Invesco Canada blog

Insights, commentary and investing expertise

Low-wage job losses fuel the U.S. stimulus debate

As expected, the U.S. Employment Situation Report for April was abysmal. Unemployment rose dramatically as pandemic lockdown measures were implemented across the U.S., with hospitality and leisure posting the biggest job losses. Amidst all the terrible data, there was one obvious and glaring takeaway: Job losses were concentrated among low-wage workers. In fact, so many lower-paying jobs were lost that wage growth rose markedly, underscoring how hard hit lower-income workers have been by this pandemic.

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Global Markets: What to watch for in May

One month ago in this blog, I noted that April would be a critical month to gauge the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the board, it was a massive response, including significant monetary and fiscal stimulus from a variety of economies and widespread lockdowns designed to slow the rate of infection. But as we enter May, we are seeing differences in approach come to the fore – between countries, between localities, and between political parties.

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Why there’s little point in asking whether the stock market will retest lows

To retest or not to retest – that is the question. Indeed, if Hamlet were around today he may be wondering whether the broad U.S. equity market, after posting the second best 25-day rally on record (trailing only 2009’s), will retest the initial market low hit on March 23 of this year.1 To many investment professionals, a retest of the market bottom is a foregone conclusion. In fact, a poll of financial advisors conducted in early April revealed that 81% expected the U.S. equity market to retest the March 23 low.2

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Video: Bank loans’ senior, secured status has helped during crisis

Investors who’ve been rattled by volatility in their fixed income portfolios may be seeking assurance about their underlying holdings.

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As the U.S. passes more stimulus, disagreements loom on what comes next

For months, I have talked about the importance of policy in combatting the COVID 19 crisis: health policy, monetary policy, and fiscal policy. All three prongs need to be adequate and effective in order for the US economy to recovery quickly. While the Federal Reserve has bent over backwards to provide accommodation to support the US economy and markets, fiscal stimulus is still a work in progress.
 
In this week’s commentary I talk with Andy Blocker, Invesco’s Head of US Government Affairs, who breaks down where we are today in terms of fiscal policy – and what to expect next.

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How the shutdown might affect the U.S. economy and markets. (Answers to FAQs)

Our market strategists weigh in on what drove a recent market rally, how the shutdown will affect the economy and markets, and what additional government support may be coming.

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Long-term investors need to be realistic rather than overly optimistic

The recent market sell-off was most pronounced in lower quality, more economically sensitive areas of the market, such as energy, materials, financials, industrial manufacturing and travel related businesses (i.e., airlines, cruise operators, etc.), which are areas where we find an extremely limited number of investible businesses.

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Tracking China’s recovery and a dire U.S. earnings season

Last week was another momentous one for economies and markets, with particular attention being paid to the economic recovery in China, earnings season for U.S. stocks, and the Federal Reserve’s views on interest rates. Below, my colleagues from the Global Market Strategy Office and I answer some of the most pressing questions we have received from clients in recent days:

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As earnings season looms, portfolio managers look for long-term opportunity

Earnings season is heating up in earnest, giving investors a clear glimpse into the economic impact of the global lockdowns designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. While investors brace themselves for bleak business results, we are so glad to see that these lockdowns appear to be working as intended from a public health perspective – many countries show evidence of “flattening the curve” of infections and fatalities. This is leading to the inevitable conversations of how best to re-open economies – a task that will require caution so as not to overwhelm health care resources with a second wave of infections.
 
With all of this as background, our portfolio managers continue to look for ways to guard against the looming risks and to position themselves to find opportunities in the recovery – no matter what path that might take. In this blog, I highlight the perspectives of four Invesco investment experts:

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Tactical asset allocation views – April 2020

The COVID-19 global outbreak that started in early January represents an exogenous shock to the global growth cycle, at a time when the world economy was on the cusp of a new synchronized cyclical recovery. Driven by this shock, our macro framework moved into a global contraction regime in February (i.e., global growth expected to be below trend and decelerate).
 
This regime remains in place today and is broad-based across regions (Exhibit 1). Furthermore, given the increased severity of the lockdown and quarantine measures undertaken by governments around the world, it is highly likely that most, if not all, countries and regions will experience a significant recession in the first half of 2020. Therefore, we expect the economic data to deteriorate meaningfully over the next few months.
 
At this stage it is difficult to determine how long this macro environment will persist. Historically, contraction regimes in our framework have lasted on average six months with wide dispersions, ranging between two and 15 months across all episodes since the 1970s. We will continue to follow the data and the framework as it runs its course, but it is nonetheless valuable to compare the current downturn to recent episodes of financial turmoil, despite meaningful differences in the source of the shock and market imbalances.

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History provides insight on how long a market downturn may last

The Greek historian and general Thucydides famously said, “History is philosophy teaching by examples.” That brilliant observation came to mind when we were thinking about how history can be a valuable guide for navigating volatile market environments.

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Six things for investors to watch in April

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we talked about the need for an effective, global, three-pronged approach in order to achieve a “best-case scenario” outcome: 1) an appropriate health policy response to “flatten the curve” and control the spread of the virus; 2) an adequate monetary policy response to support financial markets and the economy; and 3) an adequate fiscal policy response to help soften the economic blow to households and businesses. We saw effective approaches, in different forms, in both China and South Korea. Now we are looking to other policymakers to provide effective strategies as the novel coronavirus spreads.

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Where do portfolio managers see opportunities in today’s environment?

The three-pronged fight against COVID-19 and its economic impact continues. Central banks are providing monetary policy support to keep banks and markets functioning, national governments are providing fiscal policy support to consumers and businesses, and governments at all levels are taking public health policy steps to contain the spread of the virus. (Not to mention the tireless dedication of the health care workers on the front lines and the scientists searching for treatments and vaccines.)

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Positioning for the rebound?

Before I answer the following specific questions, let me first say that these are the sorts of times we live for as fund managers. Volatility provides opportunity, uncertainty leads to mis-pricing. Work we have done over several years can now be brought into use: we have already run the ruler over many businesses which used to trade at fair values but which now trade at bizarrely cheap valuations.
 
Decisions we make in these weeks of high-intensity can be crucial for performance both in absolute and relative terms. And Asian & Emerging Markets Equity of previous situations of similar intensity (1998, 2001, 2003, 2008/09, 2015/16) helps inform these crucial decisions. While I am deeply unhappy with the performance of our investment strategy this year, I believe there are now many buying opportunities out there.

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