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A global strategy chief shares 3 ways investors can navigate increased stock-market volatility in the coming months

A global strategy chief shares 3 ways investors can navigate increased stock-market volatility in the coming months

trader Gregory Rowe
NYSE trader Gregory Rowe works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day.


  • Willem Sels, HSBC Private Banking global chief market strategist, expects volatility to pick up in the next few months due to the US election and a renewed uptick of COVID-19 cases. 
  • In a Tuesday email he shared three strategies for how investors can manage the stock market volatility ahead. 
  • One of his strategies is to avoid the lure of low-quality stocks just because they’re cheap.  Instead, Sels said to seek out companies with strong balance sheets and long-term growth potential.

The upcoming US election and an uptick in cases of COVID-19 are leading to increased volatility and causing some investors to step back. Willem Sels, HSBC Private Banking global chief market strategist, expects volatility to pick up in the next few months, but said investors should remain in the market. In a Tuesday email he shared three strategies for investors to manage what’s ahead. 

1. Focus on quality assets

“What the September correction has shown is that, when valuations are high, it is unwise to go into lower quality assets just because they are cheaper,” Sels said. Investors should seek out companies with strong balance sheets as COVID-19 will continue to weigh on cash flows for longer than expected. For long-term growth, Sels is watching companies related to climate change, health technology, 5G, and the online economy.

2. Look for areas with promising growth

Sels also said he’s looking for areas with “promising growth” in the short and long term. “The US economic outlook currently looks better than in Europe, and data in China and Korea is more positive than in other EM countries,” he added.

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Billionaire investor Howard Marks warns investors should expect the lowest returns in history and the market is vulnerable to ‘negative surprises’

Billionaire investor Howard Marks warns investors should expect the lowest returns in history and the market is vulnerable to ‘negative surprises’

Howard marks


  • In a memo released Tuesday, billionaire investor Howard Marks warned investors to expect the “lowest prospective returns in history.” 
  • The Oaktree Capital Management co-founder said he’s been forecasting low returns for the last few years, but when the pandemic caused the Fed to move interest rates lower, expected returns lowered as well. 
  • Marks listed an array of reasons interest rates lowered returns, ranging from their stimulative effect to the reduction in the risk-free rate. 
  • “In my view, when uncertainty is high, asset prices should be low, creating high prospective returns that are compensatory,” Marks said. “But because the Fed has set rates so low, returns are just the opposite.”

Billionaire investor Howard Marks warned investors in his latest memo to expect the lowest returns in history, and said that the market is vulnerable to “negative surprises.” 

“In my view, the low interest rates represent the dominant characteristic of the current financial environment, creating the dominant consideration for investors: the lowest prospective returns in history,” the co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management wrote. 

In his memo titled “Coming Into Focus” released Tuesday, he said that for years he has been describing a vulnerable investment environment with the “lowest prospective returns ever,” pro-risk behavior from investors hunting for high returns, excessive asset prices, and an unusually high level of uncertainty.

Read more: MORGAN STANLEY: Buy these 44 cheap stocks poised to surge as the economy continues to recover and reopening expands.

When the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, a policy  move Marks viewed as necessary, expected returns lowered even more, he said. Marks listed an array of reasons interest rates lowered returns, ranging from their stimulative effect to the reduction in the risk-free rate. 

“After a brief foray into bargain-land in March,

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65% Of Investors Say Trump Better For Stock Market. Only 16% Say Biden

65% Of Investors Say Trump Better For Stock Market. Only 16% Say Biden

Of the 1,164 investors surveyed by Investing.com, 53% said that if the stock market still looks good by Election Day next month, incumbent Donald Trump will end up winning. And most of them think the market will be better off with Trump then Biden, though there are some major caveats worth pointing out before you think a Biden win a short sellers dream.

Americans head to the polls in less than four weeks. Mail-in ballots, done for the first time this year, suggests that unlike other years throughout history, an outcome won’t be known on election night. The last time that happened was in November 2000 in George W. Bush versus Al Gore.

According to the Investing.com survey, a whopping 90% said that Trump’s catching Covid-19 did not make them nervous enough to change their investing positions.

“The initial downward move was nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to the dramatic headlines,” says Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com. “As the hours and days progressed it became clear that President Trump was not in a life-threatening situation, easing worries over a sudden deterioration in his health.”

Moreover, 60% said they have no plans to make any changes to their investments ahead of the presidential election. And 86% think there will be a “moderate impact” or a “significant impact” to financial markets once we know who the winner is.

Overall, beyond the election result, Wall Street’s main concern is whether the winner will introduce a fresh round of stimulus. “These are far more important factors likely to influence the market in the coming weeks,” Cohen says.

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Dollar lower as investors now believe US economic stimulus will be reached after Nov. 3 election

Dollar lower as investors now believe US economic stimulus will be reached after Nov. 3 election

TOKYO – The dollar flirted with three-week lows on Tuesday as investors stuck to hopes that there will be large U.S. fiscal stimulus after the Nov. 3 election to shore up a pandemic-hit economy, supporting riskier currencies.

The dollar index stood at 93.036, just above Friday’s near-three-week low of 92.997. The euro traded at $1.1841, having gained 0.60% on Monday.

“It seems there is a strong optimism that eventually there will be stimulus. It is hard to argue against fiscal expansion given the coronavirus epidemic is almost like a natural disaster,” said Makoto Noji, chief currency and foreign bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

DOLLAR’S RECENT DIRECTION POINTS TO BIDEN WIN

While markets are getting sceptical about the chances of having a bipartisan package before the election, a widening lead by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump is leading investors to expect big stimulus after the election.

A Biden victory is also seen as negative for the dollar partly because his pledge to hike corporate tax would reduce returns from investments in the United States.

The dollar flirted with three-week lows on Tuesday as investors stuck to hopes that there will be large U.S. fiscal stimulus after the Nov. 3 election to shore up a pandemic-hit economy, supporting riskier currencies. (iStock)

Thus the dollar also weakened against currencies that are deemed “safer” – those that tend to have small or inverse relations with risk sentiment – such as the yen and the Swiss franc.

The yen strengthened to 105.34 per dollar while the Swiss franc traded at 0.9102 to the dollar, near its highest in three weeks.

Sterling traded above the key $1.30 level as hopes for a Brexit deal offset concerns about pressure

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What Kind Of Investors Own Most Of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PHAS)?

What Kind Of Investors Own Most Of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PHAS)?

If you want to know who really controls PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PHAS), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions will often hold stock in bigger companies, and we expect to see insiders owning a noticeable percentage of the smaller ones. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals is not a large company by global standards. It has a market capitalization of US$109m, which means it wouldn’t have the attention of many institutional investors. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals.

View our latest analysis for PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals’ historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth

We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals. The company’s largest shareholder is

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