No one really knows for sure!
Just like we weren’t certain what caused a hissy fit the last quarter of 2018, no one really knows for sure why everyone became so happy this quarter. Needless to say, we think this is a more normal reaction and possibly a reversion to the mean from the hissy fit.
As mentioned in our Q2 2019 Newsletter, capital markets could have been protesting higher interest rates – or as mentioned in one of our most read posts at Street-cents.com, it could have just been that it was amateur hour and movement during a “Gentleman’s agreement no movement” time was exaggerated. No matter the reason, capital markets have a happier face.
Inverted yield curve
Just as we pushed the Q2 Newsletter off to the presses, the yield curve did officially invert – as a reminder, yield curve inversion is when short term interest rates are higher than long term rates, which occurred in the last five days of the quarter. The reason we, as well as many other in the industry crow about this unique situation, is it has been a precursor to recessions with great accuracy. Before taking shelter and hiding under the covers, this precursor has no accuracy on the depth, and very little accuracy on the timing of a recession. In some instances a recession occurred two years after the inversion.
As mentioned again in our Q2 Newsletter, the definition of a recession is two consecutive negative gross domestic production – GDP prints – yes that could be – .01% and -.01% making for a mini-mi recession, but still a recession. No matter, just as you can’t be partially sick or partially have an accident the inverted yield curve did occur. As such we will be monitoring the situation very carefully and remembering that now, is not the time to be taking extra risk.
Given the yield curve inverted, no steep inflation signals are occurring, and the economy is growing, but not red hot, it is likely we have seen the highest short term rates for a while. Fed officials seem very comfortable at the current level. As more data is recorded, things can change.
We will talk to you again in the summer, have a great day!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
Second Quarter 2018 Cover Letter Review
On the road to nowhere? Or are we?
While capital markets around the globe may seem subdued, especially compared to last year’s movements, looking beneath the surface there is much going on.
Increased Company Earnings
With the corporate tax cuts, earnings are increasing. Public companies are enjoying terrific earnings growth and logging excellent earnings reports as the year continues. With little movement in capital markets and increased earnings, valuations by most any measure, are becoming less expensive. Also, worth notice in our Q3 Newsletter is a detailed article concerning lowered numbers of public traded companies, a possible source of different valuations moving forward.
Financially Happy Consumer
Broadly, the consumer from a financial standpoint is doing well. A happy consumer, leading to a more freely spending consumer, is an important point for the United States since the Gross Domestic Economy is made up of over two thirds consumer spending. Much of this financial happiness comes before a lower tax burden, likely to be felt by consumers next tax season – again in our Q3 Newsletter there are multiple family scenarios detailing the tax savings due next year.
Market participants have digested multiple rate increases in stride, unlike times before. With gradual rate increases already occurring in the year, and more expected, normalization of interest rates is occurring without the fears of past. Being the first time in almost a decade to have rate increases, we are on Inverted Yield Curve watch (detailed article again in our Q3 Newsletter) as a possible predictor that rates have moved too far, and a signal of a possible recession. So far this has not occurred.
In closing, our patience theme from the beginning of the year seems to be still best suited.
Have a Great Summer!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
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Posted in Clients/Clients Only, Interest Rates, Investing/Financial Planning, Market Comments, Performance Report Cover Letter
Tagged Consumer, Cover Letter, Earnings, Interest Rates, Inverted Yield Curve, Performance Report