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The most important trends in markets and investing…
a) US vs. World ($SPY/$ACWX)
US equity relative strength is at new highs. The S&P 500 has gained 27% in 2021 versus 10% for the world ex US ($ACWX).
b) US vs. Emerging Markets ($SPY/$IEMG)
US equities have widely outperformed Emerging Markets this year (+27% vs. +3%) with new relative highs again this month.
c) US: Small vs. Large ($IWM/$SPY)
Small caps relative strength peaked back in March and its declines accelerated with the rise of the covid-19 Delta variant over the summer. As the Delta has improved in recent months we’ve seen small caps show a slight improvement as well.
d) US: Growth vs. Value ($IWF/$IWD)
The ratio of growth to value has closely followed the direction of covid-19 for most of this year. As covid cases turned down in January, value stocks outperformed growth. When the Delta variant picked up over the summer, growth stocks outperformed value. In September, as covid started to move down, value stocks led. But over the past month and a half we’ve seen growth lead even as covid has continued to decline. The ratio of growth to value is now at a 52-week high.
e) US: Tech vs. Broad Market ($XLK/$SPY)
After struggling early in the year Tech stocks have come back strong with relative strength now at its highest level since September 2020.
f) US: Momentum vs. Broad Market ($MTUM/$SPY)
High momentum stocks crashed in February and early March and have since traded in a sideways range.
g) US: High Beta vs. Low Vol ($SPHB/$SPLV)
High beta names have outperformed in 2021 by a wide margin (+45% vs. +17% for low vol) but all of that outperformance came in the first few months of the year.
h) US: Consumer Discretionary vs. Consumer Staples ($XLY/$XLP)
Discretionary stocks have outperformed Staples this year (+29% vs. +10%) on the stimulus measures and a sharp increase in consumer spending. The ratio hit new highs this month…
i) US: Banks vs. Broad Market ($KBE/$SPY)
Relative strength in banks peaked back in March when 10-year yield peaked and bottomed in August with the bottom in yields. In recent months, Banks have outperformed again, coinciding with a move higher in yields.
a) TIPS vs. Treasuries – Inflation Expectations ($TIP/$IEF)
The ratio of TIPS to treasuries (which mirrors inflation expectations) hit new 52-week highs as inflation expectations continue to rise.
Market-based inflation expectations are at their highest level ever…
CPI is up 6.2% over the last year, its highest rate of increase in over 30 years…
b) High Yield vs. Treasuries ($HYG/$IEI)
High yield relative strength continues to hit new highs…
c) Leveraged Loans vs. Treasuries ($BKLN/$SHY)
Leveraged Loan relative strength remains strong, hitting new highs again…
d) Investment Grade vs. Treasuries ($LQD/$IEF)
Investment grade bonds are outperforming treasuries over the last year, but showing some minor weakness here…
e) Long Duration vs. Short Duration ($TLT/$SHV)
Ratio of long duration ($TLT) to short duration ($SHV) has moved lower this year with the rise in long-term yields.
30-Year and 10-Year Treasury Bond yields are off their highs from earlier in the year but above their summer lows. Market participants will be watching closely to their reaction with the Fed starting to taper their asset purchases.
f) US Yield Curve (10-year minus 2-year)
The Yield Curve is steeper on the year with 10-year yields rising more than 2-year yields. However, in recent months the short end (2-year) is starting to rise as well as the market starts to price in rate hikes beginning in June 2022.
2-year, 3-year, and 5-year Treasury yields are at 52-week highs…
g) Emerging Market Bonds vs. Treasuries ($EMB/$IEF)
Emerging Market bonds have outperformed over the last year but relative strength has gone sideways over the last six months as emerging market equities have weakened significantly and rates are rising across many EM countries.
a) Gold vs. Broad Commodities ($GLD/$DBC)
Gold was the commodity leader during the February/March crash last year but has since trended steadily lower as the economy has recovered. We’ve seen a slight bounce over the last month as Gold has rallied.
b) Copper vs. Gold ($JJC/$GLD)
The ratio of Copper to Gold has moved sharply higher over the last year with optimism over stimulus and the economic recovery. Over the past seven months, however, the ratio has gone sideways.
c) Silver vs. Gold ($SLV/$GLD)
Silver’s relative strength has been declining since February. Prior to that it had been outperforming Gold since the lows in March 2020.
d) Lumber vs. Gold ($LUMBER/$GOLD)
The US housing boom led to record demand and a surging ratio of Lumber to Gold in 2020. That strength continued to start the year but Lumber has weakened significantly after peaking in May.
a) US Dollar vs. Major World Currencies ($UUP)
The US Dollar has been strengthening with Fed starting to taper its asset purchases and the expectation of a rate hike by June 2022. Meanwhile, the ECB (Euro) and BOJ (Yen) are expected to keep rates at negative levels indefinitely.
b) Japanese Yen vs. US Dollar ($FXY)
The Yen has shown sharp relative weakness since early January and is currently at a 52-week low…
c) Euro vs. US Dollar ($FXE)
The Euro is near a 52-week low against the US Dollar.
d) Emerging Market Currencies vs. US Dollar ($CEW)
EM currencies are lower on the year, coinciding with weakness in EM equities.
a) Ethereum vs. Bitcoin ($ETH/$BTC)
Ethereum has outperformed Bitcoin by a wide margin over the last year…
b) Solana vs. Bitcoin ($SOL/$BTC)
Solana’s relative strength hit another new high this month…
a) Stocks vs. Bonds ($SPY/$AGG)
The ratio of stocks to bonds is at new highs again with the S&P 500 up 27% year-to-date versus a 2.2% loss in bonds.
The S&P 500 has hit 65 all-time highs this year.
b) Stocks vs. Commodities ($SPY/$DBC)
Stocks have underperformed commodities over the last year as an inflationary environment has taken hold.
c) Bitcoin vs. Stocks ($BTC/$SPY)
Bitcoin has outperformed stocks by a wide margin over the last year but its relative strength actually peaked back in March.
d) Bitcoin vs. Gold ($BTC/$GLD)
Bitcoin has crushed Gold since the start of the pandemic, hitting new relative highs again in October. Bitcoin has more than doubled this year versus a 6% decline in Gold.
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Disclaimer: All information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, legal or tax advice, or an offer to buy or sell any security. For our full disclosures, click here.