Displaying items by tag: bull market
With the calendar flipping to 2021, the big question on everyone’s mind is what 2021 will hold. 2020 was an exceptionally wild, and ultimately very profitable, year for investors. And within the final few months of 2020 was a developing buy signal that rarely occurs. That signal was the constant revision of earnings estimates in an upward direction. Remember that analysts’ earnings estimates are very frequently revised just before earnings are released, and the large majority of the time those revisions are towards the downside. However, in nearly every week of Q4, revisions moved estimates higher. According to Jefferies, “We’d argue that this is one of the most important tailwinds for equities, as earnings revisions are rarely positive”.
FINSUM: Revising earnings upwards breaks almost all rules of the equity research game, so when it happens it is quite notable. This suggests some strongly positive momentum for the economy.
The annual next-year forecast cycle for Wall Street’s investment banks is in and some of the findings are interesting. As usual, banks are fairly bullish. However, that was certainly not automatic this year given the huge tumult in markets in 2020. One particular forecast stood out—Goldman Sachs. The bank’s research team, led by David Kostin, has its official 2021 S&P 500 price target as 4,200, or just about 14% ahead of today. Interestingly, the bank also thinks gold is going to rise strongly, from the mid 1,800s today to 2,300. According to Kostin, “On absolute metrics like price/earnings...the market is very expensive relative to its history, in the 90th percentile or greater … But relative to interest rates, the stock market is somewhat attractively valued. Those are two different stories—absolute valuation versus relative valuation”.
FINSUM: As tough as it is to swallow on a historical basis, we think the interest-rates measured basis for current valuations makes a great deal of sense.
A top Wall Street research team at BTIG has just said that 2021 is going to be a strong year for markets. They view the current volatility in equities as a good buying opportunity. In either a Trump or Biden win, the economy is probably going to receive additional COVID stimulus, as well as further spending, such as an infrastructure bill. Investors are so focused on the risks associated with the election that they have lost sight of the fact that either outcome will likely be positive for the economy and markets.
FINSUM: We tend to agree with this view, even though it is simplistic. In either outcome, both sides of the aisle will probably be served by being more collaborative than at present, so more economic stimulus is coming.
The last few weeks have seen good performance out of US indexes. Much of the credit has gone to the idea that investors were awaiting a new stimulus bill at any moment. However, why the market rose is actually less important than how it did so. One of the very worrying things about the market’s recovery in the early summer was how seemingly all of it was led by FAAMG, with extremely limited breadth. That is exactly what made the last several weeks so special—it finally broke that trend. Over the last three months the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (ESP) has outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) 13% to 10%. The reason why is that a huge cut of stocks are rising, not just the largest stocks. The last ten days have seen the biggest jump, with advancing stocks outnumbering decliners 2 to 1. That is called a “breadth thrust” and it is very rare and very bullish. It has happened just 29 times since 1990, and 96% of the time the market is higher 12 months later.
FINSUM: This does not mean the market is going to rocketship right away, but in general this has been a very solid indicator of rising markets.
Even the most die-hard Apple investor must be feeling a little woozy right now. The company’s market cap just surpassed $2 tn. And guess what—half of that came in the last five months. Yes, the company doubled in value since the start of the pandemic and is now worth $2 tn! A couple months ago many were saying Apple was a bargain, now it seems to have a very significant premium. So the big question for investors—is it time to cash out because things feel very toppy, or do you stick with it? The company’s earnings have been phenomenal. So good in fact that Goldman made a blunt comment about flubbing its forecasts, saying “It turns out that we and consensus weren't even in the ballpark in terms of what was possible.”
FINSUM: $2 tn is a scary number, but it feels like it would be wise to stick with Apple right now. Momentum is good and there does not seem to be a big headwind that would wound the stock.