Displaying items by tag: valuations
One of the most respected hedge fund managers, Jeremy Grantham, believes that this is a false rebound. And not only is it a false rebound, rather, it is the beginning of a big bubble bursting. The head of GMO believes as far as the fourth quarter is concerned, “The volatility is consistent with a bubble bursting”. Though he does caution that stocks could reflate before the burst continues, as they did in 1998-2000. Grantham is famous for his calls of the 2000 and 2008 downturns, but has been criticized for being overly bearish during this bull market.
FINSUM: We do not think there is going to be a further meltdown. Valuations reached their nadir at a 13.6 p/e ratio last month, down from eye popping numbers. Between earnings gains and price declines, we think the worst may be behind stocks for now.
The stock market has had an undeniably rough quarter. We are currently in the midst of the second big rout in the last two months and indices and markets are essentially flat for the year. However, things are actually much worse than flat if you dig slightly deeper. Get this—forward looking P/E ratios are down a whopping 17% this year. In fact, the fall recently has been one of the worst in decades on a valuation basis. In 2008, valuations only slid 18%, just one percentage point more than this year. It is the third biggest drop in valuations since 1991.
FINSUM: This is a very ominous sign in our opinion, as shares have plunged even as stellar earnings have come out. Classic case of buy the rumor (2017), sell the news (2018).
For the most part, President Trump has been seen as quite positive for markets. The big rally in his first year cemented that idea, and for most of this year, stocks were in good shape. However, here is an interesting fact—equity valuations are now lower than when he took office. As the media puts it, “the Trump Bump is turning into the Trump discount”.
FINSUM: Two thoughts occur here. The first is that a big reason why valuations have fallen is because earnings are so good, and a lot of that has to do with the Republican-led tax package, so it is not fair to turn that into a negative. Secondly, most of the market trouble stems from the trade war, so it is more an isolated case of policy than a broad effect. In fact, what could be better than good share appreciation without a rise in valuations? It is exactly what you are looking for as an investor—something that earns well but doesn’t look increasingly overpriced.
We run a lot of bearish stories in FINSUM, and with good reason—there are a lot of them out there and we feel the need to share those views with advisors and investors. However, when there is a credible bullish story, we jump at the chance to run it. Today we have one. Robert Shiller, perhaps the godfather of doom and gloom with his CAPE ratio, has just made an uncharacteristic statement: he says that stocks may rise much higher before eventually falling. The Nobel laureate says “The stock market could get a lot higher before it comes down … It’s highly priced, but it could get much more highly priced”. Shiller had previously been warning (last year) about how overpriced the market was. Shiller says the reinvigorated market has to do with President Trump’s pro-business drive.
FINSUM: It is interesting to hear someone as typically bearish as Shiller saying that stocks may rise a good deal more. Something to pay attention to.
Stocks have been doing great—almost too great. After a rough patch from February to July, the S&P 500 is up 3% in the last two weeks alone. Stocks have been so strong over the last several weeks that it has taken shares back to nearly overbought territory—right where they were in January before February’s violent correction. However, that seems less likely this time around for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the economy and earnings have been humming; and secondly, because many fund managers might ditch their short bets and go long before they fall even further behind.
FINSUM: There are several factors coming together which make it look like this could be a very good autumn for stocks.