The Latest from Macro News
Thursday, August 24, 2017


  • macro  |  July 20, 2017

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for July 2017

    Cross Another Concern Off – Moderating Inflation Facilitates Premium Valuations

    The most important factors that drive valuation multiples for individual companies surround a company’s earnings growth potential. As we have highlighted in recent editions of the Market Phase Cycle, earnings growth remains robust.

  • macro  |  June 22, 2017

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for June 2017

    More and more fundamental factors point to a growth acceleration

    In October 2016, management sentiment indicators started to flag positively, even as the market remained uncertain. This was followed by positive newsflow and earnings upgrades showing fundamental acceleration.

  • macro  |  May 18, 2017

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for May 2017

    Fundamental storm clouds are receding, so news related sell-offs offer opportunity

    Political news flow has introduced market volatility, but fundamentals have actually been improving.

  • macro  |  April 23, 2017

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for April 2017

    When sentiment reaches neutral levels (like now) in a Stage 2 bull, be a buyer

    In a Stage 2 bull market, momentum pushes stocks higher and investor sentiment rarely reaches negative levels.

  • macro  |  April 12, 2017

    Based on valuation alone, markets may be fully valued, but there are reasons to believe the stock market rally can continue

    While valuations may appear aggressive, they are actually just around average compared to historical valuations in similar inflation and tax environments

  • macro  |  March 23, 2017

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for March 2017

    Not to be a broken record, but when this next dip comes (and it will) buy it

    Fundamental and management sentiment factors continue to point to a positive trend in underlying corporate profitability and growth, justifying current premium valuations. However, investor sentiment indicators remain overly effusive, creating reason for concern about increased volatility with any potential bad news.

  • macro  |  February 23, 2017

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for February 2017

    All signs still point to longer-term fundamental tailwinds, but near-term volatility

    Fundamental and management sentiment factors continue to point to a positive trend in underlying corporate profitability and growth, justifying current premium valuations. However, investor sentiment indicators remain overly effusive, creating reason for concern about increased volatility with any potential bad news.

  • macro  |  January 19, 2017

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for January 2017

    Overly bullish investors point to the likelihood of a market dip, but be sure to buy it

    Since the December Market Phase Cycle, where we highlighted that short-term sentiment had gotten ahead of admittedly bullish fundamentals, the market has been largely sideways. However investor sentiment indicators have not worked off their excesses, and remain exceptionally bullish, spelling risk for a short-term correction. But continued positive indicators around growth accelerating for the first time in years, and limited credit risk mean that any dip is an exceptional buying opportunity ahead of a 2ndstage bull market.

  • macro  |  December 22, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for December 2016

    Growth is emerging – but markets need to pause for fundamentals to catch up

    Since Donald Trump was elected on 11/8 markets have risen by 6%, driven by potential benefits from his plans, and from improvements already seen in the economy. However, with short-term sentiment indicators now at extended levels and substantial capital having been deployed into the market, a period of settling, or a nearterm correction early in 2017, may be warranted before valuations and the market are likely to move higher.

  • macro  |  November 23, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for November 2016

    Green shoots of growth are starting to emerge post-election

    Equity markets expect continued subdued growth and ROA’ reaching historic peaks. Expectations that have been correct for most of the past 5 years. However, growing management confidence, renewed easing of credit standards and a changed political environment pointing to signs that growth may be just around the corner. This could lead to earnings growth that would warrant equity upside.

  • macro  |  October 20, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for October 2016

    With many catalysts, and all conflicting, what to do? Wait.

    Traditional multiples are at elevated levels and adjusted metrics point to a fully valued market. But long-term investor leverage metrics are low, implying potential for incremental investment
    in an environment with limited alternatives.

  • macro  |  September 21, 2016

    Credit Markets Are Overstating Crossover Credit Risk, But U.S. Credit Risk Is Still Low

    Analyzing credit default swaps (CDS) for corporate credits can be helpful to understand current market dynamics. It can help investors understand where there may be value inside the investible credit environment. It can also help investors understand when there is panic in the credit market that is not being reflected in the equity market, which may be an early warning sign for equity investors.

  • macro  |  September 21, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for September 2016

    Corrections remain buying opportunities due of lack of investment alternatives

    Correlation levels have spiked recently, signaling potential for continued near term volatility, especially with near-term sentiment indicators stretched. But investors have substantial dry powder available based on credit balances, and based on the trillions of dollars currently parked on zero-interest bearing debt. Even with current fully valued equity markets, a rotation away from fixed income into the equity markets could facilitate upside.

  • macro  |  September 16, 2016

    “Overall, declining Net/Gross PP&E levels signal continued subdued growth for the U.S., but pockets of opportunity remain”

    “Net/Gross PP&E” levels are yet another indicator that U.S. firms are reluctant to invest. This forestalls any growth cycle and contributes to market multiples remaining at 20x to 22x Value-to-Earnings ratio and thereby a sideways to slightly upward S&P 1500

  • macro  |  August 16, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for August 2016

    Maybe sentiment isn’t too extended – Interest rates and leverage offer upside


    Short-term sentiment indicators remain very elevated, and the US equity market remains fully valued. But investors have substantial dry powder available based on credit balances, and based on the trillions of dollars currently parked on zero-interest-bearing debt. If investors start deploying leverage as they have historically and move money away from fixed income, there could be more upside in this market, even though fundamental upside appears limited.

  • macro  |  July 31, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for July 2016

    ROA’ forecast revisions are a positive, but excessive investor optimism is a risk.

    After positive ROA’ forecast revisions, 2016 ROA’ is forecast in line with market expectations, as is growth, implying market expectations are reasonable. However, investor sentiment indicators have all reached excessively optimistic levels, signaling risk for a pullback. Credit indicators continue to not signal a catalyst, however with fully valued markets and excessive investor optimism, upside appears muted and downside risk is elevated.

  • macro  |  July 15, 2016

    Overall, declining Net/Gross PP&E levels signal continued subdued growth for the US, but pockets of opportunity remain

    The ratio of Net PP&E to Gross PP&E (property, plant, and equipment) is a useful metric to use to understand when companies have been “milking” their balance sheets or ramping up investment in the face of expected growth opportunities. When Net/Gross PP&E ratios dramatically rise (as they did in 2005-2007), it means that management teams are aggressively investing in their assets to drive growth. When Net/Gross PP&E levels fall, management teams are instead deferring maintenance capex and managing for higher free cash flows in the near term.

  • equities  |  June 15, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for June 2016

    Catalysts for growth remain absent, increasing valuation and sentiment risk.

    Equity valuations continue to imply expectations for either a rebound in ROA’, or an acceleration of growth. Investor sentiment also points to growing positive expectations. However, management sentiment remains subdued and investment indicators continue to point negatively, limiting potential for growth upside. Without this growth, bullish investor sentiment and premium market valuations imply potential for downside risk going forward.

  • macro  |  May 18, 2016

    Valens Market Phase Cycle Monitor & Corporate Credit Macro View for May 2016

    Investor sentiment appears ahead of management action, spelling volatility.

    For the first time in several months, management’s confidence around growth turned more positive in April.  However, investor sentiment has already grown rather optimistic, and equity market valuations are already pricing in ROA’ improvement.  If management’s confidence is confirmed in coming months, with renewed investment and a resumption of ROA’ expansion, equity markets are currently fairly valued.  On the other hand, if investor expectations are disappointed, the lower end of the recent market range may be retested.

  • article  |  April 25, 2016

    Big Trouble in Big China: Corporate China is actively destroying shareholder value through excessive growth – and why the economy and the stock market will diverge in performance

    • Our concerns about value destruction in Corporate China were highlighted in last month’s Seeking Alpha article, Economic Suicide in China, which garnered a number one ranking for readership in its category, and 75+ comments
    • Much has been in the press about the problems with Chinese banks. However, we analyzed the aggregate performance of 850+ publicly-traded Chinese non-financial firms, adjusting for financial statement reporting distortions to get a clear apples-to-apples comparability over time and around the world