JPM: The Worst Might Be Over for Stocks

Strategists at JPMorgan Chase say that stocks “might have just seen the worst,” but “not everyone on Wall Street is as optimistic.” This according to a recent article in Chief Investment Officer.

In a recent research note, the strategists suggested that the conditions the bank had set for the market’s stabilization had mostly been met, including “a significant slowdown in COVID infection rates, recession-like pricing across financial markets, a reversal in investor positioning and extraordinary fiscal stimulus.” The note concluded that “most so-called risk assets (typically stocks) have seen their lows and should move higher in the second quarter.”

But the note, written by the team’s leader John Normand, included a qualification: “Risky markets should remain volatile as long as infection rates create uncertainty about the depth and duration of the COVID recession, but enough has changed fundamentally and technically to justify adding risk selectively.” He added, “Most risky markets have probably made their lows for this recession, except perhaps oil and some EM currencies beset by debt-sustainability issues.”

The article includes comments from Epoch Investment Partners co-CIO, Bill Booth that robust fiscal support from the federal government and the Fed’s monetary policies are providing much-needed support: “They’re keeping the plumbing of the financial system and the credit markets working.”

But DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach sees another slide coming: “I think we’re going to get something that resembles that panicky feeling again during the month of April.” And billionaire investor Steven Cohen wrote in a message to his staff at Point72 Asset Management that a market turnaround would be difficult to sustain given the dramatic drop: “”Markets don’t come back in a straight line; after an earthquake there are tremors.”