Displaying items by tag: dovish
The market has been doing great. So great in fact, that many are nervous about a swift correction. Despite this, the market continues to push for new all-time highs each week. Credit Suisse weighed in on the market in a big way this week. To be clear, the bank is not exactly bearish on the market. Their overall position is “We have remained overweight equities on the back of highly supportive policy, a high ERP [equity risk premium], the start of a bond-for-equity switch and huge excess liquidity, while tactical indicators are not yet sending a sell signal”. That said, the bank warned that there was one very “high” risk to the market: the Fed. Credit Suisse thinks there is a good chance that the Fed suddenly gets less dovish in the second half of the year after some good growth in 1H. This would be a dramatic turn for investors and could risk a sharp reversal.
FINSUM: We have to agree with this risk. The huge stimulus and excess liquidity which are flooding the market are major tailwinds, so if they reversed, it would be a shock. The whole set up reminds of us what occurred in Q4 2018.
Investors, take a deep breath, everything about the rate outlook has changed in the last 36 hours. For the first quarter of this year, investors thought we were on an inevitable course for rate cuts as the Fed appeared highly dovish. Then the last two days happened. First, Fed chief Powell delivered a much more hawkish speech than expected, saying that the factors that were holding inflation down were just “transitory”. Then, jobs data this morning blew everyone away with 263,000 jobs created in April.
FINSUM: We think these two factors are a big deal. It is very far from clear the Fed is going to cut (we think the risks are now skewed toward a hike). What makes this worrying is that a lot of the rally this year has been predicated on a dovish Fed.
Investors may be worried about a big fall in stock prices, but that is looking less likely than the opposite, at least according to BlackRock. The asset manager’s CEO, Larry Fink, said yesterday that records amount of cash may suddenly flow into the market, driving prices sharply higher. He points out that despite the good year in stocks so far, not a lot of money has been flowing into equities. Fink said dovishness by the Fed has created a shortage of” good assets”, which puts the market further at risk of a melt up.
FINSUM: A melt up could certainly happen, but we wonder what the catalyst would be. Maybe a solid trade deal with China?
Once you admit that this 2019 rally is almost purely predicated on the Fed dramatically turning around its position on rates and the economy late last year, you come to a realization: it could all end so quickly. The market is very vulnerable to the Fed’s actions right now, so the question becomes—will the central bank turn hawkish? The short answer is that it doesn’t look like the Fed will get hawkish any time soon. New language released in the latest notes look even more dovish than in December. The key buzzword is that the Fed is looking to be “patient” on rates and says it would need clear upward signs in the economy to hike any further.
FINSUM: The Fed has set up another goldilocks situation for markets. So long as data is okay but not too good, asset prices will be fine. If some data comes out poorly, the market knows the Fed can cut rates. Are we in for another big bull run?