JPMorgan & Chase’s market-moving strategist, Marko Kolanovic, says the stock market is bound in a particular range by President Donald Trump, and a “Trump collar” on markets would likely be at worst a 3% to 4% sell-off.
The Trump collar, or “Trump put,” as Kolanovic also called it recently, comes as the president reassures traders when equities are down, but also as he does things to worry investors when things are going well, said Kolanovic, the global head of macro quantitative and derivatives research for the world’s largest bank.
Kolanovic currently sees 3,000 for the S&P 500 by year end, about 6% higher than its current point.
“We still think the second half of the year’s fundamentals will be better than the first half,” he said in an interview with Gulf News. “We are still broadly positive because trade-war escalation is irrational and it’s in everyone’s interest for this to get resolved. The trade war is not a positive for the US, the world, consumers or markets — and ultimately for Trump.”
The latest developments from the trade war news front have been relatively negative, but positioning has provided some cushioning against initial sell-offs, Kolanovic said. However, investors aren’t generally long on stocks so there won’t be much to sell, and leverage isn’t very high, he added, saying fatigue will eventually settle in.
“Eventually investors may give up because they are not going to be guessing the tweets,” he said. “People cannot really enthusiastically invest” with such uncertainty in the backdrop.
Kolanovic’s advice is to add some of the “very distressed” segments in semiconductors, energy, metals and mining stocks, which are close to their lows. If you aren’t positive on the broader market, you can go long on cyclical assets that are already well off their peaks and short on defensive assets that are way above previous highs for a relative-value view, he said.