Well, Mark Cudmore is in rare form on Thursday and that means he’s comin’ out bullish guns ablazin’.
See the thing is, Cudmore doesn’t see any reason to sell stocks and even though he’s a “structural dollar bear”, he doesn’t see any reason to sell it either. And on top of that, he doesn’t see any reason to buy Treasuries.
Yesterday, Cameron Crise made a decent argument for why you shouldn’t sell just because “Trump.” Basically, the market priced out “Trump” and his policy platform a long time ago, therefore, you need to find another reason to sell and Crise listed several good ones.
And while Cudmore gives a nod to Crise, old Mark doesn’t think there’s been a “fundamentally negative development” lately with regard to the Trump White House.
Apparently “treason” and obstructing an investigation into that treason don’t count.
Wednesday saw the largest sell-off in the S&P 500 Index for eight months. Without some major new developments, it’s unlikely to be the start of a severe correction. In fact, the worst is probably over already for U.S. equities, for Treasury yields and for the dollar.
- Bears may be excited. There is a large sloth (it’s the correct term — I looked it up!) of them that have been trained, like Pavlov’s dogs, by the 2008/09 financial crisis, to look for crises at every turn. And they are obsessed with their perceived “over-valuation” of the U.S. equity market
- However, while bears awake on panic, rumors and speculation, they ultimately need the sustenance of genuine negative fundamentals to stay alert and maintain their focus for a persistent bout of risk aversion. Right now there are thin pickings for them
- As my colleague, Cameron Crise, outlined Wednesday, the Trump premium was priced out of U.S. equities months ago. So selling stocks because fiscal stimulus looks unlikely is a poor idea. If you want to sell them for some other reason, then go ahead
- But what other reason suddenly matters now more than it did on Monday when equities made a record high close? Trump isn’t suddenly enacting unexpected negative policies. At least not yet
- The economic data hasn’t suddenly deteriorated. In fact, Tuesday’s industrial production print showed the fastest month-on-month growth in more than three years
- It’s not commodities prices — they’ve been remarkably calm. It’s hard to point to any external event. Chinese assets were showing stress but this week has seen the first signs of stability there in some weeks
- The facts of the matter are that the recent earnings season was strong, there’s still excess cash on the sidelines and way too much capital chasing too few financial options, global growth is picking up, U.S. growth is fine even if not great, and long-term yields remain low. This is a good environment for equities. Those are bad reasons to get long Treasuries. And it’s a poor excuse to sell the dollar, even if I’m a structural dollar bear
- This risk aversion was driven by political noise and speculation. That just doesn’t provide sufficient calorie intake for bears. This isn’t to say that we can’t get a fundamentally negative development in the days ahead, but unless we do, expect the bears to be back in hibernation by the weekend