Friday, October 8, 2010

Seeing Is Not Believing

Confused over this morning’s initial US stock market reaction to the poor employment data? Don’t be. Here’s why:

In the eyes of the cyclical bulls (who currently rule today’s market thinking, with the underperforming momentum lemming hedge funds in tow), the poor employment numbers are a twin win for the following two reasons:

1 – The Fed’s dual mandate includes the goal of full employment. Accordingly, QE2 is headed the economy’s way. This ensures another flood of money thrown at the problem, much (most?) of which will bleed its way into the financial assets.

2 – Today's employment data is the last report before next month's mid term election. Anything that damages the reviled party in power, the Democrats, enhances the chances of a Republican win next month. Gridlock will ensue, something the cyclical bulls believe is good for the economy and markets.

From a corporate profits perspective, third quarter results will be just fine – at to slightly above consensus expectations. This will provide the expectational foundation for future earnings results at consensus expectations at a minimum, which puts the 12 month forward operating earnings outlook for the S&P 500 at or above $84.

With an above average P/E of 17, the future fair value of the S&P 500 is 1428, or 1286 in today’s market.

Seeing Is Not Believing

Other than 3Q10 earnings results, I do not subscribe to any of the above views as presented but offer them as the rationale for this morning’s initial stock market action. That said, the technical analysis deterioration noted over the past weeks (see blog postings below) is unchanged. Unless reversed, a 3 to 5% stock market pullback is likely.

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