It’s still too early for getting somewhat of a good idea of how markets consider Donald Trump’s temperamental and tough acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention (by far not a traditional convention!) wherein he painted a bleak picture of the state of the United States where he hit hard on so-called American, but also global “insecurities,” without going into details that will logically come later, but whereby he certainly raised the bar for Hillary Clinton at next week’s Democratic National Convention that starts on Monday.
Besides that, meanwhile for long-term investors as well as for many in Washington, one of the main questions remains how seriously the Republican platform's call to reinstate the Glass-Steagall act of 1933. The nearly 60 page Republican platform reads: “…We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment. Sensible regulations can be compatible with a vibrant economy. They can prevent the strong from exploiting the weak…).
The Glass-Steagall act was first enacted in 1933 in response to thousands of bank failures in the U.S. during the early years of the Great Depression. The law sought to separate commercial and investment banking, thereby providing more stability to the banking system.
It’s really interesting to see that according to a CNN/ORC instant poll, 56 percent of the viewers who watched Donald Trump's speech on Thursday night said it made them more likely to vote for him in November.
Of course, again, it’s still too early to draw any firm conclusion that would be strong enough for impacting markets for now.
Economically speaking, the just released Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. was positive news as it increased 0.3 percent in June to 123.7 (2010 = 100), following a 0.2 percent decline in May, and a 0.5 percent increase in April with improvements in initial claims for unemployment insurance, building permits, and financial indicators as the primary drivers.
We’ll see what the FOMC will say next week about the overall state of the U.S. economy and about its global concerns.
For Europe, we just got Markit PMI sentiment surveys, which for the Eurozone and the UK in particular are of importance, especially as they will show how business activity went on after the UK EU referendum. Please, always keep in mind sentiment data is always prone to overreact.
The Markit Flash Eurozone PMI for July shows Euro area business activity growth in July dropped to an 18-month low coming in at 52.9 compared to 53.1 in the prior two months. The relative positive news is that we saw only a marginal easing in the rate of growth of output across both manufacturing and services.
Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit commented: “Business confidence about the outlook in the service sector has deteriorated to the worst for just over one-and-a-half years, linked primarily to the political and economic instability induced by the UK referendum, pointing to near-term downside risks for an already-lackluster Eurozone economy … the fragility of the recovery leaves plenty of room for speculation about further stimulus later in the year.”
The Markit Flash UK PMI for July shows the UK economy contracted in July at the steepest pace since early 2009 with the PMI Composite Output Index coming in at 47.7, down from 52.4 in June, which is a 87-month low. All 3 other indexes: The Services PMI Activity Index coming in at 47.4, down from 52.2 in June as well as the Manufacturing PMI coming at 49.1, down from 52.1 in June and the Manufacturing PMI Output Index coming in at 49.1 against 52,9 in June, all tumbled in negative growth territory.
Williamson said: “July saw a dramatic deterioration in the economy, with business activity slumping at the fastest rate since the height of the global financial crisis in early 2009, which was most commonly attributed in one way or another to ‘Brexit’. Given the record slump in service sector business expectations, the suggestion is that there is further pain to come in the short-term at least.”
Yes, Brexit will cause lower growth, at least in the UK and the Eurozone and probably beyond, no doubt about that, which will become at some time in the in the future a serious problem for many investors.
Never forget that because of low profits; financially engineered corporate returns, for example being driven up, albeit only in part, by share buybacks, and sound long-term investing don’t go together.
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