Sonders on an EM Contagion

Charles Schwab’s Liz Ann Sonders thinks we are likely to see more short term weakness in the stock market, but she doesn’t think emerging market troubles will upend the broader bull market.

“Although I think the stock market’s pullback could eventually become an actual correction, I also believe the secular bull market that began nearly five years ago is not dead … just taking a breather,” Sonders writes in commentary on Schwab’s website. “There are financial market and economic connections between the developing and developed markets, but short-term EM currency crises are unlikely to have a lasting impact on our market.”

Sonders says eventual positives will come from the U.S. ending its quantitative easing program (which seems to be driving the EM troubles), “not least being a stronger dollar and lower commodity prices. Both are beneficial to a consumption-oriented economy like the United States’.” Trade shouldn’t be impacted too much by the end of QE, she adds. US exports to the top five nations within the MSCI emerging markets index — China, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and South Africa — “represent only 2% of US gross domestic product,” she notes.

Still, Sonders says some continued short term market weakness is likely, though she doesn’t think it will be enough to derail the bill market. “Barclay’s has pointed out that the response by US equities to inflection points in monetary policy over the past 30 years have been quite homogeneous; even with different approached to policy,” she says. “Equity market pullbacks were tightly dispersed between 7.5% and 9% over two-to-three months, followed by a recovery and a couple of quarters of range-bound trading before the uptrend resumed. This seems like a good roadmap to consider for the next few months.”