From the Desk of
Another Outstanding Year Ahead!
It seems like just a few weeks ago that I wrote the 2013 EOY description. Analysts were talking about end of year forecasts for the S&P in the 1,650 to 1,850 range. Here we are a year later and the S&P is nearing 2,100.
Analysts are now targeting new highs for 2015. Citibank is predicting 2,200, UBS 2,225, Oppenheimer 2,311 and Piper Jaffray 2,350. In reality we could go a lot higher. Even that optimistic estimate from Piper Jaffray is only 13% above our level today and all the factors seem to be shaping up for a positive year.
The third year in a second presidential term is almost always positive. S&P earnings are at record levels of $128 and expected to be over $130 in 2015. If you assign a PE of 18 to earnings of $130 that would target the S&P at 2,340.
The Fed ended QE3 and the world did not end. Analysts from the major banks are pushing their rate hike expectations from spring 2015 to December and a few are even targeting spring 2016 for the first rate hike. A Federal Reserve in neutral is always positive for the market. However, the Fed is not in neutral. There is still a stealth QE in progress. They have $3.5 trillion in securities they bought in the various QE programs. As these mature they are reinvesting the proceeds back into treasuries. This amounts to about $5 billion a week. The Fed is not broadcasting this fact but investing more than $20 billion a month into treasuries is going to keep rates low for a long time. Abnormally low interest rates are positive for the equity markets. Investors have to invest in equities to get any decent returns.
Janet Yellen is the biggest dove on the FOMC and her vote carries the most weight. The Fed is terrified about acting too early and killing the recovery.
The economies in Europe and Asia are slowing and that makes the U.S. equity markets the favored place for foreign money to wait for the next recovery.
The economy appears to be gaining speed. The GDP in Q2 was +4.55% and +3.9% in Q3. Employment is improving with the last nine months posting job gains over 200,000 per month.
The republicans won control of the Senate in the November elections and that means two more years of gridlock ahead. The president will veto anything congress sends him and the lack of any new job killing regulations is positive for the market.
Acquisitions are increasing and stock buybacks are still going strong. Both of those actions reduce the number of shares in the market while investment dollars continue to grow. This will push the market higher assuming we can avoid a new crisis. More dollars chasing fewer shares always results in higher prices.
While nobody can accurately predict market direction the long term trend is normally up. Obviously you can't benefit from the next market rally if you are not in the market. If you are in the market we hope you will be reading the Option Investor Newsletter for market guidance and winning option plays.
I want to thank everyone for continuing to support the Option Investor family of newsletters. Everyone at Option Investor could not do what we do without your loyalty, support and feedback.
As a thank you for your support we are launching the 16th Annual End of Year Renewal Special. Thanksgiving weekend marks our 17th anniversary! We have no advertising on the website or in the emails. The newsletters are entirely subscription supported.
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