Displaying items by tag: Morgan Stanley
It is a great time to be an investment bank. That fact became very clear last week when Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley earnings destroyed those of more traditional lenders like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Goldman, for instance, may be a great buy. It has much less main street lending exposure than regular banks, and has booming underwriting and trading businesses that are benefitting from low rates and market volatility. Some nice summary comments from an analyst at JMP Securities, saying “Goldman had a phenomenal quarter that allowed the firm to pad its legal reserves and conservatively position itself on loan losses … The bigger story is where the firm is going … Goldman is the biggest transformation story in finance, and the pandemic hasn’t derailed that”.
FINSUM: Firstly, these earnings came with all their employees working from home. So a 50% outperformance versus expectations with home-based traders. To us that is a sign of excellent management. More generally, their business mix—with a majority of institutional and growing, but not huge, consumer-facing revenue lines—seems ideal for the current environment. The stock is also priced below book value.
The long sought V-shaped recovery has been like a white elephant for investors. It has been hoped for since March when the economy started to shrink, but in the last couple months, most let go of the hope as the depth of the downturn became clear. However, given recent economic data, there are growing odds that the economy might vault out of its recession like a rocket ship. Morgan Stanley says it won’t be long until investors completely buy into that narrative. MS thinks in the next six months investors will go from “doubting to believing” in the v-shaped recovery, and that by the end of the year risk assets will be in a “mid-stage bull market mind-set”.
FINSUM: This is highly speculative, but it is a clear un-muddled position. We suspect the recovery is going to be slower than v-shaped, so our expectations are not nearly so bullish.
Morgan Stanley made a bold call this week. Their research team has officially adopted what seems like a fairly risky position on the economic recovery: they are saying it will be of the much sought after v-shape. The bank has been calling for a short and sharp recession for some time, but this is the most optimistic outlook they have published. According to Morgan Stanley’s chief economist, “Recent upside surprises in the incoming growth data and policy action have increased our confidence that this will be a deep V-shaped recession”.
FINSUM: We still don’t think this is going to be a v-shaped recovery. More like a U-shape or more likely a Nike swoosh shape. The depth of firings combined with the probable corresponding slow pace of consumer spending will hold back the pace of the recovery.
If you are upset about the market’s mini-correction last week, don’t worry, it is going to fall more, says Morgan Stanley. In what comes across as almost an insult to regular investors, Morgan Stanley’s research team says stocks may fall another 7% from opening levels today, but that such a fall was “healthy”. On the whole, Morgan Stanley’s position was positive, saying “We maintain our positive view for U.S. equity markets because it’s early in a new economic cycle and bull market. Last week’s correction was overdue and likely has another 5-7% downside. It’s healthy and we are buyers into weakness with a small/mid-cap and cyclical tilt”.
FINSUM: We have definitely entered a new economic cycle, and with it, perhaps a new market cycle. However, the pace with which stocks came back makes one worry the market cycle has not actually reset itself.
Morgan Stanley put out a very direct research report this week. In it, it tells investors which stocks they definitely should not buy. The bank selected 22 “Secularly Challenged Stocks” which it says no one should own right now. Here is a selection: Alcoa, AMC Networks, Abercrombie & Fitch, CenturyLink, Macerich, Cheesecake Factory, H&R Block, Michael’s, and Molson Coors Beverage.
FINSUM: A lot of names one would expect here, but some that are a bit of a surprise. We certainly would not want to own Macerich given the state of commercial retail real estate, but CenturyLink would not seem nearly so dangerous.