Where do the markets go from here?
By now, you have all heard: stock market performance in the first half of this year was the worst since 1970.
That’s water under the bridge. The big questions for forward-looking readers are: Will it fall further? And what will the impact be on the economy?
Let’s start with the first question. While investors may be hoping for a bounce back, there are a fair number of seasoned market observers out there who say we haven’t had market “capitulation” yet, and stocks will likely go down—perhaps considerably—before they go up. A new report from Capital Economics predicts the S&P 500, which closed at 3,831 yesterday, will drop to 3,600 by the end of this year and 3,200 by the end of 2023, amounting to a peak-to-trough decline of roughly a third of the index’s value. Why do they think that will happen? Continuing increases in interest rates will both raise the opportunity cost of investing money in equities and squeeze profit margins.
Does that signal a recession ahead? Well, as we’ve reported here previously, the majority of CEOs (67% in our poll) believe a recession is coming, but only a small minority (15%) are pessimistic about prospects for their own companies and industries. The labor market, in particular, remains stunningly strong. The Wall Street Journal’s John Hilsenrath wrote a smart story yesterday with the apt headline: “If the Economy Is in a Recession, It’s a Very Strange One.”
The Fortune team is hard at work trying to make sense of this for readers. Alicia Adamczyk gives advice on how to invest in the midst of such volatility here. Lance Lambert explores where home prices—a key part of the economic equation—may be headed here. And then there’s oil, which JPMorgan says could reach a stratospheric $380 a barrel if Russia decides to retaliate against Western sanctions, and Citigroup says could collapse to $65 by year end if the rumored recession is for real. That range makes planning more than a little difficult.
If anyone thinks they have a clear vision of how this will play out, CEO Daily would love to hear it. Otherwise, heightened uncertainty seems the only safe assumption.
More news below.
BYD overtakes Tesla
China’s BYD is now the world’s biggest electric-vehicle maker, having sold 641,350 new vehicles in the first half of the year, to Tesla’s 564,743. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was an early BYD investor in 2008, and is doing very nicely from that $232 million bet, which is now worth $7.7 billion. Fortune
The European Parliament has given the final all-clear to two blockbuster pieces of tech legislation: the Digital Services Act, which forces platforms to crack down on illegal content; and the Digital Markets Act, which forces them to give business users better data and make messaging services interoperable. The question now is how well these rules will be enforced. Reuters
Ben & Jerry’s
Unilever has been sued by its own Ben & Jerry’s business, which does not want the mothership to allow its ice cream to be sold in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Ben & Jerry’s is trying to block the sale of brand and trademark rights to Israeli businessman Avi Zinger, on the basis that its 2000 merger agreement expressly forbade the dilution of the brand’s integrity. Unilever says the Israeli deal has already closed. Fortune
The Canadian cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital has filed for bankruptcy, following the collapse of Three Arrows Capital, which accounted for 60% of Voyager’s loan book. Fortune
AROUND THE WATERCOOLER
OPEC chief Mohammad Barkindo passed away suddenly last night, just a few weeks before his second and final term was due to end. The Nigerian died just hours after visiting his country’s President Muhammadu Buhari. Barkindo’s legacy includes the creation of OPEC Plus, the expanded version of the oil-production cartel that also features Russia. Business Day
Amazon is reportedly close to settling two high-profile antitrust probes in the EU. The company will reportedly give third-party sellers more data, as part of the deal. It’s all still quite fuzzy, and more details should emerge next week. Financial Times
The U.S. reportedly wants the Netherlands to force one of its star companies, ASML, to stop selling its chipmaking equipment to China. News of the American pressure knocked ASML’s shares by as much as 8.3%, though they recovered somewhat afterwards. Bloomberg
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but Boris Johnson may soon no longer be the British prime minister. The latest scandal is about sexual misconduct by a member of government—and about the lies the government told as the mess became public. Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid both resigned late yesterday in protest at Johnson’s continued leadership, as did a host of junior government officials and (on-air!) the Conservative Party vice chair. But Johnson being Johnson, he isn’t going willingly. CNN
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.
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