The rise of AI and other technologies could cause the 'next major correction'

  • JPMorgan says that technological innovation like big data and AI could cause the next big market correction.
  • The firm notes that financial conditions are overheating, which has already created a situation with little room for error.

Apparently too much technological advancement can be a bad thing… at least in the early stages of a revolution.

That’s according to JPMorgan, which says that market cycles can sometimes become victims of their own progress.

As new ideas or techniques arise, that can create “huge volatility,” which in turns pulls in new participants who aren’t prepared or knowledgeable enough to immediately know what they’re doing, says JPMorgan. The firm warns of the dire short-term consequences that can result, and highlights two key areas of innovation that could lead to issues.

“This then leads to excesses and corrections before better management and expertise leads innovations to become incorporated in daily economic and financial life,” Jan Loeys, the head of asset allocation and alternative investments at JPMorgan, wrote in a client note. “Today innovation is all about big data and AI (artificial intelligence), which will eventually greatly transform society, but could easily become the core of the next major correction.”

But big data and AI in and of themselves won’t be enough to end what’s been a historically strong market, with stocks now in their ninth year of a bull market. There have to be other stresses roiling the market, and JPMorgan sees that coming from what it describes as “financial overheating.”

Of most concern for the firm are lofty stock valuations, high-grade bond spreads and high-yield yields. And JPMorgan notes that once investors get one taste of success, they will continue chasing returns, even as bubble conditions start to form.

“The speed of these upgrades and asset price rallies is both exhilarating and scary,” Jan Loeys, the head of asset allocation and alternative investments at JPMorgan, wrote in a client note. “The faster we rally, the greater the joy, but the more one should be worried about the eventual reckoning.”

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