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Macro Monitor

Sep 08 2022

Inflation Reduction Act—Corporate Tax Hike Implications

  • Sep 8, 2022

We take a look at the impact of past corporate-only tax hikes versus tax hikes of any type (personal income, corporate, capital gains). The gist is, there isn’t much difference at all.

Sep 08 2022

Fed-Pivot Watch—Pivot Pushed Further Out

  • Sep 8, 2022

Since our July report, market action felt like the pivot had already occurred. However, according to our latest update, numerous measures have moved away from levels that would support a pivot. In other words, the eagerly-awaited Fed pivot has been pushed further out.

Sep 08 2022

Risk Aversion Index: Stayed On “Higher-Risk” Signal

  • Sep 8, 2022

The risk of a policy error is the top concern as the Fed doubles the pace of Quantitative Tightening, even with the U.S. technically in a recession. Caution is recommended.

Aug 05 2022

Yield Curve Inversion—Count Down To A Bull Steepener

  • Aug 5, 2022

Now that the yield curve has inverted, its dynamic is apt to change from bear flattening (higher rates, flatter curves) to bull steepening (lower rates, steeper curves) fairly soon.

Aug 05 2022

Recession Dashboard Update—Real Recession More Likely Than Not

  • Aug 5, 2022

Our recession indicators have continued to deteriorate. Given the stagflation backdrop, the Fed’s tightening cycle is very likely to end in a recession.

Aug 05 2022

Risk Aversion Index: Stayed On “Higher-Risk” Signal

  • Aug 5, 2022

The risk of a policy error is extremely high as the Fed stays on an aggressive tightening path even with the U.S. in a “technical” recession. Caution is recommended.

Aug 05 2022

Additional Factors

  • Aug 5, 2022

The six-week rally that started mid-June featured advances from AAPL (+25%), AMZN (+30%), and TSLA (+39%), which accounted for one-fourth of the S&P 500’s gain. Despite the recent preference for Value, a spike in interest rates, and the bear market, the index’s concentration in the top-five firms is still near it’s all-time high set in August 2020.

Jul 08 2022

Bond Yields - More Room on the Downside

  • Jul 8, 2022

We have seen the high in bond yields this year and expect a volatile grind lower in rates over the summer: Bearish Treasury positions remain significant, the Copper/Gold ratio fell sharply, and the Citi Economic Surprise Index implies more downside.

Jul 08 2022

Fed Pivot Watch

  • Jul 8, 2022

The late 2018 policy error and subsequent pivot of Chairman Powell’s rookie year is probably the best case-study for today’s pivot debate. Here we evaluate the current status of key pivot triggers and compare them to the readings of late 2018. Given the political environment and backward-looking nature of the Fed, we think the bar is higher for a pivot than the market hopes.

Jul 08 2022

Risk Aversion Index: Stayed On “Higher-Risk” Signal

  • Jul 8, 2022

The risk of a policy error is elevated as the Fed stays on an aggressive tightening path even though growth materially slows. Caution is recommended.

Jun 07 2022

From Tighter Lending To Margin Pressure

  • Jun 7, 2022

Intuitively, what happens in the credit market is usually echoed by lending activities. This was a key concern when the credit market joined the stock-market rout in May. Another big leg up in real interest costs, through higher rates and/or lower growth, will surely create more headwinds for profit margins.

Jun 07 2022

Recession Dashboard Update—More Warning Signs

  • Jun 7, 2022

Overall, there are now more warning signs, but it still doesn’t suggest a recession is imminent.

Jun 07 2022

Risk Aversion Index: Stayed On “Higher-Risk” Signal

  • Jun 7, 2022

While inflation might have peaked, a material slowdown looks more certain as the Fed stays on an aggressive tightening path. Caution is warranted.

May 06 2022

U.S. Dollar—Drivers & Impacts

  • May 6, 2022

Most U.S. dollar drivers point to a stronger dollar: attractiveness of U.S. assets; policy differentials; real interest-rate differentials; terms of trade; weaker Yuan; and capital flows/hedging activity. Speculative positioning, however, is a negative and suggests the dollar rally might at least take a pause in the near term.

May 06 2022

Risk Aversion Index: A New “Higher-Risk” Signal

  • May 6, 2022

As long as the Fed stays on the current aggressive tightening path, caution is highly recommended.

Apr 06 2022

Yield Curve—Focus On More Reliable Themes

  • Apr 6, 2022

Predicting a recession is a very tall task, let alone using a single yield-curve indicator with long and highly variable lead time. Instead, we would rather focus on some of the more reliable themes: The macro-policy setting; U.S. dollar; and Bank stocks.

Apr 06 2022

Recession Dashboard Update—Recession Not Imminent

  • Apr 6, 2022

Currently, the dashboard shows 6 green, 3 yellow, and 2 red lights. The overall message is that, while there are areas of concern, a recession is unlikely to be imminent (within the next twelve months).

Apr 06 2022

Risk Aversion Index: Stayed On “Lower-Risk” Signal

  • Apr 6, 2022

With the Fed still on a tightening path, caution is still recommended. Among fixed income, we remain neutral on TIPS but have turned favorable toward EM bonds.

Mar 05 2022

Yield Curve Crossing The 50-Bps Rubicon—No Imminent Trouble

  • Mar 5, 2022

The U.S. 10/2-year curve just fell below the key threshold of 50 bps. Over the last 25 years, the yield curve proceeded to invert after this “Rubicon” was crossed. That doesn’t mean imminent trouble. The lead time of a yield-curve signal is lengthy, but it—and real yields—definitely warrant close monitoring.

Mar 05 2022

Risk Aversion Index: A New “Lower-Risk” Signal

  • Mar 5, 2022

Despite continued weakness in equities and a higher reading in our Risk Aversion Index (RAI), it generated a “Lower-Risk” signal.