Eq: Total Market
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.
MSCI Inc. has come out firing against the hedge funds' strategy in dealing with ESG. Many prominent hedge funds, like AQR, have not only invested in ESG but are shorting poor ESG scoring companies in an attempt to raise the cost of capital. MSCI VP of ESG, Rumi Mahmood, says this is not an effective ESG strategy because it decreases transparency and doesn’t align corporate and investor interests. On top of that, he believes shorting poor ESG metrics won’t affect the cost of capital for these companies. MSCI finds that engagement over time is the alternative and better pathway to influence a company's behavior.
Finsum: There is not enough evidence out there as to the effect of short selling on capital formation, however, companies shorting traditional energy have taken a bath.
Goldman raised the odds of a recession to over one-third in the next two years. The tightening cycle and rate hikes are causing waves in markets and the Fed could bump the Federal Funds Rate eight times this year. Overall economic health in the G10 helps mitigate the possibility of a recession, but it's still a possibility. Experts are saying that the Fed has a narrow path for a soft landing if they want inflation to come down to 2% and keep unemployment from rising. There are signs that the economy is beginning to weaken as consumer confidence is wavering. Still, the stock market doesn’t seem to pricing in a recession, however, the experts on Wallstreet and financial services are beginning to prepare.
Finsum: Look to the yield curve for recession predictions its the best sign and its beginning to warn investors.
According to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co commodities could hit record territory and climb as high as 40% in the upcoming months. Investors tilting their portfolios into commodities are doing so in response to rampant inflation. Commodities might be at relative highs but there is lot of reason these prices could further elevate. Russia’s invasion pushed commodities prices higher as grains, metals, and fossil fuels were all affected. Goldman Sachs has also pushed raw materials as an inflation hedge.
Finsum: The trickle-down effect of oil prices alone could further boost commodities in the coming months.
Former President of the NY Federal Reserve, the most powerful branch in the system, said that the Fed is going to have to inflict losses on bond and equity investors if it wants to manage inflation. Dudley who served for almost a decade at the Fed, said they are also navigating other issues like labor market tightness and supply-chain disruptions which will make it difficult to navigate. This view however stands in stark contrast to the ‘Fed put’ where investors rely on the Fed to not tighten monetary policy too quickly in order to maintain stable equity prices.
Finsum: Higher rate hikes are definitely a possibility, and even dovish Presidents are looking like hawks.
Acquisitions and launches are running hot in direct indexing and in an attempt to match rival Fidelity, Charles Schwab announced the launch of their new direct indexing products. The funds will be available starting on April 30th, but unlike Fidelity’s ultra-low initial investment of $5k, Schwab will require a $100,000 minimum. They want their direct index investors to have a better conceptualization of the market and think the minimum will attract this. The launch comes fresh off of tax season and will hopefully drive interest as tax is an advantage of DI. Schwab will concentrate on the tax advantages of their custom offerings as opposed to ESG or other flavors popular with these funds.
Finsum: The timing of this launch could put investors over the hump when it comes to taking advantage of tax-loss harvesting with their DI products.