U.S. Banks: Higher Rates Vs Weaker Loan Growth

Bank stocks have experienced a sentiment-driven surge since the U.S. election, supported by expectations for higher interest rates. Lost in the exuberance has been a marked deceleration in credit creation.

DIN-20170116-100543

Total bank loan growth has dropped to nil over the last three months, led by the previously booming C&I category. That is a sign that while businesses are expecting an economic improvement, they are not yet positioning for one via increasing working capital requirements. Coupled with increased bank staffing levels, the growth in bank loans-to-employment, a decent productivity proxy, has also dropped to zero. Importantly, the yield curve steepening trend has taken a breather, which may be a catalyst for some profit-taking.

Bottom Line: Our U.S. equity strategists are underweight banks.

BCA Research’s Oil Recommendations Up 95% in 2016

BCA Research’s Commodity & Energy Strategy reported returns on its oil recommendations were up 95% last year, during one of the most difficult trading markets in memory. CES is run by Bob Ryan, SVP and Chief Commodity Strategist. The service early on expected global oil supply and demand would rebalance on the back of fierce supply destruction, and the Saudi-Russia detente, which was apparent as early as January 2016. BCA’s CES started looking for ways to get long back in January 2016, and its recommendations paid off handsomely. CES recommended an energy overweight to oil Feb. 4, 2016, and remains bullish as the supply cuts negotiated by Saudi Arabia and Russia take hold.

Our results are not a P&L — we don’t run trading books. We report simple percent returns on recommendations we make following our assessment of the market. Our analysis is driven by fundamentals – supply, demand, inventories and monetary policy – and by our assessment of the geopolitical landscape, which is the product of Mr. Ryan’s 30-plus years of experience in the commodity trading markets, and access to BCA’s world-leading Geopolitical Strategy service run by Marko Papic. Where the returns are positive, we’ve correctly judged where the market was going; where they’re negative, it tells us we are missing something and need to reassess.

For a complimentary recap of 2016 results, and our view of the important issues affecting commodity markets this year, please contact us here.

BCA Commodity Recommendations in 2016
blog image