March 6, 2021

The stocks rally takes a breather as Bitcoin and crude futures climb

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Fortune's annual summit includes prominent women leaders in business, philanthropy, government, education, and the arts. 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","type":"post"},"children":[{"name":"byline","config":{"link":"https://fortune.com/author/shawn-tully/","name":"Shawn Tully"},"children":[]},{"name":"image","config":{"aspectRatio":0.6666666666666666,"attachmentId":2958290,"alt":"Rising Interest Rates-Graph Concept","caption":"Rising interest rates could be a killer for stocks.","crops":[],"height":1920,"imageSize":"article-sidebar","lazyload":true,"lqipSrc":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg?quality=60&resize=60,40","postId":2958044,"retina":true,"showCaption":false,"sources":[{"default":true,"transforms":{"resize":[130,86]},"descriptor":100}],"sourceTags":[],"src":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg","srcset":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg?resize=260,172 200w,https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg?resize=130,86 100w","url":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg","useBasicImg":false,"usingDataFallback":false,"width":2880,"fallbackImageUrl":"data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7","picture":false,"sizes":"100px"},"children":[]},{"name":"byline","config":{"link":"https://fortune.com/author/shawn-tully/","name":"Shawn Tully"},"children":[]}]}]},{"name":"advertising-slot","config":{"align":"center","lazyload":true,"useDynamicChannel":false,"placementName":"RightRailFlex_Articles","slotId":"RightRailFlex_Articles1","themeName":"article","targeting":{"placement_name":"RightRailFlex_Articles","index":2}},"children":[]},{"name":"dianomi","config":{"type":"sidebar"},"children":[]},{"name":"advertising-slot","config":{"align":"center","lazyload":true,"useDynamicChannel":false,"placementName":"RightRailFlex_Articles","slotId":"RightRailFlex_Articles2","themeName":"article","targeting":{"placement_name":"RightRailFlex_Articles","index":3}},"children":[]}]},{"name":"article-media","config":{"publishDate":"","type":"video","section":"Newsletters"},"children":[{"name":"brightcove-video","config":{"accountId":"2111767321001","disableAds":false,"disableAutoplay":false,"disableContinuousPlay":false,"disableViewplay":false,"isLeadVideo":false,"loop":false,"playerId":"HDNR3TkSj","stickyPlayerOff":false,"silentlyAutoplay":true,"videoId":"6231643714001","section":"Newsletters"},"children":[]}]},{"name":"article-body","config":{"mediaType":"video","premiumCategory":"P-Newsletter"},"children":[{"name":"gutenberg-content","config":{},"children":[{"name":"html","config":{"content":" u003cp>u003cem>This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune's no-BS daily newsletter on the markets. u003c/em>u003ca href="http://bullsheet.fortune.com/">u003cem>Sign up to receive it in your inbox hereu003c/em>u003c/a>u003cem>.u003c/em>u003c/p> u003cp>Good morning, Bull Sheeters. A risk-off mood hangs over the markets today as investors contend with rising Treasury yields and inflation concerns, which I dig into in today's essay.u003c/p>u003cp>u003c!-- piano selector -->u003c/p>u003cdiv class="paywall"> u003cp>Elsewhere, tech futures are weaker, bruised by Warren Buffett's decision to pull money out of u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/apple/" target="_blank">Appleu003c/a>. u003c/p> u003cp>What's going up? Bitcoin and crude (though those moves are not necessarily linked).u003c/p> u003cp>Let's see what's moving markets.u003c/p> u003ch2>Markets updateu003c/h2> u003ch4>Asiau003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>The major u003cstrong>Asia indexesu003c/strong> are mixed in afternoon trading, with the u003cstrong>Hang Seng u003c/strong>up u003cstrong>1.1%u003c/strong>.u003c/li>u003cli>u003cstrong>Japanu003c/strong>'s Nikkei may be slipping this morning, but the bluechip index has hit a milestone this week, u003ca href="https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/Nikkei-index-hits-30-000-for-first-time-in-three-decades">toppingu003c/a> u003cstrong>30,000u003c/strong> for the first time since 1990 on the back of strong corporate earnings and rising GDP.u003c/li>u003cli>This won't go over well in Washington: u003cstrong>Chinau003c/strong> has become the European Union's u003cstrong>biggest trading partneru003c/strong>, u003ca href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/16/china-overtakes-us-as-europes-main-trade-partner.html">dethroning the United Statesu003c/a> last year.u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003ch4>Europeu003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>The u003cstrong>European boursesu003c/strong> were mostly lower with the u003cstrong>Stoxx Europe 600u003c/strong> down u003cstrong>0.2%u003c/strong> at the open. u003c/li>u003cli>Shares in u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/adidas/" target="_blank">Adidasu003c/a>u003cstrong> u003c/strong>were down 0.8% mid-morning after the sporting goods giant u003ca href="https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/16/business/adidas-selling-reebok/index.html">unloaded its fitness brandu003c/a> u003cstrong>Reeboku003c/strong> after a rough 15-year run.u003c/li>u003cli>Speaking of slimming-down deals, Nestlé announced it's u003ca href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-17/nestle-agrees-to-sell-u-s-water-business-for-4-3-billion?sref=WtHiUFSX">agreed to sellu003c/a> its North American bottled-water business for u003cstrong>$4.3 billionu003c/strong>. PE firm One Rock Capital Partners will be the new owner of the u003cstrong>Poland Spring, Pure Life u003c/strong>andu003cstrong> Deer Parku003c/strong> brands.u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003ch4>U.S.u003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>u003cstrong>U.S. futures u003c/strong>are trading sideways this morning. That's after the u003cstrong>Dowu003c/strong> closed at an all-time high on Tuesday.u003c/li>u003cli>u003cstrong>Warren Buffettu003c/strong>'s u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/berkshire-hathaway/" target="_blank">Berkshire Hathawayu003c/a> u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/17/berkshire-hathaway-apple-chevron-verizon/">cut its holdingsu003c/a> in Apple at the end of 2020, and instead poured its cash into Verizon and u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/chevron/" target="_blank">Chevronu003c/a>. The latter two are gaining pre-market while Apple is off.u003c/li>u003cli>The big news yesterday was in the u003cstrong>Treasuryu003c/strong> market. Yield on the 10-year note topped u003cstrong>1.3%u003c/strong> yesterday, a 12-month high. That's u003ca href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/16/stock-market-open-to-close-news.html">triggering a debateu003c/a> on Wall Street about whether it's time for investors to increase their exposure to bonds. Alas, nobody is saying u003cstrong>the 60-40 splitu003c/strong> is back.u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003ch4>Elsewhereu003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>u003cstrong>Goldu003c/strong> is close to a three-month low, trading u003cem>belowu003c/em> u003cstrong>$1,790/ounceu003c/strong>. u003c/li>u003cli>The u003cstrong>dollaru003c/strong> is up. u003c/li>u003cli>Theu003cstrong> crudeu003c/strong> market is much less volatile this morning. u003cstrong>WTI u003c/strong>continues to trade above u003cstrong>$60/barrelu003c/strong> in the aftermath of powerful winter storms u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/texas-winter-storms-gas-prices-rolling-blackouts-us-energy/">hobbling Texan refineriesu003c/a>.u003c/li>u003cli>At 10 a.m. Rome time, u003cstrong>Bitcoinu003c/strong> was trading above u003cstrong>$51,200u003c/strong>. u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003cp class="has-text-align-center">***u003c/p> u003ch2>Reflation, revisitedu003c/h2> u003cp>Yesterday in this space we examined the u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/something-weird-crude-oil-rally-wti-brent/" data-type="URL" data-id="https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/something-weird-crude-oil-rally-wti-brent/">implications of stimulus checksu003c/a>, Round 3. Today, let's look at the reflation trade, which assumes that a big, fresh injection of fiscal spending is inevitable. u003c/p> u003cp>As we've seen in recent days, the market reaction to a promised $1.9 trillion in helicopter money arrives long before the dough gets to our doorsteps. While the Biden Administration crafts the spending bill, investors are already banking on its passage, and that's pushing up 10-year Treasury yields to a one-year high. The spread between short-dated (2-year Treasuries) and longer-dated notes (10-year) tend to rise when investors think rates will be higher in the future. And that spread is growing.u003c/p> u003cp>What does that mean?u003c/p> u003cp>If the Fed is expected to lift rates in the future, there's a good chance the economists there see signs of inflation on the horizon. That makes plenty of sense given we could see yet another mammoth stimulus package, the third in a year. Give Americans more money, and they'll spend it, sending consumer prices higher. u003c/p> u003cp>The dominoes continue to tremble from there. The I-word of course gives investors jitters that the equities rally may be coming to an end, as it suggests central bankers will step in and raise interest rates to keep the economy from overheating. u003c/p> u003cp>But let's first come back to present day. Inflation expectations are indeed beginning to rise quickly, as the German investment bank Berenberg points out in the chart below. We're still talking relatively tame implied inflation rates of below 2.5% in the U.S. and Britain. Still, it's the trend line that's getting attention.u003c/p> u003cfigure class="wp-block-image size-large">u003cimg data-src="https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-17-at-10.26.32-AM.png?w=1024" alt="" class="lazyload wp-image-2954718"/>u003c/figure> u003cp>Now, it's important to remember that rising inflation on its own is not a bad thing. It can even be beneficial to an economy as long as it comes out around a central bank's target of 2%. But, Berenberg writes, "a sustained rise in inflation beyond levels that central banks are inclined to tolerate would force them to step firmly on the brakes eventually. High financing costs and the subsequent plunge in economic growth would be a recipe for a major selloff in equity markets."u003c/p> u003cp>There's a phrase for this phenomenon: taper tantrum. The last taper tantrum was in 2013. The Dow fell back then, but it rebounded fairly quickly.u003c/p> u003cp>Still, it messed with the psyche of investors, which is why you're bound to hear more about it in the weeks ahead should 10-year Treasury yields climb.u003c/p> u003cp>Berenberg notes that since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, markets have come to expect central bank intervention when investor alarm bells sound. They argue we won't get such a response this time around should the markets sink even as the economy improves.u003c/p> u003cp>"Losses for cash-equity investors do not have severe negative consequences for the real economy when underlying activity is strong," the Berenberg economists write. "Central banks may even welcome occasional corrections if financial markets run too hot relative to underlying economic fundamentals."u003c/p> u003cp>That could provoke a different kind of investor tantrum altogether.u003c/p> u003cp>***u003c/p> u003ch2>Postscriptu003c/h2> u003cp>Years ago I wrote a column on innovation, which gave me the excuse to pore over a lot of scientific journals and speak to researchers and scientists working in the labs—my favorite kind of interview.u003c/p> u003cp>I came across one piece of research literally in my backyard, about the extraordinary raw materials that built the Roman Empire. Specifically, the 2013 research had to do with ancient Roman concrete, a building material that has lasted the test of time (a far cry from ubiquitous Portland cement, which degrades after a few decades.)u003c/p> u003cp>At the time, I spoke with Marie Jackson, an American geologist who led an international team of researchers in reverse-engineering the formula for Roman concrete, a discovery she hoped would usher in an era of greener, longer-lasting construction. What surprised me was the reader response. For years, I got emails from readers asking me what's the latest news on Roman concrete. u003c/p> u003cp>Turns out, there's a lot to say. I spoke to Jackson again a few weeks ago. She told me the story of how the U.S. Department of Energy is funding her project to bring Roman concrete to the marketplace. We u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/eco-friendly-concrete-green-building-ancient-rome-materials/">published her story yesterdayu003c/a> on u003cem>Fortuneu003c/em>, part of a fascinating package of articles we're calling u003cem>Blueprint for a Climate Breakthroughu003c/em>. If you have a moment, you should check out the package. It's well worth your time.u003c/p> u003cp>u003cstrong>Bernhard Warneru003c/strong>u003cbr>u003ca href="https://twitter.com/BernhardWarner">@BernhardWarneru003c/a>u003cbr>u003ca href="mailto:Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.com">Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.comu003c/a>u003c/p> u003cp>u003cem>As always, you can write to u003c/em>u003ca href="mailto:bullsheet@fortune.com">u003cem>bullsheet@fortune.comu003c/em>u003c/a>u003cem> or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.u003c/em>u003c/p> u003ch3>Today’s readu003c/h3>nu003cp>u003cstrong>u003cspan style="font-size: 1.125rem;letter-spacing: 0.035rem">Finders keepers.u003c/span>u003c/strong>u003cspan style="font-size: 1.125rem;letter-spacing: 0.035rem"> Yes, the “no give-backs” rule of the schoolyard applies to the business world as well. A federal judge u003ca href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-lets-revlon-lenders-keep-citis-botched-500-million-payment-11613490508?mod=markets_lead_pos3">ruled yesterdayu003c/a> that the investment firms representing u003cstrong>Revlonu003c/strong> u003cem>do notu003c/em> have to pay back the roughly u003cstrong>$500 millionu003c/strong> it erroneously received from u003cstrong>Citigroupu003c/strong> last summer in an errant wire payment. My 11-year-old kids will be overjoyed there’s legal precedent strengthening the honorable finders keepers law of the jungle.u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cstrong>Lumbering along.u003c/strong> Commodity prices are decent bellwethers of the recovery trade. None more so than u003cstrong>lumberu003c/strong>, which is u003ca href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/lumber-prices-notch-records-on-building-remodeling-boom-11613471400?mod=markets_lead_pos6">on a tearu003c/a> amid a building/remodeling boom. This reminds me of the time I brought my wife to the U.S. for the first time, to visit the family in the American suburbs. “Why are all your houses built of wood?,” she asked with genuine puzzlement.u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cem>Some of these stories require a subscription to access. There is a discount offer for our loyal readers if you u003ca href="https://fortune.com/subscribe/">use this linku003c/a> to sign up. Thank you for supporting our journalismu003c/em>.u003c/p>nu003ch3>Market candyu003c/h3>nu003cp>u003cstrong>Quote of the dayu003c/strong>u003c/p>nu003cblockquote>nu003cp>It turns out to be a powerful idea that can guide every business leader who wants to help solve climate change.u003c/p>nu003c/blockquote>nu003cp>That’s Microsoft founder, philanthropist and climate champion u003cstrong>Bill Gatesu003c/strong> explaining how his concept of “u003cstrong>green premiumsu003c/strong>” can help businesses (and consumers, too) calculate the costs of adopting eco-friendly measures. It’s a fascinating accounting exercise with big implications. “You can see where we have workable solutions now, where we have to do some inventing, and which breakthroughs deserve the most focus,” u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/bill-gates-climate-change-research-green-premiums/">he writes in u003cem>Fortuneu003c/em>u003c/a>.u003c/p>nu003c/div>n"},"children":[]}]}]},{"name":"dianomi","config":{"type":"footer"},"children":[]}]}]}]}},"componentData":{},"error":null,"loading":false,"player":{"currentTime":0,"duration":0,"loading":false,"playing":false,"seek":0,"src":"","visible":false,"volume":0.5},"route":{"status":200,"redirectTo":"","redirectStatus":0,"action":"PUSH","pathname":"/2021/02/17/stocks-rally-pause-bitcoin-crude-buffett-apple/","search":"?","hash":""},"visible":{"search":false,"primaryNav":false,"freestar":false,"adminBar":false},"contactForm":{"submitting":false,"submitted":false,"failed":false,"validation":{},"redirect":""},"user":{"isLoggedIn":false,"accessLevel":null}}; ]]> response.json()) .then(function (data) { signPackage = data; wx.config(data); wx.ready(function () { wx.updateTimelineShareData({ title: title, link: url, imgUrl: img, success: function () {}, cancel: function () {} }); wx.updateAppMessageShareData({ title: title, desc: desc, link: url, imgUrl: img, success: function () {}, cancel: function () {} }); wx.error(function (res) { //location.href = g_url; }); }); }) } }; script.src = "https://res.wx.qq.com/open/js/jweixin-1.6.0.js"; document.head.appendChild(script); } ]]> You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.
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