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Pessimism is deepening as bellwether companies warn of worsening economic and business conditions.

edited September 17 in Other Investing
Following are excerpts from a New York Times article, heavily edited for brevity:
A parade of prominent investors and corporate executives have made it clear that they believed the worst was yet to come for the economy and financial markets.

After hitting a low in June, the S&P 500 had rallied more than 17 percent into mid-August, before losing steam again. The sell-off this week leaves the index just 5.6 percent above the bottom reached in June, after a fall of 0.7 percent on Friday that brought its weekly losses close to 5 percent. The market has only dropped 5 percent in a week three times this year.

Yet even after the swift decline this week, some of the most powerful trading houses in the world, deploying trillions of dollars on behalf of pension funds, governments and other investors, are warning that there is more pain ahead.

“If you asked me a year ago, ‘What is the worst scenario for financial markets?’ I think things are now worse than anything we could have imagined,” said the head of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest of its kind. The fund manages money generated by Norway’s extensive oil and gas sales and has $1.4 trillion invested around the world.

Business leaders, policymakers and ordinary Americans are all grappling with the end of a decade of rock-bottom interest rates that helped propel the economy after the 2008 financial crisis, and a shift to a much-less familiar, once-in-a-generation burst of inflation. Crimped supply chains, the war in Ukraine and an emerging energy crisis are among a host of challenges that add to a level of uncertainty that some investors say they have not seen in decades.

The drop on Friday came as the stock of logistics giant FedEx cratered more than 21 percent, after it warned that its profit was being hit by weakness in Asia and Europe. FedEx said that it would cut some services, close locations and freeze hiring, becoming the latest in a string of companies that have gone public with their concerns and rattled investor confidence.

FedEx is seen as an economic bellwether because its package shipping business reflects both business and consumer demand. On Thursday the company’s chief executive predicted a “worldwide recession.”

General Electric’s chief financial officer also warned of challenges, bemoaning lingering supply chain issues that remain “tough” and “impair our ability to deliver to our customers.”

Economic worries were also evident in other corners of the financial markets: Corporate debt prices fell and oil prices notched a third straight week of losses.

Mr. Tangen, of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, said that he did not think there was an investment area anywhere in the world likely to make money in the near future. “That’s the really depressing thing,” he said.

Comments

  • lousy. I suppose I'm not surprised. But thanks for posting that. Better heads than mine are just as concerned as myself. Well, yes--- they are "better heads" until I get behind the wheel. Then I'm instantly surrounded by idiots.
  • edited September 18
    Ty for the heads up
    Not sure what to do now
    - wait w cash /buy more CDs hoping crisis will pass
    -pick solid companies (etfs funds you believe in) w good low Prices/ p.e. keep dca/buy into them (like faang stocks sp500 brkb Costco ev CMG target hd Walmart fdx etc) because they maybe at steep discounts
    - or do nothing /go away keep waiting, don't check on daily basis and maybe wake up in 16 24 months and see your portfolio maybe +10 +20%....

    Not sure what to make if it but Late Fridays especially afternoon and after hr see lots buying actions and indexes close near 50d MA.... Sentiments extremely poor and smart monies-big whales maybe buying again soon since they did possibly oversold past few wks after Jackson Hole. No one really know


    Loosing $$ extremely hard but you probably cannot do anything much. One friend mine computer engineer has brother own hedge funds, that brother been very sad recent last 10 months, his fund bellied up --25% because very high risk tradings/options and leveraged trades/margin call.... But he said keep at it, once market turn (and it will turn) , you may make $$ in 2 -4 yrs... Sit tight...
  • The perpetual problem is that investor sentiment can be a contrarian indicator. Supposedly, one wants to buy at the point of maximum pessimism and sell at the point of maximum optimism. But how can you know when we’ve reached those points? Only in retrospect unfortunately. Personally, I don’t think we’ve reached maximum pessimism yet, but that’s just my five cent opinion. The traditional response would thus be to stay the course in your allocations as you can’t know, but that doesn’t seem quite right either. More suitable for many would be a core fixed-ish strategic allocation and a smaller tactical one you can shift based on your outlook.
  • edited September 18
    Good! Makes investing more interesting. As I noted in another thread, we’re likely already in a recession.

    Happened to hear an interview with David Rubinstein (Carlyle Group) on Bloomberg radio last night. He foresees “maybe another 10%” additional drop in the major indexes. Depending on risk tolerance, he thinks it’s a good time to add risk. Interesting that Rubenstein was willing to go out on a limb like that with the comment, as he’s one of the most conservative / restrained voices on Bloomberg I know of.

    Geez - I was surprised at the reaction to FedX’s announcement. Hadn’t “investors” already figured out with the six months + of recession talk that shippers would take a hit? ISTM they doth protest too much.
    -

    Tacking on some belated thoughts here … A great company like TROW goes “on sale” for only 60% of what it was fetching 9 months ago - and “pessimism grows”. Go figure!
  • @hank
    Good! Makes investing more interesting.
    I think unpredictability is good in sports and works of art, but am less enthused about it for the finances of millions of Americans whose retirements are tied to securities markets. It’s one of the reasons I’m a strong believer in Social Security and don’t think it should ever be tied to the stock market.
  • edited September 18

    @hank

    Good! Makes investing more interesting.
    I think unpredictability is good in sports and works of art, but am less enthused about it for the finances of millions of Americans whose retirements are tied to securities markets. It’s one of the reasons I’m a strong believer in Social Security and don’t think it should ever be tied to the stock market.
    @LewisBraham - I was speaking as 1 individual investor, which I’m sure you realize. Not everyone possesses your depth of knowledge or my keen interest in investing.

    Oh, I agree. It’s absurd that individuals of every education level and walk of life and having vastly disparate incomes during their working years should be expected to manage a retirement portfolio during all their working years and than continue to manage such after retiring. Just nuts. I know well one such individual. Sure didn’t work for him, even with a company match which he did not take full advantage of. That 401-K money was 100% “out the window” after about 3 years into retirement.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but would support better SS or other public initiatives to try and level the playing field..

  • edited September 18
    Last time pessimism this low / high Vix 28 low 30s, sp500 w another leg stretches down - were near June bottom and market bounces off +16% until Jackson Hole.... after hrs market Fri premarket show sp500 still dances / rebound toward near 50d MA now. Bigwhales did buy more after marker hrs, I think they are holding for 6 12 months and may think these levels maybe good entries. Momentum maybe shift toward next wk after big sales off and everyone focuses in Fed imploding plans, if 75 basis points may have another rally.

    Hy bonds stocks equities appear near attractive prices again

    Thinking add more techs /transport etf/ growth stocks/ and iwm next wk, these were beaten down very bad
  • @Lewis - just wondering if the extra 3 cents on your opinion is due to inflation or supply chain issues. Or maybe yours has always been worth 5 cents.
  • edited September 18
    Nothing definitive regarding my five--OK, really 2, maybe 1--cents, but my feeling is: 1. The selloff hasn't been that bad compared to others I've seen. 2. We haven't seen any major defaults yet from the rise in interest rates. 3. Valuations still aren't cheap by historical standards. 4. There are still perma-bulls out there saying buy. 5. Though others disagree with me, I don't think the Fed cares much about the loss of jobs that will eventually occur from defaults and reduced consumption from rising interest rates and that will drive us into a potentially severe recession. Once we enter a recession, I would imagine more bloodletting. Yet I really don't know for sure, and anyone claiming they do is lying.
  • To feel better, look at last 3 months - NOT bad! If this continues for just 2 more weeks, the Q3 statements could be encouraging. Reason is simple - we are still a few % above the mid-June lows. Of course, things can get ugly in 2 weeks too.
    https://stockcharts.com/h-perf/ui?s=$SPX&compare=$COMPQ,$INDU,$TRAN,IWM&id=p13771285746
  • edited September 18
    The sell-off has been highly uneven. So those major averages may not tell the entire story or the extent of devastation in some sectors. Folks can speculate on possible reasons. 40-45% down on TRP?? OK, I realize that follows a sizzling hot 2021. But still ….

    And maybe Cathie’s long-shots will tumble 20% more before this is all over. But I’d rather buy a bit at 75% down from the recent highs than a year back.

    I think when people buy depressed stocks they’re not expecting to get rich quick. Nor do they believe that stock can’t tumble another 10, 20%. No. The reasoning is that much of the risk has been taken out. Still might loose money, but your odds of making money are far superior to what they were a while ago.

    To be up-front here. I have not / will not invest in TROW. I did, however, buy another money manager Friday and look forward to adding to the currently small position on further declines.

    Well, there’s my 2.5 cents worth.
  • edited September 23
    It’s interesting that as of yet the media has not picked up on Putin’s war as a contributing factor to the demise of many global markets. I’ll cede that Fed actions / rising rates are largely to blame. But Putin’s calling up 300,000 conscripts, holding “elections” in occupied parts of Ukraine in order to annex those territories to Russia and waving his nuclear wand have to be having some chilling effect on the investment climate.

    Maybe their goal is KISS / Keep the messaging as simple as possible for their audience.
  • hank said:


    Maybe their goal is KISS / Keep the messaging as simple as possible for their audience.

    That phenomenon is in evidence everywhere. Lotsa reasons for it. Mostly, it's due to a merely semi-educated populace these days.
  • Gloomy now, just think how bad it would be if we were in a *recession*
  • I am surprised the market is not down more, but I think that has to do with earnings only just now starting to drop. A lot of this may be due to the strong job market ( with millions of people still not wanting to work because of covid, disability etc) and the overhang of the large stimulus checks sent out in 2020 and 2021.

    I worry that the inflation we are seeing is mainly due to drought, supple chain disruptions and the War, none of which will respond to the Fed, until unemployment hits 5 or 6% or more and we are in a severe recession with crash in earnings.

    While the financial system is in much better shape to withstand this than in 2007 back then there was a Fed available solution as they guaranteed everybody except Lehman, and we started out of it relatively quickly ( after dropping 45%)

    Maybe if there had not been that third of fourth stimulus pumped into the economy or if they had started raising rates earlier inflation would have started down now, reassuring everybody.

    If you believe all of the above, long term treasuries or very highly rated corporate bonds are the place to be, I think.

    I think you have to be worried that it will take five years for stocks to recover.

  • edited September 26
    pessimism. quite right. and then...... surprise. Norsk Hydro is going to buy back some of its own shares. NHYDY. But how timely is that with share price so depressed, eh?

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/norsk-hydro-to-initiate-share-buyback-program-271663914086
  • Like other techs faang stocks
    Docu
    Tdoc
    Very good businesses

    Steep discounts past few months

    Hammered down more now.
    Brothers thinking buying more then wait then sale off next yr
  • edited September 26
    I like Jim Bianco’s comments today re. sentiment. “In a bear market sentiment can and will go to apocalyptic/suicidal levels”…….

    There certainly seems to be a lot of despair now yet all I see (and have been seeing) is how this or that indicator is at record oversold levels and a rip roaring rally is at hand. At least for the [email protected], this has been nothing compared to 2008/early09 and 1973/74.

    Junk bonds are at new YTD lows today yet very little spread widening like in past bear markets.

    With money market funds on their way to over 3% as they realign with last week’s Fed funds raise and then on to over 3.50 to 3.75 or higher after the next Fed meeting in five weeks I would think my fellow early Baby Boomers are dancing in the streets. Even better if one is into T-Bills with the two year over 4.30.

    At my age I want just one more junk bond bull market because the gains can be spectacular from bear to bull ala 1991-93 and 2009-12 where they outdistanced the [email protected] returns. Thought I had it this summer but proved to be yet another fake out rally, but profitable nonetheless.
  • Junk bonds? TUHYX. New ytd low today. crap. but expected. TTM yield 6.68%. SEC yield is shown at 9.08%. But how stale is that number by now? Nearing end of month. (morningstar.) Performance = down ytd by -16.44%. Latest available peer comparison stat is for yesterday, pegging the fund at bottom 7 percent of its junky category. Yet morningstar still rates it with 3 stars and a silver decoration.

    In EM, I like to check AGEPX. Down -15.24 YTD. Owns Ghana bonds, but negligible. Not certain if the fund owns dollar-denominated Ghana bonds or local currency.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-20/ghana-set-to-start-debt-restructuring-talks-for-local-bonds

    Even ytd down by -15.24, it's listed as sitting in top 20 percent of category. but that might be a bad number, because the fund invests in FRONTIER markets, not EM, specifically.
  • +1 junkster Googling yearly performance figures for FAGIX on yahoo finance is eye-opening! The fund returned 72% in 2009 and 17% in 2010.
  • Some nice analysis from sma3. Thanks.
  • edited September 26
    Ty

    Added Jnk + shy for mama portfolio last wk
    Maybe good for 2 5 yrs hold w jnk
  • hank said:

    Some nice analysis from sma3. Thanks.

    Yes.

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