The insufficient job creation, stagnant earnings and alarming long-term unemployment highlighted by May’s disheartening jobs report underscore America’s persistent unemployment crisis. The numbers also speak to a synchronized slowdown that is now taking hold of the global economy — a phenomenon that is being signaled by virtually every other data release out of Europe, the U.S. and emerging countries.
The realization of lower global growth, together with increasing financial instability in some parts of the world (particularly Europe), is an important driver of the recent sharp selloff in equities and other risk assets. It has also turbocharged the collapse in yields on higher quality government bonds, with the 10-year U.S. bond at a record close of 1.46% on Friday (and Germany even lower).
To state the blatantly obvious, the best investor positioning for the last few weeks was an across-the-board defensive, “up in quality” one. The much more difficult (and urgently relevant) question on many people’s mind today is whether this still makes sense — particularly in view of the dramatic valuation moves.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page