The current US equity bull market turned nine years old on March 9, 2018. That’s the second longest run without a correction of 20% on record. It’s natural to wonder if the tide is going to turn.
The period since the financial crisis has been unprecedented in both the duration of the bull market but also the extreme low levels of volatility. As John Authers of the Financial Times recently pointed out, 2017 was the ‘most serenely positive year for world markets in history’.
We see the US economy as maintaining its current path of respectable but not overly robust growth. Underlying fundamentals and economic momentum remain constructive, while we do not foresee an acceleration in growth to a level that would swiftly create inflationary pressures.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with author Daniel Pink to discuss his new book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, now in its 8th week on the New York Times best-seller list.
The opening months of 2018 have seen volatility return to global financial markets, but we think it is important to stress US economic fundamentals have remained broadly the same. After an unusually long period of calm in many markets, the reappearance of volatility at some point seemed likely, even if the speed of market gyrations has been unsettling for investors.
Worried about rising defaults? There are good reasons not to be. Not only do high defaults not translate into poor high-yield returns, but we don’t expect a slew of defaults in 2018.
Check out our primer on the March 4th General Election in Italy to learn about the potential political implications and possible market impacts.
Think emerging-market debt might as well be managed passively? Think again.
The end of 2016 through the beginning of 2018 had been one of the least volatile periods in recorded stock market history. It was THE least volatile by one measure – for the 404 trading days through the beginning of February, the market never had a five percent correction – the longest streak on record.
Should investors worry about the recent rise in US Treasury yields? If they’re high-frequency bond traders—maybe. But for income-oriented investors with a longer investment horizon, our advice is simple: relax.