Tags: Hennessy | US | brink | Recovery

Neil Hennessy: US on Brink of ‘Double Recovery’

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 08:13 AM

The United States is on the brink of a “double recovery,” driven first by consumer and corporate retrenchment and likely to be extended by renewed investor confidence, according to Neil Hennessy, CIO and portfolio manager of Hennessy Funds.

“I am not an analyst or an economist, I am an economic realist. Using common sense as my guide I continue to see signs of recovery,” Hennessy writes in a recent market commentary.

The recession was a challenge and both U.S. consumers and U.S. corporations stood up to it, he maintains, cutting costs and dealing with the problems head on.

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“Americans keep pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and persevering. We cut back our personal budgets at home, we shopped at lower end retailers, we fixed our own cars, mowed our own lawns and we even took second jobs just to make ends meet,” Hennessy argues. “And U.S. corporations did exactly the same things.”

That has fed the slow, steady recovery so far. Now investors will join on, pushing the economy into a double rebound, he writes.

“Every fundamental you can measure for the financial markets, price–to-book ratio, price-to-earnings ratio, price-to-sales ratio, and even price-to-cash-flow, are all at historical lows. Corporate earnings are at an all-time high,” Hennessy says. “I believe that these fundamentals provide substantial evidence that there is strong value in the marketplace today.”

As for the rest of the world and multitude of problems abroad, Hennessy recognized the risk while flatly stating that the United States is on its way, regardless.

“I believe many of the underlying fundamentals are much stronger today than they were during the financial crisis three years ago. And I truly believe we are on the brink of a sustained, steady double recovery in our economy and in the stock market,” he concludes.

That recovery is in for a test as gasoline prices surge, crimping U.S. consumer spending at precisely the wrong moment.

U.S. gas prices jumped by nearly 1 percent in January, pushing up overall prices. At 0.9 percent, the figure was triple the 0.3 percent economists had forecast.

The per-gallon cost of gasoline (which includes taxes) is at $3.56 on average for regular, up nearly 9 percent from the start of the year, reports AAA. Oil traders predict $4 gas by summer.

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