It may seem overly bearish right now, but put this one in the “take note” category. A hedge fund manager on Bloomberg yesterday argued that the market looks set for a bear market downturn very similar to last year. According to the manager, a mix of liquidity constraints, insufficient Fed support, and large geopolitical issues, could all combine to drive prices down 20% or more in benchmark indices. The most interesting part of this argument is that he contends the pressures will create this downturn in the next few weeks.
FINSUM: Last year’s bear market was principally about investors worrying the Fed would hike the market into a recession. That is a completely different backdrop from right now. We don’t discount the chances for a downturn, but this logic does not seem sound to us.
The likelihood of a recession is growing. Weak manufacturing data this week accompanied by poor jobs data this morning is once again driving fears that the economy may be headed for a downturn. Accordingly, Goldman has put out a recommendation for the best stocks to hold for the forthcoming recession. According to the bank, stable growth stocks fare best in an environment of slowing growth and rising uncertainty. As a reminder, stable growth stocks are those on the less risky end of the growth curve, a group which has been underperforming fast-growing stocks by a considerable margin. Some names to look at include Fiserv, Autozone, Amdocs, Omnicom, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart.
FINSUM: We quite like Autozone and Walmart for their consumer-staple characteristics and unique abilities to hold up well in a recession.
The Dow is oversold. That is what at least one Wall Street analyst (and Barron’s) is saying. The manufacturing report this week made recession worries flare up in a big way, leading to a sharp sell-off. However, it may only be a matter of time until the Fed’s more accommodative policy starts rippling through the economy with positive benefits. This is arguably already being seen in the housing market, where new and existing home sales were up sharply in August.
FINSUM: The market may be poised for a nice rebound if economic figures start to improve, as prices are currently being held back by recession fears.
Microsoft might have a big edge that no one is giving them credit for. That edge? It is the fact that money is pouring into ESG funds, and Microsoft is largely included in that category. Almost all of the top five ESG ETFs are overweight Microsoft, and as ESG continues to draw in more and more capital, that will become an increasingly important advantage for MSFT and other big tech names as well. In fact, many large tech companies are seen as ESG-friendly, so this is a hidden tailwind for several companies, including Google.
FINSUM: ESG ETFs are only going to grow in strength, so this is a nice little bit of momentum that will be pushing tech names higher.
It is getting ugly on the left. While big tech companies have always been fairly far-left politically, a new line has just been drawn. In new transcripts just released, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, says he will “go to the mat and fight” with presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to stop her plan to break up big tech companies. “If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government … But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight”, said Zuckerberg. Warren retorted “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anti-competitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy”.
FINSUM: Warren is still a long way from office, but this is a glimpse of what the future would look like should the far-left win the election. Instead of probes and whistleblowers, we would have major courtroom dramas over anti-monopoly measures.