Displaying items by tag: utilities
A flattening yield curve is almost universally seen as bad news, and with good reason. A flattening curve is one of the most reliable recession indicators, with a yield curve inversion successfully portending the last six recessions. Now that we are close to an inversion, experts are weighing on how to play it. One thing to remember is that the peak in stocks tends to not come until several months after the inversion itself, so it is not an immediate divestment indicator. One analyst from Canaccord Genuity says to get overweight “financials, info tech and industrials with an intermediate-term time horizon”. Utilities and REITs are another area to look.
FINSUM: A flattening yield curve is going to be frightening to everyone, especially in the current environment, so our own view is that the peak in stocks may be much nearer to the inversion this time (or it might have already happened).
Markets have been very turbulent lately with no clear path forward. With that in mind, and given the stage of life (retirement) of many clients, a lot of advisors may be looking for some good yields to add to portfolios. Well, it might be good to take a look at utilities stocks. While the focus on investors has been on growth, utilities look good at the moment. Despite the fact that utilities generally lose ground when rates rise, and have lost 2.4% this year, well-run regulated utilities still look like a good buy. In particular, look for utilities that do not have massive amounts of capital tied up in a single asset, like a power plant. This means one should focus on utilities in the electricity transmission and distribution areas.
FINSUM: Beyond the yields, utilities would also seem to be quite good at defending against a downturn, as spending on them would be quite resilient in a recession.
With clients aging, valuations high, and rates uncertain, many may be looking for some good income stocks. Look now further than utilities, says Barron’s. In particular, the Reaves Utility Income Fund, which conceives utilities more broadly and includes telecom and interstate gas properties. The overall view for utilities is strong as they are relatively stable during periods of changing rates. Right now they average yields in the mid 3% range and they seem to be able to deliver growth of 5-7% per year. Valuations also look reasonable.
FINSUM: Barron’s paints a rosy picture of the utilities sector, but if rates head head north it could be a tough time. That said, we think rates and yields are going to stay reasonably stable, so these might be a good buy.
So the stock market is just about back where it was a month and a half ago at the bottom of its correction. This time the flare up has been driven by worries over a looming trade war being set off by the US and China. However, this recent rise in volatility has given insight into which stocks appear to be winners if a trade war does ensue. The answer is stocks that act like bonds, or yield stocks (alongside Treasuries and gold, the old safe haven standbys). Utilities and REITs have performed well, as have tobacco stocks, given that all three have strong yields to offer.
FINSUM: It is funny that just a few weeks ago everyone was worried about a bond bear market, and now everyone is pouring into fixed income and yield stocks.