U.S. stocks are off to one of their best starts in years. Most indices are up 10% year to date, prompting many investors to ask: “Are we in another bubble?” The answer is no, at least when it comes to equities. Here are three reasons why:
So writes Russ Koesterich (http://isharesblog.com/) in edited excerpts from his original article* posted on Seeking Alpha under the title Is the US Stock Rally a Bubble?.
This article is presented compliments of www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!) and may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and/or reformatted (some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
Koesterich goes on to say in further edited excerpts:
“Are we in another bubble?” The answer is no, at least when it comes to equities. Here are three reasons why:
- Most metrics suggest U.S. stock valuations are at or below their long-term average. U.S. large-cap companies are trading at 2.25x book value and 15x trailing earnings, both valuations below the historical average.
- Not only are valuations below average, they are well below peaks reached in 2000 and 2007. By way of comparison, U.S. equity markets were trading for 3x book value in 2007 and 5x in 2000.
- On a relative basis, even after the recent rally, U.S. stocks still look cheap. The earnings yield on the S&P 500 is at a 30-year high relative to the yield available on an investment grade bond index. While this is more a function of bonds being expensive rather than of stocks being particularly cheap, the relative play still favors stocks.
However, while U.S. stock valuations are far from bubble territory, U.S. earnings and book value are both being flattered by a multi-year period of exceptional corporate profitability. In other words, U.S. corporations are experiencing an earnings bubble of sorts.
- Corporate profits are currently nearly 10% of U.S. gross domestic product, above a 60-year average of 8.2%, as U.S. companies have benefited from the economy’s slow-growth recovery.
- The economy has been growing just fast enough to support companies’ topline growth, but just slow enough to keep a lid on firms’ wage and interest costs.
- The upshot for U.S. stocks: they look more expensive when you consider that earnings aren’t likely to levitate at today’s levels indefinitely.
One valuation metric that reflects this is the Shiller price-to-earnings ratio, which uses a 10-year average of earnings rather than a one-year average. According to this measure, U.S. stocks are trading at 22x real 10-year trailing earnings, vs. a long-term average of around 16.5x. This suggests that while U.S. stocks may still outperform bonds, further gains are likely to be more muted and returns over the long term are unlikely to be in double-digit territory.
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The good news is that valuations look much more reasonable outside of the United States.
- Currently, U.S. stocks trade at a 45% premium, based on a price-to-book calculation, to other developed markets. Emerging markets are cheaper still.
As such, for long-term investors, the best opportunities may lie outside the United States and in less extended parts of the U.S. market such as in mega caps, and in the energy and technology sectors. These asset classes are accessible through the iShares S&P 100 Index Fund (OEF), the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Index Fund (IYE), and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Sector Index Fund (IYW).
Editor’s Note: The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.
Source: Bloomberg. *http://isharesblog.com/blog/2013/03/22/is-the-us-stock-rally-a-bubble/ (©2010-2012 BlackRock. All rights reserved. iShares® and BlackRock® are registered trademarks of BlackRock.)
The trend is your friend and this article reviews the 7 most popular trend indicators to help you make an extensive and in-depth assessment of whether you should be buying or selling.
It is hard to know what to buy or sell let alone just when to prudently do so. Thank goodness there are indicators available that provide information of stock and index movement of a more immediate nature to help you make such important decisions. This article describes the 6 most popular Momentum Indicators. If ever there was a “cut and save” investment advisory this is it!
There are many indicators available that provide information on stock and index movement to help you time the market and make money. Market strength and volatility are two such categories of indicators and a description of six of them are described in this “cut and save” article. Read on! Words: 974
In the last week, the Dow hit an all-time high yet the ratio of the number of shares that corporate insiders sold to the number they bought almost hit 10 to 1 – the fastest pace in over a decade according to Vickers Weekly Insider Report. That must be a sign that a turn in the market is imminent, right or, at the very least, that company executives don’t feel optimistic about the economic outlook? WRONG!
The U.S. is the most overbought country on a list of the 30 largest country ETFs, trading slightly more extended than Japan….6 countries are trading in oversold territory at the moment. [Is your country’s stock market overbought or oversold? Take a look at the table below].
The average S&P 500 stock is currently 4.33% above its 50-day, which is a very high reading. The S&P 500 itself is trading 3.5% above its 50-day. Below is a list of the 35 S&P 500 stocks that are currently trading the farthest above their 50-days and a list of the 35 that are the farthest below.
The continuation of the rally has left the S&P 500 and all 10 sectors in overbought territory. All but 6 of the Dow 30 stocks are trading in overbought territory as well. Take a look at the details in the 2 tables below.
A lot has been made of strong stock market returns around the world so far this year, but adjusting for currency moves, the returns look a little less flattering. The U.S. dollar is up nearly 4% year to date, while currencies like the Japanese yen, the British pound and the euro are all down. Below is a look at the year-to-date stock market performance of 21 major countries around the world. For each country, we highlight its 2013 performance in local currency vs. U.S. dollar adjusted terms.
The economy is heading for unprecedented volatility between rampant inflation and deflation courtesy of Ben Bernanke’s sponsorship of the $7 trillion increase in new Federal debt since 2008. Investors need to plan now while they still have time before the economic chaos begins.
You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t! In my opinion, we are about to…[witness] a mean reversion in corporate profitability regardless of outcome as we have most likely has reached its limits for the cycle. Now comes the painful part, which is usually jam-packed with earning disappointments and investor losses…. Words: 485
There have been 6 previous Greedometer warnings – 5 of them real world, 1 from back testing alone – in the 7 years that the Greedometer (or parts that formed its predecessor) have been used in the real world, and there have been zero missed calls, and zero false alarms. The 7th warning began in January and in late February,the Greedometer gauge reached an epic 7900rpm which is marginally higher than the 7700rpm maximum reading seen 3 months prior to the S&P500 peak in October 2007. [This article outlines the development and successes of the Greedometer and the new Mini Greedometer and what they are predicting for the stock market in 2013.] Words: 1420
Taking profits is rarely a bad idea, and staying fully invested at these levels seems foolish. That is why it might pay to raise some capital now, before the sell in May strategy comes up. Having a core position of equities along with some dry powder and keeping a look out for short-term trading opportunities is how I plan to play this market through 2013. [This article presents 5 specific reasons why it might be wise sell in May and go away – or even sooner – this year.] Words: 1280
It’s that time again. The Dow surpassed its all-time high and the S&P 500 is not that far from the tops of 1553 on March 24, 2000 and 1576 on October 9, 2007. Just as in 2000 and 2007, the economic, valuation and political background does not support the budding euphoria. [Let us explain precisely why that is the case.] Words: 680
The mainstream financial press would like us to believe that because the S&P 500 and Dow 30 are at or near their record highs that it must mean we’re nearing the end of the current bull market and, as such, now must be a terrible time to buy stocks. Let’s not jump to any conclusions, though. Instead, let’s do our own due diligence to find out. Hint: If you’ve been stuffing cash under the mattress since the last market crash, you might want to finally go deposit it in your brokerage account. Here’s why… Words: 420
I don’t relish the job of constantly pointing out the risks to the equity markets but since few on Wall Street seem willing (or able) to do this, I’m “making the call” for a market correction, as enough variables have aligned to indicate a high likelihood of stocks heading downwards from here. Words: 1203; Charts: 6
History shows that when investors experience a rapid decline in the amount of available cash in their brokerage account to spend/invest quickly such “negative net worth” leads to major corrections in the stock market. Currently such is the case so can we expect another such decline or will it be different this time?
The Dow has surpassed its all-time record high – set in October 2007 – and the S&P 500 is not far behind? Is this the early stage of another great bull market? Let’s look back at the two previous times when the S&P 500 set new all-time highs and see if we can learn something. Wait…first put your “this time it’s different” glasses on. OK, let’s go. Words: 430; Charts: 1
The S&P 500 is on its way to building a “Domed House” and to challenge multi-year highs, or even all-time highs, in the process. Based on the forecast of my proprietary Long Wave Index, the broad market should be in a short-term bullish time-window until March 21st/13 by which time the “roof” phase of the formation should be complete with the S&P 500 having reached a projected peak of 1570. Words: 634; Charts: 4
The stock markets make no sense. They have literally lost touch with reality. Divergences between fundamentals, confidence and the valuation of markets are large [and, as such,] cannot last for long….The only question is how…and how quickly….this correction occurs. Words: 261
Key stock indices are becoming significantly overpriced. The value of the U.S. stock market stands at about 133% of GDP. The average for the past 60 years has been around 82%. By this measure, the U.S. stock market is overvalued by more than 50%! Words: 398
Since the late 1800′s, the Dow has experienced three periods where it traded sideways, ranging from 13 to 17 years, [which always] resulted in upside breakouts . The S&P 500 finds itself within a few percentage points of where it was 13 years ago [so the question is “Has the time now come for the Dow and S&P 500 to once again go Up, UP and Awaaay?” Let’s take a look at some charts.] Words: 299; Charts: 2
Buffett’s measure – the percentage of total market cap (TMC) relative to the U.S. GNP crossed 100% last week into stretched territory for the first time since 2007 which implies a mere return of around 3.3% annualized (including dividends) over the following years. [This post presents the components of the ratio and the conclusions drawn.]
While I remain cautious on stocks and the risk trade, the technical picture shows that the uptrend to be intact and the bulls should still be given the benefit of the doubt for now. At this point, any call for a correction is at best conjecture [as evidenced by the following 4 indicators]. Words: 399; Charts: 4
The Swimsuit Issue Indicator says that U.S. equity markets perform better in years when an American appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual issue as opposed to years when a non-American appears on the cover. [What is the nationality of this year’s cover model? Can we expect returns above the norm or will we see a year of underperformance for the S&P 500 this year? Read on.] Words: 323 ; Table: 1
Investors are more bullish now than at any time since 2002 but the current rally has not been fueled by improved prospects of actual growth and wealth creation. Instead, it’s mostly due to 1) investors desperate for income denied them elsewhere by central bank policies; 2) printed stimulus cash seeking a home and 3) sheer technical momentum but nowhere do they seem to be considering market risk – the risk that your investment will lose value because it gets dragged down in a falling market. Words: 615
Bain & Co., the private equity firm that you might have heard of during the presidential campaign last year, has come out with a fascinating set of projections for the global capital markets…The generality of…the report [is that] the world is awash in money looking for someplace to invest that will earn a return and [that,] over the rest of this decade, the amount of money looking to be invested will grow by about 50%. What does that imply [and how should you therefore invest? This article addresses both issues well.] Words: 1349
What you are about to read below is startling. Every time that the market has fallen in recent years, insiders have been able to get out ahead of time… [What] is so alarming [this time round is] that corporate insiders are selling nine times as many shares as they are buying right now. In addition, some extraordinarily large bets have just been made that will only pay off if the financial markets in the U.S. crash by the end of April. So what does all of this mean? [Could it be that they] have insider knowledge that a market crash is coming? Evaluate the evidence below and decide for yourself. Words: 570
Don’t buy this stock market. It isn’t worth the risk. Relative to earnings, most stocks aren’t expensively priced—but there’s a reason for that. [Let me explain.] Words: 318
As we all know, money printing always leads to inflation. It’s just a matter of figuring out which assets get inflated. This time around gold is not the only beneficiary, stocks are, too, and I’m convinced that the chart below holds the key to the end of the bull market. Words: 475; Charts: 1
Ever since the Dow broke the 14,000 mark and the S&P broke the 1,500 mark, even in the face of a shrinking GDP print, a lot of investors and commentators have been anxious. Some are proclaiming a rocket ride to the moon as bond money now rotates into stocks….[while] others are ringing the warning bell that this may be the beginning of the end, and a correction is likely coming. I find it a bit surprising, however, that no one is talking of the single largest driver for stocks in the past 4 years – massive monetary base expansion by the Fed. (This article does just that and concludes that the S&P 500 could well see a year end number of 1872 (+25%) and, realistically, another 28% increase in 2014 to 2387 which would represent a 60% increase from today’s level.) Words: 600; Charts: 3
For the month of January, U.S. stocks experienced the best month in more than two decades [and the Dow hit 14,009 on Feb. 1st for the first time since 2007]. Per the Stock Traders’ Almanac market indicator, the “January Barometer,” the performance of the S&P 500 Index in the first month of the year dictates where stock prices will head for the year. Let’s hope so…. [This article identifies f more solid reasons why equities should do well in 2013.] Words: 453
New year festivities have continued on the stock market even as the Christmas trees have been put away. The “death of the fiscal cliff,” not horrible job numbers and supportive comments from Mario Draghi on the other side of the pond have led to bold and bullish behaviors over the last three weeks. While no one can predict the exact peak, here are five reasons you’re better off on the sidelines than in the market.
As Winston Churchill once said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” and in that vain I challenge all readers to fight off the negativity, see long-term opportunity in global equity markets and, most importantly, remain invested. Your future self may thank you. Words: 732; Charts: 6
J.P. Morgan Asset Management has developed a chart showing the past two cycles in the S&P 500 highlighting peak and trough valuations. At face value it is very alarming as it suggests a potential decline of somewhere in the vicinity of 60% over the next year or two and concurs with previous innovative trend analyses included in this article. Charts: 4
Anyone who says they know for certain where the stock market is heading is a prevaricator, but what we can do is look at historical trends, current market conditions, and make an educated decision on the direction it is most likely to take. With that said, I have made a list of the five things that could indicate that the recent stock market rally has seen the best of its days, and now may be on the down-slope of its March madness ride.