There’s an important—and potentially very disruptive—issue that has been largely ignored during coverage of the health care debate. The U.S. government hit its borrowing limit on March 16, 2017. Yes, that’s right—the U.S. borrowed as much as it legally can four months ago.
Are risks growing or will the bull market continue? We believe the answer to both is yes. Political bumbling, monetary policy shifts, and geopolitical tensions have all escalated, but the bull continues to power ahead, largely unscathed by the tumult that surrounds it.
Valuations continue to reach new highs, and the market looks very expensive—by some measures, the third highest of all time after 1929 and 1999. Meanwhile, the economy is showing signs of slowing.
When looking at the stock market, one of the key things we should focus on are earnings, as they represent the bedrock of a stock’s value. The best way to value stocks—the dividend growth model—analyzes earnings, growth rates, and required returns to determine what a stock is worth fundamentally.
Market risks come in three flavors—recession risk, economic shock risk, and risks within the market itself. Using a red light/yellow light/green light system, this monthly post explores the risk level in the markets, based on a number of factors.
The data for June was generally positive, with a rebound in job growth and a surprise increase in business confidence supported by continued high levels of consumer confidence.
The environment for U.S. and global stocks continues to be in decent shape, but some risks are elevated and the possibility of a pullback exists. A notable potential driver of bouts of volatility could be U.S. and global central bank policy as they sail toward monetary policy normalization.
Despite a weak first quarter, the second quarter has looked good, and signs are pointing to a solid remainder of the year. Recent data has shown an expanding economy, while companies have grown both their top and bottom lines. Markets around the world have reacted to this by rising substantially, and we’ve continued to hit new highs here in the U.S.
A bit of volatility returned to Wall Street, with indexes pulling back from record highs and the leading sector performer to this point in the year, technology, experiencing a decent-sized pullback. Meanwhile, we've seen a flattening of the yield curve, which suggests the bond and stock markets may be sending conflicting economic signals.
Goldilocks appears to be taking up residence on Wall Street, with modest growth, low inflation and a cautious Fed combining to make things "just right" for investors. Additionally, the apparent improving global trade trend could help contribute to further stock market gains and support large-cap outperformance. But the risk of a pullback and/or sharp acceleration in volatility is elevated courtesy of both domestic and world political uncertainty, and the potential of a Fed misstep.