Eq: Total Market

(New York)

The market seems to be in a tussle with itself. On the one hand, some investors are feeling bullish on the economic outlook, while many others feel the recovery is losing momentum. The data isn’t helping because it seems to validate both sides. For instance, jobs recovery numbers have been strong (disappointing somewhat today though) and the overall dip in output is not as bad as many expected. Metals prices, like silver and copper, have been rising, a leading indicator of growing economic activity. However, consumers seem to be hurting with real income dropping tangibly because of the end of government stimulus checks.


FINSUM: It increasingly seems like a k-shaped recovery is taking hold on the sector level. Certain areas of business are doing very well, while others like airlines, retail and more are doing poorly. This appears to mirror what is happening in consumer spending, where the upper middle and wealthy are surviving fine, but the middle and lower classes are getting hurt badly.

(New York)

Goldman Sachs is stressed about the election. In particular, they are concerned about what a contested outcome could mean for stock prices. Because of that, they think the debates which started this week have the potential to be an “important catalyst for investors to assess risks”. The debates have the possibility of swinging the election strongly one way or the other, which means they can be tipping points for investors. “One way to lower the odds of a contested outcome (that brings noise and volatility) is via a large margin of victory that cannot be undermined”. That said, according to the bank’s strategists, even a big win could have risks: “Although undoubtedly under the clean-sweep scenario there is the negative implications for risk assets to be considered, stemming from a Democratic legislative agenda including higher corporate taxes and increased capital-gains taxes”.


FINSUM: Goldman is making it abundantly clear that they think most paths for the market lead lower—likely until the end of the year. With Trump now having COVID, that makes uncertainty even higher.

(New York)

Now that many signs are pointing to an improving US economy, some investors think it is time to shift out of growth stocks and into more cyclical sectors. That said, cyclicals—which rely on consumer spending improvements—are going to be a hard place to invest because of the highly variable recovery path for different sectors created by COVID. With that in mind here are a few places to look: transportation (excluding airlines), such as the iShares Transportation ETF (IYT); or infrastructure, like the Global X Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE); ecommerce and home entertainment, such as the Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY); or housing, either through single names like Home Depot and Lowe’s, or a broader homebuilders ETF like the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB).


FINSUM: We find homebuilding to be a very interesting opportunity. One of the reasons that the real estate market has held up is that homebuyers are typically those higher on the socio-economic ladder, whose incomes are much less likely to have taken a hit from the pandemic. Therefore, the growth trajectory for that whole sector looks strong.

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