The stock market and economic outlook in the United States is “deteriorating,” according to an analysis from one of Wall Street’s top investment banks.
Renewed trade tensions and a slump in economic data — ranging from falling durable goods and capital spending to a downshift in the services sector — has put U.S. profits and economic growth at risk, Morgan Stanley warned Tuesday.
“Recent data points suggest US earnings and economic risk is greater than most investors may think,” wrote Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Michael Wilson.
Specifically, the stock strategist highlighted a recent survey from financial data firm IHS Markit that showed manufacturing activity fell to a 9-year low in May. That report also revealed a “notable slowdown” in the U.S. services sector, a key area for an American economy characterized by huge job gains in health care and business services.
Source: Morgan Stanley Cross Asset Research
Many recent reports reflect April data, “which means it weakened before the re-escalation of trade tensions,” Wilson continued. “In addition, numerous leading companies may be starting to throw in the towel on the second half rebound–something we have been expecting but we believe many investors are not.”
Wilson was one of the most bearish stock strategists last year, defending his initial S&P 500 call of 2,750 for year-end 2018 without adjusting it throughout the year. By the end of the year, his call was the most accurate of any strategist tracked by CNBC.
He’s stood by his gloomy case for 2019, often warning that investors could be caught in a “rolling bear market ” for the next several years. The market has thus far outpaced Wilson’s models for 2019, with the S&P 500 up 11.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 8.6% year to date.
The stock market sold off on Tuesday, adding to steep losses for the month of May. The Dow fell 237 points and the S&P dropped 0.8% during the session; they are down 4.6% and 4.8%, respectively, this mont