Many analysts believe that now is the time to buy stocks in a big way because they hope the US economy will avoid a hard landing in 2024, and the Fed has already raised interest rates. But Dubravko Lakos Bujas, J.P. Morgan's chief global securities strategist, doesn't think so.
The Zhitong Finance app learned that many analysts believe that now is the time to buy stocks in a big way because they hope the US economy will avoid a hard landing in 2024, and the Fed has already raised interest rates. But Dubravko Lakos Bujas, J.P. Morgan's chief global securities strategist, doesn't think so.
In an interview last week, Lakos Bujas said, “Market pricing actually reflects some kind of soft landing. Many people are calling for the 'blonde girl' scenario. This is an economic situation that has the best of both worlds: the economy is neither too hot nor too cold. But that's not realistic.”
In contrast, Lakos Bujas believes that the stock market in 2024 will be at risk because the economic slowdown is expected to put pressure on corporate profits, and the weakening of pricing power will threaten profit margins. He said that in addition to high valuations, crowded positions, and low volatility, the stock market will form a “very fragile” structure.
Lakos Bujas said that although rising interest rates have always been the biggest concern for investors, interest rate cut bets are driven by lower growth expectations: he believes interest rates and inflation rates have declined due to reduced demand, and added, “All of these are at risk of falling profit expectations for next year.”
Lakos-Bujas believes the economy will be unstable next year. He advised investors to buy defensive stocks such as utilities, saying that this emerging “rare” opportunity may help hedge against the recession. He added that if a soft landing is realized, the field should also generate significant rewards.
J.P. Morgan expects US corporate profits to increase by 2% to 3% next year, which is lower than general expectations. The bank also pointed out that at a time when the stock market's “panic index” VIX is close to a 3-year low, expectations may be too high.
Regarding the prospects for a soft landing, Lakos-Bujas felt that the market was very complacent. “Almost everyone is optimistic. So I don't know. Maybe we're the only crazy ones.”