Here’s What We’re Thinking – May 18 , 2016

Investment Strategy: Scarcity of catalysts likely to keep markets range bound; Fed rate uncertainty continues to fuel anxiety

Written by Alison Plaxin
May 19, 2016

Equities:  With the exception of the Energy and Materials sectors, Canadian and U.S. equity markets have traded mostly flat over the past month as corporate earnings underwhelmed (see below) and valuations generally remain at the high end of the historical range. Underscoring the recent strength in commodities, we estimate that over 90% of the S&P/TSX Composite Index’s 6.5% YTD gain has come from the Materials and Energy sectors. With a combined weight of 32% of the TSX (vs. only 10% for the S&P500), investors underweight these sectors have largely underperformed so far this year. While we have been advocating for a return to a market weight position in Energy due to improving fundamentals, we missed the strong rally in Materials as we were reluctant to add gold equity exposure (due to high volatility and low dividend yields) and continue to believe that the market for base metals is oversupplied.

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