According to experts at Bank of America, a combination of market movements could potentially unsettle investors. This includes lower bond yields, a weaker Nasdaq, and a stronger Japanese yen.
The New Pain Trade
In their weekly flow show commentary, the Bank of America strategists led by Michael Hartnett highlight the significance of this new pain trade. They suggest that lower yields, a lower Nasdaq, and a higher yen would catch many investors off guard.
The Impact of Carry Trade
The strategists emphasize that no carry trade is more substantial than going long on the Mexican peso against the Japanese yen (MXNJPY). The Mexican currency has seen an impressive surge of 23% against its Japanese counterpart this year. A carry trade involves borrowing in a low-interest-rate currency to finance investments in a higher interest-rate currency.
Throughout the year, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) has experienced significant gains, with a remarkable jump of 31% so far. Despite the speculative frenzy surrounding artificial intelligence, the tech sector has managed to withstand higher interest rates. However, changes in the interest rate environment do tend to impact tech stocks. While tech stocks have led the gains for the S&P 500 (SPX), up by 14.9% year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has lagged behind with a modest increase of 2.4%.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence
Hartnett and his team acknowledge that artificial intelligence (AI) remains a narrative driven by speculative numbers, despite its impressive usage in platforms like ChatGPT. They argue that a potential downturn caused by the Federal Reserve’s “sell the last hike” move would heavily impact the tech sector. However, if AI and the Magnificent Seven stocks can withstand new shocks in interest rates, then the so-called “baby bubble” could evolve into something more significant in the second half.
The Magnificent Seven
The Magnificent Seven refers to seven prominent technology stocks: Apple (AAPL), Nvidia (NVDA), Meta Platforms (META), Tesla (TSLA), Amazon.com (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet (GOOGL).