Why this earnings season is key to predict 2023 | January 14th, 2023 Newsletter


Weekly summary in a paragraph

Second week of upside in a row in this 2023 as last Thursday’s CPI report pleased more the bulls than it did the bears. Despite the disinflation narrative, China re-opening and more resilient than expected European market, the positive sentiment does not seems entirely justifiable.

The first Q4 earnings reports have started to come in, traditionally kicked off by the major US banks, which mostly surprised and finished higher in the Friday session as well as for the week. While the P/E multiple might have contracted as much as it will for this cycle, the fate of earnings is much more uncertain and it is therefore key to closely watch the Q4 earnings results and forecasts for any sign of weakness.

Asset classes weekly performance

This week the Dow gained +2.0% (+3.6% YTD) while the S&P500 did better with a +4.1% jump (+4.4% YTD, we are 1x short), the Nasdaq finished +4.8% higher (+6.6% YTD, we have a 3x inverse position) and the Russell 2000 gapped up +5.3% (+7.6% YTD). $Gold finished higher +2.9% (5.4% YTD, we are long) while silver was +1.8% stronger (+1.5% YTD, we are long). $Oil rebounded +8.5% (1.4% YTD). The 20-y advanced +1.5% this week (+6.8% YTD). The European stock market beat the main US stock market indices and gained +5.2% (+10.8% YTD). The Euro gave up 1.8% against the USD (1.2% YTD).

Weekly pitch

Stocks follow earnings and earnings expectations. If the earnings of a publicly listed company grow, so does its stock price. That is why the bull market which started in March 2009 and lasted 10+ years: in fact the S&P500 average earnings bottomed back then and have grown year on year. The spanner in the works of this more than decade-long favourable trend has been the sudden rise of interest rates, which has contracted the P/E multiple: that is the main reason why the major stock markets around the world entered into bear market territory in 2022. With the FED expected to soon pivot to a more dovish (or less hawkish) monetary policy, all eyes are now on earnings, especially for 2024 because the markets are forward looking: should the earnings continue to grow, a new bull market will be born; else there will be more pain ahead for investors putting their money to work on the long side.

Weekly Portfolio Update

Here are this week’s movements: we started a position in $AMZN and $ACIW, took partial profits on $PSQ (+5.1%), took profits on $BSX.US (+9.41%), reduced our hedge position in $SH (+3.3%), and initiated a sell position on $WWE and $SLG while a SL was triggered on our $SIG short position. Cash, precious metals and hedges amount to 38% in our portfolio (reduced compared to last week).

Top 5 Weekly Portfolio Performers

$CPE +10.61% (Oil)

$THO +10.19% (Consumer durables, recreational products)

$GPS +9.59% (Apparel of footwear retail)

$NUE +9.47% (Steel)

$CMG +8.75% (Restaurants)

Portfolio Asset Allocation

Long stock positions 54% (reduced)

Short stock position 8% (increased)

Hedges 8% (reduced)

Silver & Gold 4% (unchanged)

Cash 26% (increased)

YTD Portfolio Performance

Our currency-adjusted YTD portfolio performance in Euro is +2.43% (excl. dividends) vs the European market gain of +9.6% and +3.63% in USD vs the S&P500 gain of 4.4%.

…in case you missed it

Check out last week’s newsletter to read the 5 things I got right in 2022…and the 5 I got wrong.

Invest responsibly!!!

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