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Morgan Stanley Says Inflation Anxiety Putting Pressure on Stocks

Don’t expect stocks to rebound if inflation anxiety continues, according to Morgan Stanley.

With price fears egging on Treasury rates, equities could be in for a disappointing few months as investors move away from a “buy-the-dip” mentality.

“When inflation is very low, rising inflation has a positive impact on equity valuations,” wrote Mike Wilson, chief investment officer at Morgan Stanley. But “rising inflation expectation may no longer be a positive for stocks, especially if markets start to think inflation is coming ‘unhinged.'”

Stocks are in the middle of a sizable sell-off with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 450 points Monday, adding to a 3.5 percent decline the previous week. The S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent on the week’s first day of trade, as the Cboe volatility index (VIX) — considered the market’s best fear gauge — hit multi-year highs.

Many strategists have hypothesized that the sell-off is the result of several months of uninterrupted gains for equity markets, a correction to overpriced stocks and inflated assets. And with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbing roughly 40 basis points since the start of the year, investors may be in for a bumpy ride.

For his part, Wilson is the single most bearish strategist on Wall Street, with a year-end S&P 500 target of 2,750, just 1 percent above its current level. He believes it may be time to shift equity exposure toward defensive stocks and away from cyclical sectors like technology.

via CNBC [1]

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza [6]

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse [7]
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza
Alfonso Esparza

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