Displaying items by tag: Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs has been one of the biggest bulls on the street so far in 2021. The bank is calling for 6.6% GDP growth and a strong year for the S&P 500. However, in the last week they have been backtracking a bit and pointing out some of the key risks to the economy and market. Whether or not investors like it, Goldman has a very clear risk risk—COVID variants. The bank says that if the new variants make the current vaccine ineffective, then all bets for the market are off. Based on the current science, that seems unlikely to happen. But nonetheless, there are intermediate risks, such as the new variants slowing down herd immunity or making consumers more fearful about going out/spending/the economy, both of which could have unforeseen negative consequences on the economy.
FINSUM: The new virus strains are a big risk. While the current vaccines don’t seem likely to be rendered useless, consumer fear of the new variants could slow down the recovery. Notably, Goldman says its baseline forecasts don’t include any of these eventualities.
Goldman Sachs has been leading Wall Street in its bullish outlook for 2021. The bank has been forecasting 6.6% GDP growth, a full 2.5% above the consensus forecast. However, the bank just published a note which represents the first backtrack on that call. The bank pointed out that the new strains of COVID could pose a risk to growth. In particular, they explained that if the current vaccines do not give a high degree of protection against the new COVID strains, then the spending boom which they forecasted this year might be delayed to 2022. In the bank’s own words, if the new strains require a new vaccine “Virus-sensitive spending would likely retrench while a new vaccine is developed, and although a new vaccine could be approved in less than five months, the consumption boom would likely be delayed until 2022”.
FINSUM: We are sure they made this admission with some frustration as GS has been quite bullish. That said, they did so because it is very realistic. It should be noted that most authorities say that the current vaccine should cover the new strains.
The market has been a bit choppy to start the year, including a loss over the last five days. See the full story here on our partner Magnifi's site.
The annual next-year forecast cycle for Wall Street’s investment banks is in and some of the findings are interesting. As usual, banks are fairly bullish. However, that was certainly not automatic this year given the huge tumult in markets in 2020. One particular forecast stood out—Goldman Sachs. The bank’s research team, led by David Kostin, has its official 2021 S&P 500 price target as 4,200, or just about 14% ahead of today. Interestingly, the bank also thinks gold is going to rise strongly, from the mid 1,800s today to 2,300. According to Kostin, “On absolute metrics like price/earnings...the market is very expensive relative to its history, in the 90th percentile or greater … But relative to interest rates, the stock market is somewhat attractively valued. Those are two different stories—absolute valuation versus relative valuation”.
FINSUM: As tough as it is to swallow on a historical basis, we think the interest-rates measured basis for current valuations makes a great deal of sense.
Goldman Sachs went on the record with a bold call last week. They told investors that despite all the fears in the market, a big correction WAS NOT coming. Alessio Rizzi and his team at Goldman say that many indicators are showing a bullish outlook, and that big losses don’t seem likely. According to Rizzi, “more moderate risky asset returns are likely from here, rather than an imminent risk of a sizable correction”. One indicator Goldman cited as very bullish was the ratio between puts and calls. Right now the market is deeply favoring calls, with the ratio nearing the limits of its normal distribution.
FINSUM: So bulls look at this and say “aha, I’m right, the market will rise”; and bears say “exactly as expected, this is a contrarian indicator”! In our opinion, on the whole, there is plenty to be optimistic about.