Displaying items by tag: yields
Usually big Wall Street banks are pretty moderate in their outlooks, and they are mostly bullish in general. Well, Bank of America Merrill Lynch didn’t hold back this week when they said the S&P 500 was at risk of a 16.5% tumble in the near term. The bank said that it expects the S&P 500 to fall 20 to 30 bp for every basis point increase in the ten-year Treasury. The bank thinks yields will rise 55 bp by the end the year, implying an up to 16.5% tumble in stocks. The bank says valuations are overstretched by almost every metric.
FINSUM: The bank did point out three sectors it felt were safer, which are energy, communications services, and health care.
The bond market is in an odd place right now. For the first part of the year, yields jumped on the threat of inflation. Then in the middle of Spring, those fears started to wane and yields started to fall. Other than a quick reversal of direction off a hot June inflation reading, that has been the trend all summer. However, the whole market looks very vulnerable to a change in sentiment. If inflation comes in warm again for July—especially coupled with some very good jobs numbers—the overall economic picture might move back to bullish, which could swing yields rapidly back in the direction they were headed in Q1.
FINSUM: Essentially this market could quickly realized it mispriced the direction of the economy, so there is a lot of risk for advisors and their clients. Nasdaq and Fidelity are having an interesting webinar on how to plan for this risk. Check it out here.
Munis have had a great year. Ever since Biden’s election, munis have surged in value because of two core assumptions. The first, and by far the biggest, is that taxes were likely to rise with Democrats in power. The second is that the Democrats would be more financially supportive of states and local governments. In the immortal words of Lee Corso, we’re here to say “not so fast!”. The assumption that taxes are going to rise looks weaker and weaker, and the same goes for the financial support for states.
FINSUM: The Democrats were not able to force through tax rises alongside this major infrastructure package, and their chances of getting any tax hikes through before the midterm elections looks poor.
You may not be paying much attention to it, but the last month has been very good for investment grade bonds. The reason why is that ratings agencies are in the midst of a massive wave of upgrades to companies that got downgraded at the start of COVID. This has sent demand for debt soaring as companies re-enter the investment grade market. For example, just in the week ending July 16th alone, the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) pulled in $1.1bn in inflows. According to a credit strategist at Citi, “It’s like something that I have not seen in my time [in the industry] … After the financial crisis we didn’t get major companies moving back to investment grade so quickly”.
FINSUM: This is the early innings of yet another corporate bond bull run. Only credit specialists have mostly paid attention to this point, but investment grade bonds seem a good choice given the credit rating tailwind.