EXPLAINER: Why rising rates are unsettling Wall Street

Link: https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-financial-markets-stock-markets-inflation-prices-96e01a1db876bd4ad7e183e8cb4874e8

Excerpt:

WHY ARE INFLATION AND GROWTH EXPECTATIONS RISING?

Coronavirus vaccines will hopefully get economies humming this year, as people feel comfortable returning to shops, businesses reopen and workers get jobs again. The International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to grow 5.5% this year following last year’s 3.5% plunge.

A stronger economy often coincides with higher inflation, though it’s been generally trending downward for decades. Congress is also close to pumping another $1.9 trillion into the U.S. economy, which could further boost growth and inflation.

Author(s): STAN CHOE and ALEX VEIGA

Publication Date: 26 February 2021

Publication Site: Associated Press

More Rate Scares Ahead for Stocks

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/more-rate-scares-ahead-for-stocks-11614772800

Excerpt:

Expectations of a stronger economy count as a positive development for companies’ earnings prospects, but they are pushing long-term interest rates higher, with the 10-year Treasury recently yielding 1.41% versus 0.93% at the start of the year. That isn’t unusual, since long-term rates typically go up as the economy’s prospects improve, but then again stocks haven’t tended to be as expensive at the start of recoveries as they are now.

The S&P 500 trades at about 22 times analysts’ expected earnings over the next year, according to FactSet, which is close to its highest forward price-earnings ratio in 20 years. In December 2009, six months after the last recession ended, the S&Ps forward P/E ratio was about 14.

As a result, even relatively modest moves upward in Treasury yields, and therefore the relative attractiveness of bonds to stocks, can cause market spasms. This is particularly true of the richly valued technology shares that have been among the biggest market winners since last spring.

Author(s): Justin Lahart

Publication Date: 3 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal