经济学人双语版-圣诞奖金 Christmas bonus

  • A+

FlyTitle: The stockmarket

The causes of a booming stockmarket in 2019 are unlikely to last through 2020

令2019年股市红火的因素不太可能在2020年持续

经济学人双语版-圣诞奖金 Christmas bonus

THE CHRISTMAS of 2018 was a dismal one for American stockmarket investors. Meagre gains eked out through a volatile year were reversed at its end, on fears of slowing global growth and all-out trade war between America and China. The S&P index of large companies tumbled by 15% between November 30th and December 24th that year. Many thought a recession was imminent.

对于美国股市的投资者来说,2018年的圣诞节令人沮丧。市场在这一年跌宕起伏,到了年底,因为忧心全球经济增长放缓及中美爆发全面贸易战,原本微薄的收益又悉数吐出。当年11月30日至12月24日,代表大公司的标普500指数下跌了15%。许多人以为经济即将陷入衰退。

The fears proved overblown. The S&P 500 rose by 28.9% during 2019, close to the 2013 record increase and well above the average annual gain for the past decade (see chart). December is often good for markets—a phenomenon traders call the “Santa rally”. This one was particularly strong, with the index rising by 2.9%. Markets beyond America also did well. The FTSE All-World, a global index, rose by 24% in dollar terms, its best showing since 2009.

事实证明这是过虑了。标普500指数在2019年上涨了28.9%,接近2013年的创纪录涨幅,远高于过去十年的年均水平(见图表)。12月的市场情况通常都不错——交易员称之为“圣诞老人升市”。2019年的圣诞升市尤为强劲,标普500指数上涨了2.9%。美国以外的股市也很红火。富时环球指数按美元计算上涨了24%,是自2009年以来的最佳表现。

经济学人双语版-圣诞奖金 Christmas bonus

Share prices often rise when expectations of future profits do. But earnings have stagnated recently, so that does little to explain this year’s boom. Falling interest rates played a bigger part. These boost share prices by increasing the comparative value of claims to future income streams, such as profits. The Federal Reserve, which had finished 2018 signalling that it would tighten monetary policy, changed course early in 2019 and indicated that it would ease if necessary to offset any shocks caused by the trade war. Market predictions for policy rates tumbled. During the year the Fed cut three times, undoing nearly all the previous year’s tightening.

股价往往随利润预测看涨而上升。但近期盈利原地踏步,所以这不能解释2019年股市的上涨。利率下降的影响更大。这一因素引发了获得未来收入流(如利润)的相对价值上升,从而推高股价。美联储在2018年底暗示将收紧货币政策,但在2019年初改变态度,表示必要时会放宽政策以抵消贸易战造成的冲击。市场预测政策利率会下跌。这一年美联储降息三次,几乎抵消了前一年所有的紧缩措施。

After turbulence in the repo market, the Fed also started to expand its balance-sheet by buying short-dated Treasuries. The move was billed as a technical solution to problems in an essential part of the financial system, not as an economic stimulus. But it may have acted as one, all the same. After the financial crisis a decade ago, the Fed’s swelling balance-sheet was credited with driving a stockmarket rally.

在回购市场经历动荡后,美联储还开始购买短期国债来扩大自身的资产负债表。它将此举宣称为为了解决金融体系的关键部分所存在的问题而采取的一种技术方案,而不是经济刺激措施。但它可能起到了类似经济刺激措施的作用。十年前的金融危机过后,人们认为美联储扩大资产负债表推动了股市反弹。

December’s market oomph seems to have come from a mini trade deal between America and China. America cancelled planned new tariffs on Chinese goods and cut some already in force. China agreed to buy more American goods.

上个月市场的活力似乎得益于中美两国的“迷你贸易协议”。美国取消对中国商品拟征收的新关税,并削减了一些已经生效的关税。而中国则同意购买更多美国商品。

It was a good year not just for stocks, but for most financial assets, including corporate debt, government bonds, commodities and gold. That is unusual. When risky assets such as stocks and high-yield corporate debt are rising, safer ones such as government bonds and gold generally fall. Investors flock from risk to safety in times of crisis, and back again when the outlook improves. But when policy interest rates fall, bond yields generally do too; and thus bond prices rise. Loose monetary policy also tends to boost commodity prices. Broad indices of American bond prices rose by 9% in 2019. The price of gold rose by 19%.

不单是股市,去年对于大多数金融资产来说都是个好年景,包括公司债、政府债券、大宗商品和黄金。这并不寻常。股票和高收益公司债等风险资产的价格走高时,政府债券和黄金等较安全资产通常会走低。在危机时期,投资者会把资金从风险资产转移至安全资产,到前景改善时再转回去。但当政策利率下调时,债券收益率通常也会下降,债券价格会因此上涨。宽松的货币政策往往还会推高大宗商品价格。美国债券价格的指数在2019年普遍上涨了9%。黄金价格上涨了19%。

A bumper year, then. But what of 2020? The potent combination of monetary easing and evaporating risks to growth seems largely played out. Shifting from trade hostilities to a ceasefire had a big impact; any further rapprochement is unlikely to do so much. Meanwhile neither the Fed nor independent economists are forecasting interest-rate moves during 2020.

这可谓是个丰收年。但2020年呢?宽松货币政策和增长放缓风险消退的强大合力似乎已大体消退。贸易对抗转向停火休战起到了重大作用,任何进一步的和解行动都不太可能再有这么大的效果。与此同时,美联储和独立经济学家都没有预测2020年的利率走势。

Economic growth is also less likely to provide a tailwind. In America and globally, growth slowed a little during 2019. According to the Conference Board, a think-tank, economists expect that slowdown to continue. Profit upgrades are therefore unlikely. And investors are already paying through the nose for stocks. The “earnings multiple”—share prices as a multiple of profits—is steep, at 21.6 for the S&P 500, far above the long-run average of around 16.

经济增长发挥推动作用的可能性也更小了。2019年,美国及全球各地的经济增速略为放缓。智库世界大企业联合会(Conference Board)称,经济学家预期经济放缓将持续。因此利润不太可能提升。而投资者本就已经在为购买股票支付过高的成本。“市盈率”(股价对盈利的倍数)非常高,标普500指数目前达到21.6,远高于16左右的长期平均水平。

Election years tend to be turbulent for stockmarkets. Over the past century, America’s has been more buoyant in the first two years of a presidential term than in the final one. And investors are worried that the Democrats will pick a nominee from the party’s radical left. When Elizabeth Warren was rising in opinion polls in October, hedge-fund managers warned that markets would fare poorly under her.

股市在选举年往往动荡不定。在过去一个世纪里,美国股市在总统任期的头两年往往比最后一年更红火。而且投资者担心民主党会选出激进左派候选人。当10月的民调显示伊丽莎白·沃伦(Elizabeth Warren)支持率上升时,对冲基金经理警告称,如果她当选,市场将走弱。

In October Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment, a hedge fund run from Palm Beach, claimed the stockmarket would fall by 25% if Ms Warren were to be elected president. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, has spent $1.5bn on derivatives that will pay out if the S&P 500 falls by March. It is hard to tell much about a fund’s portfolio from a single trade (and Ray Dalio, its founder, denied that the trade is representative)—but that is around when it will become clear who the Democratic nominee is likely to be.

棕榈滩的对冲基金都铎投资(Tudor Investment)的保罗·都铎·琼斯(Paul Tudor Jones)10月表示,如果沃伦当选总统,股市将下跌25%。据《华尔街日报》报道,全球最大的对冲基金桥水基金(Bridgewater Associates)已投入15亿美元购买衍生品,如果标普500指数今年3月下跌,该基金届时将获得丰厚回报。一般很难单从某笔交易来判断一家基金公司的投资组合,桥水的创始人雷·达利奥(Ray Dalio)也否认该交易有代表性,但它发生在民主党候选人快要明晰之时。

Fears in 2018 for the year ahead proved misplaced. Those for 2020 may be, too. But investors should not bank on it. Only 12 times since 1928 has the S&P 500 posted a better return than it did in 2019. Each time, the following year turned out weaker than the one that came before. More ominously, in four returns were negative. ■

事实证明,2018年时人们对来年的担忧是多虑了。对2020年的忧虑可能也是如此。但投资者不能指望这一点。自1928年以来,标普500指数的收益率只有12年高于2019年的水平,而这些年份之后那年的市场行情都更差。更不祥的是,有四年甚至回报为负。

  • 我的微信
  • 这是我的微信扫一扫
  • weinxin
  • 我的微信公众号
  • 我的微信公众号扫一扫
  • weinxin