Displaying items by tag: stimulus
Investors are increasingly betting on a blue wave. More interestingly, the market’s calculus for what that blue wave to could mean to stock prices and the economy is changing. For much of this election cycle, a sweep by the Democrats was seen as a negative for the economy versus the status quo. However, in recent weeks investors have been shifting the other way—seeing a blue wave as a win for the economy. The reason why has to do with infrastructure spending and bigger and longer-term stimulus packages. While the possibility for this has been hurting Treasury prices because of the likely increased debt load, it also means that both infrastructure stocks and small caps seem poised to gain as we approach the election and well after it.
FINSUM: Small caps have just recently started to outperform their large cap cousins, a sign of the shift in perspective. Infrastructure stocks seem a good bet because no matter who wins the election there will probably be some deal on that front.
There has been a big change of opinion for investors over the last two weeks or so. For almost all of this year, a Biden victory, and especially a blue sweep were seen as potential negatives for the economy vis-à-vis a Trump reelection. Any gains in the polls for Democrats was seen as a negative for the economic outlook, particularly because of the chance for higher taxes. However, the rising odds for a blue sweep have managed to assuage an even bigger fear for investors—a contested election that could drag on for months. Accordingly, gains in the polls for Democrats have seen rising markets. Goldman Sachs feels strongly enough to say this: “All else equal, a blue wave would likely prompt us to upgrade our [US economic growth] forecasts”.
FINSUM: We think there are two specific reasons perceptions have changed. Firstly, the decreased chances for a contested election (very arguable if that is actually true); and secondly, the odds for bigger stimulus and infrastructure packages, which would be positive for the economy.
A lot of investors are hoping a new government stimulus package will be a shot in the arm for markets. However, the reality might be something much more disappointing. While a deal would be a nice benefit for the economy, the weight of an autumn case surge and a highly volatile election are heavy on the shoulders of markets. According to one market strategist at Miller Tabak, “We believe an agreement on a new fiscal plan is likely, but we’re not so sure it will help the stock market rally in a sustainable way. The market is still quite overvalued and the combination of the weakening employment picture plus a second wave of the virus does not bode well for any improvement for the ‘E’ part [earnings] of the P/E ratio going forward”.
FINSUM: The stimulus deal will likely be good for a 0.50% move in indexes, but with little continued benefits. It just doesn’t seem enough to re-spark the bull market given everything else going on.
Republicans are supposed to debut their new stimulus package today—after a long wait that neither side was happy about—but the details are still unclear. Some prominent party members hinted at details of the proposal on CNN yesterday. So far, it looks like enhanced unemployment benefits will be continued, but at a lower amount, an eviction moratorium would be extended, and direct $1,200 payments may continue for a subset of Americans. Republicans say they want to negotiate a stop-gap deal while a larger package is hashed out. House speaker Pelosi wants the full package negotiated now.
FINSUM: Given the length of time it may take to hash out a complete new deal, millions of Americans would probably be happy if a basic short-term package was agreed ASAP.
Investors are wondering how we are going to escape this exhaustingly choppy market. Markets are fighting higher generally, but it seems like 2 steps forward, 1.9 steps back. So how we will we break out of this mode? The answer might be another $1 tn+ stimulus package from the government. Some are skeptical this will happen because many believe Demcorats in the House don’t want another package because it might help Trump’s chances. That seems to be short-sighted analysis, as Democrats need another package to help avoid layoffs in key states they want to win, which could jeopardize their odds. Republicans want more stimulus to aid in their various reelection bids.
FINSUM: Both sides want a package. The big issue seems to be the continuation and size of expanded unemployment aid. Rumor is a deal might come before July 31st.