Finding A True Sense Of Security

Stocks have only traded at more than 100% of U.S. GDP in 19 total quarters throughout history prior to the current cycle. The last two times ended badly for stocks. But all of that value had to flow somewhere. Where did it go?

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Doomed By A False Sense Of Security

“I’ve got nothing to worry about today” say the stock market bulls. Although the S&P 500 Index is still down more than -6% from its late January highs more than three months ago, the bulls remain cocksure. Among the most commonly cited reasons are the following. First, we are not operating at extremes today. Second, corporate earnings growth is not only strong but accelerating. Third, valuations remain reasonable. But are any of these good reasons for reassurance? Are they even valid?

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Recent Points Of Light

What have been the recent points of light across capital markets? Categories that have performed well since late January can be found at the following link.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

“I’m afraid” is a sentiment I’ve been hearing more of lately from investors. What exactly are investors afraid of? After all, we are currently in the second longest economic expansion and stock bull market in U.S. history. While happy days are here again, memories are still fresh of the two catastrophic stock market declines that took place in recent years. While today’s market looks eerily similar to 2000 and 2007, many that are now in or approaching retirement are afraid of losing money once again that can only be recovered this time with great difficulty and time, if at all.

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Expect The Unexpected

Investors in 2018 are finally getting what they have been anticipating for so many years. U.S. economic growth is apparently poised to finally accelerate in a meaningful way, and corporate profits are projected to boom over the coming year. Yet despite this supposed bounty of awesomeness, the U.S. stock market has been largely unenthused thus far year to date. Not only is volatility notably elevated but the S&P 500 Index is trading effectively flat for 2018 with four months now in the books. What explains this underwhelming response to overwhelming news? Simple. Expect the unexpected when trying to predict the performance of this stock market for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

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