Equities

(New York)

A lot of investors may be asking themselves whether stocks will be directly impacted by a trade war. In the last several trading days, the market seems to have shrugged off the increasing trade tensions. However, JP Morgan is warning that the burgeoning trade war may wreak havoc on the market. The rising tariffs now occurring globally follow 50 years of increasing free trade, so there is little modern precedent for what is occurring.


FINSUM: In our view, the market does not have a good feel for pricing the risk of a trade war because it has been so long since investors have seen anything like it. Beware.

(New York)

Investors look out, it is time to go on the defensive, at least according to JP Morgan. The top strategist at JPMorgan Asset & Wealth Management, Michael Cembalest, has just told investors that the growing trade war and its threat to markets and the economy means investors need to be very worried. Cembalest points out that this will be the first sustained rise in tariffs across the global economy in 50 years and it is a profound shift away from decades of historical precedent. If the US proceeds with a further $200 bn tariff package on top of its $34 bn package, then markets could be in for a wild ride, says JP Morgan. They advise to focus on consumer staples and tech stocks.


FINSUM: This is a pretty stark warning from JP Morgan and it does make sense. Because there is little recent precedent for trade war, the market may not be accurately pricing the threat it poses.

(New York)

One of the market’s big worries over the last few years has been centered around the idea that ETFs may have some sort of implosion the next time there is a Crisis, or at least some major volatility. However, S&P has just come out with a report saying that won’t be the case. The piece cites the numerous instances of when major volatility hit markets, including this past February, and ETFs held up just fine. That said, ETFs do have the potential to be distortive, and they have been implicated in some major flare ups, such as that linked to the CBOE Volatility Index this winter. S&P concluded that “There’s not much cause for concern for systemic risk … But we have been able to quantify that there’s some minimal impact”.


FINSUM: Our feeling is that equity ETFs should be fine. However, for less liquid fixed income and other low liquidity areas, ETFs could theoretically have a “liquidity mismatch” which might cause some issues.

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