Saturday, November 21, 2020

Will Mnuchin and COVID-19 derail the cyclical bullish rebound?

I hope that I haven't offended the market gods. Just after my bullish call for a cyclical recovery (see Everything you need to know about the Great Rotation but were afraid to ask), a number of contrary data points have appeared to cast doubt on the reflation thesis.

The markets were jolted by the news on Thursday that Secretary Treasury Mnuchin has declined to extend CARES Act emergency lending facilities established with the Federal Reserve. In addition, Treasury has asked the Fed to return any unused funds. This is a potentially contractionary fiscal development and a possible preview of the spending tug-of-war between a Biden White House and a Republican-controlled Senate.

As well, the ongoing risk posed by a second wave of COVID-19 in Europe, and a third wave in the US derail the cyclical bull? The resurgence of the virus is quite clear in the US, as evidenced by rising policy stringency. In Europe, things have become so bad that even the Swedes have abandoned the Swedish model and announced shutdowns.

High-frequency data, such as Chase card spending, is turning down.

Are these sufficient negative surprises for equity investors to be worried about? Let's consider the bull and bear cases.

The full post can be found here.

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