The first estimate of Q1 US GDP came in at a paltry +0.1%, a full 1% below expectations. Despite this disappointment, other data in the US have been very encouraging – consumer spending has climbed higher, core capital goods orders have improved, and the manufacturing index indicated a pickup in production. The April US Jobs report released last Friday showed the largest outperformance relative to expectations since November 2013 and an unemployment rate at 6.3%, is at its lowest level since September 2008. M&A activity is clearly accelerating and is providing equity markets a much-needed tailwind. US multinational companies have accumulated $1.95 trillion outside the US and repatriating that cash to the US incurs a tax penalty of 35%. It is therefore an incentive for companies to spend money on overseas acquisitions, even at a bid premium, and gain control of a competitor rather than take a tax hit and get nothing in return. It is May and “Sell in May” headlines are back. This May I wouldn’t despair. Keep your longs, as I see very limited downside.
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