Market Insights: Last Week in Review with Rusty Vanneman, Vol. 80

Hope your weekend, or holiday, is going well. It’s quiet here. Over the past week, one child went back to high school, one is now at school in Norway, and one off to the University of Kansas. Max, our goldendoodle, is wondering where the heck everybody went!

Last week, the US Total Market (Morningstar indices) lost more than 1%. Losses were broad-based, with value stocks losing the least.

  • The over-all bond market did have a slight gain (Morningstar, Aug. 2022).
  • Though Diversified Alternatives were the star performers last week, up nearly 1% (Morningstar, Aug. 2022).

Despite the recent weakness, it has been a solid month and quarter for the financial markets and balanced portfolios. Nearly everything is up (Morningstar, Aug. 2022), and up nicely at that.

  • US Growth stocks are still up nearly 17% this quarter. Small caps are also up more than 13% (Morningstar, Aug. 2022).
  • International stocks are lagging, though still gaining ground this quarter (Morningstar, Aug. 2022).
  • Gold mining stocks, however, are down nearly 8% this quarter. Now down 21% for the year (Morningstar, Aug. 2022).

The Ten-year Treasury yields last week finished at 2.99% (up 14 basis points over the last week) (Yahoo! Finance, Aug. 2022). The range last week was from 2.76% to 3.00% (Yahoo! Finance, Aug. 2022).

Deeper Dive 

It looks like the contrarian reads from individual investor sentiments worked again (so far) this year. According to Fidelity’s Director of Global Macro Jurrien Timmer in his LinkedIn post on Aug. 17, 2022, “The bearish extreme that we saw in June has largely been corrected. At the June low, the AAII survey flashed one of the most oversold readings in history, with 59% of those surveyed being bearish at the time. That’s now down to a more normal (but not optimistic) 37%.”

Speaking of sentiment, here’s a fascinating tidbit from the July 2022 BofA Global Fund Manager Survey from the daily commentary of Bloomberg’s John Authers on Aug. 17, 2022. For the first time since May 20, and only the second time since Dec .2010 (wow!), professional money managers think that Growth will outperform Value. Note that this is a sentiment survey and not a holdings survey, but it’s fascinating, nonetheless.

Also from the July 2022 BofA Global Fund Manager Survey, money managers still believe the biggest risk to the markets is inflation.

And speaking of inflation, there was a cool tweet from Liz Ann Sonders at Schwab on Aug. 11, 2022 —bottom line, inflation may have peaked, but it will likely remain high for a while.

Again, it has been a tough year for investment flows, especially July, according to Topdown Charts’ Callum Thomas in his Weekly S&P500 ChartStorm post on LinkedIn on Aug. 14, 2022. The one bright spot this year has been ETFs (Topdown Charts, Aug. 2022).

Staying on the positive ETF flows story, according to Goldman Sachs on Aug. 20, 2022: “US ETFs saw +$8bn of net inflows in the week ending Aug 18th (MTD +$46bn / YTD +$376bn). Equity inflows (+$9.6bn) were partially offset by Fixed Income (-$1.3bn) and Commodity (-$400mm) outflows. Volumes fell considerably this past week with Thursday seeing the lightest ETF $ turnover day of the year = $102bn (vs $202bn ytd avg). This was alongside broad equity tape $ volumes falling to ytd lows.” (Goldman Sachs, Aug. 2022)

Good news and potentially bad news statistic. Good news: US companies remain near their all-time profit margins (Bloomberg, July 2022). That’s a leading fundamental reason why stock valuations remain above average — their profitability remains above average. The potential, however, is that profit margins move lower. Profit margins are often considered to be of the most mean-reverting data series (for example, when it’s low, expect it to rise, and vice versa). Then again, one could have said that two years ago — before profit margins blew out to new all-time highs! Per the Felder Report on Aug. 17, 2022, rising labor costs might put a dent into these profit margins.

Last week’s economic numbers included July Existing Home Sales, as seen in highlights from the report (via First Trust on Aug. 18, 2022):

  • Sales are down 20.2% versus a year ago (First Trust, Aug. 2022).
  • The median price of an existing home fell to $403,800 in July (not seasonally adjusted) but is up 10.8% versus a year ago (First Trust, Aug. 2022).
  • From First Trust, what is really impressive is that, despite the lack of options, demand remains strong, with buyer urgency so high in July that 82% of existing homes sold were on the market for less than a month. While sales are clearly under pressure, this is not a repeat of 2007-09. We do not foresee a widespread collapse in home sales even with higher mortgage rates, though it is likely that existing home sales wind up lower in 2022 than 2021 (First Trust, Aug. 2022).

On a related note, mortgage demand hit a 22-year low (@StealthQE4 on Twitter, Aug. 17, 2022).

On this week’s economic schedule posted on Calculated Risk’s blog, the key reports include July New Home sales (Wednesday) and the second estimate of second-quarter GDP (Thursday). Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak on the “Economic Outlook” at the Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday.

The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow‘s estimate for real (“after-inflation”) GDP growth (which uses actual economic data for inputs) decreased last week (Aug. 2022). The third-quarter 2022 GDP estimate is now at +1.6% (down 0.9% from last week) as of Aug. 17, 2022 (GDPNow, Aug. 2022).

So while economic fears seem to dominate, did you know that, according to David Rovella’s Bloomberg post on Aug. 19, 2022, 26 different states reached all-time record unemployment rate lows this year? Another wow.

As for earnings, second-quarter earnings according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv as of Aug. 19, 2022:

  • 22Q2 Y/Y earnings are expected to be 8.8% (down 0.9% from last week). Excluding the energy sector, the Y/Y earnings estimate is -1.8% (also down 0.9% last week). (Refinitiv, Aug. 2022)
  • Of the 474 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date for 22Q2, 77.8% have reported earnings above analyst estimates. This compares to a long-term average of 66.1% and prior four quarter average of 80.6%. (Refinitiv, Aug. 2022)
  • During the week of Aug. 22, 12 S&P 500 companies are expected to report quarterly earnings. (Refinitiv, Aug. 2022)

Crypto Corner – Grant Engelbart, CFA, CAIA, Brinker Capital Sr. Portfolio Manager

  • Cryptocurrency prices gave up recent gains last week. Bitcoin fell over 11% to settle around $21,500. Ethereum fell 16%. Other high market cap coins like Cardano, Solana, Dogecoin, Polkadot, and Avalanche fell 15-20%. (CoinMarketCap, Aug. 2022)
  • Many crypto miners have sold more Bitcoin than they mined in recent months to stay afloat. Two recent corporate acquisitions in the digital asset space were cancelled or stopped last week. The CME group announced they will add Ethereum options in September. The Fed released guidelines for crypto banks.(Decrypt, Aug. 2022)
  • Blackrock launched a Future Financial and Technology ETF (BPAY) last week. While more of a fintech fund than crypto specific, there will be some holdings focused on digital assets.(Arcane Research, Aug. 2022)

Additional Resources  

“Risk is what’s left over when you think you’ve thought of everything.” Morgan Housel (it’s been too long since I’ve had a Housel quote!) (Goodreads, Aug. 2022)

I love this question that was posted on Twitter via @pickover on Aug. 16, 2022. In short, which one would you select? It’s a good and worthy debate, and touches on the key topic of investor risk tolerance, but I would argue one would get different results depending on the dollar amounts.

Last week’s Orion’s The Weighing Machine podcast with Vanguard’s Colleen Jaconetti was on the important topic of retirement spending. This week we have Kate Guillen from Simplicity Operations Management who talks about some the cool ways to use Redtail. Thanks for listening!

Despite recession fears, Americans spend $314/month on impulse purchases (CNBC’s Jessica Dickler on Aug. 20, 2022).

Pearl’s Golden Rule of Exercise — move every day! Did you know that less than 25% of Americans meet the federal guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening? According to Philip Pearlman’s Aug. 14 post on Prime Cuts Newsletter, more people are active in the western states of the country. The southeast, however, tends to be less active.

As they say: Never Give Up! (@buitengebieden on Twitter, Aug. 19, 2022)

This is concerning, at least to me — who listens to a lot of new music each week. Did you know old music is killing new music? According to an article in The Atlantic by Ted Gioia from Jan. 2022: Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as the working musician—should look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse: The new-music market is shrinking. All the growth in the market is coming from old songs.

Speaking of college sports, my favorite football team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, begin play this coming week in Ireland versus Northwestern. Some people accuse me of drinking a lot of the pre-season hype Kool-Aid but, seriously, given the team’s talent this year, I see no reason why they can’t win the Super Bowl!

Thanks for reading and have a great week! As always, please let us know what we can do better at rusty@orion.com or ben.vaske@orion.com. Invest well and be well.

 

1527-OPS-8/23/2022

Orion Portfolio Solutions, LLC, a registered investment advisor, is an affiliated company of Brinker Capital Investments, LLC, a registered investment advisor, through their parent company, Orion Advisor Solutions, Inc.

The CFA is a globally respected, graduate-level investment credential established in 1962 and awarded by CFA Institute — the largest global association of investment professionals. To learn more about the CFA charter, visit www.cfainstitute.org.

The CMT Program demonstrates mastery of a core body of knowledge of investment risk in portfolio management. The Chartered Market Technician® (CMT) designation marks the highest education within the discipline and is the preeminent designation for practitioners of technical analysis worldwide. To learn more about the CMT, visit https://cmtassociation.org/.

About Rusty Vanneman, CFA, CMT
Rusty Vanneman serves as the Chief Investment Strategist for Orion Advisor Solutions. An industry veteran with more than 30 years of investment experience, Rusty creates relevant market- and platform-related content that supports deeper, more engaging conversations with advisors and investors, educating key internal and external audiences on Orion Portfolio Solutions’ strategies and resources to help deliver favorable investor outcomes, and helps identify new investment offerings to meet growing marketplace demand. Rusty is a host of Orion’s The Weighing Machine podcast and authored the book “Higher Calling: A Guide to Helping Investors Achieve Their Goals.” Rusty has also managed multiple mutual funds and hedge funds during his career and was named one of the Top 10 Portfolio Managers to Watch by Money Management Executive in 2017. Prior to Orion’s acquisition of Brinker Capital in 2020, Rusty was the Chief Investment Officer for Orion Advisor Solutions and prior to that was the President and Chief Investment Officer of CLS Investments. Before joining Orion in 2012, Rusty served as the Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director for a multi-billion-dollar registered investment advisor (Kobren Insight Management) in the greater Boston area. His 11-year tenure at the RIA included a five-year span when the firm was owned by E*TRADE Financial where he also served as the Senior Market Strategist for E*TRADE Capital. Prior, Rusty was a Senior Analyst at Fidelity Management and Research (FMR Co) in Boston. Additional work experience includes Thomson Reuters, General Electric, and as a cattle ranch hand in the Nebraska Sand Hills. Rusty received his Bachelor of Science in Management from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he graduated with high distinction. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute. He is also a Chartered Market Technician® (CMT) and is a member of the Market Technician’s Association (MTA).