Despite lower prices and higher relative yields, there’s room for prices of high-yield bonds, preferred securities and bank loans to fall further.
In a surprise move, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday lowered the target range for the federal funds rate, its key benchmark interest rate, by 50 basis points,or half a percentage point, to a new range of 1% to 1.25%. The reasoning behind the move was concern about the “evolving risks” to the economy posed by the coronavirus.
Rather than trying to call the bottom, a more effective way to think about investing right now is to focus more on the duration rather than the decline. Markets may have further to fall, but they may not stay down for the rest of the year barring a severe pandemic.
What does a “correction” mean, what’s likely to happen next and what can investors do now?
How contained is the coronavirus outbreak? That’s the question that rattled markets on Monday, sending the Dow industrials down more than 1,000 points, or 3.6%. The S&P 500 index declined by 3.4%.
The impact of the coronavirus is spreading; both geographically and economically. Central banks will likely step in; but supply shocks are difficult to combat.
The coronavirus outbreak and the Democratic primary have affected sector leadership. However, we’re keeping our sector views unchanged—for now.
As a recovery in global manufacturing began to take hold in the fourth quarter of last year, commodity prices rose dramatically. Yet, emerging market (EM) stocks failed to see the similarly strong outperformance of U.S. stocks that typically accompanies rising commodity prices.
Although stocks rebounded after a sharp drop in January, the market’s reaction to the coronavirus outbreak highlighted stock vulnerabilities.
Friday’s jobs report, as well as other recent labor market data, has an “on the one hand; on the other hand” flavor to it.
While it is impossible to predict the extent a virus can spread and have greater consequences than past epidemics, history indicates that the global economy and markets have been relatively immune to the effects of past epidemics. A key reason is that global health organizations are prepared for outbreaks and effective when mobilized.
As expected, a long and strong move up in stocks attracts more and more believers and adherents, which can stretch sentiment to extremes, like now.
The U.S. economy split sharply in 2019—manufacturing activity lagged services, corporate profits lagged stock performance—while investor sentiment surged. How long will these divergences continue in 2020?
For nearly three years we’ve been tactically recommending overweighting large caps (S&P 500) and underweighting small caps (Russell 2000)—time for an update.
Next year is set to start on a high note, with consumers and the Fed keeping the economy and market afloat; but risks remain elevated, including trade and elections.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, as expected; while signaling rates would stay in their current range through next year.
The U.S. economy likely will remain split in early 2020.
U.S. stocks continue to trade near their all-time highs but recent hiccups in trade talks have re-emphasized that a deal remains elusive, decisively unpredictable, and incomplete. Key components of the first phase have yet to be put in writing and major structural issues—such as intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers—will remain unaddressed for the foreseeable future, confirming that little-to-no material progress has been made.
While all eyes are on estimated sales throughout December, sector performance for the month is historically not impressive.
Market valuation is always a factor; but often misunderstood is the vastness of the spectrum of metrics, and the sentiment nature of valuation.
As we head into 2020, investors should be cautious in assuming that the return of central bank balance sheet growth means stocks will follow along. The real driver of the stock market in 2020 may be the outlook for growth tied to prospects for a comprehensive U.S.-China trade deal, which may revive growth in manufacturing and corporate earnings.
-U.S. stocks entered November in the process of finally breaking out of their post-January 2018 trading range. -Along with new highs has come elevated optimistic sentiment; a near-term warning sign. -Spread between the “smart money” and “dumb money” recently reached an extreme.
While volatility has remained subdued and U.S. stocks are at all-time highs, a near-term concern is that investor sentiment may be getting a bit too frothy. The potential signing of a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal and rollback of some tariffs has contributed substantially to the rally; yet the proposals made have yet to be corroborated by anything in writing.
Although economic signals are mixed, bottom-up sector fundamentals help inform decisions on sector ratings.
Last week’s key releases of job growth and ISM manufacturing data highlight the ongoing bifurcation in the economy; with the consumer bucking manufacturing’s malaise.
As expected, the FOMC lowered the fed funds rate (and the IOER) by 25 basis points; with a slightly more hawkish tone in the accompanying statement.
While volatility has receded lately and geopolitical tensions haven’t heated up, little-to-no progress has been made on a comprehensive U.S.-China trade agreement; while the timetables for Brexit continue to shift. Although U.S. stocks are trading near their all-time highs, investor hesitation has persisted due to mixed economic data, the questionable effects of monetary policy and trade uncertainty. We continue to recommend that investors use volatility to rebalance and stay near their strategic asset allocations; maintaining our neutral stance on U.S. equities (with a bias toward large caps at the expense of small caps), and our neutral stance on both developed international and emerging market equities.
For certain sectors, a change in interest rates has a relatively large impact—and that impact has increased significantly in the “new normal” environment of low interest rates.
Third quarter earnings season is underway, so it’s time to look under the hood.
A wide gap between S&P 500 profits and the broader NIPA measure from the BEA supports a late-cycle view.
The late-cycle view is also supported by weakening leading indicators.
Volatility has resurfaced due to a revival in trade tensions, heated political fighting in Washington, and confusion over whether the Fed will continue to ease or hold off on rate cuts later this month. Stocks have dropped back into a tight range and have still yet to breach their all-time highs. With the market still highly reactionary to major headlines and struggling to find its footing, we continue to recommend that investors stay near their long-term asset allocation. We also continue to recommend using volatility as a means of rebalancing; and maintaining a bias toward large-cap stocks at the expense of small caps. So long as myriad uncertainties continue to mount, we believe stocks will remain under some pressure and headway will be limited.
With a resurfacing in trade tensions and persistent economic uncertainties, investors should prepare for further volatility.
Employment reports are increasingly in focus due to weak survey data and a risk that manufacturing’s weakness spills over to services/consumer segments.
U.S. stocks plunged Wednesday, as weak economic data rattled investors. Here’s what you should know.
While U.S. stocks emerged out of their tight range a couple weeks ago, they have yet to surpass their July highs—as trade uncertainties remain, economic data continues to be mixed, and cloudy monetary policy and political outlooks persist.
It continues to be a difficult environment in which to trade around short-term news, even if short-term news is having an outsized impact on market behavior.
The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index was flat last month; and although at a cycle high, it remains in a flattish trend over the past year.
In line with expectations, the FOMC cut rates by 25 basis points; also lowering the IOER by 30 basis points to address liquidity problems in the repo market.
Stocks have climbed higher but we don’t recommend attempting to trade around short-term moves; rather, investors should remain disciplined and diversified, and use any volatility to rebalance as needed. The consumer continues to drive the economy, while weakness is mostly still concentrated in manufacturing. Yet, the potential for volatility remains, as a comprehensive trade deal is not in sight, tariffs on consumer goods are still set to kick in on December 15, and monetary policy’s ability to spur growth and inflation may be waning. We continue to favor large caps over small caps and are neutral to U.S. and global equities.
Stocks recently broke out of their short-term range on “good” trade news; but trying to trade around trade-related news has been a treacherous exercise.
Risks to the market are growing but the American consumer continues to look strong. Some preparation for a potential storm are prudent, but no drastic actions are suggested.
It doesn’t appear that the U.S. has entered a recession yet, or even that one is imminent—although start dates to recessions typically aren’t known until we’re looking in the rear-view mirror.
Economic uncertainty has spiked given the escalating U.S.-China trade war; with increasing risk it weakens the dividing line between the manufacturing and consumer sectors.
Stock markets have become more volatile as trade tensions have worsened and weakness in the manufacturing side of the economy has caused increasing concern. Swift resolutions to these issues seem unlikely and a dovish Fed may not be the elixir to what ails the economy. With the likelihood of persistent volatility in the coming months, we recommend investors stay broadly diversified and focused on the long term. From a tactical perspective, we remain neutral to U.S. and global equities; with a bias within the U.S. market toward large cap stocks relative to small caps. Investors should not attempt to trade around short-term moves in the equity markets; but instead remain disciplined, diversified, and use rebalancing as necessary.
Current economic conditions do not look recessionary, but risks are rising and if we’re heading into one, it’s possible it already started.
Market volatility can make anyone nervous. Here’s what investors should know about dealing with it.
The manufacturing side of the economy is showing increasing signs of weakness, but the consumer still looks healthy—which side wins and what should investors do?
When the Federal Reserve lowers its key short-term interest rate, financial markets often move in response. But the impact isn’t uniform across the board.
The national debt and deficits remain at worrisome levels, spawning questions of how economic growth will be affected and whether we will hit another wall.
Stocks have been buoyed by rate cut expectations, but are investors putting too much stock in monetary policy and setting themselves up for potential disappointments?
Round number crosses for each of the three major U.S. equity averages over the past month helped elevate investor sentiment, but is it now stretched?