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Category Archives: Global Macro

Asset Allocation Insights – Federal Reserve Words Stop the Bleeding for Now

Federal Reserve Indicates Rates Close to Target

  • Risky assets roar back after last week’s tough week as the Federal Reserve indicates that short-term rates are close to “normal”
  • US large cap, in particular, staged a nice earnings-related recovery
  • REITS continue quietly performing well – up 5.8% for the year (best among our key asset classes)
  • EM stocks also continue their recovery an are up 2.5% over the last month
  • Aggressive, domestically focused multi-asset class strategies outperformed less risky and more internationally focused allocations
  • YTD lower risk asset allocation strategies have outperformed especially if the allocations involved international equities
  • Commodities remained volatile and subject to the direction of oil prices – the trend is still negative

Currencies:

  • The USD appreciated slightly last week and remains in a significant Up Trend
  • The South African Rand continues recovering from oversold conditions
  • The British Pound continued depreciating due to major uncertainty regarding whether BREXIT will pass Parliament
  • The Mexican Peso recovered a bit last week as a new administration is sworn in this week
  • In general, FX volatility has increased substantially in the last couple of months

Commodities:

  • Commodity indices continue in a Down Trend as oil markets had another down leg
  • On the flipside, grain prices have been recovering since the summer with soybeans again up last week
  • Lumber prices continue being extremely volatile and remain in a Down Trend
  • Gold and Silver were slightly down last week and barring a real crisis continue on a downward trend especially in light of higher short-term interest rates

This Coming Week:

  • Home bias keeps winning as multi-asset strategies with international assets have significantly underperformed
  • The strong USD is partly to blame and the end may be near as the Fed indicates rates close to “normal”
  • We still foresee one further rate hike in the US in December but fixed income market conditions have stabilized
  • Our view is that volatility is here to stay
    • In fact, we see current asset class volatility as normal
  • We are also watching out for any strong jump in inflationary expectations (which have been trending down)
    • Tariffs are inflationary and will be reflected in higher consumer prices eventually
  • EM equities, in particular, are recovering but will end up in the red this year
    • We still believe that an allocation is warranted
  • Growth outperformed Value last week but we are seeing signs of industry rotation toward value sectors
    • The Momentum trade while still ahead YTD is losing strength despite a bif up week
  • The G20 meeting concludes – the US and China are still at odds over tariffs but maybe rational minds will prevail?

__________________________________________________________________________________

To read our full weekly report please click here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Equity Market Highlights – Momentum and Growth Get Mauled

Growth loses its edge as Momentum reverses

  • The last month has been brutal for equity investors
    • Higher rates contributed to this as well as slower expected global growth due to an escalation of tariffs
    • Surprisingly, EM stocks are up over the last month but YTD remain the worst of the major equity categories
  • YTD US large caps are barely in positive territory but US small caps are now down for the year
    • The S&P 500 is up 0.2% for the year while the Russell 2000 is down 2%
    • International strategies have underperformed both in local market returns and a strong USD

Countries & Region:

  • The carnage continues –US growth stocks took a huge pounding last week
  • Commodity indices took a beating last week (due to oil primarily) while the Real Estate market kept recovering
  • In the US Value out-performed Growth over the last 5 trading by over 130 bp
  • In international markets Value and Growth performed in line with each other
    • Traditional Value sectors such as Utilities and Staples outperformed along with Health Care
  • Technology and Energy were the two largest losers last week

Style & Sector:

  • In the US, we saw a strong size effect last week with mega-caps under-performing
  • Value once again out-performed Growth as the Utilities, Health Care and Real Estate performed well
  • The Momentum trade has gone in reverse and Growth Stocks are key losers but remain ahead YTD
  • Developed international markets were down the least last week but remain down 10% for the year

This Coming Week:

  • Risk Aversion should stay high and we expect choppy markets this coming week again
  • Equity Technicals have deteriorated to the point that over half of our US universe in is a Down Trend Phase
  • Tax loss selling is likely to intensify in the next few weeks
  • Tariff wars are taking a bite with the IMF recently citing trade wars as the main reason for a cut in their forecast of global growth
  • Small caps have massively under-performed large caps over the last 3 months – risk is being shunned at the moment
  • Surprisingly EM equities have outperformed developed markets in the last month.
  • REITS have performed extremely well and are YTD our best performing asset class
  • Q3 reporting is heavy in the US – looking for commentary on tariffs, slowing growth, and inflationary pressures

To read our weekly report including style factor breakdowns please click  here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Asset Allocation Insights – Stocks and Bonds Make Better Friends Under Duress

Stocks & Bonds – Friends Under Duress

  • Last week again showed why you need both stocks and bonds in your portfolio – when one zigs the other one zags
  • The search for assets that effectively diversify equity and interest rate risk is key especially given over-valued stocka nd bond markets
  • Yet another tough week for risky assets with 2 exceptions: Emerging Mkt equities and REITS
  • The outperformance of EM equities was driven by a bounce back in the Chinese market (up 2.8% last week)
  • Conservative (bond heavy) multi-asset class strategies outperformed riskier (heavier equity) allocations
  • YTD lower risk asset allocation strategies have also outperformed especially if the allocations involved international equities
  • Commodities remained volatile and subject to the direction of oil prices – the trend is increasingly negative
  • Within equities, US Midcaps outperformed last week with Value stocks trouncing Growth stocks by 1.1% over the last 5 days
  • A 60/40 mix of purely US assets under-performed last week a global version but remains vastly ahead YTD

Currencies:

  • The USD appreciated slightly last week and remains in a significant Up Trend
  • The South African Rand continues recovering from oversold conditions
  • The British Pound got pounded due to major uncertainty regarding whether BREXIT will pass Parliament
  • Theresa May can’t seem to win even when she resolves major uncertainties (Irish border this week, deal with EU)
  • The Mexican Peso continues its depreciation versus the USD and is firmly in a Down Trend Stage policy
  • In general, FX volatility has increased substantially in the last couple of months

Commodities:

  • Commodity indices had a bad week due to the continued downward trend in oil prices
  • Oil prices dropped 7% last week and are down over 18% over the last 60 days
  • On the flipside, grain prices have been recovering since the summer with soybeans again up last week
  • Lumber prices continue being extremely volatile and remain in a Down Trend
  • Gold and Silver were stable last week for a change but barring a real crisis continue on a downtrend especially in light of higher short-term interest rates

This Coming Week:

  • Home bias keeps winning as multi-asset strategies with international assets have significantly underperformed
  • The strong USD is partly to blame but we do not see a significant reversal anytime soon as US monetary policy is being normalized
  • We still foresee one further rate hike in the US in December but fixed income market conditions have stabilized
  • Our view is that volatility is here to stay
    • In fact, we see current asset class volatility as normal
  • We are also watching out for any strong jump in inflationary expectations
    • Tariffs are inflationary and will be reflected in higher consumer prices eventually
  • EM equities, in particular, are taking a huge hit both on the asset side as well as currency – this is turning out to be a lost year for EM investors
    • We still believe that an allocation is warranted
  • Value dramatically outperformed Growth last week and we are seeing signs of industry rotation toward value sectors
    • The Momentum trade while still ahead YTD is quickly losing strength
  • Q3 reporting is semi-heavy in the US – looking for commentary on tariffs, slowing growth, and inflationary pressures

To read our full weekly report please click here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Equity Market Insights – Strong Signs of Sector and Style Rotation

It’s Happening- Signs of Sector and Style Rotation

  • Value sectors are gaining momentum while Growth sectors such as Tech is losing steam quickly
  • Similarly, strategies such as low volatility are gaining ground at the expense of pure momentum strategies
  • The last month has been brutal for equity investors but some signs of stability have emerged
    • Higher rates contributed to this as well as slower expected global growth due to an escalation of tariffs
  • YTD US large and small caps are in positive territory
    • The S&P 500 is up 5.7% for the year while the Russell 2000 is up a meager 1.9%
    • International strategies have underperformed due both to local market returns and a strong USD

Countries & Region:

  • The carnage continues among Chinese stocks
  • Commodity indices took a beating last week (due to oil primarily) while the Real Estate market kept recovering
  • In the US Value out-performed Value over the last 5 trading by over 40 bp
  • In international markets Value outperformed Growth by 90 bp
    • Traditional Value sectors such as Utilities and Staples outperformed along with Health Care
  • Health Care and Technology are the two best sectors YTD but Tech has been losing momentum

 

Style & Sector:

  • In the US, we saw a strong size effect last week with mega-caps outperforming
  • Value once again out-performed Growth as the Utilities, Health Care and Real Estate performed well
  • Growth and Momentum keep dominating YTD among US stocks but the lead is shrinking
  • Developed international markets were flat last week but EM equities took yet another hit
  • EM LATAM continues extremely volatile and driven by politics

This Coming Week:

  • Risk Aversion should stay high and we expect choppy markets this coming week again
  • Equity Technicals have deteriorated but have recovered from the ugliness of prior weeks
  • Tax loss selling is likely to intensify in the next few weeks
  • Tariff wars are taking a bite with the IMF recently citing trade wars as the main reason for a cut in their forecast of global growth
  • Small caps have massively under-performed large caps over the last 3 months – risk is being shunned at the moment
  • Will EM equities recover? Seems to be all about the direction of the US dollar at the moment. Pretty beat up despite stronger fundamentals
  • REITS have performed extremely well and are YTD only slightly behind US equities
  • Q3 reporting is heavy in the US – looking for commentary on tariffs, slowing growth and inflationary pressures

To read our weekly report including style factor breakdowns please click  here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Asset Allocation Insights – A Reprieve for Equity Investors but Tariffs Loom Large

A Reprieve for Equity Investors but Tariffs Loom Large

  • Equities recovered last week and fixed income only suffered mild losses last week
  • The best performing asset class last week was Emerging Market Equities
  • Multi-asset class investors enjoyed above-average returns due to the spike in equity values
  • Commodities remained volatile and subject to the direction of oil prices
  • Within equities, US large cap ended up over 2% with Value strategies outperforming Growth by 2%
  • A 60/40 mix of purely US assets under-performed a global version but remains vastly ahead YTD

Currencies:

  • The USD slightly appreciated last week after the significant gain it had the week before
  • The South African Rand recovered over 1% as interest rates provide some support for the beleaguered currency
  • The British Pound gained almost 2% as BREXIT negotiations regained momentum and Sterling monetary policy becomes more normalized
  • The Mexican Peso tumbled as a left-leaning new President encounters economic difficulties and political fallout from US immigration policy

Commodities:

  • Commodity indices had a bad week due to the continued downtrend in oil prices
  • Oil prices dropped nearly 7% last week and are down over 15% over the last 20 days
  • On the flipside, grain prices have been recovering since the summer with soybeans, corn and wheat prices all up last week
  • Lumber prices continue being extremely volatile – lumber was up last week almost 10% but remains in a severe downtrend
  • Gold and Silver were stable last week for a change but barring a real crisis continue on a downward trend especially in light of higher short-term interest rates

This Coming Week:

  • Home bias keeps winning as multi-asset strategies with international assets have significantly underperformed
  • The strong USD is partly to blame but we do not see a significant reversal anytime soon as US monetary policy is being normalized
  • We still foresee one further rate hike in the US in December but fixed income market conditions have stabilized
  • Our view is that volatility is here to stay
    • In fact, we see current asset class volatility as normal
  • We are also watching out for any strong jump in inflationary expectations
    • Tariffs are inflationary and will be reflected in higher consumer prices eventually
  • EM equities, in particular, are taking a huge hit both on the asset side as well as currency – this is turning out to be a lost year for EM investors
    • We still believe that an allocation is warranted

To read our full weekly report please click here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Equity Market Insights – Bumped into the Ditch by Tariffs

Equity Markets Bloodied Again By Tariffs

  • A brutal week for risk-taking – all major equity asset classes lost money last week
  • Higher rates contributed to this as well as slower expected global growth due to an escalation of tariffs
  • EM Equities have taken a real beating this year down over 17%
  • YTD only US Large Cap is in positive territory
    • The S&P 500 is up 1% for the year

 


Countries & Region:

  • Carnage all over the place – a global retreat from risky assets
  • Equities vastly under-performed bonds last week despite generally higher global interest rates and decent growth
  • In the US Growth out-performed Value over the last 5 trading by over 40 bp
    • Traditional Value sectors such as Energy, Industrials and Telecom did not provide any downside protection
  • Utilities and Staples, two traditional low beta sectors lost the least

 


Style & Sector:

  • In the US, mega-caps underperformed small caps by 10 bp last week
  • Value once again under-performed Growth as the Energy and Telecom sectors provided a huge drag
  • Growth and Momentum keep dominating YTD among US stocks but the lead is shrinking
  • Developed international markets performed in line with US markets but lag significantly YTD
  • EM LATAM recovered last week driven by Brazilian election results favoring a pro-business candidate

This Coming Week:

  • Risk Aversion should stay high and we expect choppy markets this coming week again
  • Technicals have deteriorated massively – sure looks like a bear market or at least a very serious correction
  • We are starting to see oversold conditions but our RAI needs to remain another week in the Fearful Zone to act
  • Tariff wars are taking a bite with the IMF recently citing trade wars as the main reason for a cut in their forecast of global growth
  • Small caps have massively underperformed large caps over the last 3 months – risk is being shunned at the moment
    • Our models still like small caps better
  • Will EM equities recover? Seems to be all about the direction of the US dollar at the moment. Pretty beat up despite stronger fundamentals
  • What form will sanctions take against Saudi Arabia?
    • Maybe they get a free pass but in any case, I would expect the oil market to be materially affected.
    • Q3 reporting is heavy in the US – looking for commentary on tariffs, slowing growth and inflationary pressures

To read our weekly report including style factor breakdowns please click  here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Asset Allocation Insights – A Dicey Week Gets Investors to Pay Attention to Risk

Investors Pay Attention To Risk Again

  • Risky assets suffered large losses last week with the exception of REITS up over 3%
  • Fixed income also experienced losses as interest rates globally moved up yet again
  • In general, while the losses paled in comparison to the previous week, multi-asset investors continued losing capital
  • Within equities, US large cap ended up flat with Value strategies outperforming Growth by 1.3%
  • A 60/40 mix of purely US assets out-performed a global version and remains vastly ahead YTD
  • In general, higher risk multi-asset strategies under-performed last week but remain ahead YTD

Currencies:

  • The USD once again regained lost strength last week
  • The Brazilian Real further recovered as a pro-business President is on deck
  • EM currencies were mixed with the Peso and Yuan losing additional ground
  • The British Pound lost about 1.5% last week as Brexit negotiations continue without a clear outcome
  • The Yuan avoided being labeled a currency manipulator by the US Treasury but the trend is for further depreciation

Commodities:

  • Commodity indices gave back some of the gains from the previous week as oil prices retreated
  • Grain prices also retreated further but prices have stabilized from the bottom hit in the summer
  • Sugar and Coffee showed the most gains aided by an appreciating Brazilian Real
  • Gold and Silver were stable last week for a change but barring a real crisis continue on a downtrend especially in light of higher short-term interest rates

This Coming Week:

  • US risky assets keep outperforming YTD but last week was a down week across the board except for REITS
  • The worst performing asset categories are international equities with EM down almost 15% YTD
  • The critical variable to watch for this week is the US 10 Year Note – another spike up and risky assets will be under great stress
  • Our view is that volatility is here to stay
    • In fact, we see current asset class volatility as normal
  • We are also watching out for any strong jump in inflationary expectations
    • Tariffs are inflationary and will be reflected in higher consumer prices eventually
  • EM equities, in particular, are taking a huge hit both on the asset side as well as currency – this is turning out to be a lost year for EM investors
    • We still believe that an allocation is warranted
  • Value dramatically outperformed Growth last week and we are seeing faint signs of industry rotation toward value sectors
    • The Momentum trade while still ahead YTD is quickly losing strength
  • Earning season in the US is back with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google all reporting
  • The biggest issue for investors is lack of a reasonable hedge to equity risk

To read our full weekly report please click here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Equity Market Insights -Nowhere to Hide

Equity markets get body slammed with small caps taking the biggest hit

  • A brutal week for risk-taking – all major equity asset classes lost money last week
    • Higher rates contributed to this as well as slower expected global growth
  • EM Equities lost the least last week (-2%) but continue being the worst performing equity class YTD (-13.6%)
  • YTD US Large Cap has leapfrogged small caps
    • Small caps are down 10% in the last month
  • Our top-rated asset class at the moment is International Developed Markets (EAFE) but last week was not good for this asset (-3.9%)
  • Year-to-date US equities are vastly out-performing international assets – strong home bias fuelled by strong US growth plus an appreciating US dollar
  • In the US Growth outperformed Value but internationally the opposite was true – Investors keep hoping for Value to play better defense
  • Last week woke up investors to equity risk – our Risk Aversion Index jumped to the very top of the Normal Zone

 


Countries & Region:

  • Carnage all over the place – a global retreat from risky assets
  • Equities vastly under-performed bonds last week despite generally higher global interest rates
  • In the US Growth out-performed Value over the last 5 trading days but in the rest of the world Value outperformed
    • Traditional Value sectors such as Industrials, Materials, and Financials got hit hardest
  • Utilities and Staples, two traditional low beta sectors lost the least

 


Style & Sector:

  • In the US, mega-caps outperformed (lost less, unfortunately)
  • Value once again under-performed Growth –mainly due to losses in the Industrials, Materials and Finance sectors
  • Growth and Momentum keep dominating YTD among US stocks
  • Developed international markets slightly outperformed the US but remain in the red for the year
  • EM LATAM recovered last week driven by Brazilian election results favoring a pro-business candidate

 


This Coming Week:

  • Risk Aversion should stay high and we expect choppy markets this coming week
  • Technicals have deteriorated massively – sure looks like a bear market or at least a very serious correction
  • The battle may not be between growth and value – feels more like momentum versus reversal
  • Tariff wars are taking a bite with the IMF recently citing trade wars as the main reason for a cut in their forecast of global growth
  • Small caps have massively underperformed large caps over the last 3 months – risk is being shunned at the moment
    • Our models still like small caps better
  • Will EM equities recover? Seems to be all about the direction of the US dollar at the moment. Pretty beat up despite stronger fundamentals
  • What form will sanctions take against Saudi Arabia?
    • Maybe they get a free pass but in any case, I would expect the oil market to be materially affected.
    • Q3 reporting starts in the US – looking for commentary on tariffs, slowing growth, and inflationary pressures

 


To read our weekly report including style factor breakdowns please click  here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

Asset Allocation Insights – Commodities Roar Back

Commodities Roar Back

  • Risky assets suffered large losses last week with EM stocks taking the biggest beating
  • Fixed income also experienced losses as interest rates globally spiked up
  • Only Commodities as an asset class experienced positive returns
  • Within equities, US large cap lost the least as Value strategies actually showed slight gains
  • A 60/40 mix of purely US assets out-performed a global version and remains vastly ahead YTD
  • In general, higher risk multi-asset strategies under-performed last week but remain ahead YTD

Currencies:

  • The USD regained lost strength last week
  • The Brazilian Real spiked up as pro-business President is expected to be elected
  • EM currencies continue getting pounded with the Rand taking the biggest beating as SA enters a recession
  • As central banks normalize their policies expect enhanced volatility as market participants balance interest rate differentials with economic growth dynamics
  • The Yuan has stabilized after a period of depreciation – authorities have refrained so far from using a weaker currency to fight tariffs

Commodities:

  • Best week this year for commodity prices – potentially a wakeup call as investor update their inflationary expectations
  • Sugar and coffee prices were up the most boosted by the appreciation of the Brazilian Real
  • Grain prices recovered from previous week lows but until tariffs with China are not agreed to we should expect to see huge volatility
  • Oil keeps marching higher as economic growth remains robust and sanctions against Iran take a bite out of supplies
  • Gold and Silver were stable last week for a change but barring a real crisis continue on a downtrend especially in light of higher short-term interest rates

This Coming Week:

  • Risky assets keep outperforming YTD but last week was a down week across the board except for commodities
  • The critical variable to watch for this week is the US 10 Year Note – another spike up and risky assets will be under great stress
  • Our view is that markets will calm down and that risky assets will recover this week
  • We are also watching out for any strong jump in inflationary expectations
    • An important economic number to watch this week is US CPI on Thursday
  • EM equities, in particular, are taking a huge hit both on the asset side as well as currency – this is turning out to be a lost year for EM investors
  • Value dramatically outperformed Growth last week and we are seeing faint signs of industry rotation toward value sectors
    • The Momentum trade while still ahead YTD is quickly losing strength
  • What will make investors price risk more in line with history?
    • A growth scare in the US, maybe? A real inflation scare?
  • The biggest issue for investors is lack of a reasonable hedge to equity risk

To read our full weekly report please click here

Eric J. Weigel

Global Focus Capital LLC

eweigel@gf-cap.com

___________________________________________________________________________________

Publications:

Weekly Asset Allocation Review – Free

Weekly Equity Themes Review – Free

The Equity Observer (Monthly) – Subscription Required

The Asset Allocation Advisor (Monthly) – Subscription Required

 

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