Equities need to start competing with bonds, and earnings will be the key

Jack Ablin, CIO of Cresset Wealth Advisors, appeared on “Cavuto Coast to Coast” on Fox Business Network on October 12, 2018 to assess the turbulent week in the US equity market. He believes that equities will have to start pulling their own weight as interest rates normalize, because stocks will again have to compete with bonds for the attention of asset allocators; valuations will need to be more compelling as rates rise. Jack emphasizes that the overnight rate is too low relative to economic conditions: the Taylor Rule suggests that the overnight rate should be closer to 5 per cent, not today’s 2.25 per cent. He also points out that the ECB will end its QE program at the end of this year, which will remove an artificial cap on US rates. Jack highlighted that the value of bonds globally trading below zero has fallen from more than $12 trillion in 2016 to $6.3 trillion in September, and this number will continue to shrink sharply.