Displaying items by tag: bear market
Yields on developed market government bonds have been soaring this year, as a result of higher inflation, sharp rate hikes, and quantitative tightening. The latter of which is what has traders nervous right now. The Federal Reserve is looking to increase the pace of winding down its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet, while the European Central Bank has also been looking to shrink its €5 trillion bond portfolio. Central banks built up their balance sheets with bond purchases to help provide a stimulus for the economy, but with the current high inflation, banks are now looking to sell those bonds. With the bond market already facing pressure due to the rate hikes, further quantitative tightening could make trading even more difficult by worsening liquidity and increasing volatility. The Bank of England has already been forced to delay its quantitative tightening due to turmoil in the UK bond market. That turmoil, which also spread to the U.S. and European bond markets, has only added to the liquidity and volatility concerns.
Finsum:An increase in Quantitative Tightening by central banks could lead to more volatility in the bond markets.
According to a recent survey by Broadridge Financial Solutions, 67% of financial advisers are using alternative investments such as real estate investment trusts and private funds, compared to 59% in a previous survey taken earlier in the year. Of the 400 advisors surveyed by Broadridge, more than half said they plan to increase the use of alternatives over the next two years over traditional assets such as stocks and bonds. However, the advisers also noted their disappointment in the available offerings, with just 27% saying they are very satisfied with the options available from asset managers. Among the issues leading to this disappointment are too few choices, too much paperwork, and compliance and regulatory concerns. As per the reason for the increased interest in alternatives, advisers cited diversification, followed by non-correlation with equities. According to the survey, the alternatives that advisors were most interested in were REITs, commodities, private equity, hedge funds, and private debt.
Finsum: With investors concerned over steep portfolio losses, advisors are showing an increased interest in alternatives such as REITs, commodities, private equity, hedge funds, and private debt.
Hedge funds have made it clear they are gonna short those not meeting ESG criteria, but the broader market is still willing to short Tesla because the bottom line means more. Despite all of its sustainability credentials investors are making bets against Tesla. Bill Gates took a big short position apparently, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk chirped back on Twitter, saying it's incompatible with their environmental concerns. All of this happens as Musk secured $44 billion to buy Twitter Inc. This isn't the first time Tesla is no stranger to short-sellers as sharks swarmed the brand for years as they thought they couldn't ramp up production to meet the actual demand. Tesla’s stock skyrocketed nonetheless.
Finsum: Short positions on these public favorites can be extremely risky poisons, there have been lots of strange rallies in the internet era.
Goldman Sachs released their latest economic forecast and predict the U.S. will grow at its second-highest rate in over 15 years. The 3.1% prediction would only be outpaced by the K-shaped recovery in 2021. Moreover, they said there is a lower risk of a recession in the next year than the rest of Wall Street with about a 15% chance. Attributing much of the inflation to supply chain issues, Goldman seems to be leaning on the latest core PCE inflation numbers that the Fed cares most about which were on the decline. The biggest ongoing risks to the world economy are China and the continuing Russia-Ukraine war.
Finsum: Goldman believes the Fed can thread the needle and hit the soft landing that many say is impossible, time will tell if they can.
The bond market has taken a beating and investment-grade debt has been anything but a safe haven for income investors. This has been one of the third-worst stretches in history as the YTD returns have been -10.5% which is only bested by the Lehman collapse in late 2008 where returns crept to -14.3% and Volcker’s days of battling high inflation and hiking rates. Investors are selling off investment-grade debt as the risk-free rates on Treasuries are climbing as the Fed’s tightening cycle is beginning. These rising yields are all corporate bond ETFs and driving returns down, but things could get worse as rates will only continue to rise and inflation is only beginning.
Finsum: Income investors need to look to active funds or abroad if they want relief in the bond market.