SPROTT’S THOUGHTS Quarterly Market Update: No IPOs, No IPAs
The New Year is off to a murky start. The broader market managed to ease off lows seen at the end of last year and recover key technical levels. Yet volatility continues to keep investors on their toes. Gone are the days when “minor” triple-digit moves for the Dow Jones Industrial Average elicit nary a35
The New Year is off to a murky start. The broader market managed to ease off lows seen at the end of last year and recover key technical levels. Yet volatility continues to keep investors on their toes. Gone are the days when “minor” triple-digit moves for the Dow Jones Industrial Average elicit nary a raised eyebrow. 2018 came to an end with a sigh of relief. After a tumultuous December the U.S. stock indexes posted their worst performance since the financial crisis. For the year, the Dow closed down 5.6% while the S&P 500 index declined 6.2%. The Nasdaq Composite shed 3.9% in 2018 and bid adieu to the worst year in a decade. Revelers rang in the New Year with a pause in global trading. The holiday season brought its ups and downs with the S&P 500 off by a double-digit percentage point on Christmas Eve from its record highs. With the index touching bear market territory, perhaps setting the precedent for an investor’s version of the Ghost of Christmas Past. Nonetheless, the market rally on the day after Christmas on Dec. 26 boosted the Dow to hit its biggest gain on record. There are plenty of unanswered questions on the fundamental front. Uncertainty has set the tone and put a damper on overall investor sentiment. The headwinds of yesteryear remain steadfast in 2019. The potential fallout from the longest U.S. government shutdown in history coupled with the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations as well as Brexit woes are doing little to boost confidence in this year’s outlook. 2019 WORD OF THE YEAR: PARTIAL We can’t have partial growth or expansion; we can’t have a partial recession. The partial U.S. government shutdown is having a complete and negative impact on the economy. As the shutdown enters Day 28, the U.S. market averages have bounced back from the Christmas lows with the major indexes out of correction territory. The partial government shutdown has halted a myriad of government operations. The Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), considered non-essential, has ceased the review of keg collars for beer. This means breweries can’t ship product outside state lines without regulatory approval. Bad news for small craft brewers with perishable IPA and seasonal releases. The IPO traffic jam is also notable as the result of the shutdown. Companies planning to go public could face delays in launching. The SEC shutdown plan includes only essential staff who are keeping an eye on the markets and responding to emergency situations. The government furlough could stall the pipeline for IPOs in 2019. With federal agencies such as the FDA working only on “imminent threats” and federal workers missing paychecks, the headlines about national security and disruptions to government programs are sure to evoke distress. BANKING ON INCENTIVES As earnings season got underway, the major banks reported results that showed mixed results. Results marked by a mostly positive season for banks were hampered by underperformance by one of the big banks at the end of the week. Of course, one of the investment banks missing profit forecasts reflected the volatility in trading and dour capital-raising environment during the last month of 2018. The drum beat of recession may be getting louder and it’s not just Main Street expressing concern over mounting risks. According to the latest survey by the Conference Board, recession is a major concern for CEOs around the world. The business research group conducted the survey of over 800 chief executives and found that out of the 28 issues, recession risk ranked as the main concern. The fact that the survey was conducted in the autumn of 2018, before the turbulent pullback in equity prices points to risks to the world economies. Trading incentives may be limited for the time being amid a backlog of economic data and lack of breakthroughs in the global political arena. At the same time, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of no-confidence following her Brexit deal defeat in Parliament. As earnings season continues in earnest, keep an eye on any surprises that could shed light on industry or sector shifts. BAND-AID ON A BULLET WOUND It’s not business as usual in the nation’s capital. With no end in sight for the partial government shutdown, key economic data including Q4 2018 GDP may not be released on schedule. Of course, the estimates for how the shutdown is already affecting the economy in Q1 2019 are nothing short of worrisome. Market corrections can present opportunities, but prolonged uncertainty does little for economic growth. The domino effect of uncertainty on business investment amid murmurs of an end to the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle will weigh on sentiment. Should progress be swift on tariffs and a resolution reached on the partial shutdown, opportunity for growth remains a possibility. The risks to growth in the two largest economies can be characterized as self-inflicted ones. With government efforts to stimulate growth being dismantled by risks to stability, the recovery trajectory is fragile. Read in browser »
Sprott U.S. Media, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprott Inc., which is a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and operates through its wholly-owned direct and indirect subsidiaries: Sprott Asset Management LP, an adviser registered with the Ontario Securities Commission; Sprott Private Wealth LP, an investment dealer and member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada; Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd., a US full service broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC; Sprott Asset Management USA Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor; and Resource Capital Investment Corp., also an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. We refer to the above entities collectively as “Sprott”. The information contained herein does not constitute an offer or solicitation by anyone in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation. Forward-Looking Statement This report contains forward-looking statements which reflect the current expectations of management regarding future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, and similar expressions have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s current beliefs with respect to future events and are based on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements involve significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements could vary materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this document. These factors should be considered carefully and undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this document are based upon what management currently believes to be reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual results, performance or achievements will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this presentation and Sprott does not assume any obligation to update or revise. Views expressed regarding a particular company, security, industry or market sector should not be considered an indication of trading intent of any fund or account managed by Sprott. Any reference to a particular company is for illustrative purposes only and should not to be considered as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell nor should it be considered as an indication of how the portfolio of any fund or account managed by Sprott will be invested. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author’s as of the date of this commentary, and are subject to change without notice. This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to be an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service or a recommendation or determination by Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd. that any investment strategy is suitable for a specific investor. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the suitability of any investment strategy based on the objectives of the investor, financial situation, investment horizon, and their particular needs. This information is not intended to provide financial, tax, legal, accounting or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. The products discussed herein are not insured by the FDIC or any other governmental agency, are subject to risks, including a possible loss of the principal amount invested. Generally, natural resources investments are more volatile on a daily basis and have higher headline risk than other sectors as they tend to be more sensitive to economic data, political and regulatory events as well as underlying commodity prices. Natural resource investments are influenced by the price of underlying commodities like oil, gas, metals, coal, etc.; several of which trade on various exchanges and have price fluctuations based on short-term dynamics partly driven by demand/supply and also by investment flows. Natural resource investments tend to react more sensitively to global events and economic data than other sectors, whether it is a natural disaster like an earthquake, political upheaval in the Middle East or release of employment data in the U.S. Low priced securities can be very risky and may result in the loss of part or all of your investment. Because of significant volatility, large dealer spreads and very limited market liquidity, typically you will not be able to sell a low priced security immediately back to the dealer at the same price it sold the stock to you. In some cases, the stock may fall quickly in value. Investing in foreign markets may entail greater risks than those normally associated with domestic markets, such as political, currency, economic and market risks. You should carefully consider whether trading in low priced and international securities is suitable for you in light of your circumstances and financial resources. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Sprott Global, entities that it controls, family, friends, employees, associates, and others may hold positions in the securities it recommends to clients, and may sell the same at any time.