Weekend: 2011 Stock Market Forecast

Welcome to the Wealth Daily Weekend Edition— our insights from the week in investing and links to our most-read Wealth Daily and sister publication articles. It’s not often that Bloomberg’s headlines give me much pause, but this one sure did. Bullish to the max, it quoted an analyst named Brian Barish from Cambiar Investors who believes the S&P 500 will gain 17% from here. In fact Barish believes the S&P 500 will rise to 1,300 by June 30, and to 1,380 by the end of year based on the weighted average of estimates by Cambiar’s nine analysts. Advertisement The Video Footage that has Electric Companies Terrified They won’t announce it yet, but your utility company is shaking in its boots… That’s because one tiny engineering firm just demonstrated a technology that could put every last utility out of business— by harnessing your own solar energy at any time, from any window ! Before the first big ticket contract comes through — doubling the share price — click here to see exclusive footage. Propelled by energy and industrials, 2011 will be marked by a “multi-speed recovery” that will completely lay waste to the “new normal” thesis put forward by the likes of PIMCO and your humble analyst. Instead, Barish believes, “the bleeding has stopped” as low market multiples will give way to an environment where multiples expand. In short, it’s the classic bullish argument, since the price-to-earnings ratio is now 15— below the 16.4 average for the index going back to 1954. But as every market watcher knows, Barish’s thesis eventually comes to rest where all of them do. In the end, it will always be all about earnings. That’s why we aren’t so eager to help ourselves to all of this bullish Kool-Aid talk of late — especially as Goldman Sachs boosts their outlook to 1450 (!!) for 2011. Now for those of you keeping score at home, Goldman’s latest forecast would put the S&P 500 right back within a whisper of its 2007 highs, going back to the days of the housing bubble peak. How they arrive at that figure, I’ll never know… After all, is there anything that leads you to believe we are going see to the type of real economic activity we witnessed before it all fell apart? A return to the 2007 peaks? I would even argue the two-year peaking cycle — circled in the chart below — was nothing more than an illusion brought on by cheap credit and the bubble atmosphere it created. Without them, in other words, that peak encompassed by the circle never would have happened. In many ways, it really was mirage. Simply put, the market overshot at the top the same way it overshot at the bottom. It was, in the purest sense, a function of our bubble-based economy — similar to the market action after the dot-com bust. Of course, that doesn’t mean another stock market bubble cannot form anew. The FED is actually working overtime…

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Weekend: 2011 Stock Market Forecast

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