Yesterday on Bloomberg, Barry Ritholtz posed the question "The Trump news flow is overwhelming. What should we do?
Last Wednesday, Convergex's Chief Strategist Nick Colas pondered on this question, "What would US stocks do if President Trump resigned?"
Whenever markets reach new highs, it is inevitable that people begin to ponder if this is a top or even worse, a bubble. This led the WSJ to ask famed investor Jeremy Grantham point blank, "Is the US market in a bubble or is it different this time?" His response is certainly worth a few minutes of your time.
On the Runnymede blog, I have discussed buying fear in 2014 and 2015. The thesis is simple and taken from the great Warren Buffett. His famous rule is "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. While this seems like a simple rule, even Buffett admits that it is easier said than done. Buffett said, "There is no comparison between fear and greed. Fear is instant, pervasive and intense. Greed is slower. Fear hits."
There's been a lot of chatter recently. The "fat, ugly, bubble." Is the "bull running out of steam?" Goldman strategists "are becoming more cautious about stock markets."
At Runnymede, we are neither perma-bulls nor perma-bears. Rather our perspectives on the financial markets are based upon research, and our market outlook is reflected in the positioning of our clients' portfolios. In fact, we have been bullish on the market since July 2016. So where do we stand right now with the bull market having recently celebrated its eighth birthday? After much thought and careful reflection, here are five reasons why the bull market is likely to go higher.
The bull market in stocks celebrates its eighth birthday today. As it turns out, it's also my birthday. This got me thinking about what was happening in the world when I turned 8. In 1980, the Pac-Man arcade game was released. Camcorders and fax machines were cutting edge technology. A whole lot of people were watching TV to find out Who Shot JR? on the popular soap Dallas. The yearly inflation rate in the U.S. was 13.6%. The average cost of a new house was $68,700. The average cost of a new car was $13,650. I'll also mention that a (government subsidized) hot school lunch cost $0.65 and milk was $0.05. Okay, enough about me.
Runnymede has been bullish on the stock market since early July because of improving earnings and good value relative to fixed income. As we ahead to 2017, we remain positive. Former JP Morgan Chief Equity Strategist Tom Lee shares our enthusiasm for equities in a recent interview on CNBC.
As we move past Election Day, financial markets should be able to refocus on what truly matters: company fundamentals. This should serve as a catalyst to push equity prices higher with earnings finally back on the rise. It has been a tough period for earnings because of the strength in the US Dollar and extreme volatility in crude oil prices. This trend appears to have finally stabilized. The energy sector is expected to post a flat quarter after posting huge losses for the previous four quarters.
We have all seen pharmaceutical commercials on TV where a listing of common side effects may include diarrhea, nausea and drowsiness. In today's financial markets, central banks are expanding their balance sheets by trillions of dollars annually and new side effects are on the way. This week saw a new milestone in the world of negative interest rates, when Henkel and Sanofi became the first public companies to sell new Euro bonds for more than the buyers will get back.
The Japanese and European central banks have taken extraordinary measures to resuscitate their economies. Instead, they may be sending them further into a deflationary spiral. If you take a quick look at the major stock markets around the world, you will observe a clear pattern that is likely to surprise you. Zero/negative rates are highly correlated to poor stock market returns this year; while higher central bank rates correlate with high market returns. It is the economies that are in the worst shape that are having to test negative rates.
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Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.