Friday, October 24, 2008

What about the stock bubble?

I am having a hard time no opening this post with an obscenity, as they keep talking about the housing bubble. We have a stock bubble, which I define as any market where the dividend yield is under 3%. We have left that area recently, but for 13 years we sat in the below 3% range on the SPX and Dow and the Nasdaq doesn't have a dividend save a few large stocks. The stock bubble has been so ridiculous that they quote long term statistics now that only encompass the bubble that began somewhere between 1993 and 1995.
Long term the top of the SPX was defined as a 3% dividend. That is the top, not the bottom. Also, a downturn wasn't conducive to 3% dividends, but more like 5% dividends, the return necessary to hold stocks while the economy wasn't growing. This has happened for long periods of time in the past when the system could not produce its own inflation, a period we may be headed into now. Being that stocks use inflation to appreciate, running in place isn't conducive and you can get 3.6% or so on a 10 year treasury, so why hold stocks. But, we have a generation X that knows stocks always go up and a boomer generation that has to have stocks work or they are poor geezers who have bills that will consume their entire savings.
Another measure has been the percentage of GDP the market equates. The closing value of the SPX yesterday was 908 for a cap value of $7.949 trillion. This indicates the entire US market is worth about $11 trillion which is 80% of $13.75 trillion. I don't believe the US economy is any larger than that, but the point of this contention is that 1929 was capped at 80% of GDP and no prior market had ever traded higher, yet this one is [B]DOWN TO A BOTTOM IF YOU LISTEN TO THESE IDIOTS. [/B] We are at bubble valuations no matter how you slice the history of the market. The housing market could remedy a bubble by a 50% decline, but the stock market is still roughly in a bubble even 50% down. In fact we are as high today as we were in 1929 when dividends were headed upward.
The only difference between the stock bubble and the housing bubble is the housing bubble provided the cash for both and for the bubbles in automobiles. The market would have gone to 400 in 2002 had we not had AAA rated and evidently government backed FRE and FNM pumping triliions into the markets, spilling money all over the world to launch a boom in China and a huge jump in demand for commodities around the world. What the housing bubble floated were bubbles themselves, but I believe the stock market bubble actually got the whole poison punch party going.

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