In our view the Fed has been told to tame inflation and this is the number one priority for the central bank and the Fed has been surprised about inflation as their econometric models have not been able to capture the regime shift during the pandemic. Given the equity returns since early 2020, we believe the Fed sees it as investors have plenty of cushion and they will allow financial conditions to tighten all the way to a 20% correction in global equities. The only caveat is that fiscal situation in the US has moved from accommodative to tightening and it seems the Democrats have difficulties getting things through the US Congress given the current inflationary pressure.
Microsoft shows why investors like mega caps
Microsoft reported FY22 Q2 (ending 31 Dec) earnings last night with Q2 revenue hitting $51.7bn vs est. $50.9bn and EPS of $2.48 vs est. $2.32. Revenue grew 20% y/y and operating margin expanded to 50.7% from 49.1% a year ago highlighting why investors like mega caps. They are growing above average right now and can maintain operating margins amid inflation. So far this year our mega caps basket has outperformed the MSCI World by 0.6%-points which quite acceptable when you compare it to S&P 500 (-8.6%) and Nasdaq 100 (-13.3%).
The mega caps are also not as excessively overvalued as the more speculative growth stocks that have been hit hard by rising interest rates and investor selling. In the case of Microsoft, the free cash flow yield is around 3% which many investors will probably look at say that is good given US 10-year yield below 2% and Microsoft’s ability to grow faster than inflation.