Displaying items by tag: fed

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 06:13

Newest Inflation Data Fueling Bull Rally

Declining inflation rates have ignited a bullish frenzy in the equity markets after a turbulent start to 2024. Financial experts highlight the pivotal role played by waning price pressures in propelling the recent stock market surge. 

 

Fueled by promising inflation trends and the burgeoning artificial intelligence sector, analysts have revised their year-end targets upwards for major stock indices like the S&P 500. Consecutive record highs across key benchmarks reflect investors' optimism, bolstered by lower-than-anticipated inflation readings. 

 

Economists interpret the recent data as a harbinger of potential interest rate cuts, marking significant progress towards the Federal Reserve's 2% inflation target. While the Fed projects a solitary rate reduction in 2024, market sentiment leans towards two cuts. 


Finsum: The key will be how many cuts, if rates fall the cap to the market is very high.

Published in Wealth Management
Wednesday, 12 June 2024 06:15

SMAs are the Vehicle To Capitalize on Rate Cycle

Locking in current rates can be beneficial before the Fed cuts interest rates. Holding bonds until maturity offers potential yield, though buying individual bonds can be complex so investors should prioritize vehicles like SMAs to achieve the goals with less complexity. 

 

Additionally, scalable solutions like individual bonds in SMAs or iBonds ETFs can be used to build bond ladders, providing steadier income. Amid high interest rates and an inverted yield curve, bonds may outperform cash, especially during a Fed pause. 

 

Advisors can enhance portfolios by adding longer maturity exposures. ETFs and SMAs help add income and stability to portfolios before the next rate cycle while simplifying the approach.


Finsum: There is something to locking in yields, but keep in mind bond prices will fall if the fed cuts rates but holding to term will be beneficial

Published in Wealth Management
Saturday, 08 June 2024 12:08

Worries of a Crisis in Commercial Real Estate

There are increasing concerns that a crisis is brewing in commercial real estate (CRE), as over the next couple of years, $2 trillion in CRE loans will need to be refinanced. Previously, there were hopes that macro conditions would soften, leading to lower rates and a more favorable lending environment. Instead, inflation has proven to be more resilient than expected, and expectations of Fed dovishness have been dialed back.

In addition to high rates, major challenges include decreasing demand for offices and rising vacancies, a stricter lending environment, and balance sheet woes at regional banks, which traditionally account for a large share of CRE lending. However, there is significant variance within the CRE market. Areas like data centers, hotels, and industrial buildings continue to show strength, while retail and multifamily exhibit more mixed performance.

If conditions worsen, there is a risk of spillover effects on the broader economy, including decreased lending activity due to losses at banks, lower tax revenue for local governments due to more vacancies and lower property values, and subsequent declines in hiring. However, the consensus continues to be that there won’t be a full-blown crisis as the sector is sufficiently diversified and continues to have strong credit performance despite adverse conditions.


Finsum: Investors should pay attention to the CRE market given the refinancing cliff and challenges posed by higher rates and a stricter lending environment. 

Published in Alternatives

The first five months of 2024 have featured above-average volatility for fixed income due to inflation continuing to run hot and increased uncertainty about the Fed’s next move. Despite these headwinds, institutional investors have been increasing their allocations to long-duration Treasuries and high-quality, corporate bonds.

One factor is that there is increasing confidence that inflation and the economy will cool in the second half of the year, following a string of soft data. As a result, allocators seem comfortable adding long-duration bonds to lock in yields at these levels. Many seem intent on front-running the rally in fixed income that would be triggered by the prospect of Fed dovishness. According to Gershon Distenfeld of AllianceBernstein, “History shows pretty consistently that yields rally hard starting three to four months before the Fed actually starts cutting.” 

For investors who believe in this thesis, Vanguard has three long-duration bond ETFs. The Vanguard Long-Term Bond ETF is composed of US government, investment-grade corporate, and investment-grade international bonds with maturities greater than 10 years. For those who prefer sticking solely to bonds, the Vanguard Long-Term Treasury ETF tracks the Bloomberg US Long Treasury Bond Index, which is composed of bonds with maturities greater than 10 years old. 

Many allocators are adding duration exposure via high-quality corporates given higher yields vs. Treasuries. These borrowers would also benefit from rate cuts, which would reduce financing costs and boost margins. The Vanguard Long-Term Corporate Bond ETF tracks the Bloomberg US 10+ Year Corporate Bond Index, which is comprised of US investment-grade, fixed-rate debt issued by industrial, financial, and utilities with maturities greater than 10 years. 


Finsum: Interest is starting to pick up in long-duration bonds following softer than expected economic and inflation data, which is leading to more optimism that the Fed will cut rates later this year.

Published in Bonds: Total Market

The federal reserve is holding steady with interest rates, at least at the current time, but other central banks around the globe are cutting and other hiking, creating opportunities in fixed income. While this is certainly adding a level of depth to portfolio management that hasn’t been present often in the last decade, high yields indicate great returns in fixed income.

 

According to Goldman Sachs investors should consider upping their exposure to high quality fixed income, emphasizing active management due to unpredictable US monetary policy. Despite expectations of rate cuts, recent inflation data suggests a "higher for longer" environment, meaning higher rates may persist. 

 

As a result, US equities may still be attractive, but some investors are shifting towards fixed income to capitalize on strong yields, particularly in high-quality investment-grade bonds and structured products.


Finsum: Active investors continue to have an edge with disparate monetary policy actions around the globe. 

Published in Wealth Management
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