The caution that pervaded stock markets in the past three months has now switched to “year-end greed” on expectations of a decline in US bond yields, according to Bank of America Corp.’s Michael Hartnett.
The “fear” among investors last month about a surge in Treasury supply as well as the worries around fiscal deficit had caused yields to “overshoot,” Hartnett wrote in a note. That has now flipped as the 10-year yield is seen closer to 4.5% rather than 5.5%, the strategist said.
That optimism has been reflected in fund flows, with global stocks recording inflows of $8.8 billion in the week through Nov. 8, according to the note citing EPFR Global data. Still, cash remains the asset class of choice, Hartnett said. About $77.7 billion went into money market funds in the week, setting them up for record annual inflows of $1.4 trillion.
Hartnett has remained broadly bearish on US stocks this year, a view that played out over the summer as the S&P 500 dropped 10% from a July peak. He struck a rare bullish tone last week when he said technicals no longer stood in the way of a year-end rally.
After gaining for eight straight sessions since the end of October, the S&P 500 dropped on Thursday as hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reignited worries about higher-for-longer interest rates. The 30-year Treasury yield spiked by as much as 22 basis points and two-year rates topped 5%.
Other Wall Street strategists have warned stocks still face risks over the next two months. Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson — among the biggest bearish voices on US stocks — said this week the recent gains were part of a bear market rally. Meanwhile, data from Citigroup Inc. showed the odds of a positioning-led rally were lower after short covering last week.
This article was provided by Bloomberg News.