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This is a guide to a battlecast brawler hyper roll build I've been working on in patch 10.13. (Or HyperBeam HyperRoll as i like to call it)
Down below I've shown what the comp should look like at various stages of the game, as well as the general strategy and itemization.
Hyper roll builds have disappeared from the meta with the introduction of set 3.5, mostly to to the nerfing of key 1 cost units like Poppy and Xylah, the removal of the Void alliance, and level 4 rolling odds changing from 60% to 55% for 1 cost units.
However, I think with the massive buffs to Illaoi and the battlecast synergy and it's units, as well as the massive increase in odds for 3 cost units from 10% to 15% at level 4 make this build viable if you abuse those odds to find an early Cassiopeia, and get 4 battlecast online early after hyper rolling at stage 3-1. You're almost guaranteed to have her on round 3-2, often you will even find 2 copies or a 2 star Cassiopeia on your first hyper roll. I think by shifting the focus of hyper roll builds away from 3 starring a board of 1 and 2 cost units, and focusing more on abusing the 15% odds for 3 cost units, and focusing on 3 starring a few one cost units, and getting super early 2 star 3 costs who unlock important synergies, hyper rolling can be quite good again.
Anyways, here's the rundown of the comp:
The build focuses on building Illaoi and Cassiopeia as your carries. The compound effect of all the buffs to Illaoi and battlecast have made her tankiness and power increase exponentially, especially at 3 star. Combining the buffed heal from battlecast with the bonus HP she got this patch, 10% more armor and magic resist steal and the massive 50% increase from 4 second to 6 second steal duration, allowing her to stack up much more at a single time makes her a way stronger unit at 3 star than she was in 10.12. Combining this with the right set of items easily rivals Poppy in the golden days of the Candyland build. As for Cassiopeia, despite getting a nerf to DPS, the amount of damage instances she does is very powerful with the battlecast synergy. With Blue Buff and Morellonomicon, you'll be dealing 2 instances of tick damage on your opponents entire team very early into the fight, triggering tons of blasts/heals. When played in this comp, she is a way stronger carry than she is in the Vanguard Mystic build, despite being nerfed. The 4 battlecast synergy has been buffed enough that it can crush early game and carry you through mid, until you find Urgot later, and the 6 battlecast alliance has been buffed enough to make this build viable in the late/top 4 portion of the game. Buffs to Nocturne and Kog'Maw aren't huge, but still relevant. This comp also makes great use of spatula. If you can get battlecast spat, you can run 6 battlecasts at level 6, without needing to to wait all the way to level 8 to find Urgot. The 480 damage blasts/heals at earlier stages of the game will pretty much ensure you steamroll.
In summary, the comp wants to have long fights with an unkillable Illaoi and Malphite 3 star in the front, buying time for Cassiopeia's damage over time, and your battlecast procs to do work, while the combination of Ionic Spark and Illaoi's resistance reductions massively increase your damage output as your tanks run endlessly into the opponents units and debuff them to oblivion.
Super Early Game (Stage 1-2)
In the super early game, you should econ as much as possible. Focus on making interest at all times, and only deviate from this if it means picking up an Illaoi, Cassiopeia, Malphite, or Nocturne. You want to hang onto as few units as possible that don't go into the level 5 comp shown below. Holding onto one Kog'maw is a good idea, but 2 starring him before you roll down your gold at 3-1 isn't worth it. It costs way too much in interest gold and you will always be able to 2 star him very early with your hyper rolls, and having him 2 star isn't the most important thing. What really matters is having him for an early 4 battlecast synergy. If you can sell Cog'Maw to make interest it's generally worth it, as you can always find another copy during your hyper roll. You want to streak for maximum econ without ever breaking your streak, which usually means loss streaking until the crug round. This also ensures you get first/early pick at the carousel. Getting the right items, specifically an early bramble for your Illaoi, is important for this comp, so it's normally the best approach. I wouldn't recommend committing to win streaking unless you're entering the first PVP rounds with 2 star units and some solid completed items, or if you lucked out and got Cassiopeia on stage 1. Ideally you want between 40-50 gold for stage 3-1, at which point you hyper roll to 0 and try to 3 star Illaoi Malphite and Nocturne, while 2 starring Kog'Maw, and finding Cassiopeia 1 or 2 star. Consider holding onto Blitz crank and Vi during your roll, until you find the 4 battlecasts so you can play a 4 brawler start as a backup plan if need be.
Sidenote: picking up as many 1 cost and 3 cost units as possible while you're rolling down your gold will slightly increase your chances of 3 starring units and hitting Cassiopeias by removing some units from the pool. This isn't huge but it can be the difference between hitting a 3 star unit a round or two earlier, which does matter.
Early Game (Level 4-5)
You want to get Illaoi to 3 star as your top priority, while looking for Malphite and Nocturne 3 star along the way. Kog'Maw 3 star is nice but it isn't worth the bench space and gold and will ultimately slow you down too much. Getting him to 2 star early is all you need. The other goal is to find Cassiopeia 2 star early during the hyper rolls, but never roll specifically for her, as a 1 star Cassiopeia is all you need early on, and you should get her to 2 star extremely early naturally with your hyper rolls now giving you 15% chance for 3 cost units in the early game anyways. The only 3 star unit that is absolutely crucial to the comp is Illaoi. Malphite makes the comp much stronger if you can 3 star him, but the comp can function without him. 3 star Nocturne is much like Zoe in Candyland; a nice bonus if you find him, and quite useful with his 4 second stun, but you don't need him 3 star. It's always worth the econ and bench to hang onto him though. Since this is a hyper roll build, you never spend money on exp until you are fully ready to go to level 6, where your odds for finding 1 cost units decrease drastically. Once you find Illaoi 3 star, you should go to level 6 if you aren't anywhere near finding Malphite and nocturne 3, but if you have 5 or more copies of either of them, and if the units aren't being heavily contested, it's worth staying at level 5 longer and rolling down again for 3 star on all your 1 costs first. Be patient with your gold, and try to econ up to 30-50 gold before rolling down each time, instead of rolling all your gold as you get it, unless you are dying and have no other option. You usually want to run the 5 units shown above, however if you failed to find 4 battlecast, you can run 4 Brawler instead, although this isn't as good. The other main thing to consider is running Zed instead of Malphite. Zed can be worth it if you ended up with a 3 star Nocturne, or if you somehow didn't find 2 star Malphite on your first hyper roll, which is incredibly unlikely. Otherwise the 2 Brawler front line with 4 battlecast is your best option.
Mid Game (Level 6-7)
At this point, hopefully Illaoi and as many other 1 costs as possible are 3 starred, or 1-2 copies away from being 3 starred, and you have 2 star Cassiopeia. The best option at level 6 is to add a Mystic to further increase your units durability. Soraka is great, and her healing has great synergy with the innate tankiness of your units. Karma is also great to link to your Cassiopeia. If you can't find a mystic the option of throwing in a 2 star Zed or a Fizz is also okay. Running Infiltrator in the place of Mystic can actually be better up until late game if Nocturne is 3 starred. At this point in the game, you don't want to be rolling any more. Just econ up and pick up more brawlers, and finish 2 starring everything you can, and finishing 3 star units unless it becomes unrealistic to keep looking for them. At level 7, you want to add in two brawlers and take out the mystic, for 4 brawler 4 battlecast. Adding Vi and Gnar provides much more valuable front line to buy time and drag out the fight for your Cassiopeia and battlecast procs to do work, as well as providing you with lots of CC. If the game is going well, i prefer to econ up to 50 on level 6 and slowly pump gold into exp, while remaining at 50 gold, then pump all my gold into levels to jump strait to level 8 right after, but if you are being pressured it's fine to go to 7 sooner if you're taking too much damage.
Late Game (Level 8-9)
Level 8 alt
At level 8, add your Mystic back in (Soraka being the best). You don't have much to do here as far as your build, aside from trying to find Urgot and Viktor, if you don't already have him, to go to 6 battlecast. Once you find Urgot, either replace Cog'Maw with him (or Nocturne if you never 3 starred him) or take out 2 of your brawlers and go for 6 battlecast, 2 brawler, 2 mystic. If the game goes to Level 9, you can simply play 4 brawler 6 battlecast. If you're facing heavy magic damage lineups that don't require you to strengthen your front line as much (such as Gangplank/Riven and 6 sorcerers) you can consider 4 mystics instead of 4 brawlers. This is especially effective if you have dragon scale on Illaoi, and practically allows her to 1v9 against those kind of comps.
If you get a spatula, you can make battlecast spat and put it onto your Malphite. Malphite carries Ionic spark in this comp, so giving him the ability to output some magic damage is nice while hes tanking for you, but more importantly he has tons of hp to work with so he will survive on the front line for much longer with battlecast heals and keep that ionic spark aura up for longer.
With battlecast spat, you can add Viktor in at level 6 for the 6 battlecast synergy. The DPS increase to 480 for each battlecast proc at this early in the game is brutal, and also makes Illaoi unkillable with the increase heal. You can play 4 brawler 6 battlecast at level 8 now as well, and at level 9 you can play a mystic on top of the normal comp, while dropping one of your less useful battlecasts.
Carousel Priority is Spatula > Chain Vest > Cloak > TeaRod > Belt/Gloves
It's essential that you prioritize getting Bramble first, Blue Buff second, then two additional tank items for Illaoi and Morellonomicon as a third priority, and lastly Ionic Spark or Rapid Firecannon are luxury items (they help you win more if you're ahead, but don't stabilize you if you're behind).
Basically, Bramble vest is the most important item in the comp, with Blue Buff being a close second. They are the only irreplaceable items. Bramble plays a crucial role in carrying you through all stages of the game. It's value on tanky units, especially at 3 star, is too great to ever pass up. It will do a ton of AOE damage, and it creates quite a lot of damage instances throughout the fight to fuel battlecast.
Ideally, Illaoi wants Bramble, Dragon Scale and Quicksilver. I believe these items best leverage her stolen resistances from her spell and increase her survivability.
The armor from vest, plus the negating of crits, coupled with 20% evasion from quicksilver, makes her very durable against physical damage.
The magic resist provided by Dragon scale and Quicksilver bring her magic resistance extremely high, and she ends up taking almost no damage when incoming magic damage is reduced by 50% by scale before even considering her resistances.
The immunity to crowd control from Quicksilver is very important on her as well, as it allows her to cast without interruption, and she can't be stunned before she has a chance to steal resistances. Stacking up a few casts in the first 10 seconds of the fight is enough to make sure she is always working with added armor and magic resist.
Getting these 3 items isn't imperative though, as long as you have bramble you can replace one of the other slots. Warmog's works fine in giving her more raw HP to leverage her mass stolen armor and magic res, and gives her more HP to stay alive and heal back up with battlecast procs. Titan's resolve is also an acceptable replacement as she is one of the units who can actually get it to 50 stacks and then stay alive and heal back up for a long time thereafter to make good use of the item to its full potential.
Cassiopeia wants Blue Buff and Morellonomicon. With this combination of items, she can dish out tons of damage over time as long as she has a tanky front line to buy time for the damage to do its work, as we've seen in builds like Vanguard Mystic and Mystic Protectors. Given two sources of tick damage on every unit that she casts on, not only does she melt entire teams, she goes rapid-fire with the battlecast procs, even managing to stay alive through rapid healing if she gets jumped on the back line.
The last item is Ionic Spark. This is best on Malphite 3 star, but can be on any Brawler. I don't recommend putting it on Illaoi because it offers less defensively and we just want to make her as tanky as possible with her 3 slots. Combining the magic resistance debuff aura and Illaoi stealing 60% resistances every cast from whoever she hits, your team will be able to easily melt enemies.
Almost all item components have good use in this comp, but BF Sword is quite a dead item. The best you can do is make a Zeke's Herald or GA with it.
Other notable items if you happen to get them:
Rapid Firecannon - Great on Cassiopeia, and allows you to position her as safe and far away as possible. Any Bows you pick up should go towards building this item. It didn't make the cut for the item build, but it would be the next best thing that isn't on the core 6 item list. Don't prioritize bows on the carousel over anything else for this item, but it's nice if you end up with one.
Protector Spat - Spatula should be built into battlecast spat, but if that ends up being impossible, or you pick up the full item on a later carousel, it can be great for Cassiopeia to perma-shield once you activate protector synergy with Urgot. Jarvin and Karma can be played until you find Urgot, to get protector and dark star.
Thief's Gloves - If you end up with extra Sparring Gloves you can just combine them onto Nocturne or victor to get some value out of them.
Frozen Heart - If you have spare chain vest and tear drops, this is a nice item to have on either a brawler, or on Nocturne.
ZZ'Rot Portal/Redemption - If you end up with these, they're nice on Nocturne, as he will jump to the back line, cause havoc, then give you benefits for dying.
Depending on what brawlers you're using, there are two general approaches to positioning Cassiopeia. If you have all your brawlers up front, it's best to have her to the second row against one of the edges, with a brawler directly in front of her. If you're running Blitzcrank, you can put him in the corner with Cassiopeia next to him. This will give her a target to attack in between casting her spell. Since she only needs to hit once to gain full mana with blue buff, she should be able to distribute her poison to most of the enemy team from the safety of the back row before the pulled unit dies, forcing her to move up closer.
Malphite (or whoever ends up with Ionic Spark) should be towards the center to maximize the aura's effect. Illaoi should also be centered. Her and Malphite are the tankiest units assuming they're three starred, and it's also best to have her near the Ionic spark to ensure she stacks magic resistance reduction from Tentacle Smash and ionic spark onto the same units, helping your team burst down targets better.
Nocturne can typically kill off a target during his 4 second stun duration, so having him jump onto a key spell caster such as Lulu/Xeraph or a carry is important. In the top 4 and above, his positioning becomes increasingly more important as you can target specific players more easily.
Cow'Maw isn't the most impactful unit, so he should be positioned in such a way that he will tankenemy Blitzcranks.
In general, I prefer to play towards one side in the early game, to better help your units focus fire, and cause battlecast to target the same unit. later on, I typically prefer to spread out more.
Pros and Cons
- Counters Vanguards and Mystics. Cassiopeia with Morellonomicon melts them, and Illaoi's spell turns their own strength against them, making her ridiculously tanky and stripping them of their alliance bonuses.
- Counters Protectors due to Cassiopeia 50% shield reduction.
- Not Super contested in general. Not many players are 3 starring these units, and with hyper rolls you can get your hands on the highly contested Cassiopeia before anyone has a chance to empty them out of the pool.
- Good in Trade Sector, Neekoverse, Star Cluster, Superdense Galaxies.
- Easy Top 4 if you get some 3 stars at a reasonable time, or hit your items on Cassiopeia and Illaoi
- Easy Bottom 4 if you get unlucky with your hyper rolls
- Can struggle against Blasters with the 80% true damage from Giant Slayers against your High HP units, and heal reduction from Red Buff. If more than two players are going blaster brawler, you shouldn't go for this comp, as your units will be contested as well and 3 starring the important ones could become impossible.
- Can be weak against sorcerers. Burst damage comes in less, more intense damage instances, and doesn't let you proc enough battlecast heals. Their units often don't have much resistance to steal making Illaoi less effective and more vulnerable, as well as losing value on HP% burn from Cassiopeia since their units are fairly low hp.
- Bad in Binary Star and Galactic Armory. Risky in Littler Little Legends Galaxy. If you snowball early you can crush the game easily, but if you take a bit too long hitting your power spikes, you'll be in a rough spot.
That's it for the guide, thanks for reading! I hope you give this comp a try and have fun!
If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to DM me!
The Trump administration’s Dec. 15 deadline for new tariffs on China looms large, and while most strategists expect them to be delayed while talks continue, they don’t rule out the unexpected.
“That’s the biggest thing in the room next week. I don’t think he’s going to raise them. I think they’ll find a reason,” said James Pauslen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group. But Paulsen said President Donald Trump’s unpredictable nature makes it really impossible to tell what will happen as the deadline nears.
“He’s the one off you’re never sure about. It’s not just tariffs. It could be damn near anything,” Paulsen said. “I think he goes out of his way to be a wild card.”
Just in the past week, Trump said he would put new tariffs on Brazil, Argentina and France. He rattled markets when he said he could wait until after the election for a trade deal with China.
Once dubbing himself “tariff man,” Trump reminded markets that he sees tariffs as a way of getting what he wants from an opponent, and traders were reminded tariffs may be around for a long time.
Trade certainly could be the most important event for markets in the week ahead, which also includes a Fed interest rate decision Wednesday and the U.K.’s election that could set the course for Brexit. If there’s no China deal, that could beat up stocks, send Treasury yields lower and send investors into other safe havens.
When Fed officials meet this week, they are not expected to change interest rates, but they are likely to discuss whether they believe their repo operations to drive liquidity in the short-term funding market are running smoothly, ahead of year end. Economic reports in the coming week include CPI inflation Wednesday, which could be an important input for the Fed.
Punt, but no deal As of Friday, the White House did not appear any closer to striking a deal with China, though officials say talks are going fine. Back in August, Trump said if there is no deal, Dec. 15 is the date for a new wave of tariffs on $156 billion in Chinese goods, including cell phones, toys and lap top computers.
Dan Clifton, head of policy research at Strategas, said it seems like a low probability there will be a deal in the coming week. “What the market is focused on right now is whether there’s going to be tariffs that to into effect on Dec. 15, or not. It’s being rated pretty binary,” said Clifton. “I think what’s happening here and the actions by China overnight looks like we’re setting up for a kick.”
China removed some tariffs from U.S. agricultural products Friday, and administration officials have been talking about discussions going fine.
Clifton said if tariffs are put on hold, it’s unclear for how long. “Those are going to be larger questions that have to be answered. This is really now about politics. Is it a better idea for the president to cut a deal without major structural reforms, or should he walk away? That’s the larger debate that has to happen after Dec. 15,” Clifton said. “I’m getting worried that some in the administration... they’re leaning toward no deal category.”
Clifton said Trump’s approval rating falls when the trade wars heat up, so that may motivate him to complete the deal with China even if he doesn’t get everything he wants.
Michael Schumacher, director of rates strategy at Wells Fargo, said his base case is for a trade deal to be signed in the next couple of months, but even so, he said he can’t entirely rule out another outcome. It would make sense for tariffs to be put on hold while talks continue.
“The tweeter-in-chief controls that one, ” said Schumacher. “That’s anybody’s guess...I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he suspends it for a few weeks. If he doesn’t, that’s a pretty unpleasant result. That’s risk off. That’s pretty clear.”
Because the next group of tariffs would be on consumer goods, economists fear they could hit the economy through the consumer, the strongest and largest engine behind economic growth.
Fed ahead The Fed has moved to the sidelines and says it is monitoring economic data before deciding its next move. Friday’s strong November jobs report, with 266,000 jobs added, reinforces the Fed’s decision to move to neutral for now.
So the most important headlines from its meeting this week could be about the repo market, basically the plumbing for the financial system where financial institutions fund themselves. Interest rates in that somewhat obscure market spiked in September. Market pros said the issue was a cash crunch in the short term lending market, made better when the Fed started repo operations.
The Fed now has multiple operations running over year end, and Schumacher said it has latitude to do more. Strategists expect there to be more pressure on the repo market as banks rein in operations to spruce up their balance sheets at year end.
“No one is going to come to the Fed and say you did too much in the year-end funding,” said Schumacher. “If repo happens to spike somewhat on one day, the Fed is going to hammer it the next day.”
Paulsen said the markets will be attuned to this week’s inflation numbers. Consumer inflation, the CPI is reported on Wednesday and producer prices are Thursday.
A pickup in inflation of any significance is one thing that could pull the Fed from the sidelines, and prod it to consider a rate hike.
“I think the inflation reports might start to get a little attention. Given the jobs numbers, the employment rate, growth picking up a little bit and a better tone in manufacturing. I do think if you get some hot CPI number, I don’t know if the Fed can ignore it,” he said. “Core CPI is 2.3%.” He said it would get noticed if it jumped to 2.5% or better.
The Fed’s inflation target is 2% but its preferred measure is the PCE inflation, and that remains under 2%.
Stocks were sharply higher Friday but ended the past week flattish. The S&P 500 was slightly higher, up 0.2% at 3,145, and the Dow was down 0.1% at 28,015. The Nasdaq was 0.1% lower, ending the week at 8,656.
It has been a rough start to the most wonderful month of them all, with the S&P 500 Index down each of the first two days of December. Don’t stop believing just yet, though.
Everyone knows December has usually been a good month for stocks, but what happened last year is still fresh in the minds of many investors. The S&P 500 fell 9.1% in December 2018 for the worst December since 1931. That sounds really bad, until you realize stocks fell 30% in September 1931, but we digress.
One major difference between now and last year is how well the global equities have been performing. Heading into December 2018, the S&P 500 was up 3.2% year to date, but markets outside of the United States were already firmly in the red, with many down double digits.
“We don’t think stocks are on the verge of another massive December sell off,” said LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “If my Cincinnati Bengals can win a game, anything is possible. However, we are quite encouraged by the overall participation we are seeing from various global stock markets this year versus last year, when the United States was about the only market in the green heading into December.”
Stocks have also overcome volatile starts to December recently. The S&P 500 was down four days in a row to start 2013 and 2017, but the gauge still managed to gain 2.4% and 1%, respectively, in those years.
As the LPL Chart of the Day shows, December has been the second-best month of the year for stocks going back to 1950. It is worth noting that it was the best month of the year before last year’s massive drop. Stocks have historically been strong in pre-election years as well, and December has never been lower two times in a row during a pre-election year. Given stocks fell in December 2015, bulls could be smiling when this month is wrapped up.
Impeaching a President with the possibility of removal from office is by no means great for the country. However, it may not be so horrible for the stock market or investors if history is any guide. We first touched on this over two years ago here on the blog and now that much has transpired and the US House of Representatives is now proceeding with drafting articles of impeachment we figured it was a good time to revisit the history (albeit limited) of market behavior during presidential impeachment proceedings. The three charts below really tell the story.
During the Watergate scandal of Nixon’s second term the market suffered a major bear market from January 1973 to OctobeDecember 1974 with the Dow down 45.1%, S&P 500 down 48.2% and NASDAQ down 59.9%. Sure there were other factors that contributed to the bear market such as the Oil Embargo, Arab-Israeli War, collapse of the Bretton Woods system, high inflation and Watergate. However, shortly after Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974 the market reached the secular bear market low on October 3 for S&P and NASDAQ and December 6 for the Dow.
Leading up to the Clinton investigations and through his subsequent impeachment and the acquittal by the Senate the market was on a tear as one of the biggest bull markets in history raged on. After the 1994 midterm elections when the Republicans took back control of both houses of Congress the market remained on a 45 degree upward trajectory except for a few blips and the shortest bear market on record that lasted 45 days and bottomed on August 31, 1998.
Clinton was impeached in December 1998 and acquitted in February 1999 as the market continued higher throughout his second term. Sure there were other factors that contributed to the late-1990s bull-run such as the Dotcom Boom, the Information Revolution, millennial fervor and a booming global economy, but Clinton’s personal scandal had little negative impact on markets.
It remains to be seen of course what will happen with President Trump’s impeachment proceeding and how the world and markets react, but the market continues to march on. If the limited history of impeachment proceedings of a US President in modern times (no offense to our 17th President Andrew Johnson) is any guide, the market has bounced back after the last two impeachment proceedings and was higher a year later. Perhaps it will be better to buy any impeachment dip rather than sell it.
Historically, the first trading day of December, today, has a slightly bearish bias with S&P 500 advancing 34 times over the last 69 years (since 1950) with an average loss of 0.02%. Tomorrow, the second trading day of December however, has been stronger, up 52.2% of the time since 1950 with an average gain of 0.08% and the third day is better still, up 59.4% of the time.
Over the more recent 21-year period, December has opened with strength and gains over its first seven trading days before beginning to drift. By mid-month all five indices have surrendered any early-month gains, but shortly thereafter Santa usually visits sending the market higher until the last day of the month and the year when last minute selling, most likely for tax reasons, briefly interrupts the market’s rally.
Just when it was beginning to look like trade was heading in a positive direction, the wind changed direction again. Yesterday it was steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina and today a deal with China may not happen as soon as previously anticipated. The result was the worst first two trading days of December since last year and the sixth worst start since 1950 for S&P 500. DJIA and NASDAQ are eighth worst since 1950 and 1971, respectively.
However, historically past weakness in early December (losses over the first two trading days combined) were still followed by average gains for the remainder of the month the majority of the time. DJIA has advanced 74.19% of the time following losses over the first two trading days with an average gain for the remainder of December of 1.39%. S&P 500 was up 67.65% of the time with an average rest of month gain of 0.84%. NASDAQ is modestly softer advancing 61.11% of the time during the remainder of December with an average advance of 0.30%.
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lululemon athletica inc. (LULU) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.93 per share on revenue of $896.50 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.98 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.90 to $0.92 per share on revenue of $880.00 million to $890.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 24.00% with revenue increasing by 19.91%. Short interest has increased by 9.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 16.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 26.0% above its 200 day moving average of $182.08. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, December 6, 2019 there was some notable buying of 927 contracts of the $260.00 call expiring on Friday, December 13, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 8.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 11.1% move in recent quarters.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:15 PM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.70 per share on revenue of $37.43 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.74 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 78% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 5.59% with revenue increasing by 6.73%. Short interest has increased by 19.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 10.3% above its 200 day moving average of $267.50. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, November 19, 2019 there was some notable buying of 916 contracts of the $265.00 put expiring on Friday, December 27, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.6% move in recent quarters.
Thor Industries, Inc. (THO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.23 per share on revenue of $2.30 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.30 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 16.89% with revenue increasing by 30.98%. Short interest has increased by 48.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 25.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 16.0% above its 200 day moving average of $58.44. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, December 3, 2019 there was some notable buying of 838 contracts of the $60.00 put expiring on Friday, December 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 10.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.6% move in recent quarters.
AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:55 AM ET on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $13.69 per share on revenue of $2.76 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $14.02 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 1.63% with revenue increasing by 4.48%. Short interest has decreased by 13.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 1.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.9% above its 200 day moving average of $1,077.00. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.6% move in recent quarters.
Adobe Inc. (ADBE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.26 per share on revenue of $2.97 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.30 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 74% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of approximately $2.25 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 23.50% with revenue increasing by 20.51%. Short interest has increased by 44.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 11.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.1% above its 200 day moving average of $280.60. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, November 25, 2019 there was some notable buying of 505 contracts of the $340.00 call expiring on Friday, December 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.9% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.8% move in recent quarters.
Broadcom Limited (AVGO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:15 PM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $5.36 per share on revenue of $5.76 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $5.47 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 7.27% with revenue increasing by 5.80%. Short interest has increased by 22.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.7% above its 200 day moving average of $288.21. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, December 5, 2019 there was some notable buying of 625 contracts of the $135.00 call expiring on Friday, January 15, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 5.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.7% move in recent quarters.
Ciena Corporation (CIEN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.66 per share on revenue of $964.80 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.67 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 72% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $945.00 million to $975.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 26.92% with revenue increasing by 7.28%. Short interest has increased by 66.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 9.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 11.0% below its 200 day moving average of $39.32. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, December 6, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,156 contracts of the $36.00 put expiring on Friday, December 13, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.1% move in recent quarters.
MongoDB, Inc. (MDB) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.28 per share on revenue of $99.73 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.26) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for a loss of $0.29 to $0.27 per share on revenue of $98.00 million to $100.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 15.15% with revenue increasing by 53.47%. Short interest has increased by 15.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 16.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.1% below its 200 day moving average of $138.19. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, November 19, 2019 there was some notable buying of 970 contracts of the $210.00 call expiring on Friday, December 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 10.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.7% move in recent quarters.
Chewy, Inc. (CHWY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:10 PM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.16 per share on revenue of $1.21 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.15) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 57% expecting an earnings beat. Short interest has increased by 40.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 14.6% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 6.4% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Stitch Fix, Inc. (SFIX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, December 9, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.06 per share on revenue of $441.04 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.04) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 69% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $438.00 million to $442.00 million. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 160.00% with revenue increasing by 20.43%. Short interest has increased by 30.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 41.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 2.4% below its 200 day moving average of $24.69. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, November 21, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,000 contracts of the $13.00 put expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 20.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 18.9% move in recent quarters.
Stocks will try in the week ahead to break the all-time highs set earlier in the year as a slew of S&P 500 companies get set to report.
Stock prices are bumping up against their highs, but whether they can burst through and hold gains may, for the near term, depend on what investors hear from Jerome Powell in the week ahead.
In a week stacked with major events, the Fed’s two-day meeting is likely to be the high point. The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to make its third quarter point interest rate cut Wednesday afternoon, followed by comments form Fed Chairman Powell. Those comments could be his most important message of the next few months, as investors watch to see whether he holds the door open to future rate cuts, or signals it’s time to pause, as some economists expect.
“Our view is they’ll be done after this. We’re not expecting a cut in December, and we’re not expecting cuts next year. The economy, in my mind, looks like it’s stabilizing, and there should be more evidence of that in the next couple of weeks. focusing on the labor market is the key thing,” said Drew Matus, chief market strategist at MetLife Investment Management. If the labor market holds up, expectations for rate cuts should decline. “I do think the dissenters are arguing they shouldn’t be cutting at all.”
But Matus’ view is just one of many on Wall Street. Some economists expect another cut in December, while others expect one or more cuts next year, depending on how they view the economy. Goldman Sachs economists laid out a case where the Fed will clearly signal that it plans to pause after Wednesday.
All of this could make for volatility in stocks and bonds, depending on which market view prevails in Powell’s comments. “It’s going to be choppy going into the Fed,” said Andrew Brenner of National Alliance. In the past week, yields were higher with the 10-year Treasury yield touching 1.8% Friday.
The S&P 500 was up 1.2% for the week, ending at 3,022, just below its closing high. On Friday, it briefly traded above the July 26 high of 3,025. The Dow ended the week with a gain of 0.7%, at 26,956, and it remains about 1% below its closing high.
In addition, the earnings calendar remains heavy with about 145 S&P 500 companies releasing earnings, including Alphabet Monday and big oil Exxon Mobil and Chevron Friday. On Wednesday, earnings are expected from Apple, which is setting new highs of its own.
Big economic reportsOn top of that, November kicks off Friday in what looks to be the most important day for economic data of the new month. Besides the critical monthly employment report, there is the key ISM manufacturing report, expected to show a contraction in manufacturing activity for a third month.
Both reports could be distorted by the GM strike, which is expected to result in an October employment report with fewer than 100,000 jobs. According to Refinitiv, total non farm payrolls are expected to be 90,000, while manufacturing jobs are expected to decline by 50,000. That would include the impact of GM workers, but also the employees of the many suppliers and services that support the car company’s manufacturing operations.
“The jobs number will be big, but the ISM could be bigger. If that turns up, like Markit [PMI] suggested, that could be a big deal,” said Leuthold Group Chief Investment Strategist James Paulsen. On Thursday, Markit flash PMI manufacturing data for October was higher than expected, and still has not shown a contraction.
“If it turns up, I think that’s to affect a lot of people and how they feel about things. That could take on a whole new dimension of what happens to Wall Street earnings estimates,” he said.
Manufacturing data has dragged, due to the impact of tariffs and the trade war, and some big companies have taken a hit as a result, like Caterpillar which on Wednesday reported weaker than expected earnings and sales. Caterpillar also cut its outlook, in large part due to weakness in China. Caterpillar shares were slammed but on Friday, the stock was bouncing back by 3.5%.
Stocks at ‘inflection point’Quincy Krosby, Prudential Financial’s chief market strategist, said the fact Caterpillar was able to come back at the end of the week was a positive for the market, which she says is now entering the late year seasonal period where stocks typically do well. At the same time, she said news for the market looks like it’s about to get “less bad.”
″″Less bad’ is not a full fledged agreement with China. Less bad is a truce. It means that Dec. 15 extension in tariffs does not happen,” she said, adding the market appears to be at an inflection point with investors expecting an agreement of some type between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping when they meet in November.
″‘I’m not bullish. I’m not bearish. I’m optimistic. This market has been led by the defensive sectors. You’re starting to see that move into consumer discretionary. It’s telling you the market is seeing growth, albeit it not stellar growth, but when it gets ‘less bad’ you’re going to see that it’s being reflected in this inflection point in the market,” said said. “We’re seeing a move more and more into the cyclical and growth sectors, and by the way, we’re seeing a steepening of the yield curve.”
The yield curve represents the difference between the yields of two different duration Treasury securities. When the curve inverts, the yield on the shorter duration security, in this case the 2-year has become higher than that of say, the 10-year. That is one part of the curve that was temporarily inverted, and if it stayed inverted it would be a recession warning.
The 10-year has been moving higher, and the 1.80% level will be important if the yield can stay above it.
“If it pushes through 1.80, you’re going to take the inversion out, by the bond market, not the Fed,” Paulsen said. Paulsen said it would be a sign of confidence in the economy if yields can push higher.
The Fed taking a pause may add to that sense. “I think most people think one more cut and done,” he said. “The bigger news will be what [Powell] says in that press conference. He can go pretty off script sometimes.”
‘Greater optimsim’ in marketPaulsen said stocks could be in a good period, and earnings news seems to be already priced in. “The data by and large has been okay. You have earnings that are okay, and there’s no sense of imminent recession. It just seems there’s greater optimism,” he said.
Of the approximately 200 S&P companies that reported by Friday morning, more than 78% have beaten on earnings per share, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. Earnings are expected to decline by 2% for the third quarter, based on estimates and results from companies that already reported.
Paulsen said there’s some sense in the market that Brexit will not end in a worst case scenario, but it is something to watch in the week ahead as British lawmakers decide whether to hold an election.
Jack Ablin, chief investment officer with Cresset Wealth Advisors, said he thinks Brexit would be a bigger deal than the trade agreement for the world economy, if it goes poorly, with the U.K. leaving the European Union with no deal. “A no deal Brexit is likely to take 2 percentage points off of British growth...It would take 1% off European growth...I think that’s significant,” Ablin said. “I think investors are underplaying it because it’s so binary. It’s hard to position for a binary outcome. If we get some resolution there, to me, that has the biggest impact for the markets.”
Next week provides a special short-term seasonal opportunity, one of the most consistent of the year. The last 4 trading days of October and the first 3 trading days of November have a stellar record the last 25 years. From the tables below: * Dow up 19 of last 25 years, average gain 2.1%, median gain 1.4%. * S&P up 21 of last 25 years, average gain 2.1%, median gain 1.5%. * NASDAQ up 21 of last 25 years, average gain 2.7%, median gain 2.3%. * Russell 2000 19 of last 25 years, average gain 2.2%, median gain 2.5%.
Many refer to our Best Six Months Tactical Seasonal Switching Strategy as the Halloween Indicator or Halloween Strategy and of course “Sell in May”. These catch phrases highlight our discovery that was first published in 1986 in the 1987 Stock Trader’s Almanac that most of the market’s gains are made from October 31 to April 30, while the market goes sideways to down from May through October.
Since 1950 DJIA is up 7.5% November-April and up only 0.6% May-October. We encouraged folks not to fear Octoberphobia early this month and wait for our MACD Buy Signal which came on October 11. We have been positioning more bullishly since in sector and major U.S. market ETFs and with a new basket of stocks. But the next seven days have been a historically bullish trade.
November maintains its status among the top performing months as fourth-quarter cash inflows from institutions drive November to lead the best consecutive three-month span November-January. However, the month has taken hits during bear markets and November 2000, down –22.9% (undecided election and a nascent bear), was NASDAQ’s second worst month on record—only October 1987 was worse.
November begins the “Best Six Months” for the DJIA and S&P 500, and the “Best Eight Months” for NASDAQ. Small caps come into favor during November, but don’t really take off until the last two weeks of the year. November is the number-two DJIA (since 1950), NASDAQ (since 1971) and Russell 2000 (since 1979) month. November is best for S&P 500 (since 1950) and Russell 1000’s (since 1979).
Understandably folks are apprehensive about the perennial fourth quarter rally this year after the debacle that culminated in the Christmas Eve Crumble in 2018. But the history is clear. The fourth quarter is the best quarter of the year going back to 1949, except for NASDAQ where Q1 leads Q4 by 4.5% to 4.0%, since 1971.
Historically, the “Sweet Spot” of the 4-Year Election Cycle is the three-quarter span from Q4 Midterm Year through Q2 Pre-Election Year, averaging a gain of 19.3% for DJIA and 20.0% for S&P 500 since 1949 and 29.3% for NASDAQ since 1971. Conversely the weakest two-quarter span is Q2-Q3 of the Midterm Year, averaging a loss of -1.2% for DJIA and -1.5% for S&P 500 since 1949 and -5.0% for NASDAQ since 1971.
Market action was impacted by some more powerful forces in 2018 that trumped (no pun intended) seasonality. Q2-Q3 was up 9.8% for DJIA, 10.3% for S&P and 13.9% for NASDAQ. Q4 was horrible, down -11.8% for DJIA, -14.0% for S&P and -17.5% for NASDAQ.Q1-Q2 of pre-election year, especially Q1 gained all that back.
Pre-Election year Q4 is still one of the best quarters of the 4-Year Cycle, ranked 5th, for average gains of 2.6% for DJIA and 3.2% for S&P since 1949 and 5.4% for NASDAQ. Additionally, from the Pre-Election Seasonal Pattern we updated in last Friday’s post, you can see how the market tends to make a high near yearend in the Pre-Election Year. So, save some new unexpected outside event, Q4 Market Magic is expected to impress once again this year.
“Everything is awesome, when you’re living out a dream.” The Lego Movie
As the S&P 500 Index continues to flirt with new record highs, something under the surface is taking place that is making 2019 extremely special. Or dare we say, “awesome”.
First, let’s look back at last year. 2018 was the first year since 1969 in which both the S&P 500 (stocks) and the 10-year Treasury bond (bonds) both finished the year with a negative return. Toss in the fact that gold and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil were both down last year, and it was one of the worst years ever for a diversified portfolio.
“As bad as last year was for investors, 2019 is a mirror image, with stocks, bonds, gold, and crude oil all potentially finishing the year up double digits for the first time in history,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick.
As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, it has been a great year for stocks, bonds, gold, and crude oil. Of course, there are still more than two months to go in 2019, but this year is shaping up to be one of the best years ever for these four important assets.
We're now in the thick of the Q3 earnings reporting period with 130 companies reporting since just the close last night. As shown in our Earnings Explorer snapshot below, earnings will be in overdrive for the next two weeks before dying down in mid-November.
In terms of sales, 57.87% of companies have beaten top-line estimates over the last 3 months, which is much closer to the historical average than the bottom-line beat rate.
It has been a pretty monumental two weeks for the KBW Bank index. Since the close on 10/8, the index has rallied just under 9% as earnings reports from some of the largest US banks received a warm welcome from Wall Street. The index is now once again testing the top-end of its range, one which it has unsuccessfully tested multiple times in the last year. If you think the repeated tests of 3,000 for the S&P 500 over the last 18 months have been dramatic, the current go around with 103 for the KBW Bank Index has been the sixth such test in the last year! We would also note that prior to last year's fourth quarter downturn, the same level that has been acting as resistance for the KBW Bank index was previously providing support.
In the case of each prior failed break above 103 for the KBW Bank index, sell-offs of at least 5% (and usually 10%+) followed, but one thing the index has going for it even if the sixth time isn't the charm is that just yesterday it broke above its downtrend that has been in place since early 2018. The group has passed one test at least! From here, if we do see a pullback, that former downtrend line should provide support.
Leading the way to the upside, State Street (STT) has rallied nearly 20%, while First Republic (FRC), Northern Trust (NTRS), and Bank of America (BAC) have jumped more than 13%. In the case of STT, the rally of the last two-weeks has also moved the stock into the green on a YTD basis.
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Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:30 PM ET on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.84 per share on revenue of $62.57 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.93 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 72% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $2.59 to $2.93 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 2.41% with revenue decreasing by 0.52%. Short interest has increased by 13.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 13.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 25.3% above its 200 day moving average of $196.73. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, October 14, 2019 there was some notable buying of 28,061 contracts of the $220.00 put expiring on Friday, November 1, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.1% move in recent quarters.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:20 PM ET on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.18 per share on revenue of $1.80 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.18 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 64% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 80.00% with revenue increasing by 8.89%. Short interest has increased by 21.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 15.4% above its 200 day moving average of $28.35. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, October 17, 2019 there was some notable buying of 28,665 contracts of the $29.00 put expiring on Friday, December 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 12.8% move in recent quarters.
Facebook Inc. (FB) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.90 per share on revenue of $17.33 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.02 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 79% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 7.95% with revenue increasing by 26.25%. Short interest has decreased by 0.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 9.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.2% above its 200 day moving average of $178.54. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, October 22, 2019 there was some notable buying of 20,043 contracts of the $325.00 call expiring on Friday, January 15, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 5.9% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.4% move in recent quarters.
AT&T Corp. (T) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:20 AM ET on Monday, October