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2020年的“風險資產”仍將上漲

Rey Mahsayekhi 2019年12月09日

經濟學家認為,全球股市明年預計將超過債市,公司利潤的反彈會增加投資回報。

美國總統唐納德·特朗普對中美貿易爭端的最新評論引發股市下跌。圖片來源:Scott Heins—Getty Images

在新的一年即將來臨之際,貿易爭端的逆風仍然在破壞全球經濟、阻礙增長、削弱商界信心。但這并不一定意味著股市投資者會因此在2020年感到壓力。

美國銀行美林證券(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)的經濟學家在12月3日表示,相反,全球股市明年預計將超過債市,公司利潤的反彈會增加投資回報, 價值股和表現不佳的歐洲市場也可能出現上揚。

今年以來,資本“令人難以置信”地流出股市、流入債市,美銀美林的研究投資委員會主席杰瑞德·伍達德表示,該行明年更看好股票和大宗商品等“風險資產”,而非債券等“防御性配置”。

伍達德指出,標普500指數明年有望觸及3,300點,歐洲股市可能上漲8%,受到脫歐沖擊的英國股市最終可能反彈5%。該銀行認為,2020年美國股市的回報率將落后于歐洲和新興市場,而鑒于全球市場上有價值12萬億美元的負收益債券,美國的高評級公司債仍然“特別有吸引力”。

伍達德補充說,今年美國公司的利潤增長主要“得益于”公司以股票回購的形式“買進股票”,這樣“提高每股收益很容易”。他表示,由于企業回購問題“在政治上引發了更多爭議”,加上被監管的陰影籠罩,企業明年可能會加速回購,“趁著還能做抓緊”。

與此同時,美銀美林的美國股票和量化策略主管薩維塔·薩勃拉曼尼亞呼吁“2020年有意義地加速[公司]利潤”。薩勃拉曼尼亞鼓勵投資者將目光投向美國市場以外的地方,她將美國市場描述為“共識性增持”市場,認為歐洲、英國市場以及“世界其他地方”漲幅會更大。

以下是美銀美林的分析師在2020年展望中提到的其他一些值得注意的經濟和市場問題:

“小氣”的中美貿易協議只是長期爭端中的急救繃帶

盡管相互矛盾的信號讓市場似乎每周都升升降降,但中美之間達成貿易協定已經萬事俱備,不過美銀美林的全球經濟主管伊桑·哈里斯稱其為中美長期貿易爭端中的“小協定”。哈里斯說,這是因為特朗普政府有“強烈的動機”達成協議,從而在明年秋天的總統大選前提振人們對經濟的信心。

更重要的是,雖然美國目前為止對中國商品加征的大部分關稅主要影響制造業等領域——迫使有關公司重新調整它們的供應鏈——但最后一輪等待加征的關稅將不成比例地影響消費品領域,會對美國人的口袋產生更加突出的影響。

然而,貿易爭端對商業信心的影響最大。哈里斯指出,即便是那些將供應鏈從中國轉移到越南的公司,在總統今年早些時候威脅可能對越南采取行動的情況下,也不得不保持警惕。他表示,“貿易爭端的主要影響是凍結了每一家[擁有國際業務的]公司的商業投資。”

與此同時,在世界上最大的兩個經濟體之間將要持續的長期爭端中,一項“小協議”僅僅意味著一次停火。“這場貿易爭端與大豆無關;關乎的是技術和國家安全。”

哈里斯補充說,一旦大選年過去,爭議很可能再次“升級”。“很多公司會擔心兩年后我們的處境。”

“慘敗”的價值股將東山再起

由于貿易爭端可能沒有什么結果,而巨大的政治不確定性即將出現,到2020年,美國國內科技和醫療行業的股票可能會遭遇陣痛。薩勃拉曼尼亞表示,考慮到科技公司在全球貿易中巨大的風險敞口,以及在即將到來的總統大選前人們對醫保的關注,這兩個行業可能會受到不利宏觀環境的“最大壓力”。

她表示,因此,市場可能會“從由成長型股票引領轉向由價值型股票引領”,受益者或將包括交易價格一直處于極低水平的金融類股票。

薩勃拉曼尼亞表示:“我們很少會像今天這樣,看到價值型股票如此便宜,一敗涂地。”她補充稱,現在是“根據估值”買入相對便宜股票的“大好時機”。(在美國之外,伍達德稱歐洲金融股是“世界上最有價值的機會之一。”)

經濟“觸底”可能會傷害消費者

美銀美林美國經濟部門的負責人邁克爾·邁耶表示,與近期相比,明年的經濟增長前景相對悲觀,2020年美國經濟預計增長1.7%。對其他經濟體的預測也同樣不溫不火;哈里斯說,以中國為例,明年的經濟增長率預計為5.6%,這一數字除了沒有達到6%的增長目標外,或許會被“官方數據”夸大。

貿易爭端很可能會讓美國“損失0.7個百分點”的增長率,哈里斯補充道。邁耶說,盡管美國國內制造業是受到逆風沖擊最嚴重的行業之一,但整體經濟“回溢效應最小”。消費支出依然活力十足,持續強勁的就業市場也可以支撐不會出現經濟衰退的觀點。

然而,這種情況可能在2020年改變。邁耶預測,明年消費者支出“將逐漸放緩”,而非農就業增長也可能放緩——不過保證每月新增12萬個工作崗位的速度將使失業率保持在4%以下。

邁耶補充說,僅憑這些數字還不足以促使美聯儲采取進一步降息行動。(她指出,“美聯儲目前很可能什么都不做。”)但她表示,如果貿易爭端升級,市場開始“表現糟糕”,美聯儲將采取行動,防止經濟狀況進一步惡化。

盡管對經濟增長的預期不溫不火,但美銀美林對明年經濟前景總體持樂觀態度。世界銀行預測,如果美國和中國達成某種貿易解決方案,2020年上半年經濟狀況將“觸底”,下半年經濟增長將“小幅提振”。

糟糕的CEO已經“摧毀”了5,000億美元的價值

薩勃拉曼尼亞指出,眼下與環境、社會和公司治理(ESG)有關的標準越來越流行,她把ESG和史上CEO變更“創紀錄的一年”聯系起來。她表示,無論是“不當行為”還是“在做出關鍵決策時沒有考慮到關鍵利益相關者”,上市公司與公司治理相關的爭議都給股東造成了“非常高昂的代價”。

薩勃拉曼尼亞表示,這類爭議在2019年“摧毀了美國近5,000億美元的市值”,其中“很大一部分”是“被ESG方面的違規行為消滅的”。

她補充說,這些損失對“股票表現產生了非常重大的影響”, 預計未來幾年,ESG標準對公眾投資者的重要性只會上升。(財富中文網)

譯者:Agatha

Going into the new year, the global economy remains wracked by trade war-related headwinds that have hampered growth and hindered business confidence. But that doesn’t necessarily mean stock market investors will bear the brunt of this pain in 2020.

To the contrary, equity markets globally are expected to outperform bond markets next year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists said on December 3—citing an expected rebound in corporate earnings that will fuel investor returns, as well as upside to be found in value stocks and in underperforming markets like Europe.

After a year that saw “incredible” capital outflows out of equities and into bonds, Jared Woodard, the head of BoAML’s research investment committee, said the bank is more bullish on “risky assets” like equities and commodities than it is “defensive allocations” like bonds.

Woodard pointed to an S&P 500 that is expected to hit 3,300 points next year, as well as European equities that could rally 8% and a Brexit-hit U.K. market that could finally rebound as much as 5%. The bank noted that U.S. stock returns are expected to lag behind their European and emerging market counterparts in 2020, while high-grade U.S. corporate debt remains “particularly attractive” given $12 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt in the global markets.

Much of the upside in U.S. corporate profits this year was “driven by companies buying up their shares” in the form of buybacks, Woodard added—a dynamic that made it “easy for [companies'] earnings per share to improve.” With the matter of corporate buybacks becoming “more politically contentious” and the specter of regulation looming over the issue, companies could accelerate buybacks next year to “get in while they can,” he said.

In line with that, Savita Subramanian, BoAML’s head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy, called for a “meaningful acceleration of [corporate] profits in 2020.” Subramanian encouraged investors to look beyond the U.S. market—which she described as “consensus overweight”—in favor of greater upside in Europe, the U.K., and “other parts of the world.”

Here are some other notable economic and market-related issues that BoAML analysts touched on in their outlook for 2020:

“Skinny” trade deal only a bandaid on long-term U.S.-China dispute

Despite conflicting signals that send the market either climbing or reeling on a seemingly weekly basis, it appears “the stars are aligned” for what Ethan Harris, BoAML’s head of global economics, termed a “skinny deal” between the U.S. and China in their ongoing trade dispute. That’s because the Trump administration has “strong incentive” to strike an accord that will help fuel confidence in the economy going into next fall’s presidential election, Harris said.

What’s more, while most of the tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the U.S. to date have predominantly impacted sectors like manufacturing—forcing companies to recalibrate their supply chains—the “last round” of pending tariffs that lay in waiting would disproportionately affect consumer goods, which would more acutely hit Americans’ pockets.

Still, the trade war’s greatest impact has been on business confidence. Even companies that have shifted their supply chains from China to Vietnam, Harris noted, have had to stay on their toes amid the president’s threat of possible action against Vietnam earlier this year. “The main effect of the trade war has been freezing up business investment for any company” with an international presence, he said.

A “skinny deal,” meanwhile, would be a mere ceasefire amid what’s poised to be a long-term dispute between the world’s two largest economies. “This trade war isn’t about soybeans; it’s about technology and national security,” Subramanian noted.

Harris added that there could well be another “escalation” in the dispute once the election year has passed. “A lot of companies are going to be worried about where we are two years from now.”

“Bombed out” value stocks primed for a comeback

With the trade war likely not going anywhere and immense political uncertainty on the horizon, domestic equity sectors like tech and health care could be in for some pain in 2020. Those two sectors are “likely to be pressured the most” by macro headwinds, according to Subramanian, given tech companies’ exceptional exposure to global trade and the spotlight that’s been placed on health care in advance of the upcoming presidential election.

In turn, the market could be “shifting from an environment where growth stocks have led to one where value stocks will lead,” she said—with the likes of financial stocks, which have been trading at exceptionally cheap valuations, among the beneficiaries.

“We’re very rarely at a point where value stocks are as cheap and bombed out as they are today,” Subramanian said, adding that it’s a “very good time” to buy relatively cheap stocks “just on valuation.” (Beyond the U.S., Woodard described European financial stocks as “among the deepest value opportunities in the world.”)

Economic “bottoming” could hurt consumers

The economic growth picture for next year is relatively bearish compared to recent times, with the U.S. economy to expand 1.7% in 2020, according to BoAML head of U.S. economics Michelle Meyer. There’s similarly tepid forecast for other economies; China, for instance, is projected to grow 5.6% next year, which besides missing the country’s targeted 6% growth rate could well be inflated by “official government stats,” Harris said.

The trade war may well have “sliced off seventh-tenths of a percent” off of the U.S.’s growth rate, Harris added. Yet while domestic manufacturing is among the sectors to have borne the brunt of the headwinds, the overall economy has experienced “minimum spillback,” Meyer said. Consumer spending remains robust, while a continually strong labor market would back the argument that a recession is not on the cards.

That could change in 2020, however. Meyer predicted that consumer spending “should slow on a trend basis” next year, while non-farm payroll growth could also decelerate—albeit to a rate of around 120,000 jobs per month that would keep unemployment under 4%.

Such numbers alone wouldn’t be enough to spur the Federal Reserve into action as far as further interest rate cuts, Meyer added. (“The Fed would very much like to do nothing at this point,” she noted.) But should the trade war escalate and the markets begin to “behave badly,” she said the Fed would move to prevent any further deterioration in economic conditions.

Despite its lukewarm growth projections, BoAML delivered an altogether positive outlook of the economy next year. The bank forecasts a “bottoming” of conditions in the first half of 2020 that would give way to a “mini-boost” in growth in the second half of the year—provided the U.S. and China reach some sort of trade resolution.

Bad CEOs have “destroyed” $500 billion in value

Subramanian noted the increased prevalence of ESG-related criteria in the market, and tied it in with what she described as “record year” in terms of CEO turnover. Whether it was “improper conduct” or “not having key stakeholders in mind when making key decisions,” she said governance-related controversies at public companies had proven “very costly” to shareholders.

According to Subramanian, such controversies had “destroyed almost half a trillion dollars of U.S. market capitalization” in 2019, with a “huge chunk” of that value “wiped out by infractions on the ESG front.”

Those losses have had a “very material impact on stock performance,” she added, with the importance of ESG criteria among public investors only expected to grow in the coming years.

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