William Butler Yeats said in his poem “The Second Coming”:
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
OVERVIEW AND CONCLUSION
Numerous United States stock marketplace and economic wizards share a common faith that levels and trends in broad-based equity benchmarks such as the S+P 500 adequately represent the nation’s overall current economic “reality”, signal (forecast) the country’s future economic conditions, or both. Conversely, the present-day or prospective economic situation (or both) allegedly are built into or forecast S+P 500 and related stock signposts elevations and trends. Leading promoters of this creed frequently also are apostles of stock investment (buying), especially over the misty long run. Thus strong (bullish) US stocks supposedly equal, reflect, or confirm (at least to a substantial extent and at some point in time) a robust economy.
Assorted economic (commercial; business) variables around the globe of course influence patterns in American (and other international) stock marketplaces. So do political and other cultural factors. The perspectives on, analytical methods regarding, and arguments and conclusions relating to such cultural phenomena nevertheless are entirely subjective (matters of opinion; not scientific). Thus reasonable gurus can and do vary in their enlightened views regarding issues such as how to organize “the” past, present, and future, as well as in their causation and probability assessments regarding one or more marketplaces. This contrasts with the objective (Natural; true for all) sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and mechanical engineering.
A given financial marketplace such as the S+P 500 and data (variables, facts, factors, evidence, statistics) related to it converge and diverge (lead/lag) in a variety of fashions. Existing relationships can change, sometimes dramatically. Marketplace history is not marketplace destiny.
The S+P 500 rapidly crashed about 35.4 percent in only one month from its 2/19/20 pinnacle at 3394 to its dismal 3/23/20 trough at 2192. However, it thereafter skyrocketed nearly 47.5 percent to 6/8/20’s 3233, only about five percent beneath 2/19/20’s height. The S+P 500’s current level around 3185 neighbors the early June 2020 high. Generous money printing (quantitative easing) and yield repression (and other assistance) from the beloved Federal Reserve and its central banking allies substantially contributed to the spike from March 2020’s depth. So did massive deficit spending. Substantial bull moves in various important “technology” stocks within the S+P 500, and the related climb in the technologically-composed Nasdaq Composite Index, greatly assisted the upward march and sustained strength in the S+P 500.
Although the Nasdaq Composite Index and many leading (popular; large-capitalization) technology stocks achieved new highs very recently, several actual or probable divergences (and some convergences) within or linked to the S+P 500 stock playground warn that it will be difficult for the S+P 500 to surpass its lofty February 2020 peak by much, if at all, over the next several months. These factors not only probably will undermine the S+P 500 and induce it to start declining, but also will inspire a related fall in the Nasdaq Composite Index.
DIVERGENCE: AMERICAN STOCKS
The poet Wallace Stevens declared: “Nothing is itself taken alone. Things are because of interrelations or interactions.”
Various forms of divergence (and convergence) relevant to stock marketplaces exist.
These include how a given marketplace recently has moved, or is travelling, relative to its past (or “overall”) history. It can include relationships between “the” stock marketplace (such as the S+P 500 benchmark) and other stock indices (both domestic and foreign), marketplace sectors (such as technology, energy, or finance; emerging marketplace stocks) or particular stocks. An apparent existing relationship between United States stocks and other financial territories such as interest rates (picture the US Treasury marketplace or high-yield corporate debt), the US dollar, and key commodities such as petroleum and base metals can change, sometimes dramatically. For the S+P 500, a stock sector, or an individual equity, its level, trend, and valuation can seem to converge or diverge with its earnings (or other variables).
To what extent has or will America’s coronavirus history, current trends, and future probabilities intersect with the S+P 500? Recall the vicious economic decline and sharp stock slumps during first quarter 2020 as the coronavirus spread worldwide and in America. Yet the significant increase in recent weeks in the America’s coronavirus infection rate contrasts with the persistent strength in the S+P 500, and with the Nasdaq Composite Index’s stellar ascent to all-time highs.
Significant divisions (divergence) and heated conflicts nowadays exist in America’s political and other cultural theaters. Political phenomena of course intertwine with economic ones, including financial marketplaces such as stocks. To some extent, the rally (“high” prices) in American stock benchmarks such as the S+P 500 diverges from the likely enactment (reality) of corporate and capital gain tax increases. In America’s upcoming November 2020 national election, Biden very likely will defeat Trump. The Democrats should retain control of the House of Representatives. The Democrats probably will gain Senate seats, and they have a very good chance of capturing the Senate. This unification of Democratic power on the national level not only will be a dramatic change in government. Tax policies embraced by Biden and the Democrats likely will be bearish factors for the S+P 500.
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Divergence and Convergence- US Stocks and American Politics (7-11-20)