Equity markets bounced in June, reinvigorated by strong employment data, "no recession" calls from key policymakers, and hopes the Fed would "pivot" away from aggressive rate hikes. Some believed June marked the bottom and we were starting a new bull market. I wasn't convinced by policymakers and wrote markets may want to hold the champagne … Continue reading Not Yet Broken
Today, Chairman Powell reiterated the US is not in recession and will continue to grow in the second half of 2022. Other public officials agree, US Treasury secretary Yellen and US President Biden recently affirmed their own "no recession" opinions. The argument emphasizes a strong labor market and an unemployment rate that hovers near the … Continue reading A Familiar Song & Confetti
MARKET OVERVIEW The global sell-off in financial markets accelerated during Q2. Global equities officially entered a bear market, breaching the technical definition of a -20% decline. US stocks were down most, but all major equity regions were down double digits year-to-date. Even the US bond market was off by -10% for the year. Figure 1: … Continue reading Q3 2022 Update
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?
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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