Displaying items by tag: bear market
While the stock market had a little blip because of coronavirus, prices are already back to all-time highs. That might be very misguided. The market appears to be discounting the huge effects coronavirus is having on the Chinese economy, which has completely ground to a halt according to some reports. Investors have been complacent about the risk because when SARS happened in 2003, there was a strong v-shaped recovery. However, at that point the Chinese economy was growing at 11%, not at the barely 6% it is today. The global economy itself is only a few tenths of a percentage point off what most would consider a downturn, so things are fragile to begin with. Speaking about the market’s bullish outlook, Stephen Roach, former chief economist and chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia says “This is a market where if you declared it was World War III, they would rally on reconstruction. It’s pretty ludicrous the optimism that is built in”.
FINSUM: If that quote does not hit the nail on the head, we don’t know what does.
Stocks are roughly flat on the year, and there is a growing body of evidence that we may have finally come to the end of this economic and market cycle. Commercial construction is slowing, car sales have peaked, and banks are tightening lending standards even as demand is falling—all signs of an economy headed downward. According to Mike Larsson of Weiss Ratings “It is the type of stuff you see at the end of credit and economic cycles … I am concerned about the durability of this market and economic expansion”.
FINSUM: Only time will tell if the economy slows down. If so, markets will probably follow suit. Q4 GDP numbers were not nearly as good as they looked, as without trade war related boosts, growth would have only been 0.6%.
With the big fall on Friday, a new and important reality has hit the stock market—indexes are actually down on the year. This is eye-opening because stocks came into the year with huge momentum from 2019’s big gains. However, between earnings and the Wuhan virus, stocks have taken a big hit. Adding to these fears is the fact that China just had a disastrous 8% loss today and there are escalating worries over how this virus might impact global growth.
FINSUM: Our own view is that the damage this virus has done to stocks is transitory and buy-the-dip might still be the best strategy.
New polls are out and Sanders is at least tied with Biden. He has been reported as ahead recently, but a flurry of recent polls have all confirmed that he is at least tied. This could be a major issue for the stock market, as Wall Street is wary of Bernie. While they revile Warren, they understand her thinking and respect her regulatory acumen. Bernie is seen as a wildcard. It makes sense then that for each 10-point rise Sanders has seen in the polls, the S&P 500 has dropped 1% based on a rolling two-week relationship, according to UBS.
FINSUM: We would have to agree with this assessment. If Sanders wins the bid, the market will probably have a little blip, and then any polls that show Sanders ahead of Trump would be very worrying for markets.
The market had gone an incredible 70 days without a closing gain or loss of more than 1%. It was one of the longest streaks in history, but it all came crashing down this week as the Dow fell 1.6% and the Nasdaq fell 1.9%. The big question is what happens next. Generally speaking, it does not matter if a long streak of placidity is broken by a positive or negative move—stocks tend to keep doing well either way. Of the 12 times such a streak has happened, in 9 of the them gains were positive over the following year, with an average increase of 9.6% on a total return basis.
FINSUM: This is good historical context, but it is important to remember that none of those occurrences have anything to do with today’s market environment. That said, we remain bullish.