Tags: David Rosenberg | Gluskin Sheff | Federal Reserve | rate

Gluskin's David Rosenberg: Investors Shouldn't Fear Fed's First Rate Hike

By    |   Thursday, 16 April 2015 11:00 AM

Investors should learn to stop worrying and love what will be the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate hike in the past decade, said David Rosenberg, chief investment strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc.

The Wall Street economist said history provides many examples of when rising interest rates didn’t trigger a bear market in stocks, or a decline of at least 20 percent from the peak.

“Bear markets never show up with the first rate hike, or the second or the third,” he said in an April 15 report obtained by Newsmax Finance. “The tendency is for investors to initially underestimate how well the economy digests the first several rounds of Fed rate increases.”

The U.S. central bank hasn’t initiated a rate-hiking cycle since 2004, when the economy was growing more than 6 percent a year. It cut interest rates to near-zero record lows after the 2008 financial crisis triggered the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

Investors estimate the Fed will begin raising rates this year as unemployment declines to 5.5 percent, the lowest level in six years. But investors shouldn’t worry about a negative effect of higher rates on stocks, Rosenberg said.

“By the time the Fed typically pulls the trigger for the first time, we are typically one-third of the way through the expansion and bull market,” he said. “That is true whether the cycles are in their infancy like the early 1980s, or later down the road as was the case in the early 1990s and again in the 2000s cycle.”

He said investors should keep an eye on bond yields for an indication of a possible recession and bear market in stocks. A stock market peak typically is seen when the spread between two-year and 10-year Treasury rates is inverted at -44 basis points.

“Today’s curve is +140 basis points, right where it was in November 2004,” Rosenberg said. “And back then we still had three years to go before the bad stuff hit the fan.”

On the other hand, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said there is the possibility that there are already asset bubbles in U.S. financial markets.

Market excess “certainly is a realistic possibility when you look at the U.S. stock market, which is near all-time highs, when you look at covenant-light and now non-covenant lending, [and] a vast increase in fixed-income [exchange-traded funds],” Rubin said, according to MarketWatch.com.

“I believe that the Fed should take systemic risk into consideration in monetary-policy decisions, even though excesses and bubbles are impossible to identify with confidence except ex-post,” the former Treasury secretary said at a conference.

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Investors should learn to stop worrying and love the Federal Reserve's first-interest rate hike in the past decade, said David Rosenberg, chief investment strategist at Gluskin Sheff.
David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff, Federal Reserve, rate
Thursday, 16 April 2015 11:00 AM
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