Morgan Stanley IM: Are We There Yet? No! But Not All the News Is Bad

Fixed Income

Jim Caron, Portfolio Manager and Chief Fixed Income Strategist, shares his macro thematic views on key market drivers.

20.10.2022 | 08:24 Uhr

Jim Caron-20-10-22

  • The market is collectively trying to assess when the Fed will stop hiking rates i.e. Are We There Yet?
  • The timing of when the Fed may stop hiking is not only tethered to inflation falling, but to their prescriptive precondition to end the tightening cycle. But the recent CPI inflation report complicates things, where historically the Fed doesn’t stop tightening until policy rates exceed the inflation rate.
  • The problem is that inflation pressures are broadening into the service sector, particularly problematic for the Fed because service sector inflation is more structural than cyclical inflation - e.g. goods - and ultimately harder to control.
  • With inflation still rising, this muddies the view of where the terminal rate might end, adding a risk that the Fed may once again need to adjust higher than 4.75%, their forecast as of mid-September.
  • So when does the cycle end? It was thought the peak would be 4.75% in early Q1 of 2023, but this might go higher and be pushed out further, a risk that will weigh on asset valuations, as it is incorporated into earnings and discounted future cashflows.
  • Despite the risk, the investment implication is that although we may not have bottomed, we are getting close and finding well-valued assets to hold through the likely upcoming volatility.
  • The silver lining is that a strong jobs market keeps the economy from falling into a deep protracted recession i.e. Not All the News Is Bad.

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See below for important disclosures.

Risk Considerations

Diversification does not eliminate risk of loss. There is no assurance that a portfolio will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the portfolio will decline and that the value of portfolio shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Market values can change daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets, countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in this portfolio. Please be aware that this portfolio may be subject to certain additional risks. Fixed income securities are subject to the ability of an issuer to make timely principal and interest payments (credit risk), changes in interest rates (interest-rate risk), the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity (market risk). In a rising interest-rate environment, bond prices may fall and may result in periods of volatility and increased portfolio redemptions. In a declining interest-rate environment, the portfolio may generate less income. Longer-term securities may be more sensitive to interest rate changes. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities are sensitive to early prepayment risk and a higher risk of default, and may be hard to value and difficult to sell (liquidity risk). They are also subject to credit, market and interest rate risks. Certain U.S. government securities purchased by the Strategy, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. It is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future. High-yield securities (“junk bonds”) are lower-rated securities that may have a higher degree of credit and liquidity risk. Public bank loans are subject to liquidity risk and the credit risks of lower-rated securities. Foreign securities are subject to currency, political, economic and market risks. The risks of investing emerging market countries are greater than risks associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Sovereign debt securities are subject to default risk. Derivative instruments may disproportionately increase losses and have a significant impact on performance. They also may be subject to counterparty, liquidity, valuation, correlation and market risks. Restricted and illiquid securities may be more difficult to sell and value than publicly traded securities (liquidity risk).

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