Investors have experienced increased market volatility over the past two weeks, with new information perhaps forcing the market to reassess its direction. The S&P 500 declined 1.5% on Tuesday on concerns about a global growth slowdown following a downward revision to the International Monetary Fund’s forecast. On Wednesday the market advanced 1.8% (after an intra-day reversal) following the release of the September Federal Open Markets Committee meeting minutes that suggested slowing global growth and the stronger U.S. dollar could keep the Federal Reserve’s pace of interest rate increases more modest. Yet on Thursday, comments from various Federal Reserve Bank officials seemingly contradicting those meeting minutes complicated that picture, and the S&P ended the day down more than 2%.
We expect volatility to continue in the near term, driven by slowing global growth, tensions between the West and Russia, conflict in the Middle East, and continued uncertainty about the future path of interest rates. Given our concerns, and our expectation for a slow glide path of interest rate increases, we have identified U.S.-centric non-cyclical stocks as an attractive area for investment. We are also seeking to increase exposure to consumer stocks as we believe this area could benefit from the recent sharp decline in certain commodities, including oil, grains and industrial metals. We believe that these adjustments could help safeguard portfolios against global volatility as well as take advantage of the stronger U.S. economy.
The S&P 500 sits 4.0% below its high reached on September 18, 2014, and at this point, we do not expect this mild correction to develop into a more severe double-digit drawdown, as key indicators of market stress are not at alarming levels. However, we continue to monitor economic data, corporate earnings reports, and technical factors as part of our ongoing assessment of equity market conditions and are prepared to take action as conditions warrant.
Submitted by: Jason Benowitz, CFA
This information is intended solely to report on investment strategies and opportunities identified by Roosevelt. Opinions and estimates offered constitute our judgment and are subject to change without notice, as are statements of financial market trends, which are based on current market conditions. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as, recommendations to purchase or sell such securities. Please contact us at 646-452-6700 if there is any change in your financial situation, needs, goals or objectives, or if you wish to initiate any restrictions on the management of the account or modify existing restrictions, or if you would like to request a copy of our Code of Ethics. Our current disclosure statement is set forth on our Form ADV Part II, available for your review upon request, and on our website, www.rooseveltinvestments.com.