Goldman Sachs put out a bearish article today that is calling for the tail end of this bull market. The bank thinks the rest of this year is going to be a dud and that PE multiples will not rise above 17. Therefore, they are suggesting a group of stocks that can thrive in such an environment. Here is a selection of 10 of their 20 choices: Texas Instruments, VeriSign, Gilead Sciences, Abbvie, Amgen, Starbucks, Lam Research, AT&T, Foot Locker, HanesBrands.
FINSUM: Appears like there are a lot of defensive stocks in this basket, which seems like a good plan for a sideways or bearish market.
Investors may be worried about a big fall in stock prices, but that is looking less likely than the opposite, at least according to BlackRock. The asset manager’s CEO, Larry Fink, said yesterday that records amount of cash may suddenly flow into the market, driving prices sharply higher. He points out that despite the good year in stocks so far, not a lot of money has been flowing into equities. Fink said dovishness by the Fed has created a shortage of” good assets”, which puts the market further at risk of a melt up.
FINSUM: A melt up could certainly happen, but we wonder what the catalyst would be. Maybe a solid trade deal with China?
Something very worrying happened yesterday if you are an investor in bank stocks. Bank of America released what were widely considered to be stellar earnings, yet the stock fell. We don’t just mean stellar in the “oh, they beat estimates” sense, but that the company looks healthy even as some other banks (e.g. Goldman Sachs) look weak. However, the stock fell because the bank indicated that its cost pressures were rising, and coupled with the fact that yields are now lower, means the bank will have higher expenses and lower interest income, putting a squeeze on margins.
FINSUM: This does not seem to be unique to B of A, as the whole industry has the same interest margin and cost pressures.
Asset manager Guggenheim just put out a big call. The money manager’s strategists think that the economy is headed for a recession and markets are headed for huge declines. Their call is more interesting than the usual prognostications though. They point out that while this recession looks likely to be shallow because of a lack of underlying issues in the economy, the losses the market will suffer are likely to be severe. Scott Minerd of Guggenheim points out that “Our work shows that when recessions hit, the severity of the downturn has a relatively minor impact on the magnitude of the associated bear market in stocks”. Instead, it is the loftiness of valuations prior to the downturn that has a greater impact on how markets behave during a recession.
FINSUM: This argument makes total sense to us—there is no big fundamental problem with the economy, so a shallow recession, but equity prices are hefty right now, which means big losses.
We bet that when you read that headline you thought we were using garbage in a metaphoric sense. We weren’t. We are actually taking about waste management stocks, which the market has been ignoring lately. The two biggest US waste haulers, Waste Management and Republic Services, are down almost 4% this month, way behind the market. Analysts have been souring on the stocks too. However, that is odd considering they have been performing well. Perhaps most interestingly, they have a strong long-term catalyst, which is the growth in the recycling business.
FINSUM: We cannot profess to have any expertise in waste hauling, but there are definitely some interesting mixed signals coming through here. Our instinct is there might be a good contrarian bet here.