We welcome back special guest Kalee Kreider, president of Ridgely Walsh and former communications director for Vice President Al Gore. With November fast approaching, we get her take on the candidates, what states might determine the outcome, and why “double haters” may be the deciding factor. We also evaluate the implications of the outcome in terms of both foreign and domestic policy. Finally, we take a look at a few under-the-radar Supreme Court cases with significant implications for the functioning of the Federal bureaucracy in 2024 and beyond.
In episode 64, Will and Adam discuss the winnowing of the Magnificent Seven to somewhere between three and four, and the exorbitant valuations on the shrinking number of winners. We also look at the conundrum faced by businesses dealing with pushback from consumers on rising prices while at the same time increasing demands (not to mention government mandates) on wages.
Will and Adam return from a hiatus with the S&P 500 at an all-time high. They recap what drove returns in 2023 (index flows, zero-day options, the Magnificent Seven) and what expectations are baked into valuations at current levels (above-average earnings growth and six Fed rate cuts). They also juxtapose the divergent growth expectations the low price of oil seems to be indicating in spite of elevated geopolitical tensions.
We revisit the risks associated with passive investing as the Magnificent Seven stocks become even more unmoored from the rest of the S&P 500. We also analyze the likelihood of the Fed engineering a soft landing, why the market may have celebrated a win on inflation too early, and how we are trying to navigate through this challenging environment.
We talk about the ongoing shift in labor market dynamics and its implications for inflation going forward, which could be “higher-er for longer-er”. The market’s recent rebound, fueled by hopes of a soft landing and a bounce in the most shorted stocks, is also discussed. We also look at concentration of the index in a handful of stocks and compare recent earnings for some of the tech titans to the rosy projections for next year.
Will and Adam provide their perspective on the market impact of events in Israel and Gaza, which come at a perilous time from a market perspective with yields reaching psychologically important levels. We also discuss how flows into passive funds have had an outsized impact on the so-called Magnificent Seven stocks and juxtapose their performance (and valuation) versus the rest of the market. Finally, we look at some real-time data on what is happening for economic canaries like shipping and small business.
In the midst of typical seasonal weakness, we examine the causes for the stock market’s recent volatility, as well as the unprecedented moves in the bond market. We also look at oil’s ability to help the economy to a Goldilocks scenario, how labor unrest is affecting inflation and consumer sentiment, and whether one person can riot.
After enjoying the festivities, including a fantastic caricature, we delve into the underappreciated risks associated with both zero-day options and put writing, given the launch of a new ETF that combines the two. We examine the market’s recent reaction to CPI data and the potential for inflation to re-accelerate with soaring oil prices and wage pressure from the current UAW strike.
We parse Fed Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole speech and assess the odds (and timing) of further rate hikes versus a pivot. We also examine the impact on the global economy of China’s weakening property market. We conclude with a look at the recent weakness in U.S. consumer stocks and debate whether expectations for megacap tech earnings are too high in the wake of this week’s market reaction to everyone’s favorite AI stock.
We return from hiatus with a recap of the happenings in emerging markets, including Chinese property problems and Argentinian elections. We juxtapose the echo boom in tech names with the so-called dot com darlings, and look at how those high-flying companies fared in terms of sales growth (outstanding) and investment returns (dreadful). We close with the odds of and implications for a pivot by the Fed.