Many feel that the current version of the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule might be in jeopardy if Biden wins the election. The thinking is that he would quickly undue the current proposed legislation and replace it with something similar to the Obama era Fiduciary Rule. However, that seems unlikely since many courts have now blocked that version of the rule, clearing saying it overstepped its bounds. That means that a return to the Obama era version is unlikely unless Democrats also win the House and Senate, in which case they could introduce new legislation.
FINSUM: Based on how the old version of the ruled fared in courts, we think it is highly unlikely it returns intact. That said, a much stronger version than the current proposal seems likely if Biden wins.
Bank of America’s head of global research, in conjunction with the head of their private bank, has just given a major midyear update to clients. The message: we are at the start of a bull market. While they think the recovery might be a little bumpy, in the longer term, they believe there is a great economy on the other side and long-term investors would do well to get into the market on down days in the immediate future.”
FINSUM: Inside these broader predictions was another interesting one- so if stocks are going to rise, which sectors gain the most? BOA’s answer was that despite being overbought, tech still seems likely to see the most gains because the pandemic has accelerated areas that benefit them the most, including automation, cloud-computing, and live streaming.
For a lot of people, BlackRock brings two things to mind: fixed income and ETFs. Therefore, the firm making a bold call about a handful of single name stocks comes as somewhat of a surprise. However, BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world and is also a leader in equities. The call they are making today is that big tech companies are looking strong and likely to keep seeing price expansion. On the one hand, this is a very easy call to make given tech stocks have been soaring, but on the other, it is somewhat of an interesting and risky call because many fear FAANGs can really only go down in the short-term. BlackRock says that the cash flow producing abilities of tech companies (a factor proven to be vital in this downturn) will be critical to their continued success.
FINSUM: There might be some short-term tailwinds, but in our view, big tech companies are going to keep moving higher because this crisis has created a huge opportunity to grab market share as more of life moves online.
JP Morgan’s head of research, famed analyst Joyce Chang, published some very interesting views this week. She argues that the pandemic has forever changed financial markets, and highlights what she says are four “paradigm shifts” that COVID has caused. The biggest of those from a market direction perspective is about the Fed. She contends that the huge and extraordinary measures central banks have undertaken in the last few months have fundamentally changed the role of central banks towards financial stability (something they were arguably already focusing on).
FINSUM: In our mind it has become very obvious over the last few years, and especially during the pandemic, that the Fed’s most important mandate is financial stability.
The reality of the political situation in the US is that markets and the media are betting that Biden is going to win the presidency. Many also think the Democrats have a fair shot at sweeping Congress and the presidency. If either eventuality happens, especially the latter, tax hikes look likely. Biden formally announced his plan to do so recently. Therefore, a rise in corporation tax and a hike in the top tax bracket back to Obama-era levels seems highly probable.
FINSUM: The tax hikes that seem most likely will create a host of considerations for high earners. For instance, a reversion to previous tax levels would change the utility of certain pass-through entities versus other types of businesses.