The market is on a torrid pace. As we flirt with S&P 1100 and the money printing machines continue on overdrive to create prosperity for us all, we can now look in anticipation at new all time highs on the S&P 500. They are not that far off, and with the Fed certainly in no rush to raise interest rates (I do not see them raising rates for all of 2010, worst case scenario fourth quarter ’10) we can now build the 1999 NASDAQ model. Back then? A constant flood of money by Alan Greenspan to combat the ill effects of (what was then too big to fail) Long Term Capital hedge fund blowing up, along with a pre-emptive strike against year 2k. Everyone buying stocks was a genius, those who sounded caution were made to look like fools for months on end. You didn’t dare short or else you got run over by the central bank printing press.
These things should start to sound familiar – P-cubed (paper printing prosperity) is now the basis for American capitalism. [May 19, 2009: Paper Printing Prosperity Defined]
So the question is where are we in our parallel run a decade later? February 1999? September 1999? February 2000? I have no idea… if indeed the Fed does not raise rates until spring 2011, all that easy money has to go somewhere and we’re really seeing it in action now. If we have 12-15 months of a Fed putting their head in the sand, we could still just be in the early stages of Bubble # … well, I cannot keep track anymore, they now come every 3-4 years.
Let’s look ahead… we only need to rally 43% to touch all time high in the S&P 500; I see an intraday high on October 11, 2007 of 1576, although the closing high was a few days earlier at 1565.
Excluding the hectic reversal off the lows of March 2009, and the ensuing rally in April – since May 2009 we’ve been roughly adding 3.5% a month to the S&P 500. Using 1st grade math / logic (both of which seem to dominate thinking nowadays) we’ll reach new highs in the S&P 500 August 2010. Of course for any of you who have enjoyed bubbles in the past you know the ending move is always ‘parabolic’ in nature – stocks in the last weeks of 99 and early 00 were making the moves of summer 1999 look tame. Home prices in Las Vegas or condo sales in Miami in 2006 were making activity in 2004 look sleepy. So a 3.5% monthly move could be tame as we reach the peak in lemming behavior.
This scenario would also assume 18 straight up months in the stock markets – seems impossible no? Not to worry – with enough money printing we (together) can make the impossible happen. If we’re really lucky gold will be $1500+, oil $130+, and food prices will have shot up again. I assume at that point food stamp usage (already up from 1 in 11 Americans in 2007 to 1 in 9 today) will perhaps reach 1 in 7. However that will be “prosperity” – don’t let the doomsdayers dissuade you. Remember, valuation will mean nothing as the NASDAQ (from memory) hit well north of 50x estimates at its peak… the parallel to that ridiculous situation would be a nearly 4000 print on S&P 500.
Let us just hope that our fearless leaders do not even drop a single hint about taking away our free crack cocaine anytime in the next 9 months… or our goals might be stymied. They’ve been such generous hosts for a decade now so here is to hoping they continue their charity. New highs by August 2010 – let’s do this Ben.