Eq: Large Cap
Anyone notice that stocks, lately, have been a bit, well, prickly?
Of course, for awhile there, it segued they’d found their mojo and watching cable shows like CNBC also was a popcorn worthy occasion. Now, that viewing experience likely would give you indigestion.
In other words, yes: vo-la-ti-li-ty.
Now, could this be hitting the gas pedal on an even steeper decline.
Let’s count the possible dividends. In the short term, the wraps are on the corporate earnings season, according to ally.com, and summer? Ready to wave buh-bye. In the eye of an obvious lack of direction, it’s all but an invitation for percolating volatility, the site continued.
Meantime, investors are sliding their attention from the probabilities of a recession and how the markets will react to the Fed.
Against that less than appealing backdrop, Jesmond Mizzi Financial Advisors’ Head of Wealth Management Colin Vella, said that rather than ruing the circumstances surrounding the volatility, investors can make the best of it, according to jesmondmizzi.com.
The global initiative – unlike the war – to get a handle on COVID 19 reassured markets that bouncing back to more normal conditions could be on the short term horizon.
As the virus started to escalate worldwide, at the dawn of 2020, markets began their descent. However, the downturn didn’t have staying power and bounced back prior to the initial lockdowns.
Few probably are pounding away for a repeat performance of the bond markets in the first half of the year. But an upbeat perspective among investors is warranted, according to corporate.vanguard.com. And, why, pre tell, is that? Bonds are on the precipice to dispense a spike in real income and restart their role of diversifying portfolios.
Even so, however, the road ahead is sprinkled with a plethora uncertainties and variables. The upshot: among other things, for another season, inflation seems bound to remain abnormally high.
At the same time, unlike the recent past, corporates, municipals, high yield, and emerging markets pose plenty of chances for growth.
Bloomberg Barclay’s US Aggregate Bond Index plunged 8.8% since January, according to fidelity.com. That was its steepest drop off in 40 years. What’s up? Investor trepidations over rising interest rates and the fear it could put a dent in the price tag on bonds. That usually translates into a drop in bond prices and rising bond yields.
However, it also could be where opportunity knocks. The Fed’s plan to revert rates to “more historically normal levels” could tee up a chance in bonds for may of those with an eye on income, principle protection and diversification in the second half of the year and more.
While a far cry from the size and scope Dems were originally hoping for Biden’s multi-agenda bill will hit his desk after passing the house, but what does this mean for the market and the U.S. economy? The bill is $430 billion dollars and will change taxes, healthcare, and climate policy. The plan hopes to slash carbon emissions by 40% within the decade spending a hefty $369 billion. However, it plans to generate $737 billion through tax changes and will have a net impact of $300 billion in deficit reduction according to the CBO. For the market, the stock buyback provision will be critical, but congress says it will generate $74 billion on its own. Still, this has been a key avenue for corporate spending in the last decade and Wallstreet will claim it forces inefficient maneuvers by corporations. The inflation reduction act will only make a very small impact on inflation over the next decade according to experts.
Finsum: Equity buyback taxes are very dumb, distorting how companies effectively spend money with excess revenue will only hurt the economy and the companies.
Equities have rallied, inflation is falling in the month of July, and global gas prices seem to be easing; investors can shake off the volatility concerns, right? Not just yet. Volatility experts Paul Britton founder of Capstone Investment Advisors told the FT that we aren’t through the weeds just yet as the corporate debt crisis looms at the end of 2022. Britton says there is a significant repricing as companies might struggle to pay off high corporate debt with rising interest rates. Capstone looks to profit on increasing volatility as they are a considerable hedge fund, but the VIX is still falling below its long-run moving average for the first time in four months. Fed experts like Mary Daly, president of the SF Fed branch, say the inflation battle hasn’t been won yet, signaling more rate hikes may be needed to bury inflation.
Finsum: Failing to consider the fact that inflation favors borrowers, real borrowing costs on corporate debt have decreased considerably.
According to a July survey conducted by VettaFi and State Street Global Advisors, high yield credit strategies were the bond style most appealing for advisors to add to client portfolios. With treasury yields narrowing and the Federal Reserve aggressively hiking rates to tackle inflation, investors are looking to take on more credit risk to receive higher yields. This is evident as three top high yield corporate bond ETFs, that collectively manage $44 billion, pulled in $4.7 billion in flows during July. The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) brought $1.9 billion in new assets during July, while the SPDR Bloomberg High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) and the iShares Broad USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (USHY) brought in $1.7 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively. It appears that investors currently prefer high yield bond ETFs with higher risk profiles to funds that offer more protection against rising rates.
Finsum: Due to the Fed’s rising rates policy and narrowing yields, investors flocked to high-yield bond ETFs last month.
Fixed-income investors are looking for an out of rising yields and lower bond prices, and junk bonds might be the place for income investors to find relief. According to BlackRock, the underlying credit risk is much lower than the market is assuming, because high-yield issuers actually have strong stable balance sheets. BR and KKKR & Co. Inc. are purchasing more junk bonds and similar market segments given their relative value. While they do expect market conditions to tighten they do not anticipate an unusually high default rate. Investors should be weary of additional volatility that could be induced by macro factors moving forward.
Finsum: If a bond market crisis hits high yield debt due to a full-blown recession, the Fed would most likely roll back the tightening currently taking place.