Against this Rosy Backdrop

While bonds are still reasonably valued, yields have risen more than expected and seasonals appear to have turned against equities.

June 05, 2015   |    By Scott Minerd, Global CIO


In the wake of last week's strong employment report and this week’s May retail sales growth of 1.2 percent, along with the upward revision to April’s retail sales data, the winter soft patch associated with heavy snows and cold temperatures is clearly behind us. As expected, the second quarter bounce back has taken hold. The uncertainty related to April retail sales and consumer spending most likely resulted from discretionary income being directed to pay tax bills among those benefiting from the surge of employment in 2014.

The rebound in U.S. growth is supported by continued employment and wage growth, and tailwinds from lower energy prices over the past 12 months. Growing household formation should continue to support housing activity as employment of the important 25-34 year-old demographic continues to gain momentum. Add a stable dollar and rebounding European economy into the mix, and even exports should help to keep U.S. growth on track.

Against this rosy backdrop, bond yields have risen more than I would have expected. Nevertheless, the 2.6 to 2.7 percent range should serve as fairly good resistance as an upper bound on 10-year Treasury rates. At current levels, bonds represent reasonable value even if the Fed were to begin raising rates later this summer.

History shows from the start of the last tightening cycle in 2004 that rates tend to fall after the first Fed move if market expectation is for slow, measured increases. Additionally, the work we have done indicates that long-term rates should top out in this cycle around 3.0 to 3.5 percent, most likely somewhere around two or three years from now. Investors who buy longer-term bonds during the current backup should be well compensated in the subsequent holding period with an opportunity to participate in any post-rate increase rally should the Fed move soon or in the event that the Fed delays action, as some expect.

As for stocks, the seasonals have turned against us. While there still appears to be significant headroom for additional increases of 20 percent or more over the coming few years, underlying breadth and divergences in key indicators such as the transport index seem to support delaying new purchases to later in the summer.

Thawing Economy Should Support Wage Growth

With the U.S. economy picking up momentum, employment and wage growth should continue to accelerate in the months ahead, providing a boost to consumer spending. While the average hourly earnings series, released with the payrolls report every month, has shown only a slight acceleration in wage growth, other measures are pointing to a faster pickup. The Employment Cost Index (ECI) showed wages and salaries growing at the best pace since 2008 in the first quarter of 2015, while the more volatile Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), released this week, has surged over the past year to a growth rate of more than 4 percent.

Wages and Salaries, YoY% Change

Thawing Economy Should Support Wage Growth

Source: Haver Analytics, Guggenheim Investments. Data as of 6/11/2015. *Note: average hourly earnings data prior to 2007 is for production and nonsupervisory employees only.

Economic Data Releases

Retail Sales Confirm Rebound Is Underway

 

Solid German Data, China Stabilizing

 
Important Notices and Disclosures

This article is distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investing advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. This article contains opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Guggenheim Partners or its subsidiaries. The author’s opinions are subject to change without notice. Forward looking statements, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary and non-proprietary research and other sources. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but are not assured as to accuracy. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of Guggenheim Partners, LLC. ©2015, Guggenheim Partners. Past performance is not indicative of future results. There is neither representation nor warranty as to the current accuracy of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information.


FEATURED PERSPECTIVES

Forecasting the Next Recession: Will Rate Cuts Be Enough? - Featured Perspectives
September 17, 2019

Forecasting the Next Recession: Will Rate Cuts Be Enough?

History shows that once our recession forecast model reaches current levels, aggressive policy can delay recession, but not avoid it.

Looking Past the Liquidity-Driven Rally - Featured Perspectives
August 22, 2019

Looking Past the Liquidity-Driven Rally

Credit spreads could get tighter in this liquidity-driven rally, but history has shown that the potential for widening from here is much greater.

The Fed's Sugar High - Featured Perspectives
July 29, 2019

The Fed's Sugar High

Rational immigration policy, not rate cuts, is the way to avoid recession.


VIDEO

Fixed-Income Outlook 

Third Quarter 2019 Fixed-Income Outlook

Portfolio Manager Adam Bloch and Matt Bush, a Director in the Macroeconomic and Investment Research Group, share insights from the third quarter 2019 Fixed-Income Outlook.

Solving the Core Fixed-Income Conundrum 

Solving the Core Fixed-Income Conundrum

Anne Walsh, Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income, shares insights on the fixed-income market and explains the Guggenheim approach to solving the Core Conundrum.







© 2019 Guggenheim Partners, LLC. All rights reserved. Guggenheim, Guggenheim Partners and Innovative Solutions. Enduring Values. are registered trademarks of Guggenheim Capital, LLC.