Stocks Are Already Responding To Post-Covid Pent-Up Demand. What You Need to Know.
The path to economic recovery is starting to clear.
The path to economic recovery is starting to clear.
The narrative that Covid-19 vaccine inoculations will enable reopenings and a normalised economy has begun to play out. And while stocks have been down of late, the decline is actually a positive signal about the economy.
The hope has been that, as the roll-out of vaccines goes on, government restrictions will be lifted, and small businesses will rehire workers. The question mark, in addition to whether vaccinations will stop the pandemic, has been whether the economy will be healthy enough to bounce back.
After all, shops can only rehire if they have the cash, and consumers—many of whom are out of work—can only spend if they have money. Yet the trillions of dollars the government continues to spend to support the economy, including jobless benefits and direct stimulus checks, have provided a major boon for household cash savings.
The groundwork has been laid, it seems, for the demand the economy suddenly lost during the pandemic to come back just as fast.
At the same time, daily inoculations in America through January were many times higher than in December. The pace has remained brisk, with more than 65 million doses administered so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States have indeed been reopening.
Economic data shows the improvement.
The unemployment rate is 6.3%, down from close to 15% at the depth of the pandemic and down 0.4 percentage point in January. Jobs are coming back, even if the labor-market recovery is uneven at times. Household incomes rose 10% in January from December.
As people grow more confident about their job prospects and safety, they are spending some of the cash they have accumulated. Retail sales rose more than 5% month over month in January. Companies are anticipating strong demand: Orders for durable goods rose more than 3% for January, more than triple the amount economists expected.
In short, reopenings are working for the economy and consumers are already unleashing pent-up demand. Economists expect gross domestic product to increase in the mid-single digits in percentage terms for 2021, a gain that would bring economic activity back to near the 2019 level. Economists at RBC Capital Markets wrote in a recent note that 9% growth for the year is conceivable.
On the surface, the stock market hasn’t seemed to reflect optimism. The S&P 500 is down more than 3% since Feb. 12. That is when interest rates begin their most recent pop higher, which makes the risk of owning stocks less attractive.
But growth stocks—a haven for investors during much of last year’s market turmoil—have been leading the decline. Those stocks are more sensitive to changes in rates and they are less influenced by economic growth than value stocks are.
The rising rates reflect changes that benefit value stocks: increasing expectations for inflation and better demand for goods and services. The Vanguard S&P 500 Value Index exchange-traded fund (VOOV) is flat since Feb. 12.
The strong economic trends are young. The most important factor now is how effective vaccines will be against new virus strains.
Following the devastation of recent flooding, experts are urging government intervention to drive the cessation of building in areas at risk.
The waterfront residence is one of Port Stephens’ finest homes.
In the coastal township of Salamander Bay — nearby to Port Stephens — comes a unique home crafted to take full advantage of unbroken ocean vistas across three levels.
With one-of-a-kind flair, the stunning 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 3-car garage home of 52 Randall Drive Salamander Bay is nestled on a private 577sqm plot, optimised through intelligent design to take advantage of the Port Stephens landscape and lifestyle.
Within the home sees the typically coastal textures of natural oak floor and timber feature walls take hold while stone and tiled adornments add layers of luxury.
The open plan living, kitchen and dining areas incorporate a fireplace and near floor-to-ceiling glass that opens to create a seamless indoor-to-outdoor dining and entertaining space on the home’s top floor.
The heart of this area is the kitchen, centred around a marble-topped island, state-of-the-art European appliances and an attached bar area, with built-in refrigeration, accompanied by a butler’s pantry.
Also here comes a grand outdoor spa, central to the balcony, while another outdoor entertaining area with a pizza oven is found on the middle floor.
Downstairs once again comes a second living space replete with the perfect wine cellar — cooled by the natural rock foundation of the home — offering an array of entertaining options
Of the home’s accommodation comes a private and luxurious master retreat with expansive ocean views, a walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite, here, speckled with grey terrazzo tiling and timber joinery vanities. A further four bedrooms are found throughout the home along with two family bathrooms rounding out the offering.
Less than a five-minute walk from nearby amenities of shops, restaurants, cafes and beaches the home offers the best of the Port Stephens area.
The listing is with PRD Port Stephens’ Dane Queenan (+61 412 351 819) and Erin Sharp (+61 499 912 311) and is heading to auction; prd.com.au