Displaying items by tag: demand
Municipal bond market returns remain low, but nonetheless investors seem willing to keep demanding low yield munis. This rise in demand...view the full story on our partner Magnifi's site.
The New York Times has published an interesting piece this week which argues that markets and investors are ignoring an ugly and disastrous reality: that the economy is suffering a huge and largely unprecedented collapse in demand. New data out of Europe and Japan, as well as US manufacturing demand, this week showed that demand fell sharply in May, a sharp contrast to the employment jump. The NYT argues that this systemic fall in demand will take time to play out, but that the huge decline in employment and change in behaviors will cause a rupture in demand that will play out over years.
FINSUM: The NYT piece is very bearish. We held off on covering it until new data was released overnight showing a big fall in demand.
With all the volatility in stocks and bonds over the last few months, oil hasn’t gotten much attention. Drivers will have noticed gas is cheap right now, as oil prices have fallen considerably over the last several months. But will it stay that way? Right now the IEA is forecasting solid global demand growth in 2019, which should keep prices strong, but that forecast is vulnerable to some big swings. The IEA warns that since the signals from the global economy are not strong, the forecast could have some considerable downside.
FINSUM: Oil will probably dance to the music of the economy this year. It does not seem to be a significant leading indicator at the moment.
Investors need to take note of the oil market, which has been spiking recently. Prices for Brent crude are now above $80 per barrel, a price that would have seemed unimaginable even a year ago, and a world away from the $20s we had in early 2016. The market is partly being driven higher by geopolitics, such as the new sanctions against Iran, but it is also a product of supply shortfalls. Higher prices are now coinciding with all the cost decreases firms made during the market rout, which is allowing them fat margins and the cash to pay dividends and pay down debt.
FINSUM: If the market can stay elevated, which seems likely for a while, then it will be transformative for the many oil and oil-related companies that have been struggling for years.
Okay, so there is a lot to be gloomy about with the stock market right now. Stocks had a terrible run last week and are off to a poor start today. However, looking in the longer-term, there is some heartening news. That news is that despite some forecasters saying the demographic backdrop for stocks looks weak as Baby Boomers begin to withdraw money as they retire, all that slack, and perhaps more will be taken up by the Millennial generation, which is the largest in the US.
FINSUM: Here is an additional argument we found interesting—that compared to market history, stock returns for the period from 2000 to 2016 were very weak on a relative basis. Coupled with the demographics, it makes one think there may some long-term potential left for this market.