Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is it time to invest in US stocks?


Martin Wolf is an economic writer for the Financial Times. He is widely respected. He was also many months ago presciently quoting Nouriel Roubini -- the economist who predicted our current mess before just about anyone else -- when everyone else thought he was crazy. Well, Mr. Wolf seems to be suggesting it is time to buy US stocks. In today's FT, Mr. Wolf writes the following:

[I]nvestors with long time horizons (the relatively young, or institutions) are, for the first time in almost two decades, confronting attractive, although not sensationally attractive, market valuations.
Mr. Wolf hedges himself a bit:

[T]here are, nevertheless, formidable pressures for further falls in valuations, as leveraged players continue to be forced to offload assets at bargain prices.

Read the whole article here.

My own view is that the bottom in the Dow we recently experienced (about 7,800) will be broken. Simply put, there is too much bad news on the horizon for the lows not to be re-set. Unemployment, earnings, and growth numbers in the macroeconomy are going to be giving us bad numbers the next six or twelve months. I think the bottom will be around February, or March, or even later. Remember, GDP numbers for 4Q 2008 are going to be horrendous as consumers are pulling back and jobs are being lost.

I see good times ahead for investors, but only when the economy actually has the workers and the consumers that it takes to sustain strong earnings.

By that I mean, some demand-side stimulus.

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