A recipe for a stock market correction

JPMorgan's top strategist isn't as bullish as global fund managers

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Happy Friday eve, investors.

Each of the three major stock indexes have had a down month so far.

Since December, investors have bet the Fed would cut interest rate multiple times this year. Jerome Powell dashed those expectations Tuesday.

Below, we’re breaking down what comes next for stocks. Plus, we’ll get into the IPO market, bitcoin’s slump, and Barclay’s Tesla call.

*At a glance:

*Pre-market and data as of 10 p.m. ET

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Wall Street’s contradictory signals

Stock Market News Today: Fed cuts outlook

Made with AI by Opening Bell Daily

The S&P 500 has opened green and closed red for three days in a row.

This week, markets have seemingly ignored a relatively upbeat earnings season in lieu of more pressing matters.

Investors have been focused on a Fed that can’t quite nail its messaging, as well as the threat of further conflict in the Middle East.

The economic data hasn’t helped:

  • March retail sales came in hotter than expected

  • March CPI was hotter than expected

The above factors have dragged on equities, pushed bond yields higher, and sent oil prices on a roller coaster.

To JPMorgan strategist Marko Kolanovic, those headwinds are at odds with a stock market that’s crushed for most of the year.

His take:

“For a market reliant on immaculate disinflation, a dovish Fed reaction function, and diminishing tail risks on growth, the continuation of hot growth and inflation data can bring us to a tipping point where a tighter stock vs bond risk premium finally produces a market correction.”

If you aren’t familiar with Kolanovic, his research moves markets.

Investors pay attention to him — particularly when he issues cautionary outlooks.

But how’s this for a contradiction: Bank of America said global investors haven’t been this bullish in more than two years.

That’s based on the firm’s latest fund manager survey, which polled some 250 heavy hitters in the week to April 11.

The respondents manage $719 billion in total.

Some tidbits:

  • 78% see global recession as unlikely

  • 76% expect 2 or more Fed rate cuts in 2024

  • The most crowded trade is “long Magnificent 7”

Notably, average cash levels fell from 4.4% to 4.2% of assets compared to a month ago.

Typically when that falls below 4.0%, it’s “close-your-eyes-and-sell” time for investors, BofA strategists said.

And yet, fund managers piled into stocks by the most in 27 months.

Kolanovic, meanwhile, is more cautious. He’s underweight on stocks and overweight cash — the opposite of most of the fund managers in the survey.

To be fair, the survey may have read less bullish if it were instead taken this week.

Still, the optimism is telling, according to Rhys Williams, chief investment officer at Wayve Capital.

“My guess,” he told me, “is fund managers felt good that the market seemed to absorb negative news on [interest] rates well.”


  • The IPO market is showing signs of life. Reddit and other names are trading above their debut stock prices, and Wall Street sees a brighter horizon ahead. (Bloomberg)

  • Bitcoin has tumbled this week ahead of its much-anticipated halving event, which should happen any day now. (CoinDesk)

  • Barclays cut its price target for Tesla. Strategists lowered their outlook for the EV maker by 20%, and they aren’t bullish on Tesla’s earnings call. (Business Insider)

Rapid-fire headlines:

  • Homebuilding giant DR Horton reports earnings today (Barron’s)

  • Shares of United Airlines jumped 15% Wednesday (Reuters)

  • Trading app WeBull is under scrutiny for China ties (WSJ)

  • US lawmakers will vote on aid for Ukraine and Israel on Saturday (FT)

  • Google restructured its finance team and laid off staffers (CNBC)

Last thing:

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