(New York)

We might have just reached an inflection point in the market-economy mechanism. For the first time since 2008, short-term Treasury yields have just reached the same level as equity dividend yields. It is not even the two-year Treasury we are talking about, but rather the three-month, whose yield is now about 1.9%, the same as equities’. The convergence of a number of different yield rates is a strong warning sign of a pending recession. JP Morgan comments that “What has been surprising this year has been the degree to which cross-asset performance has behaved as if the late cycle had already arrived, despite little material change in the growth outlook”.

FINSUM: This is an important indicator. Both bond and stock investors are moving ahead of the economy itself, but their actions seem likely to create the reality they fear.

(New York)

Investors beware, the market might be losing its nerve. Back and forth markets for most of this year appear to be making investors very wary, as the market is fleeing to cash. Investor holdings in “cash sanctuaries”, which include money market funds, are approaching 2%, the highest level seen in a decade. According to one prominent asset manager “Cash is an asset class once again”. According to Crane’s, “Money funds were on a starvation diet with yields at zero percent … Rate increases have given them a stay of execution”.

FINSUM: Aside from volatility, the other big driver is that yields on money market funds have risen considerable alongside the Fed hikes, making them much more attractive.

(New York)

JP Morgan has just put out a guide which may be very interesting to investors—a manual for how to navigate the end of easy money. The bank thinks the equity market’s response to earnings has been very worrisome lately, and they are very bearish. The bank recommends that in 2019, investors go underweight equities and long gold and long duration as the economic cycle ends and real rates “collapse”.

FINSUM: This is an extraordinarily bearish outlook from JP Morgan, and it seems mostly dictated by weakness in equity prices lately. Investors should take this warning seriously.

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