Advisors and their clients love dividend stocks. They have some of the stability and income of bonds, but also all of the capital appreciation characteristics of equities. However, advisors may want to stop buying them, argues Barron’s. The reason why is that most of the big fall in bond yields is likely priced in, which means likely all of the gains for dividend stocks have already been made and there is likely little appreciation left. Accordingly, the path of least resistance is probably down.
FINSUM: The big fall in bond yields was bullish for dividend stocks as they get comparatively more attractive as yields fall. However, if the fall in yields stalls, it is hard to imagine dividend stocks could go anywhere but downward.
A big bank has just come out very bullish on gold. BNP Paribas says gold is going to shoot to over $1,600 per ounce in the medium-term as the Fed embarks on four 25 bp interest rate cuts between now and June 2020. According to BNP Paribas, as headline yields fall with each cut “real rates will move and stay in negative territory, raising the appeal of holding gold”. The ongoing, and seemingly endless trade war, will also be bullish to gold.
FINSUM: This argument makes perfect sense to us, though it is highly contingent upon the Fed cutting and the trade war continuing. In our view, both of these are likely, so this appears like a good buy.
Walmart did something a lot of conservatives may not like this week—they announced that they would stop selling ammunition for assault weapons. Despite the political turbulence it may cause for the company, it could have a bullish effect on the stock in the long run. The reason why might not be obvious at first glance, but immediately becomes so once you hear it—the ban on assault weapons ammunition will give the company a higher ESG score, which means it may be included in more funds by default, and thus see increased buying.
FINSUM: Whatever your politics on this move, from an investment perspective this could be bullish.
Anyone who has been following the DOL/SEC-fiduciary rule/best interest saga is probably sick of the word “harmonization”. The term is a catch-all for the idea that the two agencies will synchronize their rule-making so there won’t be any grey area or uncertainty for advisors. We doubt that will happen (or even can, given the law of unintended consequences). Yet, a top industry law firm has just weighed on the specific points where harmonization may happen. The first big area to consider is rollovers, as both agencies have in the past claimed it as their own territory. That will likely be an area where harmonization is necessary because of previous guidance issued by both. Electronic disclosures will be another priority area. Additionally, the rules governing defined benefit versus defined contribution plans will also need to be harmonized.
FINSUM: We are slightly doubtful their will be some great harmonization between the DOL and the SEC. So, expect some uncertainty, grey areas, and more business for lawyers.
So one thing is very obvious about Trump’s tweets—they can move markets. However, what is less well-known is that their frequency also has an effect on indexes. So how do markets fare on days when Trump is hammering out tweet after tweet versus days when he only pens a few? The answer is that more is worse. On days where Trump write 35 tweets or more there is a 9 basis point drag on markets versus days where he tweets 5 times or less, where there is a 5 basis point tailwind.
FINSUM: There is not much one can do with this info, but it is an interesting data point. How long before a new “smart beta” product comes out focused on this? Haha.