From the Desk of
What Will 2016 Bring?
Last year when I wrote these EOY comments the Fed had ended Q3 and the world did not end. This year the Fed is on the verge of beginning a rate hike cycle and investors are actually cheering the prospects. In each of the last two Fed statements, they suggested they would hike rates in December and the markets rallied. Investors are ready for the Fed to actually get on with business and remove the cloud of uncertainty that held the market back in 2015.
Analysts are not projecting big gains in 2016 with the average year-end S&P target in the 2250-2350 range. I think that is a good thing because they projected too high for 2015 and missed their targets by a mile. Investors became too optimistic and the weak economics, China's decline and the uncertainty created by the Fed kept those targets from being reached.
When analysts under estimate the market the indexes tend to overshoot their estimates. Many forecasters believe Europe has bottomed and the China will over stimulate their economy in 2016 to avoid a sharper decline. They also believe the commodity correction is about over. Most commodities are now priced below the cost to produce them and those producers are cutting back on supply rather than sell at a loss.
This is setting up the potential for a strong market in 2016. I am sure you have heard the term TINA used in recent months. That stands for "There Is No Alternative" to equities. The bond market is flirting with negative short-term yields. More than 30% of European sovereign bonds are trading with negative yields and the ECB seems ready to increase the rate of QE and drive yields farther into negative territory. Japan has allocated $200 billion to invest in equities in order to stimulate inflation through investor wealth. Investors today have to invest in equities to get any decent returns.
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 in the year ahead. 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 cannot 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.
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As an added bonus this year I am including a copy of Jason Zweig's "The Devil's Financial Dictionary." I recently bought this book and loved it. I immediately decided to reward every EOY subscriber with their own copy. This is 256 pages of irreverent definitions to all the terms you hear in the market every day.
"Open this wonderful book to any page. Try not to laugh. I dare you." —James Grant, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
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The OilSlick.com newsletter focuses on plays in the energy sector with both short and long term portfolios. With crude oil playing such an important part in our lives and such a big impact on the market any investor should have an energy component in their portfolio. Peak Oil is not mentioned much in the press today because the decline in the global economy has slowed the growth of oil demand. This will change in the coming months as China and Europe rebound out of their economic weakness and oil demand accelerates. Be prepared for the next move in oil prices with the OilSlick newsletter.
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