Why investors shouldn't ignore geopolitics

Yahoo Finance

Editor's Note: The following post was written by Scott Nations, CIO of NationsShares.

The equity market is whistling past the graveyard and it seems only the bond world gets it.  Russia opens a new front in their war with Ukraine and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) is down just slightly.

The U.S. economy is getting unalloyed good news - earnings season is done and not only were earnings good but revenue beat, which were last seen on the side of a milk carton - mean that earnings will increase without further focus on expenses or multiple expansion. This week's GDP number is a beat on a beat, the original 4% growth number was a solid beat over the then consensus.  Even if the non-farm payroll number on September 5th is bad it'll be good because investors think it will push back Fed tightening.
 
But I'm afraid because our worst markets aren't just a function of equity prices getting too high.  For example, on the Friday before the 1987 crash, Iran fired on U.S.-flagged oil tankers in the Persian Gulf; on the Sunday before the crash our military fired on and destroyed Iranian oil platforms. Traders woke up the morning of the crash thinking we were at war with Iran.  

In 1973-1974 the Dow (^DJI) lost 45% of its value and it wasn't just that stocks were too high. The 1973 oil crisis and the collapse of the fixed FX system were also problems.

Problems in Ukraine don't mean our stock market is going to crash and I'm not saying that it will, but I am saying that the table is set for real trouble, not just a hiccup.  Lots of investors and traders have been rushing in to buy every dip.  That works until it doesn't and then it really hurts.  

Most important number next week is jobs on Friday, but the Beige Book on Wednesday will be important since we're in the bad news is good news cycle. 10-year yield (^TNX) at 2.34% says that the rest of the world is buying bonds despite the stronger dollar because they're afraid and just hope they don't get splashed by the muck.

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