Do not fear: there will be a “Trump Trade 2.0” at some point this year. Either valuations will retreat to the point where they reflect the reality of a legislatively-driven set of catalysts, or Washington will (in its own time) deliver on a pro-growth agenda as the market treads water. Just remember: Washington doesn’t work in New York minutes.
Five-year Treasury yields have tumbled back below 2.00% to the lowest levels in almost three-weeks, extending the drop amid the weakest economic growth period for a rate-hike since 1980. With net positioning near record high shorts, and everyone and their pet rabbit sure that a breakout above 2.15% was 'inevitable', we wonder what happens next.
Global markets start the week mixed with Asian stocks rising (Japan was closed for holiday), European stocks sliding, weighed down by declines in oil-and-gas shares and banks, and S&P500 futures also down. The dollar fell to a six-week low, falling four days in a row for the first time since early November as G20 leaders scrap a long-standing commitment to reject all forms of trade protectionism.
The Fed tightens on Wednesday and bonds rally. What the hay? GaveKal, Jeff Gundlach, and Jim Bianco nailed it in that every spec and their mother are/were short 10-year Treasuries. But this is only a small part of the story: The global bond markets are broken. There are no signals, there is no noise. Trying to infer any sense of economic or financial information from bond yields is futile.
This week has not been one to savor for USD bulls, with the FOMC rate hike accompanied by a statement which failed to generate the fresh wave of hawkish sentiment markets had positioned for. Fresh US data will therefore be required to drive fresh direction...
The highly compensated world of active fund managers continued to disintegrate before their eyes in the last week, when even as overall cash continued to flood into equities for a total of $14.5 billion, the 11th consecutive week of inflows, this was entirely due to allocations to ETFs, which saw $19.7 billion in inflows, the highest weekly amount YTD, offset by $5.1 billion in outflows from actively managed funds.
World stock indexes surged to record highs on Thursday while the dollar traded close to a one-month low after the Federal Reserve hiked U.S. interest rates but signaled no pick-up in the pace of tightening, while the Dutch elections were broadly interpreted as a drop in support for Europe's anti-establishment powers.
For the third time since June 2006, The Federal Reserve has hiked rates by 25bps (as 100% expected). If GDP forecasts for Q1 are correct, this will be the weakest economy since 1987 in which rates were increased.
Investors are willing to pay more for a given level of risk than at any time since 1994 and short interest has collapsed to record lows..."if The Fed follows through on its convictions, look for a flat yield curve and a recession to wipe out 50% of equity prices for the third time in the past seventeen years."
Japan appears to have quietly commenced its own monteary tightening because, as Bloomberg calculates looking at the BOJ's latest bond-purchase plan, the central bank is on track to miss an annual target, by a substantial margin, prompting investor concerns that the BOJ has commenced its own "stealth tapering."