Ahead of major tech earnings, Meta results are ready to light up the Nasdaq Composite
for Thursday. The S&P 500
is also pointing to gains as investors take a glass-half full view of the Fed meeting.
Worried that investors are in the clutches of another Fed misread is the founder of LaDucTrading.com, Samantha LaDuc. “The market is not pricing either higher terminal rate or growth slowdown or recession. One or more of these assumptions is wrong. My bet: Fed goes higher for long. They don’t cut in 2023, unless they have a reason to,” she says.
MarketWatch last spoke to LaDuc, who specializes in timing major market inflections, last May when she predicted the S&P 500 would finish 2022 around 3,800 — it finished at 3,859. Another call she nailed was her early 2022 warning of a coming “tech wreck,” predicting a 20% Nasdaq slump in 2022 — it ended the year down 33%.
In our call of the day, LaDuc says cash is the place to be and that investors are “being paid to wait. They’re getting very favorable 4.5% on their sitting cash.”
Even though the dollar has lost 8% in the last 12 weeks, “the money you put in money-market funds is earning 4.5% right now, whereas before it was earning 0.4% or 0.5%,” she said in a Wednesday interview.
“So the Fed hiking has motivated a kind of paid-to-wait while the market stabilizes. I don’t think Treasurys are a safe bet for this year. I really can see no outperformance in bonds, and I think equities have more risk to the downside than upside,” said LaDuc.
She’s specifically worried about tech, saying the Nasdaq likely has one leg down left to go before the selloff is all over.
She explains that analysts are predicting an earnings recession through the fourth quarter of 2023, and not an economic recession. “They literally expect Q4 to pop up about 10% in earnings because of favorable comps— comparisons for the prior year.
“The problem with that is that the earnings analysis does not in any way, shape or form consider a recession, and it absolutely assumes moderate growth,” says LaDuc. “So we still have Goldilocks all priced in equities and priced into earnings.”
A growth to value rotation has been a key prediction for LaDuc since July 2020 when she started to call for “things over paper,” predicting a shift to oversold commodities, cyclicals and large-cap value plays with rates bottoming.
While that rotation “absolutely outperformed” in both 2021 and 2022, she says it will trade less well this year because inflation expectations have come down.
The bottom line? Rather than buy that stock market dip, investors should short the rip higher, she says.
Her last observation is tied to gold
— and she says she’s not a gold bug, but that her trend indicators are now “firing” for the precious metal for the first time in years.
Gold can be a tough call because it has to be “timed perfectly” and typically isn’t an outperformer, apart from a 1970s ride higher as an inflation hedge. What has changed is that last year central banks bought the most gold last year since 1967.
“It’s the lack of counterparty risk that is driving the central bank desire for more control of gold that bears watching right now,” said LaDuc.
are surging on Meta boat-lifting and S&P 500 futures
are also higher. Bonds
are steady, oil
is flat, with gold
and other metals
For more market updates plus actionable trade ideas for stocks, options and crypto, subscribe to MarketDiem by Investor’s Business Daily.
And big names will report after the bell — Apple
is higher after climbing in Hong Kong and late Thursday in the U.S. on news BlackRock raised its stake in the Chinese internet-search giant to 6.6% at end of 2022.
Adani Group companies continued to tumble hours after the Indian conglomerate canceled a $2.5 billion share sale, as fallout from a scathing report from U.S. short seller Hindenburg Report continues to take toll.
Weekly jobless claims are due at 8:30 a.m. ET and factory orders are coming at 10 a.m.
Best of the web
‘The Last of Us’ in real life? Rising temperatures may be spreading fungal infections, research says
Get used to companies shedding workers?
These were the top-searched tickers on MarketWatch as of 6 a.m. Eastern:
||Bed Bath & Beyond|
||AMC Entertainment Holdings preferred shares|
Reporter’s deadpan ode to surviving gloomy February goes viral.
With no more king…Australia strips Charles III off its banknotes
How Punxsutawney Phil can be a stock market indicator
Need to Know starts early and is updated until the opening bell, but sign up here to get it delivered once to your email box. The emailed version will be sent out at about 7:30 a.m. Eastern.
Listen to the Best New Ideas in Money podcast with MarketWatch reporter Charles Passy and economist Stephanie Kelton.