Grandiose Title or Real Bull Market
Official title of Idi Amin
Ruler of Uganda 1971 to 1979
There is no doubt the stock market is in a bull market, the stealthiest in history, but a bull market none the less. Of course, calling the stock market a Bull Market is much like referring to former Ugandan strongman Idi Amin by his official title. Not only does it not roll easily off the tongue, it just wasn't in-sync with reality. Before you break out your sell tickets, let me make my point. I've always preached about owning companies and not the stock market. That said we have to see why this market has moved higher.
> Low Valuations (Dow plunged from 14,000 to 6,600)
> Corporate Profits (fueled from global economy)
> Low Expectations (Wall Street and Politicians' favorite game)
> Money-Printing (the Fed is determined to inflate)
The biggest discount for the market has been the domestic economy. Sure, from time to time there have been hints of climbing off the canvas, but each seems to have more to do with mini-cycles in inventory and demand - just ebbs and flows. The numbers have been horrendous, covered up in media hype that has ulterior motives for painting its rosy picture. Be that as it may, the domestic economy continues to struggle, and this week has seen more red flags.
> Worrisome results and comments from FedEx and Norfolk Southern
> Ugly quarter from Bed Bath and Beyond - big jump in costs of doing business
> Initial Jobless Claims closer to 400,000 than 300,000 - national disgrace
These two sets of reality have rubbed each other like tectonic plates, and it always feels like they'll break the wrong way. Throw in the war on business, forcing them to hold more cash and investments than normal, and commonsense nervousness that has seen consumers put away the credit cards. It's a dicey situation, and yet, there lingers potential that is always embedded in the greatest economy in history.
Yesterday, I was impressed with the market's resolve. Yes, rotation out of the NASDAQ into blue chips is a sign of worry, but it is also a sign of enough confidence to have continued equity exposure.
There are legitimate reasons for the market to be in this bull phase, but I wouldn't give it this official title:
The Most Excellent, Exciting, Inspiring, Thing in the Universe in General and Planet Earth in Particular, Lord of All Investment Vehicles as well as Beasts, Mostly Bears, and Conqueror of Investor Fears.
Of the original factors sending the market higher, valuations are higher, but still cheap historically, and money-printing has shifted into overdrive. How the Street handles more poor corporate earnings and higher expectations is the wild card. But don't underestimate the fact that stocks are positioned to win by default, and in the grand scheme of things, not only to reach historic valuations, but to become overvalued. Its touch and go like it has been for a long time, and those waiting for the perfect moment missed one of the best windows of opportunity in a lifetime.
I'm not touting the stock market and acknowledge potential problems, but there are still individual names, and I think the best thing to do is to look to own them on weakness. The worst thing has been to ignore the rally. I'm sure when the next correction comes around, some will say it was justified staying on the sidelines - it won't be.