Eq: Large Cap
ESG has grown exponentially over the last couple of years as trillions of dollars have flowed into the sector. However, as the sector has grown, some gaps in its coverage have emerged. One big glaring hole is in income-focused ESG funds. Traditionally, it has always been thought that an investor who cares about income, just wants income and doesn’t care much where it comes from. This helps explain how out of 439 ESG funds aggregated by Morningstar, only 8 had an income focus.
FINSUM: The lack of ESG income funds makes sense as income-focused products often cater to retirees—the current age of whom generally makes them less interested in ESG. But opportunity awaits.
Usually big Wall Street banks are pretty moderate in their outlooks, and they are mostly bullish in general. Well, Bank of America Merrill Lynch didn’t hold back this week when they said the S&P 500 was at risk of a 16.5% tumble in the near term. The bank said that it expects the S&P 500 to fall 20 to 30 bp for every basis point increase in the ten-year Treasury. The bank thinks yields will rise 55 bp by the end the year, implying an up to 16.5% tumble in stocks. The bank says valuations are overstretched by almost every metric.
FINSUM: The bank did point out three sectors it felt were safer, which are energy, communications services, and health care.
The stock markets have had some very small slumps but rebounded quickly in the last 12-months. The refusal to…see the full story on Magnifi’s site
By any reasonable measure, high yield bond markets look very scary right now. The way that yields have plummeted, the way that covenants have weakened, and the general ease of accessing credit are all reminiscent of 2005. Spreads over Treasuries have fallen to just 300 bp. A year ago they were at 600 bp. Companies have successfully weakened investor protections in new issues without penalty, and crucially, default rates will likely fall below 1% this year. The picture was the same in 2005.
FINSUM: By the Crisis, default rates hit 14% and high yield investors got killed. However, a big correction in high yield would take a catalyst. Is it a sooner-than-expected Fed pullback?
The post-pandemic run has been marked by staggeringly low volatility and all-time highs in both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones. However…see the full story on our partner Magnifi’s site.
Bonds yields have been so far from even survivable for most income investors, but…see the full story on our partner Magnifi’s site.