As was widely reported yesterday, 3Q GDP growth was the strongest since 9/30/2003. However, less widely reported was the fact the intellectual property products contributed the most to real GDP in 32 quarters (9/30/2006). Fixed investment overall contributed 121 basis points to real GDP.
As has seemingly been the case all year (or maybe even the past four years), we had a mixed bag of economic releases today in the United States. On the positive side, we had the Chicago Fed National Activity Index post the highest monthly number since December 2006.
Success in investing can many times come down to avoiding the major losers rather than always hitting home runs with one’s winners. Correct sector allocation plays an important role in sidestepping potential landmines that out there in the market.
An unconventional way of looking at valuations is to place companies into different ”buckets” based on their absolutely valuation level.
We have had a small pickup in volatility in the equity markets since October.
About a month ago, we noted that the spread between high yield bonds and treasuries was not confirming the all-time high in the S&P 500. Since that time, we have had a slight turnover in the equity market but an even larger move in junk bonds.
The median year-to-date performance in the MSCI World Index with two weeks of trading left is -1%. The median stock was up 20% at this point last year and was up 13% at this point in 2012. The developed country with the worst median performance YTD is MSCI Portugal. The median stock is down 35%.
The MSCI World Index is only about 6% of it’s 200-day high as of the close yesterday. However, 55% of the stocks in the index are down at least 10% and 30% of the stocks in the index are currently in a bear market (down at least 20%).