Perspectivas para la renta variable USA

Will risk assets make a comeback in 2009?

by Kevin Rendino, gestor del fondo BGF US Basic Value.

Conditions in financial markets remain extremely difficult. Investors have to grapple with recession, declining corporate profits, a financial system still under extreme pressure and a level of volatility that we have not seen for many decades. Under these circumstances, cash may still appear to be the most attractive and secure option. However, as in other periods of exceptional financial stress, longer term investment opportunities have emerged. In fact, we are cautiously optimistic that the stage is set for a rebound of risk assets in 2009, including equities.

Our cautious optimism is predicated on a number of factors. First, we have witnessed an unprecedented amount of fiscal & monetary stimulus on a global basis which should ultimately stimulate economic growth. Second, an exorbitant amount of investor fear is illustrated by the record levels of cash on the sidelines and invested in low yielding government securities. And third, equity market valuations are near record-low levels on trough earnings, providing a significant support for US equities.

We believe that these factors will eventually have a positive impact on financial markets, and there are other positive aspects that need to be considered. Regarding the credit markets, we have begun to see some signs of banks’ increased willingness to make loans. We have also seen some narrowing in credit spreads, a trend that may continue if the pending government action is successful. An additional positive factor is productivity growth. Typically, productivity measures fall during recessions, but in the current cycle, they have remained resilient. If productivity measures continue to hold up, they should help provide a backstop against weak profit margins and negative nominal growth. As a broader economic measure, we would also point to the commodity markets. Since falling to roughly US$40 per barrel at the end of 2008, oil prices have remained around that level, despite further evidence of economic weakness. Other commodity prices have also remained stable, and gold – widely considered an inflation hedge – has edged higher as central banks around the world work diligently to combat deflation.

Overall, we believe that the large US stimulus package will be ironed out in short order and, coupled with aggressive policy actions around the globe, will lead to an eventual recovery in the US economy. As such, we are slowly and selectively shifting from the barbell approach that we adopted in 2008 to a more high-beta, cyclical positioning within our portfolio. The BGF US Basic Value Fund is currently overweight information technology, energy and healthcare and underweight utilities, industrials, financials, and consumer discretionary. We are neutral consumer staples, materials and telecommunication services.

Bull Points Record fiscal and monetary stimuli are likely to eventually turn the US economy around Very attractive valuation levels Solid corporate balance sheets and cash flows

Bear points US sub-prime real estate bust US consumption collapses as housing market continues to weaken US earnings revisions



Lo más leído