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A Bird's Eye View Blog

Fireside Charts: Another Yield Curve Inversion, More Coronavirus Fallout, and an Update on Manufacturing

By:BCM Investment Team | Date:Jan29, 2020 | Category: Equity, Economics, Market Highlights, Fireside Charts

Much was made of 2019's yield curve inversions and the signal's penchant for predicting recessions, but a relatively strong Q3 earnings season and continued dominance from the S&P 500 helped offset a lot of investor anxiety. However, the emergence and spread of the coronavirus has sparked a flight to safety, sending yields sharply lower and causing the yield curve to revisit its 2019 patterns. Is this all an overreaction to dire headlines, or something more ominous? And yields aren't the only measure suffering under the weight of the new pandemic; commodities have also plummeted as activity in China has ground to a halt in what is typically one of the nation's busiest shopping and travel periods. And while the situation is reminiscent of the SARS outbreak—which may indicate that we're in for a long haul before the spread is contained—the economic consequences may not be as bad as feared. After all, the S&P rose over 10% from the beginning of the SARS outbreak to its containment in 2003. Finally, we're continuing to see some hopeful signs on U.S. manufacturing, but we're hoping our politicians don't take it as a blank check; the deficit is getting more than a little top heavy...


1. Our yield curve is inverting again...


yield curve inverts

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/28/20



2. Newton's third law states that for every action there is an equal opposite reaction. Not so for the markets; perhaps and equal and opposite OVER-reaction...


bloomberg commodity index

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/28/20



3. Between Government closures and prudent caution, the Chinese are skipping much of their New Year celebrations.


China travel January 2020

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/29/20



4. Using SARS as a guide, the Coronavirus will not be going away anytime soon...


global sars cases

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/29/20



5. As we all grapple with the Coronavirus, some relative good news is that the mortality rate is holding at 2% versus 10% for the previous SARS outbreak.


countries pandemic preparation

Source: Statista, from 1/27/20



6. Looks like the East coast has things going in the right direction, we just need the Midwest to get on board...


richmond fed manufacturing index

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/29/20



7. Historically, the downfall of Democracies (Greece, Rome, etc.) has been preceded by the electorate electing politicians who give whatever the people want...


projected annual federal deficit

Source: WSJ Daily Shot, from 1/29/20






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Disclosure: The charts and info-graphics contained in this blog are typically based on data obtained from 3rd parties and are believed to be accurate. The commentary included is the opinion of the author and subject to change at any time. Any reference to specific securities or investments are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended as investment advice nor are a recommendation to take any action. Individual securities mentioned may be held in client accounts.