Things That Make You Go Hmmm…
By: George Boyan
Happy New Year! Now that its 2021, the virus is miraculously behind us, Washington DC politics are completely settled, therefore no uncertainty in the financial markets.
Oops—I must have still been dreaming. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Vaccines are being administered at a snail’s pace in the United States and we still don’t know who will control the Senate in 2021.
Markets consolidated a small percentage of their 2020 gains on the first trading day of the New Year. The momentum remains overwhelmingly positive as markets are optimistic for a return to normalcy is on the horizon.
We are constantly looking for the market’s blind spot, also known as the “Pain Trade.” The Pain Trade is the scenario that would take market participants by surprise and upend the consensus opinion, therefore causing the maximum pain. The Pain Trade of 2021 is U.S. Dollar strength, which would end a yearlong weakening cycle, cause both stocks and bonds to sell-off. We repeat, this is not our expectation, but we believe the probability is higher than zero, which is the market’s expectation.
By: Ariel Segal
Wholesale inventories came in lower than expectations on Wednesday with a -0.1% decrease, while surveys were predicting a 0.6% increase.
Congress is scheduled to count the Electoral College votes on Wednesday and ratify the election results.
Polls in Georgia have the Democrats slightly ahead of the Republican candidates. Equity markets have taken poorly to this news, preferring a split government that is potentially more stable over a government congress and the executive branch under the control of Democrats. The Georgia elections will take place Tuesday.
With more than half of the vaccine shots received by hospitals in New York remain unused, Gov. Cuomo is seeking to fine public and private hospital as much as $100,000 and cutoff further shipments of vaccines if the ones they receive aren’t used within a week.
Fixed Income Market:
By Joseph Colleran
As expected, last week saw very light trading volumes in all fixed income markets. The week saw a continuation of the tightening trend in corporates and muni’s, while the HY market traded in lock-step with equities, closing marginally higher on the week. The New Year is seeing the credit markets trade off as concerns about tighter COVID related restrictions are forefront in investors’ minds this morning. Additionally, the markets are focused on tomorrow’s GA Senate runoff elections which are expected to both be decided by thin margins. The new issue markets were effectively closed last week, though we expect them to ramp up by mid-week. Both IG and HY US Bond funds saw strong inflows as 2020 came to a close. (see below).
Lipper Fund flow data for the week showed:
Domestic Equity Funds down $2.0 BLN
IG Bond Funds up $5.9 BLN
HY Bond Funds up $ 1.7BLN
Municipal Bond Funds up $1.5 BLN
Domestic Equity Funds down $9.7 BLN
IG Bond Funds up $1.7 BLN
HY Bond Funds down $1.0 BLN
Municipal Bond Funds up $0.40 BLN
By: James Zurovchak
All three major indices ended the year in positive fashion with S&P up 1.5% on the week, DJI up 1.4% and NASDAQ up 0.7%. In addition, all three major indices closed out the year with sizable gains: NASDAQ +45.1%, S&P + 18.4% and DJI +9.7%. 9 of 11 GICS sectors finished the week in the green. Utilities (+2.4%), Consumer Discretionary (+1.8%) and Financials (+1.8%) were the leaders and Communications Services (-1.0%) and Energy (-0.6%) were the losers. On the year, Information Technology (+55.5%) and Consumer Discretionary (+29.6%) were the big winners and Energy (-32.5%) and Real Estate (-5.2%) were the worst performers. Last week Value outpaced Growth +1.3% vs +0.9%. However, Growth significantly outpaced Value on the year +38.5% vs 2.8%. Small Caps finished the week down 1.9% but were up a hefty 19.9% on the year. As we move into the new year, the theme most prevalent will be the race between vaccine rollout and the continued increase of Covid cases with both the outbreak of new strains and heightened holiday travel and their respective effects on the economic recovery.
By Anthony Minardo
Happy New Year to all. We enter 2021 with the same old story in the markets, as the US dollar continues to struggle against the G10 and emerging market currencies. Commodity currencies enter the week as the best performers with AUD and NZD trading to 2.5 year highs as gold has strengthened by 2% today.
The trend should continue for the 1H 2021 as interest rates in the US are expected to remain at current levels and the COVID-19 virus continues to strengthen even with the distribution of vaccines. This week we will keep a close eye on the Georgia state senate run off (January 6th) along with US non-farm payrolls and unemployment on Friday.
By Brian Stigliano
Coronavirus Stimulus 2.0
After months of debate, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was signed into law in late December 2020. Given that the bill came in at over 5,000 pages, below is a summary of some of the key components and benefits:
- Stimulus checks up to $600 per adult and $600 per child age 16 and younger to those who qualify based on AGI
- $300 per week in additional federal unemployment benefits for 11 weeks (now 10 due to the delay in signing the bill into law)
- Provides the Paycheck Protection Program with an additional $284 billion in funds available for forgivable loans to small businesses impacted by the virus
- Extends the federal eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021; also provides $25 billion to state and local governments for qualified renter household assistance with rent and utilities
- $16 billion for vaccine development and distribution
While there was a last-ditch effort for $2,000 that ultimately failed, President-elect Biden has indicated that his administration will push for a third round of stimulus checks.
Last Week's Economic Data for 1/5
|Last Week's Economic Data||Actual||Survey|
|Wholesale Inventories MoM||-0.1%||0.6%|
|Initial Jobless Claims||787k||835k|
This Week's Economic Data for 1/5
|This Week's Economic Data||Release Date||Survey|
|ADP Employment Change||1/6/21||50k|
|Durable Goods Orders||1/6/21||0.9%|
|Initial Jobless Claims||1/7/21||803k|
|Change in Nonfarm Payrolls||1/8/21||62k|
|Wholesale Inventories MoM||1/8/21||-0.1%|
Market Data for 1/5
|1 Month Libor||0.13%||(1.6 bp)||(2.1 bp)||(158.3 bp)|
|3 Month Libor||0.24%||(1.7 bp)||+1.1 bp||(163.7 bp)|
|6 Month Libor||0.25%||(0.3 bp)||(0.2 bp)||(163.9 bp)|
|12 Month Libor||0.33%||(1.2 bp)||(0.7 bp)||(163.4 bp)|
|Fed Funds Effective||0.09%||(146.0 bp)|
|SOFR||0.10%||+0.0 bp||+1.0 bp||(145.0 bp)|
|US Treasury Yields||Current||WoW||MoM||YoY|
|12-Month||0.10%||+0.3 bp||(0.3 bp)||(142.8 bp)|
|2-Year||0.11%||(1.2 bp)||(3.8 bp)||(141.1 bp)|
|3-Year||0.16%||(1.0 bp)||(5.0 bp)||(138.1 bp)|
|5-Year||0.36%||(1.9 bp)||(5.7 bp)||(123.0 bp)|
|7-Year||0.65%||+0.7 bp||(4.8 bp)||(105.5 bp)|
|10-Year||0.94%||(1.2 bp)||(3.8 bp)||(141.1 bp)|
|30-Year||1.69%||(1.2 bp)||(3.8 bp)||(141.1 bp)|
|US Swap Rates vs 3ML||Current||WoW||MoM||YoY|
|12-Month||0.18%||(1.4 bp)||(2.5 bp)||(153.6 bp)|
|2-Year||0.19%||(2.1 bp)||(3.9 bp)||(142.4 bp)|
|3-Year||0.23%||(2.0 bp)||(3.7 bp)||(135.1 bp)|
|5-Year||0.43%||(2.3 bp)||(2.4 bp)||(117.5 bp)|
|7-Year||0.66%||(1.7 bp)||(0.7 bp)||(99.6 bp)|
|10-Year||0.94%||(1.5 bp)||+0.8 bp||(81.2 bp)|
|30-Year||1.43%||(0.1 bp)||+3.5 bp||(50.9 bp)|
|US Swap Spreads||Current||WoW||MoM||YoY|
|12-Month||+9 bp||(1.7 bp)||(2.2 bp)||(10.9 bp)|
|2-Year||+7 bp||(1.0 bp)||(0.1 bp)||(1.3 bp)|
|3-Year||+7 bp||(0.9 bp)||+1.4 bp||+3.0 bp|
|5-Year||+7 bp||(0.4 bp)||+3.3 bp||+5.5 bp|
|7-Year||+1 bp||(2.4 bp)||+4.1 bp||+5.8 bp|
|10-Year||(0 bp)||(0.3 bp)||+4.6 bp||+59.9 bp|
|30-Year||(26 bp)||+1.1 bp||+7.2 bp||+90.3 bp|
|Crude Oil||50||+4.3%||+7.4%||(21.2 %)|
Source: Bloomberg L.P.
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