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BlackRock's Boivin Warns of High Interest Rates as a Potential Risk to Stock Market Rally

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BlackRock's Boivin Warns of High Interest Rates as a Potential Threat to Stock Rally

Equities and Interest Rates

Jean Boivin, head of research at BlackRock Inc., suggests that any year-end rally in stocks may be short-lived due to equities not fully reflecting the outlook for higher interest rates. As Treasury yields reach multi-year highs in anticipation of a prolonged period of tightened Federal Reserve monetary policy, historical patterns indicate a negative correlation between rates and stocks.

Stock Adjustment and Future Outlook

Boivin's team has remained cautious on broad developed-market equities since July 2022, despite the 11% rally in the MSCI World Index during that time. The reasoning behind this approach is twofold: a projected stagnation in global growth over the coming year, particularly due to a weaker-than-expected US economy, and the belief that equities have yet to fully account for the higher rate environment.
Potential for Market Shift
Boivin acknowledges that if there is a significant increase in economic growth or a sustained pullback in rates, it could prompt a more optimistic outlook on stocks. However, recent market action has contrasted with Boivin's expectations, with the S&P 500 Index experiencing its best weekly gain in a year and the 10-year bond yield falling back. This has led to growing expectations of a year-end rally based on wagers of a peak in rates and seasonal trends. In conclusion, while the S&P 500 has seen significant gains this year, particularly in technology stocks driven by optimism around artificial intelligence, Boivin believes that the underperformance of the equal-weighted S&P 500 index better reflects the challenging macro environment. Bank of America Corp. strategist Savita Subramanian also notes that long-term growth expectations for the S&P 500, excluding tech giants, are near all-time lows. However, she suggests that an indicator at the bank is approaching a "buy" signal, implying a potential price return for the S&P 500 over the next 12 months.

Impact of High Interest Rates on New Businesses Amid Stock Rally Warnings

Interest Rates and Business Strategy

Jean Boivin's warning about high interest rates potentially threatening a stock rally could have significant implications for new businesses. If equities are not fully accounting for the prospect of higher rates, new businesses, particularly those reliant on investor funding, may need to adjust their financial strategies.

Global Growth and Business Outlook

Boivin's projection of global growth stagnation, especially due to a weaker US economy, is another factor new businesses should consider. This could impact international trade, consumer spending, and overall business growth. Businesses may need to plan for these challenges by diversifying their markets or enhancing their value propositions.
Market Shifts and Business Adaptability
However, Boivin's acknowledgement of a potential shift in the market, should there be a significant increase in economic growth or a pullback in rates, highlights the importance of adaptability. New businesses that can quickly respond to these changes may be better positioned to take advantage of any ensuing stock rally. In conclusion, while the S&P 500's gains, particularly in tech stocks, may be encouraging, new businesses should heed Boivin's and Subramanian's warnings and prepare for a potentially challenging macro environment. This could mean adjusting financial strategies, preparing for slower global growth, and ensuring business adaptability.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/blackrocks-boivin-says-high-rates-still-a-threat-to-stock-rally
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