Displaying items by tag: bear market
Every investor seems to be panicking about the yield curve right now, and not without reason. An inverted yield curve has accurately predicted each of the last several recessions. And not only is the yield curve inverted, but yields are shockingly low—the 30-year Treasury yield just went sub-2% for the first time ever. However, that is not what you should be worried about, argues a top economist at the Economic Outlook Group. Instead, you should be watching consumers like a hawk, as they will be the deciding factor as to whether the US heads into a recession. “All eyes should therefore be laser focused on what households are thinking and doing in the coming months--- and not on some tampered yield curve”, says Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook group.
FINSUM: The yield curve is less manipulated than it once was, but we are far from a rate environment one could say was comparable to inversions past. We think this analysis is spot on.
The markets nosedived again today as recession fears are spiking amongst investors globally. While US investors got a bit of a reprieve from the trade war due to the announcement that new tariffs had been delayed, bad economic data out of Germany and China made a global recession look more likely. The big selloff not only dragged US bonds into a 2/10-year inversion, but also inverted the UK yield curve for the first time since 2008. German bonds saw yields fall to a record low (in negative yield territory).
FINSUM: The doom and gloom is warranted given the current backdrop, but it is also not unreasonable to think the current “wall of worry” is the perfect mountain for this bull market to climb.
One of the world’s most respected financial columnists—John Authers—has just put out an article arguing that we may be at the bond market’s Dotcom moment. Authers cites the gigantic hoard of negative yielding debt, as well as many charts of soaring 100-year bond prices (check out Austria’s and Mexico’s), to show that the bond melt up may be set to reverse. He argues that at some point soon (it could have already started with the reversal in ten-years yesterday) that investors will revolt against super-low yields, sending prices lower and yields higher. Authers thinks the spark may be unexpectedly higher inflation, which would undermine the whole premise of recent gains. Tariffs are inflationary by definition, so it is not far-fetched to think this could occur.
FINSUM: We think it would take a significant catalyst to cause a big bond pullback (like a much higher than expected inflation report, a suddenly hawkish Fed etc). That is not out of the question, but it does not seem likely.
Markets have indigestion this week, but is a recession any more of a threat than it was a couple weeks ago? The answer is yes. So far the manufacturing side of the economy has been the weaker one, with the consumer side staying strong. However, all the tariffs that have been imposed on China will now hit the side of the US economy that is strongest—the consumer—by raising prices at the register. Therefore, the trade war will directly weaken the best part of the economy, which could seriously curtail growth.
FINSUM: To protect against this, investors may want think about shifting into defensive shares like consumer staples, healthcare, utilities, and real estate, all of which tend to outperform cyclicals in a down economy/market.
The big market ruction of the last few days has sent the yield curve inversion to very worrying levels. The spread between three-month bills and ten-year Treasuries has widened to minus 32 basis points. A yield curve inversion has preceded every recession for the last 50 years. “The US has been an island of prosperity in a sea of weakness, but that looks to be ending as the impact on the consumer side from the new tariffs is likely to be bigger than the previous ones”, said a senior portfolio manager at PGIM fixed income.
FINSUM: The last time the yield curve was this inverted was April 2007. That fact alone is major warning sign.