Major U.S. stock markets were positively euphoric following President Trump’s speech on February 28. Optimism about the new administration’s pro-growth policies propelled the four major U.S. stock indices to record highs, despite a dearth of policy details, reported Financial Times.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why stocks have moved so far, so quickly. However, it appears that mom-and-pop investors have become quite enthusiastic about the asset class according to data from JPMorgan Chase cited by Bloomberg. While institutional investors (pensions, insurance companies, etc.) have been reducing exposure to stocks, smaller investors have been loading up on shares.
CNBC reported some industry professionals, including Goldman’s chief U.S. equity strategist David Kostin, believe stocks have become too highly valued. ZeroHedge.com quoted Kostin, who said:
“Cognitive dissonance exists in the U.S. stock market. S&P 500 is up 10 percent since the election despite negative EPS [earnings per share] revisions from sell-side analysts…Investors, S&P 500 management teams, and sell-side analysts do not agree on the most likely path forward. On the one hand, investors, corporate managers, and macroeconomic survey data suggest an increase in optimism about future economic growth. In contrast, sell-side analysts have cut consensus 2017E [estimated] adjusted EPS forecasts by 1 percent since the election and ‘hard’ macroeconomic data show only modest improvement.”
Financial Times reported pessimism prevails in the bond market. One bond market professional said, “The bond market is taking a totally different view from the equity market. Blowing raspberries is a good way to put it…There’s no belief that the growth agenda will be dramatic.”
So, is strong economic growth ahead? Do bond investors or stocks investors have it right? Are institutional investors or mom-and-pop investors positioning themselves correctly? Only time will tell.
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https://www.ft.com/content/8bb044d0-ff76-11e6-8d8e-a5e3738f9ae4 (or go tohttps://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-06-17_FinancialTimes-Bond_Investors_Send_Warning_for_Record_High_Equity_Market-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/cc48869a-ff9b-11e6-96f8-3700c5664d30 (or go tohttps://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-06-17_FinancialTimes-Hearty_Appetite_for_US_Equity_Funds_Since_November_Election-Footnote_2.pdf)