Markets

(New York)

One of the safe bets during bouts of volatility since the Financial Crisis has been to pile into Treasury bonds anytime things got tough. Every time stocks dipped, the bonds tended to rally strongly and became a safe haven. However, since the recent downturn in equities, this correlation has ceased. Even amidst stock and oil’s plunges recently, Treasuries have basically remained flat, giving no comfort to investors.


FINSUM: The big difference this time around is that the volatility is coming during a period of rising rates, which means Treasury bonds are not as safe a bet as in the past several years.

(New York)

2019 is shaping up to be a rough year for markets. Growth is weakening, inflation may rise, and the tax cuts’ contributions to earnings and GDP are going to fade. With that in mind, the Wall Street Journal is arguing that gold is likely to be the “best house in a bad neighborhood” next year. One research analyst summarizes gold’s outlook like this, saying “Being long gold has been a tough investment since 2012, and so often, when we see the yellow metal gaining traction, the [U.S. dollar] regains its mojo, and we see the inevitable reversal … However, as we look into our crystal ball and gaze into 2019, emerging warning signs can be seen that suggest 2019 could be the year where gold bulls finally get their day in the sun”.


FINSUM: If asset classes all become correlated and are trending downward, there is a view to gold doing well. However, we are worried about inflation and rates rising, both of which would strengthen the Dollar, and in turn hurt gold.

(New York)

Everyone is watching the BBB bond market with a very close eye. The bottom fringe of the investment grade market, it saw an extraordinary jump in issuance over the last few years. Now, with rates rising, it looks very vulnerable. However, all that suspicion hasn’t amounted to much as investors have kept the area afloat. Ratings agencies and the IMF have both warned about the startling growth of BBB issuance, but so far, the sector is holding up.


FINSUM: Don’t be fooled. There is a massive amount of BBB debt and when a recession finally arrives alongside much higher rates, there seems bound to be a reckoning. That said, there are pockets of the market, like utilities credits, that seem like they will hold up better.

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