Since hope re-blossomed at the start of June and was reignited by Mario's musings, the equity markets of the US and Europe have surged in an outpouring of faith in central bank excess and policy-maker's abilities to 'fix' everything (despite decades of truth that points in the exact opposite direction). But while the market levitates on ever-increasing multiples (as earnings current and forward are dragged lower by the economic reality of a debt-deleveraging world), the true picture of what is driving stocks become clear. For the first time since the BTFD rally began in March of 2009, cyclical stocks (or economically-sensitive firms) are underperforming notably - implying notably lower expectations for a levered recovery by the consumer. As Bloomberg's Chart of the day notes, either the economy will hockey-stick back to a significant rebound or broad equity market indices will fall back to a more defensive reality - given the non-economy-helping nature of LTRO/QE, we suspect the latter. Do you believe in miracles?
and as a reminder from MS Adam Parker:
Underneath the market rally there has been some abnormal micro structure, including the fact that mega-caps have outperformed in an up tape, high beta has underperformed, and in the last month energy was the best-performing sector while materials was the worst, despite the 0.83 correlation between the two over the past 40 years.
Chart: Bloomberg (via RBS)