There are some under-the-radar hurdles that could trip up the stock market into year end

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.


The case for stocks is likely to be taken to a higher level by the end of the year: this is a bull market, most of the year is coming to a strong end, Kovid vaccines are coming up, recent run-up led by broader and riskier stocks I have been, expectations of profit have been made and the credit market is in a mood.

The obvious thing that works against this spirited set-up is the burden of the economic drag of record Kovid-case development and health-related pressure measures.

These offset forces have kept the S&P 500 in a narrow and tightly contiguous range over the past two weeks, unable to use good vaccine news to advance new records, but so far without much net damage Has been up to wide trend.

Yet there are less-obvious constraints bulls will have to clear over the next several weeks related to broader supply and demand for shares.

Pension fund benefits

A headwind is the result of a lot of market power at this point. The sharp outperformance of bonds versus bonds this month puts pension funds and other asset allocators in a position to be fairly heavy sellers of equity at the end of this month or December.

Wall Street firms have different estimates on the magnitude of pension rebalancing, but some are running toward $ 50 billion in net outflows from equities at the high end of historical readings.

JPMorgan last week estimated $ 160 billion in likely net sales from stocks from balanced mutual funds, which maintain a fixed stock-bond mix.

Although this activity can be absorbed into a $ 95 trillion global stock market, $ 30 trillion US shares, it can still send a quiver through tape.

Tesla’s index entry

In a similar episode, Standard & Poor’s decision to include Tesla in the S&P 500 next month forced some mechanical selling by index funds of another 499 shares in the benchmark. S&P has stated that it is expressing its views about getting Tesla into transition in a less disruptive way, perhaps by doing it in two phases.

Many shares are added to the S&P 500 every year but Tesla will be the biggest advertisement ever. It has a market value of $ 464 billion, although its weight in the index will be based on an 80% market cap, which is about 20% of independently traded shares (founding founder and CEO Elon Musk). With about 15–20% of index funds of the S&P 500, this would mean trimming other index stocks worth $ 55– $ 75 billion and cash would be reclaimed at Tesla.

This can be made a smooth process through the index-fund manager’s sophisticated execution systems, but it will mean a drag.

In early 2010, Berkshire Hathaway was the last major new index member. Its market cap in the S&P 500 was just $ 200 billion, with a total value as large as one-third. In the weeks surrounding Berkshire’s entry the market was choppy, but not exclusively because of it.

In less technical ways, Tesla’s induction into the S&P resembles a 1999 entry by Yahoo – similarly a high-flying stock that embodied the technological fervor of the era, which had only become profitable. Its entry into the S&P in December 1999 was close to the last peak of the stock and was broad market top for three months and about 10%.

This is not a prediction, just some reference.

New stock supply

A market that is receptive to new equity issues is a healthy one, which maintains capital flow to businesses and enhances the corporate balance sheet. Yet too much once the investor can cause indigestion.

The volume of equity lows has been increasing this year, with both IPOs upstart and follow-on offerings from companies often affected by the cash-stressed epidemic.

Halfway through the fourth quarter, as shown here, is running before the fourth quarter, according to Dialogic before issuing total equity.

Some of the total $ 60 billion has been raised by SPAC, or Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, which only collect cash from investors to buy a private company. The calendar ahead for deals is quite full, and large-sized IPOs are set to debut with AirBnB, Roblox and many more.

Again, this rush to sell stock is a feature of a bull market, and only a concern in times of extreme or market stress. If nothing else, test the appetite of investors to add risk to the house of the year.

Aggressive attitude of investors

According to Bank of America, Retail Investors has already made the largest two-week flow of cash into equity funds at over $ 70 billion.

Hedge funds and other strategic professionals, too, are quite close to being “all in”. The Evercore ISI survey of hedge fund managers last week showed its net performance for a three-year high level of equity.

The latest National Association of Active Investment Managers’ weekly survey showed high equity-commitment levels from late August to August 2020, and quickly improved, before reaching the peak of the S&P 500 in a similar manner.

Canter Fitzgerald strategist Eric Johnston expected a “tactical slowdown” on the shares last week, expecting a pullback ahead of market heads in the coming months, largely based on the position and sentiment gauge Was. Among them, the total short interest on the New York Stock Exchange was at a six-year low.

Extended conditions and a plethora of fresh equity supplies could help clarify the market’s inability to capitalize on the excited vaccine-tested news from the past two Mondays, and its modest 2% slippage from a record high.

There is no indecent indictment of the bull, which enjoys a near-historical bias on Thanksgiving Week and then upward. The supply demand factors here are simply potential pressure points in an already functioning market to digest a strong run that is still around 9% this month.

If the pressure is absorbed without too much trouble, it will be another test passed by a bull market whose strength surprised most investors for months, before the majority recently turned into more believers.

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