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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 !!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

SPX -- Update

Back on Christmas '18, I opined that the stock market was quite reasonable down at 2350 and
that I was comfortable with SPX 2650 as a fair value call for 2019 - 2020. The market has
already jumped over that level, but I am not inclined to increase the fair value assumption at this
point in time. The evidence continues to point to decelerating US and  global economic and
profits growth in the year ahead and there is but a smattering of excess financial liquidity in the
system to fuel the stock market ahead as the real economy has been gobbling up the modest
liquidity available. On the bright side, inflation pressure has moderated and the Fed has taken Its
foot off the break. The up trends in interest rates in evidence in 2018 have broken down, thus
confirming the Fed's more dovish tone. But there is plenty that could still go wrong. There could
be a nasty Brexit, the US and China could still screw up the trade talks, and the global economy
could slow further and faster of its own. I am also a little nervous that there is such hard and fast
consensus that the inflation rate will not misbehave but stay gentle. I also do not like the wild
swings in investor sentiment in view since late 2017. In summary, I am conservative on SPX
earning power through 2020 and am carrying a lower p/e ratio estimate in the 2650 fair value
number (SPX eps projected around $160).

For the short term, the SPX is getting overbought and continues to have an unnaturally steep
positive trajectory.  SPX Daily

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