Home / Markets News & Opinions / 4 Catalysts For S&P 500 ‘Anxiety’ Quarter Shouldn’t Surprise You

4 Catalysts For S&P 500 ‘Anxiety’ Quarter Shouldn’t Surprise You

Published September 24, 2020 7:52 AM
Joseph Young
Published September 24, 2020 7:52 AM
  • Alan B. Lancz believes U.S.-China relations, the presidential election, stimulus delay, and the resurgence of COVID-19 presents a threat to the S&P 500.
  • The U.S. stock market is continuing to slump as the number of virus cases in Europe and the U.S. shows no signs of slowing down.
  • Epidemiologists anticipate cases to steadily rise throughout autumn and winter, causing jitters across the markets.

The famed money manager Alan B. Lancz said four factors could cause the S&P 500 index to stagnate. In the next two to three months, the investor expects the market anxiety to increase noticeably. 

Lancz pinpointed U.S.-China relations, the presidential election, stimulus delay, and COVID-19 cases’ resurgence as key factors.

The S&P 500 index has dropped by 9.6% since the monthly peak on September 2. Pre-market data indicates a minor recovery following seven days of consolidation.

S&P 500
The performance of the S&P 500 in the last three months. | Source: Yahoo Finance 

A Perfect Storm of Factors Start to Materialize For an S&P 500 Slump

Ranging from technicals to fundamentals, all factors that could go wrong have gone wrong for the S&P 500 index.

Before the resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe, investor confidence declined after a take-profit pullback hit the U.S. markets.

As CCN.com reported, tech-heavy indices, like the Nasdaq, led the U.S. stock market correction in mid-September. The pullback came after the FT unmasked SoftBank as the “Nasdaq whale.”  

The investor anxiety would likely further intensify in short to medium term, as the U.S. faces growing virus cases.

In the next 60 to 90 days, Lancz expects the sentiment around the S&P 500 to worsen . He said:

“Investor anxiety will only intensify over the next 60-90 days. It will likely build with uncertainty from U.S.-China relations, election chaos, delays in further relief/stimulus, and a second wave of COVID like parts of Europe are experiencing.”

The delay in the stimulus agreement has dealt a critical blow to the U.S. markets. While other major economies, like the eurozone, have recovered due to additional stimulus, the U.S. has lagged.

The stimulus could offset the growing fear towards the resurgence of the pandemic in the U.S. But strategists do not expect the stimulus stalemate to break in the near future.

A strategist believes a recession might be too early to call for now. Watch the video below:

Scientists Expect Higher Cases in Autumn

While the uncertainty around direct stimulus payments  and small business aids increases, scientists project higher virus cases.

Earlier this month, John Hopkins University School of Medicine epidemiologist Eili Klein said a second wave is likely . Klein noted:

“My feeling is that there is a wave coming, and it’s not so much whether it’s coming but how big is it going to be.”

Another prominent epidemiologist at the University of California at Irvine said “fall waves” could occur starting mid-October. Emphasizing that he expects the virus to worsen heading into Winter, Andrew Noymer said:

“I firmly believe we will see distinct second waves, including in places that are done with their first waves. New York City, I’m looking at you. I expect fall waves starting in mid-October and getting worse as fall heads into winter, and reaching a crescendo certainly after the election.”

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic , scientists warned against cold weather, potentially causing a faster spread.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. | Source: U.S. CDC 

The concerns toward a virus resurgence, combined with the absence of stimulus and vaccines, could add additional selling pressure on the S&P 500.

The confluence of the negative fundamental factors could hurt inflated valuations in the stock market, Lancz said.

For tech stocks, the predictions of prolonged market stagnation could be particularly damaging.

Lancz warned that “uncertainties” will eventually cause investor confidence to dampen , “pressuring lofty valuations.”

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com and should not be considered investment or trading advice from CCN.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author has no position in any of the securities mentioned.