the last five days. The Turkish ETF was up from yesterday, which makes it possible that it hit rock bottom, but with so much uncertainty surrounding the Turkish government and markets right now, it’s hard to definitely say that it’s bottomed out after a 15% decline versus a week ago.  The gold and oil stocks both continued to fall on the day and on the week as oil trends lower. The Agricultural ETF has struggled all week but is stable as of yesterday. Hong Kong inched up and Poland inched down to remain the best performing regional exposures.

Bespoke provides Bespoke Premium and Bespoke Institutional members with a daily ETF Trends report that highlights proprietary trend and timing scores for more than 200 widely followed ETFs across all asset classes.  If you’re an ETF investor, this daily report is perfect.  Sign up below to access today’s ETF Trends report.

See Bespoke’s full daily ETF Trends report by starting a no-obligation free trial to our premium research.  Click here to sign up with just your name and email address.

Best and Worst Stocks on Earnings This Season

So far this earnings season, the average stock that has reported has gained 0.27% on its earnings reaction day.  (For companies that report before the open, its earnings reaction day is that day.  For companies that report after the close, its earnings reaction day is the next trading day.)

Below is a list of the stocks that have gained more than 5% on their earnings reaction days this season.  As shown, Boston Beer (SAM) is at the top of the list with a one-day gain of more than 18%.  Allied World Assurance (AWH) ranks second with a gain of 15.8%, followed by Medidata Solutions (MDSO) at 14.66%.  IMAX and Marvell (MRVL) round out the top five with one-day gains of just over 14%.  Southwestern Energy (SWN) has been the top performing S&P 500 stock with a gain of 10.98%, followed closely by EBAY at +10.89%.  Other notables on the list of earnings season winners include Biogen (BIIB), Qualcomm (QCOM), Alcoa (AA), and Microsoft (MSFT).

bestepsuse

Essendant (ESND) has been the biggest loser on earnings so far this season with a one-day drop of 36.57%!  Skechers (SKX) has been second worst at -22%, followed by Abaxis (ABAX) at -13.13%.  Netflix (NFLX) has the unfortunate title of being the biggest loser in the S&P 500 so far this season with a decline of 13.13%.  Other notables on the list of losers include Southwest Air (LUV), Skyworks (SWKS), Hasbro (HAS), and Kinder Morgan (KMI).

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Bespoke Morning Lineup

Highlights

  • S&P 500 futures +10 bps
  • USD bounce continues (Overview)
  • China and Japan indicators bounce (Asia)
  • Brexit impact data: first read is rough (UK PMIs)
  • Okay print for Flash PMIs (Europe)
  • Markit Flash Manufacturing PMI on deck (US)

Bespoke’s Morning Lineup is the top pre-market report on Wall Street.  We cover everything you need to know to get your trading day started, including international market moves and events, post-market and pre-market earnings news, upgrades and downgrades, dividends and splits, economic indicators and estimates, big stock movers, market internals and much more.  It’s all presented in the original and concise format that Bespoke is known for so you can digest lots of information quickly and efficiently.

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The Closer 7/21/16 – National Activity, National Currency

Looking for deeper insight on global markets and economics?  In tonight’s Closer sent to Bespoke clients, we update our tracking of GDP growth using the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index, and also take a look at the value of the USD in terms of interest rate differentials.

Sample

The Closer is one of our most popular reports, and you can sign up for a trial below to see it and everything else Bespoke publishes free for the next two weeks!

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ETF Trends: International – 7/21/16

Below is our daily list of the twenty best and twenty worst performing ETFs over the last five trading days.  Biotech ETFs were the top two performers on the week. Poland and Hong Kong continue to hold their positions among the strongest performing regional stocks, while on the other side Turkey fell further to keep the top spot on the worst performers.  Gold exposures were up from yesterday but still were among the worst performers on the week. Oil and energy stocks were also down both on the day and on the week.

Bespoke provides Bespoke Premium and Bespoke Institutional members with a daily ETF Trends report that highlights proprietary trend and timing scores for more than 200 widely followed ETFs across all asset classes.  If you’re an ETF investor, this daily report is perfect.  Sign up below to access today’s ETF Trends report.

See Bespoke’s full daily ETF Trends report by starting a no-obligation free trial to our premium research.  Click here to sign up with just your name and email address.

Bespoke’s Sector Snapshot — 7/21/16

We’ve just released our weekly Sector Snapshot report (see a sample here) for Bespoke Premium and Bespoke Institutional members.  Please log-in here to view the report if you’re already a member.  If you’re not yet a subscriber and would like to see the report, please start a 14-day trial to Bespoke Premium now.

Below is our trading range screen of the S&P 500 and its ten sectors.  For each sector, the dot represents where it’s currently trading within its range, while the tail end represents where it was trading one week ago.  Moves into the red zone are considered “overbought,” while moves into the green zone are considered “oversold.”

The black vertical “N” line in the screen represents each sector’s 50-day moving average.  As you can see, the S&P 500 and all ten sectors remain above their 50-day moving averages, and seven of ten sectors remain overbought.  That being said, we’ve seen some downside momentum over the last week as well.

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To see our full Sector Snapshot with additional commentary plus six pages of charts that include analysis of valuations, breadth, technicals, and relative strength, start a 14-day free trial to our Bespoke Premium package now.  Here’s a breakdown of the products you’ll receive.

Chart of the Day: Earnings and Revenue Beat Rates

In today’s Chart of the Day sent to paid subscribers, we focus on the earnings and revenue “beat rates” for companies that have reported their Q2 numbers so far this season.  Were analysts too bullish or bearish on earnings coming into this reporting period, and what impact might that have on the market?  Sign up for a free Bespoke research trial below to view today’s Chart of the Day.

 

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