Calm and collected asset manager Vanguard has just made an eye-opening call about 2020. The firm’s chief economist and investment strategy chief, Joseph Davis, says there is a 50-50 chance of a correction in 2020. The market hasn’t seen a correction since December 2018, when it dropped to within a hair of a bear market. Davis says he usually sees about a 30% chance for a correction in any given year. Vanguard says that while investors were too pessimistic about recession chances this year, next year they’ll be too optimistic about re-inflation.
FINSUM: Seems a reasonable call, if rather safe.
Standard Life analyst Andrew Milligan made two great calls this time last year. He picked Microsoft and Equinix as two breakthrough stocks for 2019. They rose 55% and 64% respectively so far this year. Now he has his 2020 picks ready. Milligan says to take a look at Visa, Mastercard, and 5G companies like Marvell technology. He also still likes Microsoft, for what that is worth.
FINSUM: We like the call on 5G. The new tech has sort of been in the background of mainstream investing consciousness, but next year could be when it explodes to the forefront.
The media is currently doing its level best to scare junk bond investors. There have been many analyst and media warnings lately about the pending fall of high yield bonds (some of which we have featured). Most argue that in an economic downturn, BBB bonds will suffer. Others says there has been no rise in underlying performance to justify the rise in prices. Others have focused on CCCs and their movements. Initially the worry was that CCCs had not rallied like the rest of the market, which was taken as a sign of deteriorating credit conditions. Now the media is warning (see Barron’s) that since they have rallied, it is again a warning sign.
FINSUM: Everything is a warning sign! Our own feeling is that we are generally moving toward a more risk-on environment and the trend for high yield is improving as the economic outlook does.
One of the biggest ratings agencies on Wall Street has just put out a stern warning on the junk bond market. Moody’s says that high yield debt may fall “significantly” after a big rally this year. In a quote that captures the general disbelief that has accompanied the junk bond rally this year, Moody’s economist John Lonski says ““High-yield bonds have rallied mightily despite the lack of any observable broad-based acceleration of either business sales or corporate earnings”. Moody’s thinks that if performance of the underlying companies in the space does not improve, then there will be a reckoning, saying ““If the anticipated improvement in the fundamentals governing corporate credit quality do not materialise, a significant widening of high-yield bond spreads is likely”.
FINSUM: Irrational exuberance?
The Dow gets a lot of intention in the media, but in the investing world it is relatively rare to see Dow-tracking products compared to those linked to the S&P 500. This has led to a general perception of the Dow being old-fashioned and not particularly suitable for investment because of its odd weighting system. But not so fast (!), over the last five years the Dow has actually outperformed the S&P, and in the last ten it barely trails.
FINSUM: This is quite an interesting finding considering how the Dow is generally treated. If you want to play the Dow, check out the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust.