Macro Briefing: 17 July 2023

* Market’s high weights in big stocks suggest investors uncertain on economy
* China GDP growth for Q2 rises substantially less than forecast
* Analysts cut China growth outlook after disappointing Q2 data
* Russia suspends grain deal that allowed Ukraine exports to world
* As the demographics of aging unfold, it will reshape the global economy
* Markets cautiously optimistic that inflation will continue to ease
* Equity strategists lift S&P 500 earnings forecasts
* US stocks (S&P 500) on Friday closed at highest weekly high since March 2022:

US stock market valuation becomes increasingly “disconnected” from interest rates, advises Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro at Fidelity. “Stock valuations had been anchored to interest rates until around last year’s October low (the blue and purple lines show estimates of ‘fair value’ price-earnings ratios (P/Es) for the S&P 500 based on regression models using interest rates),” he writes. “But in more recent months, stocks have moved away from anchoring to interest rates, and have been instead focusing on hopes of a recovery in earnings. This means that for this bullish pivot to be justified, earnings are going to need to come through. Currently, the consensus estimate is that S&P earnings will contract by 9% in the second quarter and then bottom in the third quarter of this year, before recovering in 2024. If that is correct, then the rise in stocks and increase in P/Es that we have seen since last October could be justified and could continue.”