Feeling pretty amazing that the S&P 500 has just barreled through the 3,000 mark and Amazon is back near a $1 trillion dollar valuation? Sure you are, but don’t get too complacent.
Despite global equity markets going ga-ga over the prospect of a 25-basis point rate cut by the Federal Reserve at its July 31 policy meeting, investors should appreciate the downside risks from a U.S. economy being hampered by a trade war with China and waning fiscal stimulus. For every strong second quarter earnings report by a Delta (DAL) as seen on Thursday, there are likely to be even more dogs similar to recent reports from industrial names Fastenal (FAST), MSC Industrial (MSM) and FedEx (FDX) in coming weeks.
And with that comes the potential for bulled up investors to be whacked in the face with a garden hoe.
“We think the economy looks a little softer in the second half of the year versus the first half,” JPMorgan Chase chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
“We do think what we are seeing overseas as well as some of the fading of fiscal stimulus effects that growth should be stepping down,” Feroli added. “We ultimately don’t think a lot of the bad downside risk scenarios are going to develop, but you can’t rule them out at this point.”
The top Wall Street economist has penciled in a 25-basis point rate cut from the Fed later this month. Feroli thinks second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) is tracking at a meager 1.25%, in part due to weakness in capital investments and consumer spending. GDP will only accelerate to 1.5% growth in the third quarter, Feroli believes.