Three Reasons To Be Thankful

 

There are only six weeks to go in 2021 and it has been an incredible year for the stock market bulls. In fact, in many ways it could go down as one of the best years ever. This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, we wanted to take a closer look at three reasons to be thankful. From the stock market to the economy, there are indeed many reasons to be thankful this year.

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A Peek At Inflation: Five Signals to Watch For

 

After an upside inflation surprise in October, it’s clear that peak inflation may still be ahead, possibly even pushing into 2022. While the Federal Reserve (Fed) maintains its position that elevated inflation will be transitory, we have yet to see progress. Below we look at five signs to watch for over the next
several months that may signal that inflation may be near or at its peak.

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Developed International: If Not Now, When?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we began our investing careers, we’ve had the concept of  diversification drilled into our heads. Some refer to it as the only free lunch in investing. Well, when it comes to geography, that advice hasn’t been helpful for some time (you could say the same about value-style investing). Staying close to home and favoring the United States won’t always be the best move, but for now, we think it still is—as we discuss here.

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Five Things That Might Spook Markets

With Halloween over the weekend, what better to write about this week than what scares us? If our positive near-term market outlook proves to be overly optimistic, we believe one—or perhaps more than one—of these five  things will likely be the culprit: inflation, an aggressive Federal Reserve, profit margin pressures, pulling forward of seasonal gains, and potentially overly  bullish sentiment.

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Bullish Setup Into Year-End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The S&P 500 Index has gained more than 20% so far this year, making more than 50 record highs along the way. Certainly nobody should be upset with that return if that was all 2021 brought us. However, we see signs that there could be more gains to come in the final two months of the year. Seasonal tailwinds, improving market internals, and clear signs of a peak in the Delta variant all provide potential fuel for equities heading into year-end, and we maintain our overweight equities  recommendation as a result.

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Q3 Earnings Preview: Less Upside

 

We have used most of the superlatives we know to describe corporate America’s stunning performances over the past two earnings seasons. Despite lofty expectations, results exceeded estimates by the biggest margins we’ve ever seen (and one of the authors of this report has been doing this for 23 years). We expect solid earnings gains during the upcoming third-quarter earnings season, but upside surprises will be smaller. Unfortunately, we won’t need as many superlatives.

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Answering The Top Debt Ceiling Questions

 

Last week, Congress was able to push back a fast-approaching deadline for raising the debt ceiling to December. Markets applauded the move with a relief rally. Despite decreased uncertainty in the near term, we may be confronted with the same problem again in a couple of months. This week we look more closely at the role the debt ceiling plays in government financing, what could happen if the debt ceiling is not raised in a timely way, and why market  participants were skittish about the approaching deadline as we look ahead to December.

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Early Thoughts on 2022

 

With the fourth quarter underway—historically the best quarter for stocks, by the way—2022 is fast approaching. While a lot can still happen between now and the end of 2021, we don’t think it’s too early to start thinking about what stocks might do next year. We see a favorable economic environment for stocks in 2022, consistent with prior mid-cycle expansion years and bolstered by continued earnings growth. The gains may not come easy, however, with a number of risks such as COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, inflation, and higher interest rates.

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To Z Or Not To Z: Why The Shape Of The Recovery Still Matters

 

LPL Research is downgrading its 2021 U.S. GDP growth forecast from 6.25–6.75% to 5.75–6.25%. Growth is likely to come in at an annualized pace near 5% over the second half of the year. So, while expectations have been tempered, the recovery still has a lot of momentum, which is likely to extend
well into 2022. In 2022 we may see economic growth exceed potential,  creating a Z-shaped recovery— something we haven’t really seen since the early 1970s. What is a Z-shaped recovery and what might it mean for the Federal Reserve (Fed), inflation, and markets? We attempt to answer
those questions below.

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Revisiting Our 10 Year Treasury Yield Forecast

 

Until recently, we expected the 10-year Treasury yield to end the year between 1.75% and 2.0%. Now, however, there are two key elements suggesting we are unlikely to see significantly higher interest rates by year end: The Delta variant’s impact on economic growth expectations, and the continued demand for U.S. Treasuries by foreign investors. As such, our new year-end target for the 10-year Treasury yield is between 1.50% and 1.75%.

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