Displaying items by tag: volatility
Market Volatility Subdued Despite Headline Risks
In an article for Reuters, Mike Dolan discussed the widening gap between market volatility which has been trending lower since October of last year and headlines of various geopolitical, financial, and economic risks that are increasingly dominating headlines. The Federal Reserve is expected to hike rates despite signs that the economy continues to decelerate, considerable stress in the banking system, increasing chatter of a ‘technical default’ for the US Treasury if the debt ceiling is breached, and important data points in the coming weeks in the form of earnings from tech giants and the April jobs report.
Despite these potential threats, the VIX, which measures stock market volatility, reached its lowest levels since November 2021. The stock market is also nearing a 20% move rise from its October lows, which many market participants would define as a new bull market. Volatility is similarly depressed in the Treasury market and the currency markets despite upcoming central bank meetings, indicating that this divergence between the VIX and headline risk is not unique to equities.
Finsum: There is a widening gap between various headline risk and market measures of volatility which are at multi month lows.
Market Volatility ‘Artificially Low’: JPMorgan
In an analyst note, JPMorgan’s Chief Equity Strategist Marko Kolovanic discussed the anomaly between an increasingly shaky market and economic outlook, in contrast to the S&P 500 volatility index (VIX) which continues to trend lower.
A week ago, the VIX dropped to 16 which is its lowest level since November 2021, despite the S&P 500 being 16% lower compared to 17 months ago. Yet, economic growth continues to decelerate, inflation is meaningfully higher, and the Fed remains in a hawkish posture.
Kolovanic notes that we are not likely to see any abatement of these pressures in the coming months given the tightening of financial conditions and rising recession risk, while the Fed’s priority remains stamping out inflation even at the expense of the economy and labor market. Further, he notes stress in the banking system and drumbeat of rising tensions regarding China, Russia, and an upcoming election cycle.
He says depressed volatility is due to technical reasons, primarily the selling of short-term options which leads to dealer buying of stocks and volatility leaking lower. Adding to this is continued resilience in Q1 earnings while many were anticipating a meaningful decline.
Finsum: Volatility is at 17 month lows despite stocks being much lower. JPMorgan’s Marko Kolovanic explains some reasons behind this discrepancy.
Banking on volatility
With the waters of volatility in the banking sector taking five – or, perhaps, 10 – the market’s turning its sights to some incomplete biz: disinflation, according to swissre.com.
Due to “decisive government and central bank actions,” what might have ballooned into a systemic financial sector crises – on both sides of the Atlantic, at that -- which would have put a damper on merging markets, was sidestepped. But stemming from stubborn core inflation pressures and tight labor markets within advanced economies, in May, the Fed and European Central Bank’s expected to hike policy rates.
Meantime, call it a game of adjustments.
In the first quarter, Gateway, which is focused on low-volatility equity investments, made adjustments in its portfolio, according to barrons.com.
The low down: it wielded the scissors, shoring its stake Apple stock and putting the old slash on its General Electric investment. At the same time, it purchased Altria Group stock (MO). The stock trades – as well as others -- were disclosed by Gateway in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Medium term outlook for fixed income unfazed by volatility
Recent volatility in the financial market? Sure enough. Pressure on spreads? Two for two.
Yet, the medium term outlook for fixed income hasn’t deviated and remains relatively high, according to sageadvisory.com.
Hearty returns in core fixed come are fueled by factors such as attractive yield carry, a weak growth picture and the wraps put on the Fed cycle
And is the subject of taxes ever far behind?
Prompted by a change in tax laws, last month, investors flocked to park their dollars in fixed income funds, according to ithought.co.in. That said, merit played no role.
In 2023, investors should find out, for example, whether the time is right to put money in fixed income. That would be a yes, the site stated. Equity, gold, real estate or fixed income are the options investors have. For equity in so much as performance is concerned, 2023 will be rough and tumble. On the other hand, participation will score big. The best performing asset of FY22-23’s gold. For investors, rather than dwelling on what went down last year, all eyes should be on taking stock of performance down the line.
Volatility? The land of opportunity
Volatility? Um, okay. What of it?
After all, yeah, sure, while it generates risk, it also can create opportunity, according to lazardassetmanagement.com. Meaning, rather than trying to circumvent it, fixed income investors should embrace it. Why exactly, you ponder? It’s because they could reap rewards from, like a scene straight out of the Wild West, looking it in the eye. No blinking, either.
In this atypical environment, the firm believes investors might want to abandon a passive mindset and chew over investments that leave “plain vanilla” bonds in the dust. Investors can come across fixed income solutions that have the potential to set up portfolios for the longer run by being creative and active. And don’t forget, mind you, diversifying globally.
Earlier in the year, etftrends.com reported that, potentially, fixed income classes could dispense better total return performance in 2023. That’s in the aftermath of a year riddled in negative returns that not only reset valuations – but to levels that seem more attractive. It’s especially so among investors with a more prolonged timeline.