Total assets held by major central banks are above $20tn. While Fed’s balance sheet has stabilized, the balance sheets of ECB, Bank of Japan and Bank of China have been increasing steadily.
Of course, the reduction in Fed’s balance sheet, expected to effectively start in 2018, will have a material impact on financial markets – the recent spike in volatility might be seen as a sort of recognition of that fact.
But global monetary base is still growing, which will in the end limit the potential for higher rates going forward and sustain high valuations in financial markets.
3 out of 10 companies had reported 4Q earnings at the end of last week. On average, 51% beat EPS expectations and 47% did better on sales expectations.
Per SocGen’s real good quant team led by Andrew Lapthorne, « the use of the ‘Fear Index’ (VIX) as a predictor of future market performance has been rather mixed, with moves in VIX appearing more contemporaneous than forward looking. »
Well if VIX is not a great predictor of market returns what is ?
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 »
Howard Marks published a new memo dated Jan 23 and there are some interesting remarks regarding the current environment. Continuer la lecture de « Howard Marks: Price And Value Are Still The Name Of The Game »
Rule of thumb: the more expensive a financial asset is, the lower its prospective return. That’s simple. But sentiment and markets can become and stay irrational longer than investors can stay solvant, they say. So if you cannot predict when the markets will turn, it’s probably better to check where the risks are and monitor them the best you can. And invest with a margin of safety. Always…
Per Nick Nelson’s report date Nov 13:
« 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. »
And leverage has been building up since the global financial crisis, contrary to most belief. So if you think the streak of bad luck Altice has been facing recently is just a one-off, think again. Continuer la lecture de « Leverage Sets the Stage for the Next Crisis »
Short answer: lower returns.
A couple of charts from HSBC about correlation and the macro/market backdrop since the US election that surprised so many observers…
With interest rates being negative for most of the bonds traded and issued around the world, the opportunity cost of cash is very high. But it’s probably the most valuable yet contrarian asset to own to help diversify risk in a portfolio.