Our current view is the lift-off will be December or later. Assuming inflation will pick up and the Fed hikes the rate by the end of 2015, stocks will perform relatively well, with international stocks a better bet than U.S. stocks.
The “cash on the sidelines” is a Supply/Demand argument that we’ve struggled with even in the most bullish of times; every purchase of a security is matched with a sale. But even taking the argument at face value, current holdings of retail investors and mutual fund managers suggest that the cash left the sidelines long ago.
How will today’s bull market be viewed through the eventual clarity and objectivity of hindsight? We’ve pulled together several still frames that we think best capture the essence of this historic run.
Can a deflationary outlook coincide with a bullish stance on equity markets? The short answer: YES. Periods of more commonly experienced mild deflation have actually coincided with above average stock returns, especially when deflation occurs outside of a recession.
A big question for investors is: have oil prices bottomed? For the past four days, WTI jumped 19% from its low reached on January 28th, giving some the conviction that prices are reverting back to prior high levels.
We are nothing if not contrarians, but have also highlighted the hazards of “knee-jerk” contrarianism—in which investors are instinctively drawn to the asset, sector, or stock that is down the most in price in the recent past.
Six of the seven factor categories we track have turned in positive performance so far in 2014; Value is the exception. Lost in the numbers is that most of the value has come from the short quintiles, so it has been hard for managers to take advantage of this trend.