Eq: Total Market

(New York)

Everyone is trying to figure out how to protect their own and clients’ portfolios from a trade war. “Which sectors will be the hardest hit”, “and by how much” are common questions. Well, a small Virginia based ETF provider has just come to the market with a new fund that is designed to protect investors from that very issue. The new ETF, TWAR, is designed to track 120 companies who are likely to outperform the market during a trade war because of “government patronage”, or special contracts or subsidies which insulate them.

FINSUM: There is some skepticism in the market about this approach, but it does stand to reason that companies who are less exposed to global trade will suffer less than the market.

(New York)

The big bull market of the last decade is now coming to an end, according to Morgan Stanley. The bank says that the US market cycle has moved into a “downturn” phase for the first time since 2007. The bank says the change in its cyclical indicator adds to “a litany of downside risks we see for the markets”. The bank says the change of phase typically means a bear market is coming. The call on markets came in a report delivered to MS clients on Sunday and follows May’s big 6%+ drop in stocks.

FINSUM: In our view, it is a particularly hard time to make a call on markets. Things do seem to be worsening in the data, but most of the negativity is colored by the trade war, which could conceivably end abruptly. That hint of positivity aside, it seems best to be positioned defensively.

(New York)

The chances of a war breaking out with Iran are not minute. They are probably not high, but significant enough that it is worth having a plan. It may be unseemly to think about asset prices during armed conflict, but just because a war has broken out does mean one’s duty to protect clients ends. The key thing to remember is not to panic. Selling into a panic is a bad idea, and historically speaking, the market tends to be higher six months later anyway. Generally speaking, that is the trend in past armed conflicts. There is an initial fall in stocks, only to be followed by a subsequent rise over the next six months to above the starting level.

FINSUM: We do not think a war with Iran will happen. This seems more like simple political wrangling.

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