The Big Picture
It was another “more of the same” week in the US stock markets with records continuing to be broken and interest rates lacking clear direction. Negotiations on the corporate tax hike are reportedly bringing the two parties to converge on the 25% mark from the initial value of 28%. This increase would see the 2022 earnings shrink by 3%.
Despite the strong employment numbers from the March reports, the fact that the target unemployment rate and the inflation goals are still unmet suggests that the Fed will continue keeping the interest rates unchanged and printing money for the foreseeable future in order to fuel this bull market.
Vaccine roll-out sees increasing volumes in the US, with 3 million daily doses now being the norm and peaks of 4 million achieved for the first time yesterday.
The stock market indices were generally up this week: in the US the Dow had a 2% gain, while the Nasdaq was the strongest index (+3.1%) followed by the S&P500 which finished 2.7% higher. In Europe, the Stoxx gained 1.2% while the Italian index declined 1.2%. The Danish OMX20 had the fifth consecutive week of gains and finished 2% higher. The US Dollar retraced relative to the Euro (-1.2%). Crude $oil declined 2.3% and $Gold gained 0.9%. $BTC-USD was on a rollercoaster this week and finished 0.3% lower.
Notable earnings this week included $LEVI which reported a solid beat and positive guidance driven by faster return to pre-pandemic levels expectations and $STZ which traded lower after announcing a revenue and earnings beat as well as a “conservative” guidance: the markets are forward looking and sometimes beating earnings can be offset by weak guidance. Neither of them makes my watchlist due to their high valuations.
The Q1 2021 earnings season will commence next week for our portfolio with $BK scheduled to announce their earnings on Friday together with a number of other major US banks.
Our Danish stocks paid their annual dividends earlier this year. Italian stocks traditionally pay an annual dividend in late May. US stocks distribute quarterly dividends.
Our portfolio gained 0.6% this week whereas the weighted average of the relevant market indices finished 1.5% higher.
This week’s portfolio winners were $ADSK and $OR.PA with a 4.8% and a 4.5% gain, respectively. The banks and financial stocks were also strong and outperformed the market. Our two tech Chinese stocks lagged due to pressure exerted by their government.
Our Responsible Investor portfolio is now up 32.2% (33.2% including dividends) in 45 weeks and is beating the market by 2.5% over the same period. We are about 62% in stocks & ETFs and 38% in cash.
The table below summarises the portfolio performance since inception.
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