Displaying items by tag: bear market
It may seem overly bearish right now, but put this one in the “take note” category. A hedge fund manager on Bloomberg yesterday argued that the market looks set for a bear market downturn very similar to last year. According to the manager, a mix of liquidity constraints, insufficient Fed support, and large geopolitical issues, could all combine to drive prices down 20% or more in benchmark indices. The most interesting part of this argument is that he contends the pressures will create this downturn in the next few weeks.
FINSUM: Last year’s bear market was principally about investors worrying the Fed would hike the market into a recession. That is a completely different backdrop from right now. We don’t discount the chances for a downturn, but this logic does not seem sound to us.
Wall Street research teams have been pretty split in their market outlooks recently. While the general mood is always bullish in equity research, an inordinate number of banks have been pessimistic lately. Do not count Morgan Stanley in that group, as they have just come out with what cannot be considered anything other than a bullish note given the current environment. The bank says there is only an 11.4% chance of a recession in the next year. Morgan Stanley also pointed out that each asset class has its own positioning right now, saying “Rates are generally pricing in a higher risk of recession than equities, giving equities greater relative downside should a recession emerge and bonds greater relative downside should economic growth begin to trough/reaccelerate”.
FINSUM: As Morgan Stanley also added in this piece, the real time to worry is if companies start cutting jobs to maintain margins. Once that happens, consumer spending and sentiment will fall rapidly.
The world’s biggest family offices are feeling very bearish. A new study by UBS found that over half of them are expecting a recession and over 40% of them are increasing their cash reserves. 45% are taking steps to mitigate risk. Family offices have struggled in the last year, averaging only a ~5% return; much lower than the 9-13% returns they typically target.
FINSUM: Normally speaking we might think this is a good counter-indicator, but family offices represent so much AUM that they could have a real impact on the market.
While a lot of sentiment is starting to look more positive, Deutsche Bank has just come out with the exact opposite opinion. The bank has gone on the record warning that a recession will arrive very shortly, and that stock prices should be at least 13% lower than they are. The bank’s chief global strategist said, “We are cautious on stocks. We would argue you want to be defensively positioned [and] we would argue that the U.S. equity market has run way, way ahead of growth”. He continued “Every time payrolls growth has gone below 1%, the U.S. has ended up in recession. We would argue the U.S. economy is dangerously close to...tipping into recession”. US jobs growth is currently at 1.3% and slowing.
FINSUM: This is a really bearish outlook from an investment bank, which tend to trend towards over-bullishness. We question the valuation argument, but this is certainly a view worth noting.
Most of this summer was dominated by the dual fears of a trade war and a recession. A weakening of underlying economic data backed up the view that we may be headed for a recession, and the long yield curve inversion only heightened those fears. However, new economic data is providing a pretty strong rebuttal to those ideas. The last four economic releases, including home sales, jobless claims and beyond, have all come back more strongly than forecast.
FINSUM: The economy never looked that bad, as it was mostly the yield curve and trade war that pushed fears of a downturn. Accordingly, we don’t think these recent data releases will have much of an effect one way or the other.