Looking back at the markets through February 2021

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month.  Global Market Review Concerns grow over inflation Although most major equity indices ended February in positive territory, the month finished on a question-mark. A sharp sell-off across bond markets pushed up bond yields and drove down demand for growth stocks as investors assessed the … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through February 2021”

Running hot – but not too hot?

Last year, the big themes that found favour in the market were the digital winners from lockdown and the potential green winners from Build Back Better. This year, there is more emphasis on the shorter-term winners from recovery. The speed and nature of that recovery is now at the heart of the market debates. Will … Continue reading “Running hot – but not too hot?”

Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive

The big news from the fourth-quarter reporting season is that earnings growth is back. Consensus expectations for were for further contractions in corporate earnings, but instead we’ve seen an expansion – in the US at least. Now that most of S&P 500’s constituents have reported, some 83% have surprised positively – well above the historical … Continue reading “Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive”

Why you should know your index

The FTSE 100 has been a relative underperformer because of its high weighting in financial and commodity companies. The indices that have outperformed have businesses that look to the future. The last few years have seen wide divergence in the performance of different international equity indices. Over the last five years, Nasdaq – the world’s … Continue reading “Why you should know your index”

Looking back at the markets through January 2021

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month.  Global Market Review “Unintended consequences” Financial markets are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a sharp correction that would, in turn, jeopardise stability, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF warned that investors’ expectations of continued support from governments and central banks has generated … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through January 2021”

Looking back at the markets through December 2020

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Shares advance on vaccine optimism After a tumultuous year in which the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world, many major stock markets ended 2020 in positive territory. Investor sentiment was buoyed towards the end of the year by optimism over the prospect … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through December 2020”

Volatile markets reflect fears of reality

Many refer to the growing gap between the reality of Covid-19-torn economies and equity markets. Battered businesses trying to adapt to social distancing and closures struggle to generate profits, to meet rent bills – or pay dividends. At the same time, major equity indices hit new highs. Most of us run with the wind, which … Continue reading “Volatile markets reflect fears of reality”

Looking back at the markets through November 2020

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review A November to remember It was a November for investors to remember as a widespread focus on the perceived safe havens of gold and government bonds was replaced by renewed interest in equities. Many major equity markets notched up double-digit gains … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through November 2020”

How the 2020 global share slump and recovery ranks in history

Stocks saw a record crash followed by a record rebound in 2020, creating some disparity between markets. The global stock market crashed at a record speed in early 2020 (Figure 1). On its way to a total decline of 34%, it clocked up a 30% loss in just 40 trading days. This is faster than … Continue reading “How the 2020 global share slump and recovery ranks in history”

Care needed with big power politics

The pandemic and the stimulus packages have preoccupied markets for most of this year but risks relating to the aims of the great powers are too important to ignore. The growing tensions between China and the US are likely to characterise the Biden era as much as Trump. One of the few things Democrats and … Continue reading “Care needed with big power politics”

Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect

In March, governments across the world scrambled to contain COVID-19 by imposing draconian restrictions on activity.  As offices, shops, roads and rails emptied out, vast swathes of the economy were mothballed.  Over the next six months, we witnessed both the sharpest contraction and the fastest rebound on record, driven entirely by governments’ decisions to restrict … Continue reading “Markets vs the Economy: The Big Disconnect”

What President Biden will mean for markets

Although recounts and legal challenges relating to the election need to be resolved, markets are moving on to considering what a Biden Presidency will mean. The media have decided Joe Biden will be the next President of the USA. Three states still need to complete their counts. In Georgia, there is likely to be a … Continue reading “What President Biden will mean for markets”

The US election – just political noise?

The weakness in US equity markets in September appeared to come as a surprise to many investors, despite history pointing to this being seasonally quite typical. After such a strong and persistent rally since the Covid-19 lows of March, profit taking and market consolidation should be seen as a positive rather than a negative. However, … Continue reading “The US election – just political noise?”

Looking back at the markets through September

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Rising infection levels knock sentiment Share prices generally fell during September amid concerns over rising infection levels and their potential impact on economic activity. Investors’ worries were compounded by doubts over Brexit negotiations, continuing friction between the US and China over … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through September”

What will the US elections do to markets?

The question whether Democrats or Republicans will have a majority in the House of Representatives and Senate matters to markets. According to the polls, the Presidential election is Joe Biden’s to lose. He has been comfortably ahead by around 8% in the national polls for some time. He is also ahead in most of the … Continue reading “What will the US elections do to markets?”