As readers of the missives know, the three sectors we have really liked are Financials, Technology, and Industrials. Therefore, we were excited to arrive in Boston last week to see portfolio manager (PMs) and renew friendships.
In a record-breaking sprint from all-time highs to an “official” correction, the “short vol” trade unwinding exacerbates an initially fundamentals-driven decline.
So most know we took one of our South Florida speaking tours last week. Such tours consist of meeting with portfolio managers, presentations to clients of Raymond James, branch visits with our financial advisors, doing the media thing, well you get the idea.
With the declines yesterday, U.S. markets are now in an official correction. Just to get the terminology straight, a “correction” means a 10-percent decline, while a "bear market" indicates a 20-percent decline. As of the close yesterday, the Dow was down 10.3 percent, and the S&P 500 was down 10.1 percent.
Volatility has spiked, jolting investors out of complacency, but that doesn’t mean any dramatic action is needed.
We have long been big fans of the books about Sherlock Holmes ever since our misbegotten youth. Strangely enough, being a strategist/analyst is much like being a detective. One has to gather the evidence, pour through it, decipher it, eliminate the “noise,” and come to a conclusion that tips the odds of making money in our favor.
Today’s big news is the jobs report. It is the single most informative and important economic report there is. As such, it always gets a great deal of attention. In general, the news this month is quite good—but not perfect.
There is a market adage that states, “as goes January, so goes the year.” We certainly should hope this is the case for 2018, as January was another month of great stock market returns. The U.S. indices were up by 5 percent or more, while international markets—both developed and emerging—did the same.
In what was Janet Yellen’s final meeting as Fed Chair, rates were left unchanged, but the outlook for inflation was elevated in the statement.
With President Trump scheduled to give the annual State of the Union address tonight, I thought it would be a good time to consider the economic state of the union. As usual, of course, I am going to pass on the politics and instead take a big-picture look at the economy.