Tags: leuthold | stocks

Leuthold Bullish on US Stocks, Calls Asia ‘Attractive’

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 04:52 PM

Steve Leuthold, chief executive officer and founder of Leuthold Global Fund, said he is bullish on U.S. stocks in the near future, and sees emerging and Asian countries as “attractive” places to invest.

The investor said an improvement in momentum made him more optimistic, and that he favors health-care and biotechnology stocks. He said equities comprise 58 percent of his asset- allocation fund holdings, and he may cut that level to 30 percent if he sees signs of market deterioration.

“On a shorter-term basis, we’ve become a little more positive” on American equities, Leuthold said Tuesday in an interview with Betty Liu on “In the Loop” on Bloomberg Television. Still, he said, “valuations are about neutral.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has closed above its average level over the past 200 days every session this year. It’s trading at 13.6 times the past 12 months’ earnings, a 17 percent rise from its level at the gauge’s October lows, while still below the 16.4 average since 1954, Bloomberg data show. The benchmark measure for U.S. stocks advanced 0.9 percent Tuesday to 1,292.08, the highest level since July 29.

Global stocks rallied Tuesday as China’s import growth fell to a two-year low in December, bolstering forecasts for monetary easing. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at 10.9 times the past year’s earnings, about 17 percent below the level for the MSCI World Index of developed-market shares.

“The emerging countries and most of Asia is a very attractive place to be,” Leuthold said.

The Leuthold Global Fund beat 33 percent of its rivals last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Leuthold, who bet on stocks before the S&P 500 reached a 12-year low in March 2009, said in August that political uncertainty had pushed U.S. stocks into a bear market and estimated that the gauge may fall to 950 to 1,000. The measure fell as low as 1,074.77 intraday on Oct. 4 before recovering to end the year at 1,257.60.

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012 04:52 PM
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