Interest rate sensitivity is back in town haunting technology stocks
Head of Equity Strategy
Summary: Interest rate sensitivity came back roaring yesterday pushing down all of our growth baskets. Yesterday's move shows the potential for a correction in US technology stocks should the US 10-year yield continue to rapidly advance towards the highs from March. We also show how the Nasdaq 100 and STOXX 600 move in opposite direction during large up or down days in the US 10-year yield.
Growth baskets look awfully vulnerable
Yesterday’s move in the US 10-year yield of 8 basis points made it the 10th biggest move higher in US yields this year. Back in March when technology stocks were under pressure we wrote a lot about interest rate sensitivity in growth stocks as their present value are derived from expected cash flows further into the future than the typical MSCI World company. If interest rates rise faster than future growth expectations then the net effect is negative on the present value and more so for growth stocks as they have a higher duration.
We saw downside beta (higher sensitivity) in all of our growth equity baskets with the gaming basket down 2.3% and the worst performers being the E-commerce and Crypto & Blockchain baskets down 4.2% and 5.1% respectively. This tells you a lot about the sensitivity and given the drawdown in technology stocks back in March, we could easily experience a 15-20% drawdown in technology stocks. The local highs from March in the US 10-year yield is the key level to watch for a breakout and a new trading environment. With all the options activity in Tesla dwarfing the combined options activity in FTSE 100 constituents, we believe Tesla will be at the center of the next risk-off move in technology.
Nasdaq 100 vs STOXX 600 are yin and yang of interest rates
We have previously tried to calculate the interest rate sensitivity, but this time we are pursuing a different approach. We look at the past 231 trading days this year and group the 1-day difference in the US 10-year yield into deciles. In order to measure interest rate sensitivity we calculate daily excess log returns for Nasdaq 100, S&P 500 and STOXX 600 against the MSCI World Index and compute their average daily excess return for each decile.
As the barplot shows, there is significant negative excess return in Nasdaq 100 in the 1st decile (the 10% days with the highest positive difference in US 10-year yield) and significant positive excess return in STOXX 600. This makes perfect sense because Nasdaq 100 is high duration growth stocks and STOXX 600 has a clear value tilt towards financials, energy and mining which exhibit much lower duration. The pattern is completely reversed in the 10th decline (days with large negative difference in US 10-year yield). The other eight deciles do not show the same clear spread between Nasdaq 100 and STOXX 600. In other words, if interest rates suddenly move aggressively higher then growth portfolio will take a serious hit and hence why we recommend investors to improve the balance between growth and value stocks, or said differently reduce the equity duration.
Latest Market Insights
Outrageous Predictions 2023: The War Economy
- The constantly growing global need for energy drives the world's richest to huddle up and launch a R&D project in a size the world hasn't seen since the Manhattan Project gave the US the first atomic bomb.
French President Macron resignsThe political stalemate in France and the rise of Marie Le Pen following the 2022 elections corners President Macron, forcing him to give up on politics and resign from his position. At least for now.
Gold rockets to USD 3,000 as central banks fail on inflation mandateAs markets and central banks realise that the idea that inflation is transitory is wrong, and that prices will remain higher for longer, gold is sent through the roof, hitting a price tag of USD 3,000
EU Army forces EU down path to full unionWith continued challenges in the region and a US military that isn't aggressively enacting its former role as global policeman, the European Union agrees to create its own armed forces, bringing the whole region closer.
A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030In an effort to become one of the global leaders on the path to net-zero emissions, one country decides to not only put a heavy tax on meat, but to ban domestic production entirely.
UK holds UnBrexit referendumFollowing a recession and domestic pressure, the United Kingdom is thrown into political turmoil that will end with a vote to wind back Brexit.
Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflationHistory tells us that with the war economy comes rationing and price controls. And this time is no different, as policymakers introduce strict price controls that lead to a range of unintended consequences.
OPEC+ & Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve assetSanctions against Russia have caused widespread turmoil due to US Dollar moves in countries across the globe that don't consider the US an ally. To relieve themselves from this, they leave the IMF and create a new reserve asset.
USDJPY fixed to the USD at 200 as Japan overhauls financial systemFollowing the challenges that faced the Japanese Yen in 2022, the Bank of Japan attempts to keep the currency from sliding. Unsuccessful on the long-term, Japan will launch a reset of its entire financial system.
Tax haven ban kills private equityWith the war economy comes an increased focus on national interests and sovereign nations' ability to assert themselves. In that regard, the OECD countries turn their attention on tax havens and pull the big guns out, banning them altogether.