Macro
By Kevin Kelly, CFA

Key Takeaways

  • Gold’s latest surge puts it among this year’s best performing assets, outpacing global equities by 34 percentage points YTD and marking its largest gain through August 6th since the early 1970s. Notably, the swift rally in precious metals has pushed many gold-backed ETFs to record overbought levels.
  • With an extraordinarily dovish Fed, there seems to be no end in sight for large-scale asset purchases, especially since we’re starting to see cracks develop in an already weak economic recovery. Once again, investors find themselves grappling with raging equity valuations on one hand and glaring warnings from the bond market on the other.
  • Momentum still favors equity bulls and the sheer weight of the FAAMG names means the latest uptrend could continue so long as US growth assets remain a favorite among investors; the S&P 500 ex-FAAMG is still down 5% on the year versus a 3% gain for the broader index.

 

Little has stood in the way of higher asset prices since Mr. Market’s March debacle, thanks in large part to the extreme actions taken by monetary and fiscal policymakers. But I can’t help but notice the return of that same eerie feeling we noted at the beginning of the year when conflicting signals began to muddy the clouds of our proverbial crystal ball.

We’re living in a new normal, but not just

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