Displaying items by tag: recession
Generally speaking, when oil prices fall it is considered good for the economy as it unleashes excess consumer spending. This is what happened in the last big drop in 2014-2015. However, this time around, there are likely to be no winners from the drop. Because the huge fall in prices is coming at a time of significantly reduced economic demand because of the coronavirus, it is hard to imagine that much excess economic activity will be created to account for the drop in oil-related industries.
FINSUM: Supply and demand are tumbling simultaneously across the economy (not just in oil), so it does not seem this will be a net positive like it has been in the past.
The market is in a brutal position, everyone knows that. Peak losses hit 19% yesterday, just a hair off a bear market. The reality, though, is that some sectors are thoroughly in a bear market, including the biggest growth driver of them all—tech. The S&P info tech sector is down 20%, while Microsoft is down 20% and Apple 19%. Amazon and Facebook are both down 17%. IBM, Cisco, and older-guard tech companies are getting slaughtered down to the 25%+ range.
FINSUM: Some of these are smart to stay away from, but others could be good buying opportunities. For instance, social media companies are more exposed to consumer spending declines (and resultant advertising declines) that B2B tech companies offering cloud and other software infrastructure that is hard to cut from budgets.
Markets are on a brutal run. At their peak, they were off 15% last week, and the worst news is that it is likely not over. According to Citigroup, the market is still positioned to fall considerably. Despite the big losses, futures are positioned as a net long, which means there is plenty of room for the market to fall. “There is not capitulation yet, not at all”, says Citigroup. According to the bank’s quantitative analysis team, stocks would have to fall 23% for the long bets to be cleared out. “The futures market has got less long [or positive on] equities but it’s still not short and that’s the problem”.
FINSUM: This makes pretty good sense. Markets were very overbought before the fall, and with Bernie in the lead, there is little to calm investors right now.
Many have been wondering when junk bonds were going to start feeling pain. Despite the previous risk of recession, junk bonds did quite well over the last several months. However, since the big flare up over coronavirus, they have started to be seriously wounded. On Friday, junk bond spreads to Treasuries were at 366 bp—very low. As of yesterday, they were at 418 basis, a 50bp+ rise in two trading days, showing how much investors fear the economic impact of coronavirus.
FINSUM: We think these spreads are going to keep moving higher, even if stocks level out. Bond investors are a suspicious bunch and an economic slowdown would hit high yield companies harder than average.
Global and US stocks are teetering on the brink of a major correction right now. US indexes fell around 3.5% and fears over the spread of coronavirus and its impact on the economy continue to rattle the psyche of markets. One analyst summarized the deepening fears of the virus’ potential impact this way, saying “When countries are closing borders, the threat of an outbreak is becoming more pronounced in Europe and the Middle East and supply chains are just going to be more disrupted, how do we model risk when we can’t even model economics with any confidence?”.
FINSUM: There was an early morning bounce in Asian markets that fizzled. The news today is not any better than yesterday. It is easy to imagine the bottom temporary falling out of markets.