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Is the equity market in “recession denial”? It seems like a crazy question to ask given that most markets are down this year – some evidence that many investors are concerned about the direction of the global economy.
Despite widespread fears about a recession this year, the stock prices of many cyclical businesses have experienced only modest drawdowns as of this writing. Amazingly, the stock prices of other companies (such as a large manufacturer of mining and construction equipment) are approaching all-time highs. Current consensus estimates for S&P 500 earnings call for 5% earnings growth in 2023. While this forecast has declined by a few percentage points over the past six months, positive earnings growth would still be quite an achievement in this environment and inconsistent with the slowdown US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Powell is trying to engineer.
In fact, if the S&P achieves the current consensus estimate in 2023, it will have delivered a compound annual earnings growth rate of 9% since 2019 (pre-COVID) – well above the long-term historical average and comfortably in the top quartile of rolling four-year periods over the last 50 years.
In a recent internal meeting, one of my fixed income colleagues commented that few of today’s market participants have lived through the type of tightening financial conditions the world is now in the midst of. In each prior instance of tightening of this magnitude, the global economy has experienced a significant slowdown. While each instance stands on its own and history is unlikely to perfectly repeat itself, I took that to mean we should be thinking about a wider distribution of potential outcomes for the economy (and, therefore, for markets as well). In the same meeting, two other colleagues highlighted the notable deterioration in some US economic indicators in just the last month.
Can the economy and markets really have enjoyed such a lengthy “party” since the 2008 global financial crisis, punctuated by a grand finale in 2020-2021, without suffering from any hangover at all? If corporate earnings were to materialize as described above, will inflation retreat to levels that are acceptable to the Fed? Current forecasts and asset prices seem to signal a belief that 2023 will not bring either materially higher interest rates or meaningfully lower earnings. I always tend to lean cautious, but this strikes me as an optimistic lens on the current set of circumstances.
Small-cap value: Strong past, bright future?Continue reading
Thematic investing focus: The future of foodContinue reading
Navigating the new global economy in 2023Continue reading
Small-cap value: Strong past, bright future?
While equity markets have had a challenging recent past, history teaches us that there may be several reasons to be optimistic about small-cap value.
Thematic investing focus: The future of food
The global food system has reached a tipping point and change is coming, creating investment opportunities aided by demographic, policy, and innovation tailwinds.
Navigating the new global economy in 2023
This executive summary distills the points of view of several of our 2023 Outlook authors. Discover the risks and opportunities they see as we enter a new economic and market regime.
China equity in 2023: Year of the stock picker
Despite the potential risks of investing in China equity, Equity Portfolio Manager Bo Meunier believes there are attractive opportunities for patient, discerning stock pickers.
Health care outlook for 2023
Looking ahead to 2023, members of our health care team see meaningful innovation, supportive valuations, and a benign political and regulatory backdrop across biopharma, medical tech, and health care services sectors.
Monthly Market Snapshot: November 2022
Pivoting from innovation and growth to stability and value
In a more volatile world, stability may take priority over innovation, and that, explains Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger, would tend to favor value stocks over growth stocks.
China internet: Identifying opportunities amid stormy seas
Uncertainty in the Chinese internet company space has been elevated over the past few years. We believe that investors may benefit from tactical approach, rather than broad-based industry exposure.
Semiconductor industry faces near-term headwinds, long-term growth
Global Industry Analyst Eunhak Bae analyzes short-term headwinds and long-term opportunities in the semiconductor industry.
Reality bites: Are equity markets too upbeat?
Cautious on global equity risk, Global Investment Strategist Nanette Abuhoff Jacobson suggests that investors favor higher-quality stocks and take a look at high-quality fixed income.
Fintech opportunities after the recent pullback
In four short videos videos, our fintech investors explore the sector's outlook amid today’s dispersion and highlight the long-term growth potential in payments, fintech incumbents, and crypto innovation.