Experts have struggled to come up with theoretical explanations for the surprising economic dynamism and stock market rally of 2023.
Many commentators have instead turned to buzzwords – such as FOMO and YOLO – to describe investor and consumer behavior.
Here’s a roundup of the most original buzzwords used to comment on US stocks and the economy.
Many market pundits have been unable to explain the surprisingly buoyant trend in US equities this year, despite a slew of signals that the economy could be heading into a recession. Even aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and a banking crisis failed to dampen the stock market’s momentum.
Given the lack of classic explanations in textbooks, many commentators have turned to a bunch of informal acronyms to reason market trends – FOMO, YOLO, RINO are among them.
The stock market rally began earlier this year after the smash debut of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which helped spark a surge in investor enthusiasm for tech stocks. This has helped lift the Nasdaq 100 about 40% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is up about 18%.
But the market frenzy is not just due to the AI hype. Investors were driven by a mix of FOMO – the fear of missing something – as well as a sense of relief that a much-anticipated recession never happened.
At the same time, the US economy seems to be doing surprisingly well. And it’s up to YOLO consumers, according to Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel.
Here are some of the trending keywords that have been widely used to describe and explain market trends in 2023.
The overnight success of ChatGPT caused investors to rush to buy companies perceived to be well positioned to benefit from the AI revolution. The buying frenzy in turn prompted even traders who were on the sidelines to jump on the AI bandwagon, giving rise to a fear-of-missing rally.
“I think momentum and fear of missing out on gains can drive the market higher in the short term,” Siegel said in a weekly WisdomTree commentary.
Whether this can last is a key question.
“How long can such optimism or exuberance in the ‘AI bandwagon’ continue? If we argue that it is more heavily driven by the liquidity factor, the implication is that such FOMO behavior may spiral into a mania that may be severely out of sync with economic realities similar to previous boom-bust cycles of similar narratives of high-tech advancement,” OANDA analyst Kelvin Wong wrote in a blog post.
Move over, bulls and bears. A new variety of animal spirit may be driving the market now. According to a new acronym coined by Goldman Sachs, what we have in place is a RINO rally.
“Developed economies continue to surprise positively. Inflation is slowing and a soft landing now seems a plausible outcome. This has led to a new acronym (courtesy of Goldman): ‘Recession in Name Only’ (RINO),” analysts at Swiss bank SYZ wrote in a note.
This seems to suggest that the long-awaited US recession remained only a hypothesis and not a reality, given the resilience of the economy. And it’s a happy enough situation for traders to pile into the stocks.
TINA and TARA
Other ideas that had some market influence in 2023 include the TINA (there is no alternative) and TARA (there are reasonable alternatives) sentiments, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The first argues that investors should stick with equities – because even if they are disappointing, there is no alternative asset class that would offer better returns. Meanwhile, TARA promotes the opposite – there are better assets to invest in compared to stocks.
A new group of spenders is keeping the economy afloat, Siegel says, despite high interest rates and recession fears.
“The economy appears to be moving smoothly, with a resilient consumer unaffected by the impact of higher borrowing costs. This is the ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) consumer traveling and enjoying the summer,” he wrote in a separate weekly commentary from WisdomTree.
Higher rates generally encourage saving relative to spending, but the opposite is happening in the United States – even after the Federal Reserve raised benchmark borrowing costs by 500 basis points in all five quarters.
Read the original article on Business Insider