Tags: Merrill | Lynch | stocks | outperformance

Merrill Lynch’s Wolfe: US Stock Outperformance May End

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2011 07:47 AM

The U.S. stock market has bested others around the world recently, soaring 16 percent just from its Oct. 4 low. But don’t count on that trend continuing, says Chris Wolfe, chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking Group.

It’s not that he’s bearish on U.S. stocks. But, “the last 18 months have seen the U.S. markets outperform just about everything,” Wolfe tells Yahoo.

“Our sense is that we’re starting a period of adjustment in 2012, where the U.S. may not be such a strong outperformer.”
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The fundamentals look difficult for U.S. stocks, Wolfe says. “We’re peaking out on profit margins in the U.S. and globally,” he notes. “And we now have central banks around the world telling us that economic activity is slowing down. They’re cutting rates.”

The U.S. economy will likely “muddle along” next year, Wolfe says.

“We’ll see periods of strength and weakness. A lot of this is still driven by the corporate sector, which going through 2012 doesn’t have a lot of incentive to reinvest heavily in either new labor or new technology.”

Some other experts are more bullish toward stocks, especially after the news that unemployment fell to a 2 ½-year low of 8.6 percent in October.

“The big drop in unemployment will get people to think ‘Maybe the job market isn’t that bad,’” John Canally, investment strategist at LPL Financial, tells Bloomberg. “It’s a boost for consumer confidence.”



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The U.S. stock market has bested others around the world recently, soaring 16 percent just from its Oct. 4 low. But don t count on that trend continuing, says Chris Wolfe, chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch s Private Banking Group. It s not that he s bearish on U.S....
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Monday, 05 Dec 2011 07:47 AM
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