by Bryan Perry

August 24, 2021

Expectations for a “once-and-for-all” announcement about the Fed’s timetable for its plan to taper QE are very high going into this week’s symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – the annual gathering of central bankers, economists, and policymakers. The lead-up to Fed Chairman Powell’s 10:00 am EDT speech this coming Friday has felt like the parade of floats in the Tournament of Roses leading up to the Rose Bowl.

In light of the many speeches by Fed governors in recent days – many signaling that tapering is coming – the Fed hasn’t released many details about Chairman Powell’s speech; but, it comes after the minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting, held on July 28, were released, in which the Fed hinted that stimulus measures would be scaled back later this year. However, there are growing signs that economic activity is slowing amid the persistent and stubborn Delta variant, making the Fed’s narrative more complicated.

The data, which the Fed was working from going into the July 28 meeting, was showing good momentum for businesses and consumers alike, hence the economic challenges now aren’t what they were when the Fed introduced its plan to buy at least $80 billion of Treasuries and $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities every month. But as of last week, the market is starting to reflect a growing concern over the prospect of a policy mistake in the making if the Fed announces its intention to taper on a fixed timetable.

This past week saw cyclical sectors give back hard-fought gains, with energy leading the way lower:

Weekly Sector Performance Bar Chart

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

The Russell 2000, primarily made up of smaller domestic companies, is sitting on its 200-day moving average (MA). It bears monitoring in that it tends to be a good indicator of sentiment about future growth. The Russell is down 10% from its March high, so a break of the 200-day MA would be a notable event.

Russell 2000 Index Chart

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

Growth prospects are suddenly ratcheting lower. In fact, Goldman Sachs just lowered its third-quarter GDP forecast to 5.5% from 9.0%, citing the Delta variant leading to lower consumer spending and less inventory building in Q3. This rising level of investor concerns is also tied to sales and earnings growth not living up to expectations in Q3, plus the efficacy of the current vaccines, plus China’s regulatory crackdown, further supply chain disruptions stoking more inflation, a more fragile geopolitical landscape, and the growing prospect of the infrastructure bill not passing any time soon due to political wrangling.

To be clear, a lot has changed since the Fed met in late July, when the majority of voting members were in favor of tapering sometime this year. This new reality puts the Fed in a box, for if it extends the decision window to change their rhetoric and promotes the indefinite extension of QE, it could foment inflationary pressures in a number of industries and services, at least on paper. The Fed doesn’t want to have to face being more aggressive in the future about raising rates if inflation defies the prescribed “transitory” path and pushes stubbornly higher, fueled by global supply chain bottlenecks and wage inflation that is now a real talking point with corporate CFOs, who see margin pressure raising salaries and hourly wages.

Adding to the conundrum, the latest data from the TSA pointed to a 10% drop in people moving through airport checkpoints, while OpenTable cites a decline in restaurant reservations, with many live events being canceled in California and around the nation. Most airline, cruise line, hotel, casino, live event, casino, and restaurant stocks are in full retreat, with several knifing through their 200-day MAs.

Dialing Back Expectations Chart

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

This reflects consumers dialing back expectations, at least for now. Come holiday season, with the labor ranks more fully employed, consumer spending will likely turn back up with gusto, but the short-term slowing in spending has triggered the level of market volatility that characterizes most Augusts.

In addition to travel and leisure stocks, shares of the other reflation stocks in materials, metals, mining, industrial, transportation, and financial companies have all pulled back, whereas stocks in tech (those with earnings), utilities, healthcare, consumer staples, and REITs are seeing big inflows and new all-time highs.

Even with Goldman cutting their GDP growth rate to 5.5%, that is still a solidly strong number for the economy and should help the market keep rising. Assuming the Delta variant peaks in the month ahead, as is being reported by Bloomberg, the LA Times, and the Orlando Sentinel over the past few days, then investor sentiment should turn back up for those beaten-down sectors. For now, however, the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq are trading at or near their highs, but with defensive issues doing most of the heavy lifting.

One early tea leaf for investors to ponder is that the Jackson Hole symposium later this week will be done without a physical audience, and will be held virtually instead. If the Fed wants to see that Russell 2000 chart result in a pristine double-bottom, higher-low technical formation that launches the index to a new all-time high later this year, then Jerome Powell has to thread the rhetorical needle at Jackson Hole.

All content above represents the opinion of Bryan Perry of Navellier & Associates, Inc.

Please see important disclosures below.

Also In This Issue

Global Mail by Ivan Martchev
Money Supply is (Almost) All About the Fed

Sector Spotlight by Jason Bodner
A 30-Year (or 3-Month) Investment Game Plan

View Full Archive
Read Past Issues Here

About The Author

Bryan Perry

Bryan Perry
SENIOR DIRECTOR

Bryan Perry is a Senior Director with Navellier Private Client Group, advising and facilitating high net worth investors in the pursuit of their financial goals.

Bryan’s financial services career spanning the past three decades includes over 20 years of wealth management experience with Wall Street firms that include Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Paine Webber, working with both retail and institutional clients. Bryan earned a B.A. in Political Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and currently holds a Series 65 license. All content of “Income Mail” represents the opinion of Bryan Perry

Important Disclosures:

Although information in these reports has been obtained from and is based upon sources that Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute Navellier’s judgment as of the date the report was created and are subject to change without notice. These reports are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. Any decision to purchase securities mentioned in these reports must take into account existing public information on such securities or any registered prospectus.To the extent permitted by law, neither Navellier & Associates, Inc., nor any of its affiliates, agents, or service providers assumes any liability or responsibility nor owes any duty of care for any consequences of any person acting or refraining to act in reliance on the information contained in this communication or for any decision based on it.

Past performance is no indication of future results. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report. Dividend payments are not guaranteed. The amount of a dividend payment, if any, can vary over time and issuers may reduce dividends paid on securities in the event of a recession or adverse event affecting a specific industry or issuer.

None of the stock information, data, and company information presented herein constitutes a recommendation by Navellier or a solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Any specific securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The holdings identified do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients and the reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable.

Information presented is general information that does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, or needs, nor does it present a personalized recommendation to you. Individual stocks presented may not be suitable for every investor. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. Investment in fixed income securities has the potential for the investment return and principal value of an investment to fluctuate so that an investor’s holdings, when redeemed, may be worth less than their original cost.

One cannot invest directly in an index. Index is unmanaged and index performance does not reflect deduction of fees, expenses, or taxes. Presentation of Index data does not reflect a belief by Navellier that any stock index constitutes an investment alternative to any Navellier equity strategy or is necessarily comparable to such strategies. Among the most important differences between the Indices and Navellier strategies are that the Navellier equity strategies may (1) incur material management fees, (2) concentrate its investments in relatively few stocks, industries, or sectors, (3) have significantly greater trading activity and related costs, and (4) be significantly more or less volatile than the Indices.

ETF Risk: We may invest in exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and some of our investment strategies are generally fully invested in ETFs. Like traditional mutual funds, ETFs charge asset-based fees, but they generally do not charge initial sales charges or redemption fees and investors typically pay only customary brokerage fees to buy and sell ETF shares. The fees and costs charged by ETFs held in client accounts will not be deducted from the compensation the client pays Navellier. ETF prices can fluctuate up or down, and a client account could lose money investing in an ETF if the prices of the securities owned by the ETF go down. ETFs are subject to additional risks:

  • ETF shares may trade above or below their net asset value;
  • An active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained;
  • The value of an ETF may be more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities the ETF is designed to track;
  • The cost of owning shares of the ETF may exceed those a client would incur by directly investing in the underlying securities; and
  • Trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem it appropriate, the shares are delisted from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally.

Grader Disclosures: Investment in equity strategies involves substantial risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. The sample portfolio and any accompanying charts are for informational purposes only and are not to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument and should not be relied upon as the sole factor in an investment making decision. As a matter of normal and important disclosures to you, as a potential investor, please consider the following: The performance presented is not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the reported performance of the A, B, C, D, and F portfolios (collectively the “model portfolios”) should be considered mere “paper” or pro forma performance results based on Navellier’s research.

Investors evaluating any of Navellier & Associates, Inc.’s, (or its affiliates’) Investment Products must not use any information presented here, including the performance figures of the model portfolios, in their evaluation of any Navellier Investment Products. Navellier Investment Products include the firm’s mutual funds and managed accounts. The model portfolios, charts, and other information presented do not represent actual funded trades and are not actual funded portfolios. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the model portfolios, research, and performance figures presented here. The model portfolios and the research results (1) may contain stocks or ETFs that are illiquid and difficult to trade; (2) may contain stock or ETF holdings materially different from actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolios; (3) include the reinvestment of all dividends and other earnings, estimated trading costs, commissions, or management fees; and, (4) may not reflect prices obtained in an actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolio. For these and other reasons, the reported performances of model portfolios do not reflect the performance results of Navellier’s actually funded and traded Investment Products. In most cases, Navellier’s Investment Products have materially lower performance results than the performances of the model portfolios presented.

This report contains statements that are, or may be considered to be, forward-looking statements. All statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by such forward-looking terminology as “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “continue,” “project,” or similar statements or variations of such terms. Our forward-looking statements are based on a series of expectations, assumptions, and projections, are not guarantees of future results or performance, and involve substantial risks and uncertainty as described in Form ADV Part 2A of our filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is available at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov or by requesting a copy by emailing info@navellier.com. All of our forward-looking statements are as of the date of this report only. We can give no assurance that such expectations or forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Actual results may differ materially. You are urged to carefully consider all such factors.

FEDERAL TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are informed that, to the extent this presentation includes any federal tax advice, the presentation is not written by Navellier to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. Navellier does not advise on any income tax requirements or issues. Use of any information presented by Navellier is for general information only and does not represent tax advice either express or implied. You are encouraged to seek professional tax advice for income tax questions and assistance.

IMPORTANT NEWSLETTER DISCLOSURE:The hypothetical performance results for investment newsletters that are authored or edited by Louis Navellier, including Louis Navellier’s Growth Investor, Louis Navellier’s Breakthrough Stocks, Louis Navellier’s Accelerated Profits, and Louis Navellier’s Platinum Club, are not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the newsletters’ reported hypothetical performances should be considered mere “paper” or proforma hypothetical performance results and are not actual performance of real world trades.  Navellier & Associates, Inc. does not have any relation to or affiliation with the owner of these newsletters. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletter portfolios authored by Louis Navellier. The InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletters contain hypothetical performance that do not include transaction costs, advisory fees, or other fees a client might incur if actual investments and trades were being made by an investor. As a result, newsletter performance should not be used to evaluate Navellier Investment services which are separate and different from the newsletters. The owner of the newsletters is InvestorPlace Media, LLC and any questions concerning the newsletters, including any newsletter advertising or hypothetical Newsletter performance claims, (which are calculated solely by Investor Place Media and not Navellier) should be referred to InvestorPlace Media, LLC at (800) 718-8289.

Please note that Navellier & Associates and the Navellier Private Client Group are managed completely independent of the newsletters owned and published by InvestorPlace Media, LLC and written and edited by Louis Navellier, and investment performance of the newsletters should in no way be considered indicative of potential future investment performance for any Navellier & Associates separately managed account portfolio. Potential investors should consult with their financial advisor before investing in any Navellier Investment Product.

Navellier claims compliance with Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). To receive a complete list and descriptions of Navellier’s composites and/or a presentation that adheres to the GIPS standards, please contact Navellier or click here. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier & Associates, Inc. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report.

FactSet Disclosure: Navellier does not independently calculate the statistical information included in the attached report. The calculation and the information are provided by FactSet, a company not related to Navellier. Although information contained in the report has been obtained from FactSet and is based on sources Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy, and it may be incomplete or condensed. The report and the related FactSet sourced information are provided on an “as is” basis. The user assumes the entire risk of any use made of this information. Investors should consider the report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. The report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. FactSet sourced information is the exclusive property of FactSet. Without prior written permission of FactSet, this information may not be reproduced, disseminated or used to create any financial products. All indices are unmanaged and performance of the indices include reinvestment of dividends and interest income, unless otherwise noted, are not illustrative of any particular investment and an investment cannot be made in any index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.