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Energy Continues To Lead US Equity Sectors By Wide Margin In 2021

The reboot of energy stocks rolls on in the year-to-date sector horse race, based on a set of ETFs through Tuesday’s close (Oct. 26). The rebound in…

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This article was originally published by The Capital Spectator

The reboot of energy stocks rolls on in the year-to-date sector horse race, based on a set of ETFs through Tuesday’s close (Oct. 26).

The rebound in the previously faltering energy sector began a month ago. In late-September, CapitalSpectator.com reported that Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) regained the lead for the major equity sectors in 2021. That lead has subsequently strengthened through October.

XLE is up an astonishing 61.3% so far this year, or roughly twice the year-to-date gain in our previous report from a month ago. Lifting the fund is a combination of surging oil and gas prices, which in turn is driving bullish earnings expectations amid mounting evidence that higher inflation may persist for longer than previously expected.

Not surprisingly, current conditions have triggered a bullish attitude adjustment for the sector’s outlook, reports Barron’s:

About 80% of all analysts’ profit forecasts for this year and next have been increased, higher than the 74% seen in September, according to Citigroup. That means more profit projections have been increased than reduced in the past month.

The strength of energy’s year-to-date rally is no less conspicuous when you consider that the second-best sector performer this year is far behind. Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) is up 39.5% — a strong gain in absolute terms, but nowhere near XLE’s surge.

The US stock market overall is posting an impressive rise this year via SPDR S&P 500 (SPY). But the ETF’s 23.2% increase so far this year pales next to XLE’s advance.

The weakest sector performer this year: Consumer Staples SPDR (XLP), which is higher by a relatively moderate 7.9% year to date. The sector, traditionally considered one of the more resilient, defensive corners of the market, is struggling to keep pace with equities overall (SPY), as this chart of relative performance history shows:

When the line is rising, the broad US equity market (SPY) is outperforming XLP. ON that basis, XLP’s defensive features have remained out of favor for much of the time since the market began recovering from the coronavirus crash in the spring of 2020.


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Economics

Waning Term Premiums And The Riddle Of Surging Inflation

Waning Term Premiums And The Riddle Of Surging Inflation

By Ven Ram, Bloomberg macro commentator and reporter

If you asked your bank manager…

Waning Term Premiums And The Riddle Of Surging Inflation

By Ven Ram, Bloomberg macro commentator and reporter

If you asked your bank manager for a loan, the rate you will be offered will vary proportionally with not only how much you borrow, but also how long you borrow for. That, of course, is a no-brainer since the longer the bank is willing to lend to an individual, the greater the risk of something going wrong. Mainly, they encompass credit and inflation risks, and in the case of institutional investments, liquidity as well.

Yet, in the market for Treasuries and several other major developed markets, investors have recently become indifferent to the risk surrounding the longevity of their loans to governments. In other words, they are essentially saying, there is no more inflation risk in lending to Uncle Sam over, say, 10 years than there is when lending for a far shorter period. That is a massive irony against a backdrop where inflation is Le probleme du jour.

Shrinking term premiums is one major reason why Treasury long-dated yields have fallen after the brisk first quarter that, back then, resembled a juggernaut on the move. (The issue isn’t peculiar to the U.S. by any stretch: investors are willing to loan the U.K. for a 30-year period for well less than 1%, but will readily settle for even less — at around 50 basis points — if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will agree to keep the sum in his state’s coffers for 50 years, thank you. Sure, there are reasons such as demand for ultra-long debt from pension funds, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

Why is it that investors couldn’t seem to care less about earning a decent term premium?

A combination of liquidity, declining natural rates of interest and unbridled expansion of balance sheets — and that’s not an exhaustive list — have got us to where we are now. Getting out of it, though, isn’t going to be easy. Getting into quicksand takes a trice, but last I checked no one had found a way yet to come out of it in one swift ascent.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 12/09/2021 – 08:20

Author: Tyler Durden

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Economics

3 Growth Stocks to Buy Before The End of the Year

Recently, the market has experienced increased volatility, with a major factor being the Federal Reserve’s hawkish pivot. The Fed seems to be more focused…

Recently, the market has experienced increased volatility, with a major factor being the Federal Reserve’s hawkish pivot. The Fed seems to be more focused on combating inflation, and the market is now expecting at least two rate hikes next year. As a result, the yield on the two-year Treasury Note has moved up from 0.15% in June to 0.65%. Rising short-term rates are a headwind for growth stocks, which perform their best in environments where rates are declining. 

So, it’s not surprising that growth stocks led the market to the downside last week. A good example is the ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEARCA:ARKK) which is down more than 19% in just the past month. In contrast, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are down 0.64% and 2.25%, respectively. 

However, I believe this pullback in growth stocks offers investors an opportunity.  The rise in short-term rates may soon be over, as forward-looking inflation measures are moderating at a rapid pace. Further, after the recent steep pullback, many growth stocks have reached more attractive valuation levels. Therefore, investors should consider buying the dip in these three top growth stocks:

Growth Stocks to Buy: Alphabet (GOOGL)

A photo of someone typing on a computer whose browser is open to Alphabet's Google search page.Source: Castleski / Shutterstock.com

Alphabet recently became the third-most-valuable company in the world with a market capitalization of over $1.9 trillion. The company’s primary source of revenue and income remains Search which is very profitable and maintains a dominant market share. Over the years, GOOGL has expanded into other areas like Google Cloud, Android, Chrome, Google Docs, YouTube, and its venture bets like autonomous driving venture Waymo. 

GOOGL stock was initially an underperformer during the pandemic as ad spending decreased. Further, ads from travel companies were put on hold, and those comprise a meaningful chunk of revenue. However, ad rates and ad spending are now well above pre-pandemic levels as the economy reopens and gradually normalizes. 

The company’s momentum is evident in its results for Q3. Revenue increased by 41% to $65.1 billion, while operating income increased by 32% to $21 billion. For the full year, analysts project EPS growth of 85% and 39% revenue growth. Not surprisingly, GOOGL’s stock is up more than 60% year to date and the company has shown impressive relative strength during this period of market stress. 

GOOGL’s POWR Ratings reflect this promising outlook. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to a “Buy” in our proprietary rating system. B-rated stocks have posted an average annual performance of 19.7% which compares favorably to the S&P 500’s annual return of 7.1%. To see more information about GOOGL’s POWR Ratings, click here.

Workday (WDAY)

A close-up view of a Workday (WDAY) sign in Pleasanton, California.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Workday provides enterprise cloud applications with offerings that include financial management applications, cloud spending management solutions, and Workday applications for planning. YTD, WDAY’s stock is up 17%, and that number surges to almost 500% since its IPO in 2013.

Cloud and enterprise software stocks have been among the best performers of the last decade. It’s not surprising when considering that companies are increasing spending on their IT systems, software and cloud systems at a strong rate which is expected to continue over the next decade.

For investors, these companies are fantastic, because they tend to have high margins and recurring revenue. Once companies choose a software or cloud provider, they are unlikely to change often given the cost and complexity of changing systems. Further, once companies have people on their platforms, they are able to unlock more opportunities for monetization. 

Despite the stock’s recent underperformance, the business continues to gain momentum. Its last earnings report showed a 20% increase in revenue to $1.3 billion with over 90% of revenue coming from recurring subscriptions. It also made a new milestone in terms of EPS going from a loss of 10 cents per share last year to a profit of 17 cents per share this year’s Q3.

WDAY has an overall B rating, which equates to a “Buy” in our POWR Rating system. The POWR Ratings also evaluate stocks by various components to give more insight. In terms of its component grades, the stock has an A grade for Growth and a B grade for Sentiment and Quality. Click here to see the complete POWR Ratings for WDAY. 

Growth Stocks to Buy: Expedia (EXPE)

building facade with expedia (EXPE) group logoSource: VDB Photos / Shutterstock.com

Expedia is an online travel company that operates through multiple segments. Some of its most well-known brands include Expedia, Vrbo, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity and Wotif. In addition, it offers a range of travel and non-travel verticals, including corporate travel management, airlines, travel agents, online retailers, and financial institutions.

EXPE’s business took a big hit during the pandemic for obvious reasons. However, travel volumes are increasing and during the Thanksgiving holiday were at 90% of 2019 levels. It’s very possible that the recent rise in coronavirus cases and the emergence of the omicron strain could have a short-term impact. However, in the longer-term, vaccination rates and effective therapeutics are signs that the pandemic is close to an end.

The company’s recent earnings report also confirms the recovery in travel. The company topped expectations with revenue increasing by 97% to $3 billion. In total, it had $553 million in net income, a big turnaround from last year’s $31 million loss.  For Q4, analysts are projecting $2.3 billion, a 148%increase and a big jump in EPS to $6.89 per share.

EXPE’s strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall C rating, which equates to a “Neutral” rating in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings are calculated by considering 118 distinct factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree. 

EXPE has a B grade for Growth and Quality which isn’t surprising considering its Q3 results and status as one of the top online travel companies. To see EXPE’s complete POWR Ratings, click here.

On the date of publication, Jaimini Desai did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Jaimini Desai has been a financial writer and reporter for nearly a decade. He has helped countless investors take profitable rides on some of the hottest growth trends. His previous experience includes writing for Investopedia, Seeking Alpha, and MT Newswires. He is the Chief Growth Strategist for StockNews.com and the editor of the POWR Growth and POWR Stocks Under $10 newsletters.

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Economics

US Economy Remains On Track For Strong Rebound in Q4

With the end of the year in sight, the US economy continues to show signs of a sharp pickup in growth in the fourth quarter, based on several nowcasts….

With the end of the year in sight, the US economy continues to show signs of a sharp pickup in growth in the fourth quarter, based on several nowcasts.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis is expected to report in late-January that output rose 5.4% (annualized real rate) in Q4, via the median of several nowcasts compiled by CapitalSpectator.com. The estimate marks a dramatic upside reversal from the slowdown in Q3 that cut growth to a modest 2.1%.

Although roughly a third of the fourth quarter’s economic data has not yet been published, the available numbers to date suggest that the final quarter of 2021 will deliver upbeat news for the US. The fact that recent nowcast revisions have been relatively steady at the 5%-plus level strengthens the outlook that output has accelerated. Today’s revised median 5.6% nowcast is up from 5.0% in the Nov. 16 update.

Recent survey data aligns with the firmer expectations for Q4 economic activity. “The US economy continues to run hot,” observed Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, on Nov. 23, citing the consultancy’s US Composite Output Index, a GDP proxy. “Despite a slower rate of expansion of business activity in November, growth remains above the survey’s long-run pre-pandemic average as companies continue to focus on boosting capacity to meet rising demand.”

Supply-chain and worker-shortage issues continue to create headwinds, but a rebound in economic activity overall appears increasingly likely when the government publishes its initial Q4 GDP estimate next month.

The main question is whether the rebound proves fleeting? Looking ahead to 2022 suggests that economic activity could slow in the new year due to potential blowback from the omicron variant of the coronavirus, higher inflation and other factors.

Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, recently cut its forecast for US growth in the new year. “While many questions remain unanswered, we now think a moderate downside scenario where the virus spreads more quickly but immunity against severe disease is only slightly weakened is most likely,” says Joseph Briggs, an economist at the firm.

This week’s update of the UCLA Anderson Forecast has also trimmed the outlook for early next year, revising its Q1 2022 growth estimate down substantially to a 2.6% gain from the 4.2% predicted in September. The key assumption: the omicron variant “might be disruptive, while acknowledging that its effects cannot be predicted.”

Perhaps, but the good news is that economic momentum looks set to deliver a strong tailwind going into 2022.  


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