Displaying items by tag: volatility
For the better part of a decade now, major socio-political disruptions never seem to rattle markets. Think back to Occupy Wall Street, the events in Hong Kong over the last year, or the protests in the US over the last week. The question is why? The main reason is that historically speaking—think the entire 1960s and up through the 1992 riots—markets and the economy were never particularly affected by social unrest in the months following big social disruptions/protest.
FINSUM: Essentially the argument here is that there is no precedent for needing to worry about social unrest. That approach only makes sense until protests do cause a big problem.
The market is currently in a rough patch. Even with yesterday’s big rally, the near-term prognosis for stocks could be quite bearish. That said, one product that would clearly benefit from a bear market is fixed index annuities. Because they are designed for principal protection (with limited upside), they tend to do very well during down markets, with clients showing ample demand. They are also not overly vulnerable to the Fed cutting rates, so taken altogether, they may be a perfect product for this market.
FINSUM: It seems like a good time for fixed index annuities, and we suspect clients will be showing good demand for the product given widespread anxiety.
The market had gone an incredible 70 days without a closing gain or loss of more than 1%. It was one of the longest streaks in history, but it all came crashing down this week as the Dow fell 1.6% and the Nasdaq fell 1.9%. The big question is what happens next. Generally speaking, it does not matter if a long streak of placidity is broken by a positive or negative move—stocks tend to keep doing well either way. Of the 12 times such a streak has happened, in 9 of the them gains were positive over the following year, with an average increase of 9.6% on a total return basis.
FINSUM: This is good historical context, but it is important to remember that none of those occurrences have anything to do with today’s market environment. That said, we remain bullish.
The market is at all time highs, multiples are huge, and earnings are trending the wrong way. If you are looking to buy into some downside protection, take a look at these 4 tech names. These stocks have big dividends which should offer some significant downside protection as tech shares with lower multiples and good dividend yields provide insulation. Here are the names: IBM (4.7% yield), Broadcom (4.2%), Hewlett Packard (3.2%), and Cisco Systems (2.9%).
FINSUM: IBM trailed the tech market last year but still had a respectable 16% gain. Seems like a good choice given the big dividend yield.
At this point it might seem natural to think that the stock market simply rises a bit everyday. Stocks have been so steady and so quiet for so long that it is almost disconcerting. The current “quiet” streak is one of the longest ever. The current number of days without a 1% move is the sixth longest streak since 1969 and the third longest since 1995. One analyst described the situation this way, saying “Right now it’s very, very tough to fight this trend … There’s a reinvigoration in the idea that we will see better growth”.
FINSUM: The huge rise in stocks from the Crisis through the last decade was generally characterized by steadiness. We don’t see this as any surprise.