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As the World Turns

publication date: Sep 15, 2015
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We’re keeping our eyes on a number of things. First, we’re monitoring property prices in Shanghai and in other larger Chinese cities to assess the potential calamity that falling housing prices and deflation would have on the country’s banking sector and the likelihood of contagion via the British banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered, and the US ones, namely Citigroup and JP Morgan. Second, we’re watching the price of crude oil closely, as its fall will have huge implications on the earnings trajectory of companies that benefit (airlines, restaurants) as well as the ones that suffer (upstream and energy services). The net effect of falling crude oil prices has thus far been negative for S&P 500 earnings, but this may change as the energy sector becomes an ever-smaller part of index construction. Third, who can forget about the Fed, the expected duration of any tightening monetary cycle, and the resulting implications on dividend-paying stocks as Treasury yields rise?

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