The NASDAQ is down almost -30% from its November 2021 highs. Unlike the pandemic drawdown, this sell-off doesn't have a clear catalyst. It's unfolding in fits and starts and has investors pointing at a growing list of potential causes - rising rates, a tightening Fed, inflation, slowing growth, high valuations, disappointing guidance, etc. Whatever the … Continue reading A Matter of Perspective
I've been paying close attention to the US Treasury yield curve since last year because it is, historically, a reliable bellwether for economic conditions. After threatening an inversion for months, the 2-10 year curve finally did so in late March. The inversion was short-lived, however, lasting only days. Figure 1: 2-10 Year Treasury Curve It … Continue reading Splitting Straws on Recession
QUARTER IN REVIEW Q1 was a bumpy ride for investors. Global equity market prices (MSCI ACWI) swung from being down almost -13% to only down about -6% for the quarter. However, the negative returns were broad. All major equity regions and even the US bond market were down YTD. Figure 1: Global Markets YTD MACRO … Continue reading Q2 2022 Update
In January, I wrote BCM was entering 2022 with a reduction in our tactical risk allocation, moving to neutral weight from last year's overweight position. That was a fortunate and timely call given the weak start to this year for risk assets. The rationale was the tailwinds that supported equity markets in 2020 and 2021 … Continue reading Are We There Yet?
BCM's latest Investor Letter is available to clients at bellwethercm.com/letters.
The latest inflation numbers came in at 6.8% year-over-year (headline CPI). That's the highest since the 1980s. What's more, the Federal Reserve capitulated from its "transitory" position and has signaled an acceleration of taper and interest rate hikes. Figure 1: US Inflation Unfortunately, this is the scenario I did not want to see but have … Continue reading Potentially Potential
In October, the US printed weaker than expected GDP growth. The first reading was 2% year-over-year versus a consensus forecast of 2.7%, which itself was already well below Q2's 6.7%. This corroborates the "moderating growth" narrative of the past two quarters. That doesn't mean we're on the cusp of a double-dip recession. Actually, some economic … Continue reading The Show Must Go On
I wrote several times this year about my preference for international equities versus US. In August, I pointed out the selloff in Chinese stocks looked like an overaction. The Chinese market is up about +10% from its August lows. My timing was lucky, but there are still many long-term reasons to be bullish on Chinese … Continue reading A Real Distinction
QUARTER IN REVIEW Q3 was decisively less risk-on for markets. The global equity market (MSCI ACWI) gave back some gains but is still up +11% ytd. There was wide divergence between markets, notably emerging markets are down. Safe havens like US bonds and gold are also down for the year. Figure 1 Global Markets MACRO … Continue reading Q4 2021 Update
Many things about China don't make sense in the West. It's not just food and politics, but markets too. In China market quotes flash red on upticks and green on downticks. In the wake of the pandemic Chinese stocks led a global rebound with an outstanding rally few expected. But fortunes turned again quickly. The … Continue reading Red is the New Green
Back in January 2011 I wrote "I think one of the most attractive domestic investment opportunities is also one of the most detested - real estate." Obvious and easy in hindsight, but in 2011 many people were still licking their wounds from one of the largest real estate crashes ever. People were scared silly and … Continue reading All Good Things
QUARTER IN REVIEW In the second quarter risk appetite remained voracious among investors. Global equities reclaimed and surpassed highs reached in Q1 and the MSCI ACWI was up +12% year to date. Meanwhile, traditional safe havens remained under pressure. Gold was off nearly -12% at one point but clawed back some of that by quarter … Continue reading Q3 2021 Update