In-depth write up of Moody's (MCO) highlighting how it fits into YCG's investment framework which focuses on identifying "great business" and "market-timing" mispricings.
The economic calendar is light, and the market week will be shortened. There is no holiday this week, but expect many participants to take off early for a long weekend. If interest remain above 3% on the ten-year note, that will be the focus.
This week I had the pleasure to attend Consensus 2018 in New York, the premiere gathering for the who’s who in blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Attendance doubled from last year to an estimated 8,500 people, all of them packed in a Hilton built for only 3,000. Ticket sales alone pulled in a whopping $17 million, while event booths—the largest of which belonged to Microsoft and IBM—generated untold millions more.
Market signals have been decidedly mixed thus far into the year. By this time a year ago, the S&P 500 had already returned 5%. Today, in early May, the S&P 500 is down fractionally, while volatility and bond yields are up.
With the rapid development of single country ETFs, capturing factor alpha at the country level may prove to be an efficient, practical alternative to individual stock selection. In this study, we look at how effectively our internally-developed EM stock selection model can guide country overweights/underweights. Back testing shows that stock-level factor alpha can indeed be captured at the country level.
Some may view the US dollar’s appreciation as consistent with a longer-term rebalancing of the global economy. But, as Argentina’s recent request for IMF financing starkly demonstrates, a sharp and sudden dollar appreciation risks unbalancing things elsewhere.
This week I had the opportunity to sit down with Marco Streng, the wunderkind bitcoin visionary behind Genesis Mining. Genesis, as many of you reading this might know, is the world’s largest cloud bitcoin mining company, with over 2 million customers worldwide. It calls Iceland home, whose cool climate and affordable green energy are ideal for mining newly minted virgin cryptocurrencies. Last year, Genesis helped connect the blockchain sector and traditional capital markets by partnering with HIVE Blockchain Technologies, the first publicly traded digital currency mining firm.
After two consecutive months of market tumult and negative returns, the S&P 500 in April exhibited greater calm and eked out a positive return. Volatility was lower in April than it was in March and closer to its five year average across each of the major segments of the global equity market. Unlike 2017, markets in post-January 2018 have been much less decisive. The ongoing divergence of supply and demand factors in the bond market is creating mounting upward pressure on interest rates.
Gold was up half a percent year-to-date through last Friday. This doesn’t sound very exciting, but over the same period, the S&P 500 Index was in the red—the first time in nearly a decade that stocks have been negative for the year through the beginning of May.
The first quarter of 2018 was remarkable in several ways. We saw record highs in equity markets, but also a fierce resurgence in volatility. To some degree, the first quarter was a Jekyll and Hyde type of period. The first half of the quarter was characterized by a low volatility, momentum driven, continuation of the themes that carried 2017.