Thoughts from our Domestic Equity Team
The deal reached to reopen the government and temporarily raise the debt ceiling removes a key risk factor which could have caused dislocations throughout global capital markets. Though the debt ceiling has only been raised through February 7th, as part of the agreement the Treasury retains certain emergency management powers which effectively enables the country to continue borrowing for several weeks beyond that date. It is therefore likely that market fears over a potential US debt default will abate, at least for the next few months. While a longer term solution is of course required, we believe this stopgap measure helps to set up a positive market backdrop for the remainder of the year. The Fed remains highly accommodative, and in fact it is conceivable that any tapering of its latest QE program will be further delayed in the aftermath of this political uncertainty. Aside from monetary policy, we continue to see stabilization or improvement in key international economies including Japan, China, and Europe. And from a valuation perspective, while multiples have risen over the course of the year, the price to estimated earnings ratio for the S&P 500 is just slightly above its long term average, hardly a sign of an overheated market.
Submitted by: Jason Sheer, CFA - Portfolio Manager
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