Global economic demand has accelerated moderately this year as expected, with industrial
output growth rising about 4% yr/yr to a more normal level. Operating rates have improved
slightly but not enough yet to cut heavily into still formidable industrial excess capacity. After
a very rocky start to the year, world trade began to improve in the spring but trails the growth
of global output. Pricing pressures are starting to build but are moderate so far, although CPI
advances are broadening out. Overall, the results have been modest given the very heavy easing
action by the world's major central banks.
With an improving picture for global economic demand, and, belatedly for trade, US investor
appetite for foreign stocks has been on the rise. But, the SPX has been the better performer
against the rest of the world since the kick off of the large QE program by the Fed in late 2012.
However, with the tapering of the QE program now well underway, the momentum of
improvement for the SPX vs. the rest of the world has itself tapered off considerably. Since
US industrial output is now running 4% yr/yr against an improving global picture, it could be
tougher for the SPX to hold the lead as we go forward. SPX vs. MSCI World (Ex. US).
- Peter Richardson
- Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!