Tags: Raymond | James | Strategist | Stocks

Raymond James Strategist: Stocks Primed for 12 Percent Slide

Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 02:41 PM

U.S. stocks may be poised to decline as much as 12 percent as market conditions bear similarities to what prefaced a tumble in 2011, according to Raymond James & Associates strategist Jeffrey Saut.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sank 19 percent between April and October of 2011 as S&P’s downgrade of the U.S. government credit rating exacerbated a sell-off. The benchmark index is vulnerable to a dip of between 10 percent and 12 percent in the weeks ahead before the bull market continues for years, Saut said in a research note.

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“Coming into 2014 I have opined that following the kind of rally we have seen since June 2012 called for a 5 percent to 7 percent pullback in the first three months of this year (we got that), and a 10 percent to 12 percent decline sometime this year,” the St. Petersburg, Florida-based chief investment strategist wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.

The stock market’s “internal energy readings” are at levels last seen before the 2011 slide, Saut wrote on Raymond James’s website Monday. The S&P 500 is trading for almost 18 times its companies’ reported earnings, near the highest level since June 2011. Price-to-earnings multiples have increased for eight of the 10 main industries in the benchmark index this year, Saut noted.

U.S. stocks fell a second day Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index taking a beating as investors sold Internet and biotechnology shares before the start of earnings season.

 Saut is not the only one concerned about the near-term prospects for the market. Many investors wonder if the rally is over after the S&P 500 almost tripled since 2009, Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup Inc., said in a report Tuesday.

“As stock indices hit new highs, there are those that fear further gains, given defensive positioning, but more worry about buying in now just in time for a severe pullback,” New York-based Levkovich wrote. “It is fair to suggest that at some point in time there will be an event that causes a much more meaningful decline in broad indices but it may not derail the overarching bull thesis.”

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U.S. stocks may be poised to decline as much as 12 percent as market conditions bear similarities to what prefaced a tumble in 2011, according to Raymond James strategist Jeffrey Saut.
Raymond, James, Strategist, Stocks
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2014-41-08
Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 02:41 PM
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