Displaying items by tag: dow
Wall Street made a grim prognostication today. The street reminded investors that so far the losses in equities have been modest compared to prior routs. The S&P 500 is down (before today) 32% since its peak. That compares to 57% during the Financial Crisis, and 49% in the Dotcom bubble. Goldman Sachs says the S&P 500 will see a 41% fall from peak to trough, while Bank of America thinks it will be 47%.
FINSUM: It is easy to imagine a couple more weeks of double digit losses before peak case-load hits and markets start to calm down. In our opinion, the rise and eventual decline in US cases will be the switch that turns markets on.
Markets are off to their worst start in recent memory. With oil having plunged 30% earlier in the day, US markets opened to a very abrupt 7% decline. The sharp plunge triggered an automatic market halt of 15 minutes. At the time of writing, the Dow is down 6.37% and the S&P 500 is down 6.19%. US Bond yields plunged too, with the 10-year Treasury at one point having a 0.43% yield. Janus Henderson summarized the markets best, saying “In just over two weeks, investor sentiment has swung from complacency to panic … What started as a virus-driven de-risking has now mutated into a broad-based, multi-asset capitulation”.
FINSUM: It is looking ever more like global central banks are going to have to step in with coordinated stimulus. That said, a virus is a unique kind of panic that cannot be instantly resolved. A recession now appears more likely than not.
Storied research firm Bernstein Research has a recommendation for you, and it is a brave one—buy stocks. The firm says that on a tactical buying basis, it is time for investors to re-enter the market. Bernstein acknowledges that they have no idea when the coronavirus situation will clear up, but that given the general decline in indexes and that fact that sentiment has swung negative, it only makes sense to buy because the market has become too bearish.
FINSUM: We have to give Bernstein credit here for a bold call. Most analyst teams tend to hide or vacillate, but this is a strong call.
Stocks are in a very dark place right now. At the bottom last week, indexes had seen a 15% fall. What comes next is the big question. Have we seen bottom, or are we settling in for a long period of weakness? Analysts from BNY Mellon say you should not buy stocks until you see a certain signal. That signal is clarity on when the virus threat might be abating. “If you think it is essentially a short-term problem, a hit to growth, but then it is over by the summer, then you’re fine going into the market. But if you think it is worse than that, then you have to play that out”.
FINSUM: Here is our view—coronavirus is unlike the other threats indexes have seen since the Crisis. This is not something that can go away instantly (like rate fears), and not something in the Fed’s control. It is an ongoing threat that creates uncertainty. Because of this, worries could linger and stock prices could stay lower for some time.
It may not get much attention right now, but the biggest threat to stock prices is also the same thing that has been supporting them for years. If you really consider what has driven the extraordinary rise in stocks, it is the fact that bond yields have been so outrageously low since the Crisis. This has created the widely-covered “TINA” (there is no alternative) syndrome that has driven investors to pour capital into stocks. Accordingly, many analysts say the biggest risk to stocks is a pickup in inflation, which would likely send bond yields sharply higher.
FINSUM: This is a solid argument theoretically, but calling a rise in inflation has been a very poor bet for over a decade. Why is that different now?