Displaying items by tag: small caps
Pimco has just gone on the record warning that indicators of a recession are flashing worrying signs. Based on trends in the economy and markets, including inflation, Pimco says it is time for investors to adjust their portfolios. In order to play the looming recession, Pimco suggested five trades. These include: short-term corporate bonds, a basket of EM currencies (Finsum comment: ??), gold, large cap stocks over small, and alternative investments.
FINSUM: Wow, most of these are deeply contrarian (i.e. EM currencies, gold, and large caps). All three of those picks have major headwinds against them. The case against EM currencies is clear but why pick gold when rates are rising, the Dollar is strengthening, and investors have shown zero appetite despite all the volatility?
Small caps have been having a great run this year. Ever since Trump was elected with his America-first mantra, small caps have done well, but the trade war has pushed them ahead of their large cap peers his year. So how to find the undervalued small caps with a bright future, ones that are valuable but currently misunderstood? A team at William Blair tries to do just that. Their picks are: Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Codexis (oil industry), Varonis Systems (security software), and Boot Barn Holdings (western clothing retailer).
FINSUM: All of these names have a unique story and catalyst which should help them become much more valuable.
Just a day after Citi and Goldman Sachs warned of a market correction, Morgan Stanley has gone on the record with an even more stark warning. The bank says that an even stronger correction than February is looming and that the selloff is is imminent and has “just begun”. MS says that we are in the midst of a “rolling bear market”, and that almost every sector has been de-rated. Investors are unprepared for the big losses in tech, and the market has little to look forward to. Morgan Stanley says the drop will be bigger than earlier this year “if it’s centered on Tech, Consumer Discretionary, and small caps, as we expect”.
FINSUM: This is an even more stern warning than what we ran yesterday, and more specific too. Tech is already having a meltdown, but what really caught our eye was the threat to small caps, which have been on a great run.
Investors really focused on small caps may have noticed, but others wouldn’t have. There is an odd quirk occurring in the Russell 2000 this year. A third of the index doesn’t have any profits, yet those companies are rallying 50% faster than the rest of the index. Money losing small cap stocks are up 14.5% this year versus 9.2% in profitable ones. The big question is why. Bloomberg offers no clear answers, but does say that ultra low rates have historically boosted the proportion of money losing companies.
FINSUM: Passive investing is surely helping, as all these money losing firms are still seeing their shares bought purely because of index replication. A Russell 2000 minus money losers ETF would be interesting.
A lot of investors may be asking themselves whether stocks will be directly impacted by a trade war. In the last several trading days, the market seems to have shrugged off the increasing trade tensions. However, JP Morgan is warning that the burgeoning trade war may wreak havoc on the market. The rising tariffs now occurring globally follow 50 years of increasing free trade, so there is little modern precedent for what is occurring.
FINSUM: In our view, the market does not have a good feel for pricing the risk of a trade war because it has been so long since investors have seen anything like it. Beware.