Rachel Bradley  by Rachel Annis
  Equity Analyst, Gradient Analytics LLC (a Sabrient Systems company)

 “Only time can heal what reason cannot.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

In response to the pandemic-driven economic downturn, both Congress and the Federal Reserve have intervened with fiscal and monetary support in the form of direct subsidies, loans, bailouts, tax rebates, supplemental unemployment benefits, ultra-low interest rates, support of capital markets, reduced regulatory constraints, and quantitative easing (QE). The Fed expanded its purchase program beyond Treasury bonds to also include municipal bonds, corporate bonds of both investment and speculative grade, as well as ETFs for the first time. While these policies can raise aggregate demand, employment, and investment in the short run, excess liquidity also supports inefficient firms that otherwise might not survive. The increased prevalence of these firms, as well as the valuation metrics at which their stocks trade can muddy the waters for analysts and thus contribute to a misallocation of capital. These firms also weigh on productivity growth going forward.

Because the downturn was spurred by the pandemic rather than the typical overheated economy and inflation, it has yielded several surprises for investors. For instance, despite unemployment reaching record levels, consumers spent more than expected on home repairs and remodeling which boosted sales at stores like Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s Companies (LOW). Likewise, residential home sales have surged despite escalating unemployment. An intuitive expectation of an inverse relationship between the two would be incorrect, at least thus far. Outperformance of online retailers, like Amazon.com (AMZN), over some traditional recessionary picks, like Procter & Gamble (PG), has also been unexpected. Moreover, this was the first recession that drove people to spend more time outdoors, giving a boost to firms like sports vehicle maker Polaris (PII). However, the question to ask is:  Is this burst of COVID-driven growth anomalous and short-lived, or is it sustainable?

Another aspect to highlight is the conjectural nature of forward estimates and current valuations. The wild swings in near-term consensus estimates between earnings cycles seem to be highly speculative and largely based on the latest news headlines rather than analysis of underlying firms’ fundamental metrics. Similarly, it appears that some previously struggling firms are getting an unsustainable boost by pivoting to create products that help customers deal with COVID-19 impacts. In this article, I explore examples of two firms for which analysts anticipate rising near-term growth rates specifically driven by COVID-19 related tailwinds that we do not believe are sustainable longer-term. Read on....

Scott MartindaleLast week, I talked about the impressive strength this year in the Dow Jones Transportation Average, but it since has been hit by investors’ renewed worries about global economic growth and financial stability. Its fall has been led by weakness in the airlines.

smartindale / Tag: iShares, sectors, ETF, SPY, XHB, IYT, VIX, iyw, IYK, IYF, IDU, IYH, IYJ, IYE, IYM, IYZ, IYC, FFIV, SWI, NVR, PII / 0 Comments

Scott MartindaleI am not going to mention the nickname for the dominant issue of the day, since you are probably on the verge of screaming if you here it again (hint: initials are F.C.). But, unfortunately, we all remain hostage to the relentless political posturing of our elected officials during these critical budget negotiations. Not that we haven’t asked for it.

smartindale / Tag: ETF, sectors, iShares, iyw, IYK, IYH, IYF, IYE, IYJ, IYC, IYM, IYZ, IDU, AAPL, SPY, VIX, MW, STX, OCN, WNR, IDCC, PII / 0 Comments

The MESA-Sabrient Trading Alerts on Friday April 15th alerted members to enter long Polaris Industries, Inc. (PII) at the open, April 18th .  PII opened on Monday at $90.16 and closed Thursday April 21st at $106.16, a +17.7% increase for the week.  (Markets will be closed Friday, April 22 in observance of Good Friday.)

walter / Tag: MESA-Sabrient Trading Alerts, PII / 0 Comments