2017 will be dominated by a four ‘Rs’ theme: Recovery, Rates, Rotation, Re-leveraging, which will eventually lead to two additional ‘Rs’: Risk and Recession.
The global economy is in a modest recovery, whose roots predate the U.S. elections. The chart shows the number of times “reflation” has been mentioned in the news according to Bloomberg data. Such hype has been closely correlated with the extremely economic sensitive copper-to-gold ratio. Moreover, economic exuberance is signaling that global stocks have more room to run (top panel).
The back up in real yields is also noteworthy given the close correlation they enjoy with equities. Importantly, the U.S. 10-year TIPS yield has vaulted 47bps higher since the multi-year low hit just after Brexit, reflecting at the margin an improving economic growth outlook. Indeed, economic surprise indexes have firmed and financial conditions (as per Bloomberg) remain loose in every major region.
Another way to depict the reflationary effect on stocks is via a global equity EPS diffusion index. Using forward EPS data from I/B/E/S, we constructed a diffusion index of countries (both DM and EM) that have negative y/y EPS growth. This index has been steadily sinking since mid-summer with fewer and fewer country EPS in the contraction zone. This is a positive backdrop for global equities.