Santa was a no show, contrary to my hopes. Instead, and through Christmas Eve, we have an SPX
in fee fall on a bear chart, as players who were wildly enthusiastic at the outset of the year, turned
panicky toward the very end. I would suggest against trying to call a bottom to this panic until
some degree of stabilization shows up. The decline in the SPX below its 200 day m/a has been
steep enough to render the market deeply oversold on an intermediate term basis, but history
shows declines of this magnitude have further downside to go as often as not. SPX Daily
Everyone knows about concerns regarding a slowdown of US economic growth in the context of
slowing global economic demand. We also know that the US vs. China trade spat could intensify,
and that there are issues in Europe including Brexit, Italy and socio-political worries. We now
also have The Donald threatening the Fed and exhibiting inconsistency on a wide range of
domestic and foreign policy issues. Overt meddling with the Fed is inherently dangerous.
Even if the US economy slows down significantly over 2019 - 20, as long as no clear warnings of
recession show up, the SPX is reasonably priced on basic fundamentals so long as businesses
continue to show positive cash flow and the financial system can retain most of its current
relatively strong position. Based on the fundamentals, I would not quibble with assigning fair
value of 2650 to the SPX through early 2020. However, investors need to watch the Fed like
hawks to assure themselves that They are not removing liquidity too quickly through the QT
I did argue last year that the 2019 - 20 interval would involve a deep sell - off in the market.
History shows that strong declines tend to occur every 7 - 9 years, and the market is running
overdue. I do not know whether the current free fall pattern is the kick off or not. I would be
delighted if we could make it through the Trump term ending in early 2021 at 2500.
- Peter Richardson
- Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!