I like to close out each week by checking in on the market's fundamental backdrop. I believe this should include the areas of interest rates, the economy, corporate earnings, inflation, and stock market valuations. In short, these areas tend to be the macro drivers of many primary market cycles. And as you might suspect, yes, we've got an indicator board for that. Let's review...
My Take on the State of the Fundamental Backdrop...
There are no changes to report on the Fundamental Factors board this week. As I've been saying lately, we are in a fast-moving environment and most of these indicators are rather slow-moving, by design. Thus, I am continuing to take the readings from the economic and earnings composites with a rather large grain of salt. However, it is worth noting that the indicators/models that comprise the economic composite have been perking up lately with the more sensitive indicators now on buy signals.
* Source: Ned Davis Research (NDR) as of the date of publication. Historical returns are hypothetical average annual performances calculated by NDR. Past performances do not guarantee future results or profitability - NOT INDIVIDUAL INVESTMENT ADVICE.
View Fundamental Indicator Board Online
Looking at the rest of the board, it is important to keep in mind that monetary conditions (interest rates and Fed policy) remain exceptionally favorable and there is no inflation to worry about. As I wrote last time, these two conditions alone are enough to create a positive backdrop for stocks.
On the negative side of the ledger, we can't lose sight of the fact that stock market valuations are high, in some cases, exceptionally high. However, before you run out and sell everything, we should remember that this is a fairly normal occurrence in post-recession environments.
All in, I continue to believe the fundamental backdrop favors the bulls and that dips should be bought.
Thought For The Day:
There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it -Charles Kettering
Wishing you green screens and all the best for a great day,
David D. Moenning
Founder, Chief Investment Officer
Heritage Capital Research
At the time of publication, Mr. Moenning held long positions in the following securities mentioned: None - Note that positions may change at any time.
Fundamental Models Explained
Monetary Composite: The popular cliche, "Don't fight the Fed" is really a testament to the profound impact that interest rates and Fed policy have on the market. It is a proven fact that monetary conditions are one of the most powerful influences on the direction of stock prices. The Monetary Composite is a combination of two proprietary monetary models developed by Ned Davis Research. The first is comprised of 14 indicators and is plotted as a composite and the second is made up of eight monetary-related indicators including money supply, and the bond and commodities markets.
Economic Composite: During the middle of bull and bear markets, understanding the overall health of the economy and how it impacts the stock market is one of the few truly logical aspects of the stock market. The economic composite is a series of three models designed to indicate the current state of the economy.
Earnings Composite: A series of four models designed to indicate the overall health of corporate earnings. The first model is based on the slope of the smoothed S&P 500 earnings per share. The second model looks at the drivers of earnings and includes indicators such as U.S. industrial production, the CRB Spot Raw Industrial Material Price Index, the Treasury yield curve, Institute for Supply Management (ISM) indices, corporate bond credit spreads, unemployment claims, and the trend in analyst earnings estimate revisions for the S&P 500. The third model is designed to indicate the likely trend in the earnings per share reported for the S&P 500 Index. This model uses a variety of macro variables to indicate whether current conditions are favorable for strong, moderate, or weak growth in S&P 500 earnings. The fourth model the median 12-month percent change in the one-year analyst forecast out of the 500 components of the index.
Inflation Model: From an historical perspective, one of the best "big picture" indicators of what the market is expected to do next is inflation. The Inflation model is designed to identify cyclical changes in the rate of inflation. The model consists of 22 individual indicators primarily measuring various rates of change of such indicators as commodity prices, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), producer prices, and industrial production.
Valuation Composite: If you want to get analysts really riled up, you need only to begin a discussion of market valuation. While the question of whether stocks are overvalued or undervalued appears to be a simple one, the subject is actually extremely complex. The Valuation composite consists of five valuation indicators/models developed by Ned Davis Research. The first valuation indicator reviews the S&P 500 Price-to-Earnings GAAP Ratio relative to normal, expensive, and bargain valuation zones. The second model measures the S&P 500’s Median P/E ratio, representing the median P/E of the 500 stocks in the index. The third model measures the Median P/E ratio of a multi-cap stock index. The fourth indicator is the P/E ratio of the Value Line Index. The fifth model is a composite of 7 indicators designed to reflect stock market valuations based on how various valuation indicators compare to their latest 10-year historical ranges.
NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are those of Mr. David Moenning and Heritage Capital Research and may not actually come to pass. The opinions and viewpoints regarding the future of the markets should not be construed as recommendations. The analysis and information in this report is for informational purposes only. No part of the material presented in this report is intended as an investment recommendation or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation to purchase or sell securities or any investment program.
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