Gavekal Capital: Strange Behavior

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Strange Behavior

The relative performance of stocks vs. bonds historically moves in tandem with the strength of the labor market.  Since the low in March 2009, stocks have outperformed bonds by roughly 100%.  This should be consistent with an employment to population ratio of almost 62%.  It is not.  As of the most recent employment report, the employment to population ratio has fallen to 58.3%, within .1% of its low.  While some of this is government shutdown related, the employment to population ratio is down almost half a percent compared to one year ago. The continued relative outperformance of stocks vs. bonds in this context is somewhat strange behavior.