The ”no policy uncertainty” and back to TINA trades

The ”no policy uncertainty” and back to TINA trades by Michael McKenna
The current US election path leading to a Biden victory with a senate majority by the Republicans seems to be the best of all outcomes for equities. No policy uncertainty on corporate tax rate or health care reforms leading to a big repricing of technology and health care stocks in the post election trading sessions. It is basically all back to the ‘there is no alternative’ trades.

Global equities are galloping higher post the US election with US technology stocks leading the gains with Nasdaq 100 futures up almost 3% in today’s session extending on yesterday’s momentum. It looks increasingly clear that Biden will win the US election and with high enough margin that a real ugly contested post-election period is out of the question. The senate will most likely not swing into Democratic majority as a result we have very much status quo in terms of the pre-election risk of ‘Blue Wave’ which could have led to corporate tax rate hikes (especially the GILTI tax rate on income from intangibles) and a health care reform. This scenario is getting priced out and as a result health care and technology stocks are gaining relative to other segments. For the energy sector the election outcome is neutral for both the oil & gas and green energy industries. With a Biden victory it seems emerging markets are pricing in a slightly different foreign policy which could lift valuations of Chinese equities

Another important development after the US election has been the collapse in the VIX Index which has gone from 37 the day before the election to 26 as of today. The entire VIX futures forward curve has moved down in what is most likely tail-risk hedges being removed in the market and that the greatest uncertainty around the election has been removed. Due to the enormous one-way trades in weekly and monthly single stock options by retail investors we do not think that we will go back to the pre-commission free days where the VIX curve was in steep contango with the VIX spot anchored at a very low level. It will be a different volatility market going forward.

With a republican senate control we will most likely not get the big bazooka on fiscal impulse and as such the reflation trade is losing a bit momentum. As a result, government bond yields will stay subdued for some time and that is clearly resuming the TINA (‘there’s no alternative’) trade with the long duration assets (growth stocks, real estate etc.) being bid up in price. The Nasdaq 100 Index still represent the fastest growing companies with strong free cash flow generation and our calculations show that the free cash flow yield on Nasdaq 100 is still around 2% above the global corporate bond index yield-to-worst indicating an aggressive premium on growth stocks but not something to fear. The growth stocks segment also provides compounding on revenue in the case inflation comes after all, so our view is still that investors should have an overweight position in growth stocks.

The chart below is for regulatory purposes.

Topics: Equities US Election Emerging Markets Technology Health Care VIX.I USNAS100.I