Bringing the Economy Back from Life Support
With recent data showing a coronavirus-driven recession in the United States appears inevitable, the question for many investors is how long it will last. Sonal Desai, Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, weighs in on the differences between this one and other recessionary periods—and whether policymakers can engineer a recovery.
Market Scout – Trusting Our Instruments and Covid-19 Update
Like a pilot relying on a plane’s flight-control instruments during an unfamiliar route with poor visibility, we are depending more than ever on our fact-based, unemotional investment methods. The overwhelming majority of our investments are in companies that we believe are built to withstand harsh economic shocks. Only on the margin have we slightly increased our trading activity.
The Full Extent of Income Support for Impacted U.S. Households Is Impressive
Global equity index futures are trading up about 4% this morning. The coronavirus data over the weekend was less bad. The growth rate in new confirmed cases over the last 24 hours globally was the lowest since March 17—a welcome sign that containment measures are gaining some traction in slowing the spread of the disease.
Navigating the Maze of Models
Once again, no one cares about the economic calendar. There are a few items with recent data – jobless claims, mortgage applications, and Michigan sentiment – but most reports are old news. Everyone is focused on the increase in coronavirus cases and deaths. There are plenty of predictions, each based on model from a reputable source. The variation is wide.
Do the Least Harm
Doctors think differently than economists. They put patients with a potential for brain damage in an artificial coma to stop swelling, and when it stops, they bring them out. This fits with the Hippocratic Oath all doctors take, which states "First, do no harm." The idea is to "limit" damage and then "restart" a more normal body with fewer problems.
Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Regular and Premium Down 8 Cents
The price of Regular and Premium are down eight cents each from last week. According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii has the highest average price for Regular at $3.19 and Wisconsin has the cheapest at $1.41. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 26.08, up 27% from last week.
Is the Market Still Overvalued?
Here is a summary of the four market valuation indicators we update on a monthly basis.
- The Crestmont Research P/E Ratio
- The cyclical P/E ratio using the trailing 10-year earnings as the divisor
- The Q Ratio, which is the total price of the market divided by its replacement cost
- The relationship of the S&P Composite price to a regression trendline
The Latest Look at the Total Return Roller Coaster
Here's an interesting set of charts that will especially resonate with those of us who follow economic and market cycles. Imagine that five years ago you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500. How much would it be worth today, with dividends reinvested but adjusted for inflation? The purchasing power of your investment has increased to $12,854 for an annualized real return of 5.03%.
The Big Four Economic Indicators: March Employment
This commentary has been updated to include yesterday morning's release of Nonfarm Employment. March's 701K decrease in total nonfarm payrolls had revisions that resulted in 57K fewer jobs than previously reported. The Investing.com consensus was for 100K jobs lost and the unemployment rate to increase to 3.8%.