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Month: January 2023

China Reopening: Underestimating the Impact on Global Economy, Markets (Szn 5, Ep. 2)

With Mike Edwards, Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers

This podcast episode was recorded Jan. 18, 2023, with a short clip of actionable highlights distributed to premium subscribers the following day. The full podcast episode followed a day after that. To become a premium subscriber and take advantage of this and a host of other benefits, visit our Supercast or Substack and sign up!

Mike Edwards, deputy chief investment officer at Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers, joins the podcast to discuss China’s post-Covid reopening and why its impact on global markets is not being fully priced in by investors.

Content Highlights

  • China’s abrupt U-turn over ‘Zero Covid’ is unquestionably one of the biggest changes to take effect in the global economy over the last few months (2:23);
  • There have been reservations about this reopening, but it is happening with authoritative force and will have a major positive impact (5:08);
  • What about the US de-coupling from China and the embattled real estate sector? (11:00)
  • Where this will be felt most is in markets that have exposure to the Chinese consumer. It also points to Europe and emerging markets outperforming the US (17:54);
  • Chinese consumers were far more restrained than their US counterparts during Covid and have been slower to return — especially tourists. This is not just a one-off in terms of the resurgence of Chinese travel and services (24:20);
  • What to make of the latest economic developments in the US, especially with the consumer? (27:31);
  • Weiss’s house view is that the US will avoid recession this year (34:02);
  • Background on the guest (37:49);
  • China can re-emerge without the US as a major partner (51:36);
  • After some consolidation, the US economic and market cycle is marked by investors seeking to put money to work — slowly (57:18).

More on Mike Edwards

Not investment advice!

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Cyclical Stocks to Outperform as Inflation Drops to 3.5%: Barry Knapp’s 2023 Outlook (Szn 5, Ep. 1)

This podcast episode brought to you by Covey — Covey is designed to find, reward, and train the next top investment managers —from any background—that anyone can copy, so everyone can win.

Barry Knapp of Ironsides Macroeconomics rejoins the podcast to discuss his surprisingly sanguine view of the economy in 2023: Why cyclical stocks should outperform the technology and defensive sectors, and why he’s expecting inflation to drop to 3.5% by the second half of the year.

Content Highlights

  • Inflationary recessions are different from deflationary ones. The last four were the latter. If there is a recession this year, it will be the former (02:18);
  • Earnings downside is limited in this scenario, by 5% based on what happened in similar situations in the past, and earnings should actually go up (5:56);
  • Tech margins should continue to be under pressure but economically-sensitive cyclical stocks should see margin expansion (10:50);
  • The US labor market has actually started to weaken considerably — and not due to Fed policy (12:18);
  • There have been some big adjustments in the labor market post-pandemic (16:47);
  • The ‘wealth destruction effect’ from tech stocks selling off is negligible (27:35);
  • One point of concern: the deficit. This is where the implosion in wealth could affect things (32:59);
  • The coming budget battle in Congress is worth paying attention to (34:41);
  • The ‘higher for longer’ Fed interest rate hike thesis has gained traction. What this means for stocks (43:27);
  • Inflation: Expect 3.5% CPI by mid-year (47:37).

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Not intended as investment advice!

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Recession Fears Ascendant as Trading Gets Underway in 2023

The following is an amended version of the Jan. 3 Daily Contrarian. This briefing and accompanying podcast are released to premium subscribers each market day morning by 0700. To subscribe, visit our Substack or Supercast.

Last year was ugly. Stocks got beat up, bonds were bludgeoned, and the way markets limped through the last few weeks of 2022 was particularly disconcerting.

So far 2023 is looking no better. Economic concerns are paramount. Two-thirds of sell-side economists are now predicting a recession in 2023. While one can be forgiven for wanting to treat this as a contrarian indicator, the issues they cite are real: Americans are spending down their pandemic savings, the housing market is slowly falling apart, and banks are tightening lending standards.

These would normally be the necessary ingredients for a recession, but the labor market remained strong through 2022 — and may be the one thing that has kept the economy from rolling over. How much longer? Our last podcast guest says this can continue for a while. He may be right seeing as he has primary data to support the argument — hiring practices of his firm’s clients.

This is little consolation as stocks continue to drop. The selling has been especially pronounced in tech, with the Nasdaq now down 1% on the day at the time of this writing.

Buying opportunity? Fortune favors the brave, but it’s extremely hard to make this case right now. Buyer beware, more like. Besides, stocks aren’t even particularly cheap yet.

Maybe the next couple of days will provide some clarity. We’ll get crucial readings on the labor market tomorrow (JOLTS) and Friday (non-farm payrolls). Not much in earnings this week.

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