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Responsible Investor is a weekly newsletter and an Apple/Spotify podcast for those who are interested in investing responsibly. Go to responsibleinvestor.dk for more information and to read our disclaimer. This week’s newsletter is titled “Is disinflation a precursor of a recession?”, and was written on April 15th, 2023.
Weekly summary in a paragraph
The US stock market indices finished higher for the week, despite a sell-off on Friday. The main catalyst consisted in the declining PPI data published on Thursday, just a day after the CPI report came in cooler-than-expected. The European stock market continued to show its strength and so did the Euro. The 2-10y spread finished flat and is still inverted at -56 basis points. In corporate news, Tesla announced a series of price cuts in the US and three of the major US banks (JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo) were the first to report a Q1 2023 earnings beat this week, with JP Morgan results being the most impressive. The earnings season kicks off in earnest next week: any significant misses may exert pressure on the market.
Asset classes weekly performance
This week the Dow finished +1.2% higher (+2.2% year to date) while the S&P500 gained+0.7% (+7.7% year to date), the Nasdaq rose +0.3% (+15.8% year to date) and the Russell 2000 advanced +1.5% (+1.1% year to date). Gold finished +0.7% higher (+7.5% year to date, we are long) while Silver gained +2.2% (+4.3% year to date, we are long). Oil was +3.7% higher (+6.9% year to date). The 10-y US treasury yield gained +3.1% (-7.1% year to date). The European stock market rose +0.7% (+16.8% year to date). The Euro finished +0.76% higher against the US Dollar (+2.7% year to date).
The economic data published this week supports the disinflation narrative and leaves the Fed in the challenging position of timing the pivot correctly, if that’s at all possible: not too early to avoid inflation picking up again, and not too late to risk sending the economy into a deep recession. While a recession in late 2023 or early 2024 seems to be in the cards, the real question is how severe it may be and how long it may last. Thankfully not everything is in the hands of the monetary policy makers: the Q1 2023 earnings and especially the future earnings forecasts will provide an objective read of the state of publicly traded companies. Ultimately, it is the growth in earnings that has pushed the markets higher over the decades. Responsible investors should keep an eye on their positions during the earnings seasons, and adjust their portfolio depending on how the companies they have invested in guide for future quarters. This week we have beaten the market again and have deployed some cash.
Weekly Portfolio Update
Here are this week’s movements: we took partial profits on our Newmont Mining long position (+7.4%) and exited our Coinbase short position with a nominal gain; a sell stop was triggered on our Dexcom short position. Cash, precious metals and hedges amount to 39% in our portfolio (reduced compared to last week).
Top 5 Weekly Portfolio Performers
Palantir +8.90% (Tech)
JP Morgan +8.83% (Banking)
Callon Petroleum +7.57% (Oil)
Freeport McMoRan +7.12% (Non-energy minerals)
BorgWarner +5.80% (Automotive)
Portfolio Asset Allocation
US Long stock positions 52% (increased)
EU Long stock positions 9% (unchanged)
US Short stock position 4.5% (increased)
Hedges 7.5% (unchanged)
Silver & Gold 5% (unchanged)
Cash 22% (reduced)
1-year Portfolio Performance
Our portfolio performance over the last 12 months is +0.1% (excl. dividends) vs the S&P500 loss of -5.8%, which corresponds to a +5.9% market beat.