Drivers of recent market volatility

Holland_F_150x150Tim Holland, CFA,
Senior Vice President, Global Investment Strategist

 

Throughout 2018, Brinker Capital has been optimistic about both the US economy and US stocks, however, recent market weakness and volatility beg two questions:

  • Is Brinker Capital still optimistic on the US economy and US equities?
  • If so, why?

To answer both questions, we remain optimistic on the US economy and markets into 2019. We are overweight US and emerging market equities and conservatively positioned within fixed income, as we continue to see interest rates biased higher. Additionally, we remain optimistic as the fundamental data continue to point us in that direction.

More specifically,

  • The US economy should grow north of 3% in 2018 and about 2.5% in 2019.  We see very little risk of a recession in the new year.
  • US corporate profits should grow north of 20% in 2018 and mid to high single digits in 2019.  Continued growth in earnings is important for a few reasons, including the fact that we haven’t had an economic recession without an earnings recession (e.g. when US corporate profits decline year-on-year) and that as earnings move higher and the market trades down, stocks become more attractively valued.
  • None of the classic indicators of a recession, including an inverted yield curve, restrictive monetary policy, or a rolling over of leading economic indicators are present today.  In fact, one could argue that the US economy is doing exceptionally well, with unemployment below 4%, GDP growth above 3% and inflation anchored near 2%. Also, the recent dramatic drop in the price of oil will translate into lower prices at the pump for US drivers, a powerful economic tailwind when considering our economy is 70% consumer driven.
  • Pivoting back to the US equities, not only is the market attractively valued at below 14x forward earnings, 2018 should see US companies pay a record amount of dividends and buy in a record amount of their own shares. Both are important pillars of support for stocks.
  • Many measures of Investor Sentiment are at or close to all-time high levels of pessimism. This indicated that many investors have capitulated and return expectations moving forward are very low. In this environment, news that is even incrementally positive can have a substantial upside impact on markets.

So, if the fundamental data is so robust, why has the market been so volatile and biased lower? We would point to two primary concerns. First, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is pushing interest rates too high too quickly, which will ultimately lead to a slowing of corporate and consumer spending and a recession. Second, the US and China won’t be able to resolve their differences on trade, with escalating tariffs ultimately pushing the Chinese economy into a recession, which will pull down global growth and possibly cause a recession here at home.

We believe both risks are real and meaningful, however, we also continue to believe that the Fed will move quite slowly on interest rates next year and that cooler heads will prevail on trade.  In fact, the Fed has made it quite clear they will be data dependent when it comes to interest rate policy in 2019 and the US and China recently agreed not to impose any additional tariffs during a 90-day negotiating period.  We expect good news on the trade front sooner rather than later.

Market drawdowns are never pleasant, but they do happen.  And when markets sell off it is important to keep one’s focus on the fundamentals and away from the media’s bias toward fear-mongering and frightening headlines.  Today, the fundamental underpinnings of both the economy and market remain robust and as a result, we remain optimistic on both into 2019.

The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Brinker Capital, Inc., a registered investment advisor.

Investment Insights Podcast: What’s roiling the market, and where do we go from here?

Tim Holland, CFA, Senior Vice President, Global Investment Strategist

On this week’s podcast (recorded December 6, 2018),
Tim discusses the recent drawdown in US equities and the associated volatility.

Quick hits:

  • Since October 1st, the S&P 500 is off approximately 9% while also experiencing two intra-period rallies of approximately 6%.
  • While both trade and monetary policy are legitimate concerns for the market into year end, we continue to believe that cooler heads will prevail concerning the US / China trade dynamic and that the US Federal Reserve will move cautiously on interest rates in the new year.
  • Brinker Capital remains constructive on the US economy and US equities into year end.

For Tim’s full insights, click here to listen to the audio recording.

Podcast_Mic_Image_12-6-18

The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a registered investment advisor.

Investment Insights Podcast: The US economy accelerates in Q2. Will the momentum continue?

Tim Holland, CFA, Senior Vice President, Global Investment Strategist

On this week’s podcast (recorded July 30, 2018),
Tim discusses why the underlying components of the GDP growth report were most encouraging and speaks to why the US economy should continue to perform well into 2019.

Quick hits:

  • During Q2 the US savings rate was a very healthy 6.8%, this should keep the US consumer on firm financial footing, a key development when one considers the US economy is 70% consumer driven.
  • Both housing and inventories detracted from economic growth during Q2.
  • Nonresidential fixed investment – which is another way of saying spending by corporate America – increased a very healthy 7.3% during Q2, after rising an even stronger 11.5% in Q1.

For Tim’s full insights, click here to listen to the audio recording.

investment podcast (31)The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a registered investment advisor.

Investment Insights Podcast: Despite the noise and market volatility, it’s so far so good economically

Amy Magnotta, CFASenior Vice President, Brinker Capital

On this week’s podcast (recorded June 28, 2018), Amy discusses the recent noise and market volatility.

Quick hits:

  • We’ve seen a pickup in volatility again in global equity markets over the last week due to the unclear strategy toward global trade.
  • There are continued signs of strength in the US economy.
  • While we are in the latter half of the cycle, we continue to believe that the growth tailwinds are supportive of the markets, and risk assets, over the near term.

For Amy’s full insights, click here to listen to the audio recording.

investment podcast (29)


The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a registered investment advisor.

Vlog – Where risks reside

Tim Holland, Brinker Capital’s Global Investment Strategists, discusses the near-term risks to the US economy and the market as we approach the halfway point of 2018.

The views expressed are those of Brinker Capital and are not intended as investment advice or recommendation. For informational purposes only. Holdings are subject to change. Brinker Capital, Inc., a registered investment advisor.