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Bank of America: “Recession Risks Rising,” Putting Stocks at Risk Too

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Bank of America strategists say they’re bearish on stocks, particularly technology stocks, and credit.

Author:

Dan Weil

Publish date:

Feb 18, 2022 10:31 AM EST

If you fear that interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve could push the economy into recession, you’re not alone. Bank of America (BAC) – Get Bank of America Corp Report has the same concern.

In the “next six months, rates shock morphs into recession shock,” BofA strategists, led by Michael Hartnett, wrote in a commentary.

BofA predicts the Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points at each of its remaining seven meetings this year, pushing the federal funds target range to 1.75% to 2%. This could upend the economy, the strategists said. “Recession risks [are] rising.”

And that’s not good news for stocks, they said. “We remain bearish [on] tech/stocks/credit.” Meanwhile, the strategists said they’re bullish on “volatility, cash and defensive assets.”

The Fed’s presumed rate hikes will come to fight inflation, of course. Consumer prices soared 7.5% in the 12 months through January, an almost 40-year high.

“High and rising inflation has justly become the key preoccupation of investors,” J.P. Morgan strategists, led by Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, wrote in a commentary.

“It is affecting consumer spending, [the] business outlook, politics and, most importantly, the direction of monetary policy. While we expect the cyclical recovery to continue, … we acknowledge that the path of future inflation is uncertain.”

The J.P. Morgan analysts cited stocks that will likely outperform and underperform the market in an inflationary environment.

The outperformers include Bank Of America, Boeing  (BA) – Get Boeing Company Report and Exxon Mobil  (XOM) – Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report. The underperformers include Microsoft  (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report, pharmaceutical company Moderna  (MRNA) – Get Moderna, Inc. Report, and Walmart  (WMT) – Get Walmart Inc. Report.

Rising interest rates, inflation and market volatility are on the horizon. You don’t want to miss out on this exclusive opportunity to unlock Action Alerts PLUS at our lowest price of the year.

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