"Returns will likely do worse under the new administration than under the departing one, and where exceptions to this may be. That statement is linked to a simple idea. Good market environments often involve a shift from economic despair to optimism, and a shift in psychology from ‘fear’ to ‘greed’. Both occurred over the last eight years, producing returns well above the long-run average."
While the bump in rates has been fastened to the recent election of Donald Trump, due to hopes of a deficit expansion program (read: more debt) and infrastructure spending which should foster economic growth and inflation, it doesn’t explain the global selling of U.S. Treasuries.
The most troubling figure in today's JOLTs report was the annual rate of change in hiring, which as shown in the chart below, dropped 2.2% compared to the 5.212 million a year ago. This was the biggest contraction in hiring since March 2013.
Will “Trumponomics” change the course of the U.S. economy? We certainly hope so. It will be better for us all. However, as investors, we must understand the difference between a “narrative-driven” advance and one driven by strengthening fundamentals. The first is short-term and leads to bad outcomes. The other isn’t, and doesn’t.
"...there is a long way to go between President-elect taking office, drafting bills and getting them passed. There is even a further period of time before any actions actually passed by the Trump administration actually create perceivable effects within the broader economy. In the meantime, there are many concerns, from a technical perspective, that must be recognized within the current market environment."
"... we believe that the equity market is still at a level that can cope with moderately rising bond yields. We estimate that a rise in US bond yields above 2.75% or probably between 0.75-1% in Germany would create a more serious problem for equity markets: at that point we would expect that any further rises in yields from there would be a negative for stock returns." - Goldman Sachs
Speculators often prosper through ignorance; it is a cliché that in a roaring bull market knowledge is superfluous and experience a handicap. But the typical experience of the speculator is one of temporary profit and ultimate loss.
With a flurry of political risk events over the coming months, and a new global focus on fiscal policy, Draghi needs to reassure market players that the ECB has more ammunition as well as laying to rest the taper talk that spooked bond markets this month.
The FOMC has no idea what it is doing, just like Bank of Japan officials about a decade before them. Rather than learn from all the experimentation, the power and prestige still, somehow, afforded to all of them is just too much to give up. They would clearly rather keep themselves on top of the political power structure as it relates to the economy than to admit what is increasingly obvious (a second time).