ING: Voksende tvivl om aktiemarkedets niveau

ING skriver, at kursfaldene torsdag er tegn på en voksende tvivl om aktiemarkedets niveau. Der har været mange nyheder fra USA, der fremmer tvivlen. Nogle analytikere taler om en NASDAQ-boble. Andre analytikere begynder at tale om, at faste værdier – f.eks. jord og ejendomme – er bedre end aktier i denne tid. ING tror dog ikke på en stor korrektion.

Uddrag fra ING:

Doubts beginning to creep in

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A trader working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

A trader working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Yes, there was some bad news, but there usually is

This could be an interesting day for markets. US stocks closed down yesterday. There were a number of factors that could have helped risk sentiment diminish sufficiently to lead to this. These include:

  • the higher initial claims figures (see the comment from James Knightley in our daily yesterday which flagged this likelihood and also his write up of the claims data),
  • the delay of the much talked about next fiscal stimulus plan from the Republican Party to next week putting back the start of negotiations with the House of Representatives,
  • the cancellation of the Jacksonville Convention (not intrinsically risk-off, but highlights the next issue),
  • and deaths from Covid-19 continuing to creep higher, staying well above the 1000-a-day mark as the US racks up more than 14 million confirmed cases in total.

Despite all this, equity futures look more positive than negative, which suggests that it still only takes a small decline for the value-vultures to come swooping down and lift them up again. Likewise, the USD, which had been looking a bit stronger during the stock sell-off (and probably also helped by heightened China-US tensions) is by no means a firm bet for today’s trading.

Not looking for a bigger correction

Against the backdrop of a weaker equities market, talk of NASDAQ bubbles, which is ever-present, seems louder than usual. You could probably widen this conversation out to stocks in general, and the dichotomy between Main Street and Wall Street. There is a good piece (they almost always are) by Cameron Crise today about the impact of “zero-forever” real rates on FANG stocks, which is worth a read for Bloomberg subscribers.

But a post-lunch chat with my colleague Fi, yesterday, prompted the following thought, that as central banks worldwide debase their Fiat currencies, and drive the real returns on financial assets like government bonds to zero (or negative), what you want to be holding is not financial assets, but real assets.

And what is a stock, if not a claim on the productive value of real assets? So chuck away those CAP M models, the only justification you need for holding stocks is an aversion to purer financial assets. There is a slight problem with this though. If your main motivation for holding stocks is that you fear your Fiat currencies and bond markets are becoming intrinsically worthless, then I think I’d still rather be holding some agricultural land, and maybe some physical gold. Let’s not call off the stock crash just yet.

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