Displaying items by tag: bear market
Markets tumbled yesterday, and it appeared to happen mostly because of the resignation that a second wave of COVID-19 was forming across the US. In several recently reopened states the number of hospitalizations has been surging, leading investors to fear that more lockdowns—and their corresponding economic damage—could be on the way. Top epidemiologists have been warning of a second wave, and one leading doctor said he worries about states reopening before they have the virus truly under control. “My worry is that we end up in a kind of stuttering, endless loop”, says Dr. Schneider of The Commonwealth Fund.
FINSUM: The market was priced for perfection, and a big second wave didn’t fit that narrative. Hence the 6% fall yesterday. Going to be choppy for a while as the market’s bad news antenna is back up.
Investment bank research teams all over Wall Street have been sounding the alarm about how untether from reality markets seem to be. Many are warning investors of another big fall in stocks, and at the same time are telling corporate customers to tap markets for funding as much as they can before another fall. Now hedge funds are joining too, saying it is time to pull back. One manager said “The markets are priced to perfection … The stability in equity markets does not reflect the job losses and the insolvencies ahead of us globally”. Paul Singer of Elliott Management made a specific call, saying “our gut tells us that a 50 per cent or deeper decline from the February top might be the ultimate path of global stock markets”.
FINSUM: In principal a big fall seems warranted, but it is hard to fight the Fed.
In a recommendation that speaks volumes to clients about the bank’s position on the markets, Citi put out a note to corporate clients this week which instructs them to tap markets for as much funding as they can get right now because the market is totally unrealistic. According to the co-head of investment banking at Citi, “We definitely feel that the markets are way ahead of reality. We really are telling every client to tap the market if they can because we think the pricing now couldn’t get any better”. He continued, “Markets are pricing a V [shaped recovery], everyone’s coming back to work, and this is going to be fine … I don’t think it’s going to be that easy quite frankly”.
FINSUM:A V-shaped recovery is highly unlikely at this point. We think the Nasdaq being where it is isn’t illogical because of how many of its constituents benefit from COVID. But for everyone else, this level of optimism seems disconnected from reality.
Goldman Sachs put out a pretty serious statement today. The bank said the surprising and “unloved” rally since stocks bottomed in March will not continue. The bank thinks that the market has set very high expectations for the recovery, and that waters are currently troubled with China. Furthermore, the huge gains have largely been driven by 5 stocks, and their needs to be much broader-based price increases for the market to rise. This will be tricky because the other 495 stocks in the index are more economically-sensitive. “Broader participation in the rally will be needed for the aggregate S&P 500 index to climb meaningfully higher. The modest upside for the largest stocks means the remaining 495 constituents will need to rally to lift the aggregate index”, said the bank.
FINSUM: This makes complete and total sense and helps explain why the rally has slowed in recent weeks.
Morgan Stanley put out a very direct research report this week. In it, it tells investors which stocks they definitely should not buy. The bank selected 22 “Secularly Challenged Stocks” which it says no one should own right now. Here is a selection: Alcoa, AMC Networks, Abercrombie & Fitch, CenturyLink, Macerich, Cheesecake Factory, H&R Block, Michael’s, and Molson Coors Beverage.
FINSUM: A lot of names one would expect here, but some that are a bit of a surprise. We certainly would not want to own Macerich given the state of commercial retail real estate, but CenturyLink would not seem nearly so dangerous.