Displaying items by tag: stocks
Investors are wondering how we are going to escape this exhaustingly choppy market. Markets are fighting higher generally, but it seems like 2 steps forward, 1.9 steps back. So how we will we break out of this mode? The answer might be another $1 tn+ stimulus package from the government. Some are skeptical this will happen because many believe Demcorats in the House don’t want another package because it might help Trump’s chances. That seems to be short-sighted analysis, as Democrats need another package to help avoid layoffs in key states they want to win, which could jeopardize their odds. Republicans want more stimulus to aid in their various reelection bids.
FINSUM: Both sides want a package. The big issue seems to be the continuation and size of expanded unemployment aid. Rumor is a deal might come before July 31st.
Markets were up big yesterday. Most of the reason why seemed to be some great indications from an ongoing COVID vaccine study. Moderna seems to have reached a breakthrough in its COVID vaccine trials, and the promising results ensured a bigger study at the end of this month. All stocks that are considered COVID-sensitive, such as airlines and cruise lines, rose on the news. According to Invesco, “The way it’s looking at the moment, it really looks as though a vaccine is the only hope. This thing is not going away”.
FINSUM: That Invesco quote is sad, but appears entirely accurate. COVID does not seem to be fading whatsoever on its own, so a vaccine is the only thing that is going to return the world, including markets and the economy, to normal.
In what comes as a possibly worrying sign for the nascent economic recovery, California has announced that it is reversing its re-opening process. Note that this is not merely a “pause” to re-opening, but a reversal, with restaurants, bars, and cinemas closing. The renewed rules were probably the most sweeping and decisiveness action taken to re-lockdown a state. COVID cases have been surging across the Sunbelt, but so far California’s measures to contain the second wave are the most stringent. This has investors worried other states may follow suit.
FINSUM: Two thoughts here. The first is that California is a huge state and highly influential, which makes it more likely other states will follow suit. That said, it is a very liberal state, so larger conservative states (e.g. Texas and Florida) are less likely to follow California’s lead.
Where do you stand on airlines? Your opinion is worth about as much as the whole market’s—nobody is quite sure what to make of the future of air travel right now. Airlines had seen rising passenger numbers, but that has been tapering off as COVID cases have been rising again. Delta announced dreadful earnings yesterday, with revenue down 88% and net losses worth $4.33 per share. Thy also announced they were cutting their flight additions for August in half because of the rise in cases. The earnings come alongside a bleak announcement from United, which said “it's increasingly likely that travel demand will not return to normal until there is a widely available treatment or vaccine."
FINSUM: Have airline stocks come back too far? It looks there is likely to be at last another ugly 18 months as we await a vaccine.
The market is split over dividend stocks. On the one hand, about half the market thinks the huge wave of dividend cuts are over and that most of the damage has been done. One the other, many worry that not all the deleterious effects of COVID have manifested themselves on corporate behavior and that further cuts may still be in the works. The overall picture seems to be one where caution is due given the big jump in valuations and the continued possibility of further cuts. For instance, bank and credit card companies look likely to cut further as high unemployment leads to worsening credit quality and more delinquency. Wells Fargo just announced a dividend cut, for instance.
FINSUM: Our thinking here is to be careful. Even if the economy does not have another lockdown, the full effects of this recession may take a little time to fully show themselves in dividend cuts.