Major stock indices hit record highs again Wednesday, and Barron's columnist Michael Kahn says the technicals are favorable for further gains.
"One and all, big and small: the stock market is at new highs, and in the absence of a crushing increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, there is little in the way to stop it," he writes
The S&P 500 has tripled from its March 2009 low, standing at 2,107 Thursday morning.
To be sure, there are a few problems, such as the questionable performance of some typical bull market leading sectors like financials in particular," Kahn writes.
"But with the proxy for the 'average stock'--the New York Stock Exchange Composite Index–hitting new highs and market breadth still quite positive, it’s hard to fight the tape."
The S&P 500 Financials Index has generated a return of negative 0.8 percent year-to-date, compared to positive 3 percent for the S&P 500 as a whole. The NYSE Composite Index has produced a return of 2.8 percent so far this year.
Not everyone is bullish. James Kostohryz of JK Market Insights offers MarketWatch several reasons
why stocks could drop 10 to 20 percent by July.
- The economy. The recovery from the Great Recession is 67 months old, and historically we suffer a recession about every five years. To be sure, there have only been three recessions since 1982, which amounts to one every 10 to 11 years since then.
- Strong dollar. The greenback has hit multi-year highs against a range of currencies in recent weeks. That not only hurts earnings by making our exports more expensive in foreign currency terms, it also dampens U.S. corporate profits by making the companies' foreign revenue worth less when converted to dollars. Many major companies reported that the dollar's surge substantially lowered their fourth-quarter earnings.
- The Federal Reserve. The Fed is expected to begin raising interest rates around mid-year. And that could throw a major wrench into the equity market, which has benefited from the central bank's largesse. The Fed has kept its federal funds rate target at a record low of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008.
© 2023 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.