April, the month of waiting: what will come next?
Financial markets, sometimes, look like the sea: after the big waves, a period of calm arrives. And so, after the constant growth of 2017 and 2018 - when we thought that the great crisis of 2008 was definitely behind us - and the very good results in January and February of 2019, since March, it seems that a phase of quietness has begun.
The quiet, before or after the storm?
The markets are unusually quiet. Rates are basically stable, growth is not exciting but, at the same time, markdowns are under control.
At the moment, even experienced analysts cannot predict where this calm will lead. Also because, as we have said before, the fate of the markets will depend on three geopolitical issues, the results of which are unknown at the moment: European Elections, Brexit and the Trade War with China.
Opinions on this matter are different and opposite. According to some analysts, such as David Stockman, former budget minister in Ronald Reagan's administration and experienced financial markets observer, we are heading into a 'bearish' phase.
On the contrary, the 'bullish' voices argue that the quiet of these months is a run-up to a new phase of growth and expansion. Among the most authoritative voices in this regard is that of the analyst of the investment company Instinet, Frank Cappelleri. In a recent interview with MarketWatch, Cappelleri urged investors to maintain their positions in anticipation of a forthcoming, imminent growth.
The idea of Cappelleri and all the 'bullishers' like him is that even if some external event such as Brexit and the trade war were to make the markets unstable, this would not stop their growth, if not for a short and negligible period.
In support of their thesis, the most confident refer to the data of the American index Standard and Poor 500 - now the most important stock exchange index in the U.S.: this, in fact, closes months in positive, which is read as a sign of great confidence and optimism.
Who to believe?
It is difficult for a common investor to navigate between different forecasts. For a third - reliable - opinion, we went to read the report for the month of April published by the International Monetary Fund.
The answer we found confirmed what was clear to us right from the start of this article - and this month: world growth is slowing down, but fortunately at a slow pace, and markets are not being particularly shaken in either direction.
For this reason, our advice is not to be alarmed: just don't make any risky moves. In a few weeks, we will be voting in Europe and at least one of the three major issues holding the world in suspense - and the wallet - will be resolved.