From time to time we share the thoughts of prominent stock market analysts. As the markets reach new heights, we scour the headlines and find prophets of gloom and doom just about everywhere. We are by cautious by nature, but not given to hyperbole.
Here is the market as viewed by Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist at First Trust:
Now, the pessimists can’t stop talking about profits. Both S&P 500 reported earnings and the government’s economy-wide measure of corporate earnings are down 4.9% from a year ago.
In hindsight, corporate profits peaked in 2014, just like they did in 1978, 1988, 1997, and 2006. So, they say, a recession and bear market are on the way, just like the ones that followed those peaks in profits as well. It’s time to sell, again!
One problem with this theory is that it assumes the decline in profits is permanent. But profits have been hurt by the downdraft of energy prices, which crushed profits in that sector, while also hurting other related businesses. However, energy prices are rebounding while profits outside of energy are accelerating.
In addition, the ingredients for a recession are not yet there. Monetary policy is not tight, consumer and corporate balance sheets are healthy, and the recovery in home building has much further to go.
None of this means the stock market must go up today, or this week, or even in the year ahead. But it does bolster our case for a continuation of the bull market.
Quite an alternate view from many of the talking heads on CNBC. If Wesbury is indeed right, the Bull Market has room to run. In the meantime we’ll continue to invest with caution. Like the Boy Scouts, we’re always prepared. No one rings a bell when the market turns and we want to be positioned so that we will not be blindsided when it does.
If you are uncertain about what to do, contact us. We’ll be glad to help.