A word of caution from Morgan Stanley’s equity strategists:
« The latest burst of Tech outperformance has not been accompanied by superior EPS trends. Just now Tech shows few signs of stopping (or even slowing); for example: i) post its largest 1m outperformance versus the S&P since 2012, the NASDAQ is now 2.7SD above its 12M relative average; ii) 80% of constituents of MSCI ACWI’s IT index outperformed the market over the last month, the highest breadth reading since 2003. Amid all this euphoria we’d encourage investors to keep a close eye on EPS trends as the latest burst of price outperformance has not been accompanied by EPS outperformance. »
Goldman Sachs latest Top of Mind publication is about the bond bear market, and there are a number of opposing views on whether yields are going to continue climbing, or if inflation is going to accelerate or stay under control.
One of the most bearish views on bonds came from Paul Tudor Jones, the founder, CIO and principal of Tudor Investment Corporation, which has c$11 bn of assets under management according to Pitchbook.
Here are some of the most interesting quotes in the interview.
Facts: Cash & cash equivalents at Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) reached $116 billion at the end of 2017, compared with $86.4 billion at the start of the year. Per Morningstar’s Gregg Warren estimates, Buffett finds himself with « around $90 billion in dry powder that could be committed to investments, acquisitions, share repurchases and dividends. » Continuer la lecture de « What Options for Buffett Who Has $90 Billion To Invest? »
Deutsche Bank’s strategist team published a report to figure out what’s currently priced in by financial markets after the bout of volatility. Rising real yields are a clear threat to the rebound in equity market. But having recently talked to fund managers in other asset classes, real yields are a threat to many asset classes where lots of money have flown other the last years (EM debt for instance).
I attended a quite interesting presentation yesterday organized by Schroder on emerging markets. Two fund managers presented on equities and debt. The head of EM debt absolute return strategies had a very interesting analysis of the current environment.
Markets have been unnerved by rising interest rates in the US, with ripple effects around the world. The most staggering event has happened on the VIX market with a number of funds/ETNs making the headlines after having lost tons of money. What should investors take from these events ? A couple of reflections and interesting comments seen here and there. Continuer la lecture de « Putting Recent Market Sell-off in Perspective »
JPMorgan’s equity strategist team has published a report today trying to figure out if European stocks will finally break out the glassdoor of 400 points (for Stoxx Europe 600) that they have been hitting 3 times already (2000, 2007, 2015).
They argue that this time might be the time, IF a number of conditions are successfully met. Among them, earnings recovery, operating leverage, decent (!) valuations and direction of bond yields are important factors to consider. Big swing factor are FX.
Nomura expects Malaysia equities to return 4% in 2018 and says stock picking will be of the utmost importance to outperform.
The positive view from the broker stems from a number of factors, listed in a report dated Jan 22: « 1) solid macro and consumption growth, 2) continuing foreign inflows amidst positive revisions, 3) better corporate balance sheets with dividend upside, 4) possible election rally, 5) likely net buying by local institutions, 6) Malaysia’s laggard performance vs peers, 7) key concerns on banks getting addressed, 8) an appreciation MYR. »
The brokers set a 2018 year end target of 1,900 points for KLCI index.
According to Investopedia a « melt-up » is a « A dramatic and unexpected improvement in the investment performance of an asset class driven partly by a stampede of investors who don’t want to miss out on its rise rather than by fundamental improvements in the economy. »
Supportive macro backdrop so far makes the case for investing in risky assets, but valuation-wise, harvesting decent returns on a risk-adjusted basis is harder. At least, that’s BofAML’s strategists views.
« Global earnings look set to deliver double digit growth this year, at 12%, the best since 2010. The strength was broad based, with all the key regions contributing, and largely driven by Cyclicals and commodities. As base effects are turning less favorable, the question is whether earnings will remain a support for equities into 2018. »
MSCI Europe has 6% left to rise next year, according to Morgan Stanley’s equity strategists for Europe. That forecast is based on a 9% EPS growth, thanks to better GDP numbers and oil price forecasts, according to a report date Nov 26.
« We recalibrate our top-down earnings model as it had been persistently underestimating the turn in operational leverage. We now see 10% EPS growth in 2018. Consensus estimates are 8.9%, but adjusting for the average upward bias, underlying « true » consensus may be as low as c.2%. We see modest P/E re-rating to 15.7x from 15.0x currently. For the FTSE 100, we are more conservative and target 7,900 end-2018 (c.6% upside). »
« Upside risks: Equities re-rate to previous cycle peak valuations. This would point to c.33% upside from the current levels. European corporates re-gear to US levels. US investors return (net buying peaked in May). European M&A picks up, currently running c.30% below the US. Effective French labour market reform. »
« Downside Risks: Rates and bond yields rise too sharply. But a gradual move would likely be manageable – Europe has very little Tech (6% of index) and a large amount of positively rate sensitive Financials (c.25% of index). Significant Euro strength, on our forecasts (EUR/USD 1.25 end 2018) this is manageable. Higher volatility / political risks in Spain and Italy. »
Getting a decent return from a diversified portfolio is getting more difficult by the year. According to Morgan Stanley’s calculations, « a traditional 60/40 equity/bond USD portfolio will see 4.2% per annum over the next decade, while the same in EUR fares only slightly better at 4.7%, and GBP at 4.9%; only the JPY 60/40 portfolio sees above-average expected returns, driven by elevated equity risk premiums. »
Is it almost over or does the bull market have the ability to last a bit longer? What indicators should investors look at the get a sense of where we are in the cycle? Nomura’s Kevin Gaynor published a very interesting checklist and shared his views on how to assess the end of the current cycle.