Displaying items by tag: stocks
Coronavirus cases across the country are surging. On Wednesday the US announced there were 62,000 new COVID cases, exceeding the record set the previous Friday by almost 5,000 cases. Some states, like California have actually started to reverse opening plans, not merely pause them as so many other states have. The huge surge in cases is leasing investors to fret that large-scale second lockdowns may be in the works. Anthony Fauci even openly said this yesterday, adding to fears.
FINSUM: Whether or not you think the case rise is just because of increased testing, the fact remains that as numbers soar, there is growing discourse about lockdowns. That is an undeniable risk to markets.
Those who lean right might not want to consider it, but polls have been showing Biden and the Democrats leading (poll issues being a major issue, but ceteris paribus….). That said, investors have a duty to consider what would happen in the event of a Biden win, or a Democratic sweep. While Democratic wins in the House and presidency are quite plausible at this point, a win in the Senate still looks like a challenge. Let’s consider two scenarios then: a Biden win with a split Congress, and a Democratic sweep. In the first scenario, markets do not worry a whole lot. The Republicans holding onto the Senate would mean many of the left’s more radical proposals would be blocked. What about a Democratic sweep? That could be different, as Democrats could push through anything they wanted. However, even that scenario is looking less dire for investors because Biden is not moving to the left as much as feared. Also, since his priority will be to reopen the economy, sharp increases in taxes seem unlikely in the near term.
FINSUM: It still seems unlikely that Democrats could sweep given the Republican’s 53-47 lead in the Senate. So if Biden wins and the Democrats keep the House, it would probably be an okay (no big moves) scenario for investors.
One interesting investing strategy (admittedly always for a small minority of a portfolio) is to look at the very worst stocks in the market for a contrarian bet. Of all the thousands of publicly traded and analyst-covered stocks, just 90 have no “Buy” ratings from a single analyst. Out of that down and out basket, there are three interesting stocks to consider; shares which could do well if the economic recovery even goes just a little bit right. The stocks are: Sally Beauty Holdings (beauty supplies to consumers and salons), Michaels (the arts and crafts store), and Blackbaud (a software provider to the non-profit space).
FINSUM: Of these, Michaels is moderately interesting because they just brought in a new senior executive from Walmart, which should help improve margins and store performance, which could lead to good multiple expansion.
Markets were up big today on news out of China. The day started with Chinese stocks surging on news from the government—Chinese state media told its people that they should load up on stocks. This sent hopes for a recovery soaring around the global and markets rose strongly. Beyond the state’s endorsement, the Chinese economy does seem to be dong well. “In recent weeks the data has looked very positive from China. Its economy is back in motion, and that should lift global equities a bit”, summarized Principal Global Investors chief strategist, Seema Shah.
FINSUM: The state media announcement seems a bit hollow, but since real economic data in China appears to be improving, the overall direction looks positive.
The market has been highly topsy turvy lately. With no real direction, stocks have been swinging back and forth based on economic and COVID news from day to day. With this kind of market looking likely for the near term, Goldman laid out some of its best picks for this kind of environment. Speaking about the market generally, the bank said “Consensus expects 9% upside to the typical stock over the next 12 months and volatility should remain elevated through the rest of the year, suggesting low risk-adjusted returns in the coming months.” Its stock picks included: Merck, Verizon, Philip Morris, General Motors, Comcast, Mondelez, and Coca-Cola.
FINSUM: A lot of old blue chips here whose earnings aren’t likely to be hurt too much by COVID.