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Hear from Chief Investment Officer Jesse Mackey in this week's Market Perspective.
I’m Jesse Mackey, CIO of 4Thought Financial Group, and this is 4Thought’s Market Perspective as of April 27th, 2021.
Most broad stock indices are outperforming bonds by an increasingly wide margin so far in 2021. Also, US small and mid cap stocks have surged past their US large cap and non-US stock counterparts this year.
Historical data indicates that once a new Bull Market has been confirmed (which happened on August 18th when the S&P 500 Index had recovered from its March 23rd, 2020 Bear Market low point and achieved a new record price), the shortest time period on record (since 1950) before the beginning of another Bear Market was only 6 days, and the longest time on record was approximately 7.44 years, with the average coming in at 2.44 years. Approximately 8.4 months have elapsed from the point of Bull confirmation in this instance so far. There has usually been at least one 10%+ correction (but often several) between most bear markets in history. The average time between the end of one correction (or bear market) and the start of another is a little over 1 year. The first correction in the current Bull Market was completed relatively early, about 7.17 months ago on September 24th.
We like to refer to the combination of a correction and its corresponding recovery (which was registered on November 9th) as a Wolf Market. Our data set also tells us that about 55% percent of Wolf Markets like the last one we experienced have been followed by a period that exhibits trailing 1-year returns of 30% or greater (something we refer to as an Eagle Market). The first Eagle Market subset of the current Bull Market was quantitatively confirmed on March 1st, and has continued since then. In fact, since the November 9th Wolf Market endpoint, the S&P 500 Index has packed on additional gains of about 14.86%, as of the close of business yesterday. Once an Eagle Market like this has been indicated, it continues for an average of an additional 5.35 months (but they sometimes end as quickly as the same day they're confirmed). Eagles may be followed by any of the three other market types, included a flattening of growth rates to return to a standard Bull Market, or an immediate reversion into a Wolf or Bear market. But given that stocks are still early in the traditional broader Bull/Bear market cycle (by historical standards), an immediate Bear market (although certainly possible) is the least likely of the various scenarios.
From a probabilistic analysis perspective, valuations tell a story that's far more negative for stocks, and more favorable for some pockets of the bond markets. On this basis, virtually all stock types are registering as either significantly or highly overvalued. Bond types range from moderately undervalued (in the case of long term US Treasury bonds) to moderately overvalued (in the case of emerging markets bonds). Against this backdrop the outlook for stocks is now neutral to negative in the intermediate term based on the overall aggregate of our historical market-type data analysis and quantitative probabilistic analysis.
US small cap stocks are the best performers so far in 2021, while US aggregate bonds show the worst year-to-date performance. Long term US Treasury bonds now reflect the most attractive pricing relative to the alternatives, while US small and mid cap stocks are the least attractive. With regards to allocations amongst investment methods, we are now allowing overweight allocations to Opportunistic Investing, neutral allocations to Strategic Asset Allocation and Liability-Driven Investing, and underweights to Selective/Concentrated Investing.
I hope this was helpful. If you have questions or you’d like to discuss what this means for your particular situation, please contact 4Thought at 516-300-1617 or at firstname.lastname@example.org – and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog feed and our YouTube channel. Thanks for watching, and see you next week.