The bar is raised for news that can lift the market as the crowd now believes next year will be good

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. NYSE

For most of the eight months since Kovid’s crash, the stock market recovery has set off huge skepticism, mistrust and cognitive dissonance against the resurgent asset prices set against a severely damaged economy.

not anymore. The rally of Wall Street has now entered a phase of confidence, with stocks riding a wave of confidence towards the end of a trying year that better times are certainly near.

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As with any collective mood change, there are clear and obvious reasons for this. In addition to the S&P 500, a vault of more than 60% from the March low to a record high last week, progress on most key fronts has been better than expected.

Comprehensive data, the “economic surprise” index relative to forecasts, turned positive in June and remained there for five months. Corporate earnings for the third quarter were better than any expected over a period of more than a decade. And two vaccine candidates showing 90% -plus efficacy gave far better results than they were allowed to estimate.

Add one (mostly) settled election, the result of which investors have decided to spin as a positive, and this is as if Wall Street has been watching a movie called “The Subtraction of All Fears” for the past several weeks .

Thus, it is with the rise of confidence that the market can continue higher, which has increased the risk appetite towards some notable extremes.

Get accustomed to the phrase “since January 2018”, as too many indicators of behavior have reached levels previously seen.

Four-week totals of global inflows into equity funds? Highest since January 2018.

Likewise, the upward ratio for downward profit-estimate revisions for S&P 500 companies.

The latest monthly client survey of Bank of America from January 2018 had the highest portfolio allocation for equity to fund managers.

And before the last week, the American Association of Individual Investors Survey showed 55%, the highest… .questions, just estimates.

2018 Redux?

January 2018 was a moment when investors celebrated all passed corporate tax cuts, which had been steadily increasing for several months. Soon afterward I called it a “moment of extreme joy” for the bull market, and it remained so.

Sudden tensions in the market for volatile instruments, again triggering a rapid 10% correction with trade hostility efforts, a month-long sideways trading range, a year-long marginal high, and then a quarter down, with a year down Corresponds to Since the economy performed fairly well over time.

This is nothing like a prediction for a reunion of that exact experience. As noted here a few weeks ago, there is no need to feed widespread pessimism to keep every rally going. Now the initial cycle recovery forces at work are not the same as the mature-expansion / fed-tightening background of 2018.

And the year before January 2018 has been the strongest and most artificially quiet in recent memory – not like 2020, with its melt-up / meltdown / phoenix-growing pattern.

Therefore, it may be quicker to sound louder about investor confidence investing in “over-confidence” in good things that come well.

Rising to what the market can take off

Nonetheless, while markets have already joined the race for better-than-expected news and largely crowdfunding believes that next year will be a good one, the amount of the threshold is favorable for market growth and rising for some Hai (who knows what?) Often comes up to challenge the happy consensus, at least temporarily.

In the last decimers when the index and sentiment became very high and still the market remained bullish (2014, 2017, 2019), various severity improvements were made in the first quarter of the following year, notes technical strategist Chris Vennon of Strategies Research .

Now practically, it tells that investors are aware of how much of the cyclical rebound is already in market segments and individual stocks.

More recent large, indomitable growth stocks from the market have been extracted from smaller, backward, less popular and more cyclical stocks, marking a healthy tap with positive economic impact. And, sure. But when prices come to a point, the move is trimmed where they make a very good recovery.

Looking at the industrial sector of the S&P 500, the forward price / earnings ratio is well above the threshold of the past decade, both on an absolute and relative basis. Certainly, this reflects short-term earnings due to Kovid interruptions and the weakness of Boeing’s business. But suffice it to say that it is not news to the market that global manufacturing is on the upswing in the next year.

Or consider Walt Disney, whose shares briefly rebounded last week in a new round of optimism around their streaming-video strategy, to its record-high price from almost a year ago.

The stock is now a favorite “stay-at-home” play subscription growth at Disney + and the central “reopening” proxy has given its theme-park business. Great company improves hard times with stellar brands and solid long-term consumer-retention strategy.

Nevertheless, given the share price and its high-level debt levels, even if Disney cash flow matches its 2018 peak level soon (a very large if), the company is still cash flow at today’s price. The record for enterprise value is on multiple. If the market is now happy to place a Netflix-type multiple on Disney streaming subscribers to make historical pricing standards irrelevant, then so be it, but as a buyer be aware that this is a prerequisite.

Again, this is not irrational or prevalent as an argument for this rally. The market has been impressively resilient, moving between groups in a way that refreshes itself, reaffirming global equity strength, supported by impressively strong credit markets and favored by seasonal tailwinds that It is hard to fight.

Based on recent market breadths and cyclical trends, most leading key indicators suggest yielding attractive returns over six or more months, with short-term shorts being more evident.

A bull market can be like a tinkerbell, which can be brought alive and lit indefinitely from the applause by the audience alone. If only there was some way of knowing that the crowd would clap.

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