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Slow growth

On Gazing Into The Abyss

The six large cap stocks (FB, AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL, NFLX, and MSFT), which now compose 22% of the S&P 500 (vs. 10% five years ago) are, amazingly, up about 4% YTD as of Friday April 17. The S&P 500, itself, closed Friday, down only -11% YTD (and only -15% below its all-time peak), even in the face of the most severe Recession (Depression?) since the 1930s. And, Wall Street is raving that …Read More

Where’s The Recession, You Ask? Reprise

The narrative is that the “soft patch”, now so evident in U.S. data, is temporary, related to factors like weather, the government shut-down, and/or trade/tariffs. The Atlanta Fed, where GDP forecasts always seem to come out on the high side, put Q1’s real GDP growth at just +0.3%. And, the N.Y. Fed’s model says +0.9%. In any case, even the most ardent bulls have at least recognized that current data …Read More

How Will Markets React to Growth Deceleration?

Economic fundamentals were ignored as if they were merely background noise as markets attempted once more in early August to breach their record high levels put in late last January. The common theme in the business media is that, due to great corporate earnings (24%+ in Q2), the equity markets are cheap. Never mind that a good part of that earnings growth was due to one-time tax reduction (in fact, …Read More

Inflation’s Virulence will Surprise: Yield Curve Inversion Likely

•  The strength of inflation will be the biggest market surprise in 2018’s second half, forcing the Fed to continue its rate raising regime; •  At the same time, the slowdown in world growth (not helped by the rise of protectionism) may keep the world’s other major central banks in easy money mode, thus feeding U.S. dollar strength and negatively impacting emerging market economies; •  Low rates, worldwide, increase the …Read More

Trade Wars Will Slow Growth

Q3 started out with several very positive days in the equity markets, due to the seeming “Goldilocks” economy (solid growth, low inflation, best employment market in 50 years), likely in anticipation of continued 20%+ earnings reports (the tailwind of tax reduction), and, at least in the early days of July, from a lack of any significant moves on the tariff and trade front. That all ended on July 11th when …Read More

Don’t be Fooled: Complacency is a Danger to Investors

The U.S. economy itself appears to be doing well, but we see many end of cycle signs, including less than 4% unemployment, rising interest rates, emerging consumer inflation, a strained housing market, slowing growth worldwide, and huge instability now developing in the emerging market space including Argentina, Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, and Thailand. However, what scares us the most is the level of investor complacency. Because of the Fed’s and other …Read More