Category: Investments

Author: Tim Courtney

Market Touchpoint - Economic and Market Observations

Date: 05/12/20

It has been almost two months since coronavirus fears sent the stock market into bear territory.1 While we are finally beginning to receive tangible evidence regarding the pandemic’s impact on companies’ profitability, there are still many unknown effects we will be learning about in the months ahead.


Here are several of our latest economic and market observations:


● Earnings weakness: About three quarters of U.S. companies have reported first-quarter earnings, giving us some initial clues about the economic effects of the coronavirus. Earnings are coming in much lower than expected and about 30 to 40% lower than 2019’s first-quarter earnings.2 Estimates for the remaining quarters in 2020 are dropping by the day. S&P 500 reported earnings-per-share, which was about $140 last year, is now estimated to be $107 for the full year.2 We may not experience more normalized earnings until the fourth quarter of 2020 at the earliest.


● Fixed-income market recovery: In late March, the pandemic incited fixed-income market volatility3 not experienced since the 2008 global financial crisis.4 The U.S. Federal Reserve acted quickly and provided liquidity and lending facilities to the market. Week by week, the fixed-income market has further stabilized, and bonds have behaved more like how you would expect in a recessionary environment.5


● Horizontal price movement in equity markets: Despite earnings weakness, the stock market has not been trending significantly upward or downward recently.2 While markets will continue to incorporate economic news into prices, they currently seem to be pricing in a relatively short-lived economic downturn.


● Lack of guidance: While the stock market seems to be anticipating a relatively quick restart to the economy, one of the biggest risks to the market is that companies, households and investors continue to defer spending decisions until there is more clarity on timelines and rules. Beyond the initial objective of “flattening the curve,” there has been little guidance from the government on what next goals are. Without next steps and a timeline, most consumers and companies will continue to defer decisions and, when possible, hoard cash6, which will likely push back the recovery.


We’re continuing to keep a close eye on the current market environment. If you have any questions or concerns about your investment allocations, please contact your Exencial advisor and we would be glad to assist you.


Sources:

1. CNBC.com (3/11/20) – Dow closes in a bear market for the first time since 2009—here’s what that means
2. S&P Dow Jones Indices (data as of 5/8/20) – S&P 500®
3. Morningstar (4/7/20) – First-quarter sell-off soon roils calm fixed-income market
4. Investopedia (4/21/20) – The Great Recession
5. The Associated Press (3/20/20) – Fed ramps up lending, bond buying to calm financial markets
6. CNN Business (4/30/20) – Americans are hoarding cash: Savings rate hits its highest level since 1981


The S&P 500® is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large-cap U.S. equities. There is over USD 9.9 trillion indexed or benchmarked to the index, with indexed assets comprising approximately USD 3.4 trillion of this total. The index includes 500 leading companies and covers approximately 80% of available market capitalization.


 PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT AN INDICATION OF FUTURE RETURNS. Information and opinions provided herein reflect the views of the author as of the publication date of this article. Such views and opinions are subject to change at any point and without notice. Some of the information provided herein was obtained from third-party sources believed to be reliable but such information is not guaranteed to be accurate. In addition, the links provided within are for convenience only and the provision of the links does not imply any sponsorship, endorsement, or approval of any of the content. We do not guarantee the content or its accuracy and completeness. The content is being provided for informational purposes only, and nothing within is, or is intended to constitute, investment, tax, or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any types of securities or investments. The author has not taken into account the investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any individual investor. Any forward-looking statements or forecasts are based on assumptions only, and actual results are expected to vary from any such statements or forecasts. No reliance should be placed on any such statements or forecasts when making any investment decision. Any assumptions and projections displayed are estimates, hypothetical in nature, and meant to serve solely as a guideline. No investment decision should be made based solely on any information provided herein and the author is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken as a result of information provided in this book. There is a risk of loss from an investment in securities, including the risk of total loss of principal, which an investor will need to be prepared to bear. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be profitable or suitable for a particular investor’s financial situation or risk tolerance. Exencial Wealth Advisors, LLC (“EWA”) is an investment adviser registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). However, such registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training and no inference to the contrary should be made. EWA may only transact business in those states in which it is registered, notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration or notice filing requirements. Complete information about our services and fees is contained in our Form ADV Part 2A (Disclosure Brochure), a copy of which can be obtained at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov or by calling us at 888-478-1971
About the author

4054781971

tcourtney@exencialwealth.com

Oklahoma City, Ok

Chief Investment Officer

Tim Courtney serves as Chief Investment Officer of Exencial Wealth Advisors and chairs the investment committee. He attained the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation in 2005 a... CLICK HERE TO READ MORE