Chairman of Investments and Global Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd leads Guggenheim Partners’ macroeconomic and investment research functions. Together, our team of economists, strategists, and analysts provide insights and analysis on markets and opportunities via weekly
Macro Views, in-depth Market Perspectives, Sector Reports, and media appearances.
February 26, 2015
Rate Hike Rally
The period before the Federal Reserve raises rates is historically a great time to invest in U.S. equities and credit. Over the past six tightening periods since 1980, the S&P 500 has returned 23.5 percent on average in the nine months prior to the first rate increase, and high-yield bonds and bank loans have outperformed investment-grade bonds by 4.0 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
February 19, 2015
The Glass Ceiling on Rates
Once the Federal Reserve commences down the road of raising rates, how far will they ultimately go? Based on research we’ve conducted on the impact of higher rates on U.S. debt burden, it appears the terminal value for the federal funds rate—the point at which the Fed stops tightening in a cycle—is around 2.5 to 3 percent, a lot lower than many people expect.
February 13, 2015
When Patience Disappears
Market observers keen to anticipate the Federal Reserve’s next move are wise to follow the trail of verbal breadcrumbs laid down by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a policymaker I hold in high regard. When Fed policy seems uncertain or even inert, Dr. Bullard’s public statements have historically been a Rosetta stone for deciphering the Fed’s next move.
February 05, 2015
The Good News Behind GDP's Decline
On Friday, it was announced that U.S. gross domestic product rose an annualized 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter—a marked slowdown from the 5 percent growth we witnessed in the third quarter of 2014. But what the market took to be bad news was actually a sign of economic strength.
January 30, 2015
Good Company, Bad Stock
The U.S. economy is in the best shape out of any economy in the world, but it reminds me of a great business with a bad stock. Despite its underlying economic strength, I believe U.S. equity markets are likely to underperform those of less healthy economies in the long run. When I look around the world at economies that have many more problems than the United States, I see more upside potential for equity valuations and market performance in places like Europe, China and India.
January 23, 2015
The Consumption of Davos
The European Central Bank’s announcement of quantitative easing quickly became the consuming topic at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. While I view this as arguably the most monumental event in the history of the European Union, the question remains whether it will be enough to stimulate Europe’s flagging economy.
January 16, 2015
Buy the Rumor, Sell the News
At current levels of overvaluation, the only factors holding interest rates down are the expectation of declining inflation as a result of the oil shock and the prospect of quantitative easing in Europe. This means we may be facing the old Wall Street adage of “buy the rumor, sell the news” when it comes to Treasury prices. Once the one-time effect of declining oil prices has passed, inflation is likely to return to the underlying trend, which is higher than today. This, combined with European Central Bank announcement of quantitative easing, could mark the end of the recent spike down in interest rates.
January 09, 2015
Supply Shock and Awe
The 1985-86 bear market in oil was the result of oversupply—too much oil was brought online relative to demand. During that period, prices declined more than 67 percent over four months or so. When oil prices started to rise again in April 1986, credit spreads started to tighten a few months later and within 12 months, the stock market was up over 20 percent. If history is any guide—and in this instance, I believe it may be—we are likely to see a similar situation play out today. But investors beware in the near-term. Even at $48 per barrel, oil is still a falling knife.
January 08, 2015
High-Yield and Bank Loan Outlook - January 2015
While the U.S. economy remains strong, equity and credit markets are becoming increasingly susceptible to certain macro-driven risks, such as the decline in oil prices. Plunging oil prices have dimmed the outlook for the energy sector and have caused spread widening across investment-grade and high-yield U.S. fixed-income assets. While we believe risk of defaults in energy is limited in the near term, now is the time to monitor significant exposures that may cause underperformance in potentially worst-case scenarios.
December 17, 2014
A Tale of Two Markets
Investors should prepare for an extended period of depressed oil prices—oil still has substantial downside room to run before reaching a level of stability. As oil continues its decline, pressure is increasingly mounting on credit markets, especially high-yield corporate bonds, where energy-related borrowers represent 15-20 percent of the market. The flip side is that as spreads widen, we get closer to the levels where large investors start to see value.
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