JPM Strategist's Retiring Words: Goodbye And Beware The Summertime Blues

(Bloomberg) John Normand shared one last round of advice before signing off.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s head of cross-asset fundamental strategy said in a note Friday that it was his last because he’s “moving on,” though he didn’t specify where he was going.

He sees a “moderate” chance of a 10% drop in the MSCI’s all-country index in the Northern Hemisphere summer, which he said is better pre-empted via a range of trades that benefit from a hawkish Federal Reserve -- such as long U.S. dollar, short gold and long value versus growth -- than by reducing equity exposure overall.

“If the catalyst will be a hawkish Fed due to rising inflation in the context of still-strong growth, the better risk-reward would be sell Fed-sensitive assets (bonds, gold, non-USD currencies, growth stocks) rather than to sell cyclically-sensitive ones (equities overall),” he wrote.

Normand said the market is in a “mostly young” phase, though he expects returns to be below average for the rest of the year. He considers the expansion new because Fed policy is ultra-loose, output gaps are generally negative rather than positive, and profit margins are above rather than below average. But he also cautioned that equity, fixed income and currency markets have never been so broadly expensive this early in an expansion.

“If I had to avoid any of the very expensive markets now it would be cryptocurrencies, because it entails two characteristics other rich markets lack: a penchant for high investor leverage, and a questionable investment thesis about the utility and efficiency of private money compared to legal tender,” Normand said.

Normand didn’t respond to requests for comment sent outside of regular work hours. A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.

“I am grateful to dozens of JPM Research colleagues for their collaboration and to a few for their mentoring; and to clients, for their readership and engagement though good and bad calls,” Normand said.


More Articles