My Near-Term Outlook for the Market as We Start 2013274 views 2013-01-16 07:25 Tags: stock gold bear bull analysis michael critical warning number profit confidential
There’s been quite a bit of consistency in the performance of the S&P 500 index since the stock market broke out of its low, set in March 2009. Solid rallies are met with solid retreats. The stock market advances, and then consolidates for a gain for the year. The year 2013 is likely to yield the same kind of trading action for the simple reason that investment risk is so high. The eurozone is in recession, and U.S. economic growth is really low. China and other Asian countries are export-driven, so their economic news shouldn’t surprise to the upside. Featured below is a three-year chart of the S&P 500 index:
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
The next major hurdle for the stock market in terms of policy action (or a lack thereof) is related to the debt ceiling. Previously, the stock market experienced a mini correction after policymakers were unable to extend a government shutdown due to the rising deficit. But very soon, we’ll be into fourth-quarter earnings season, and the numbers can’t come soon enough. So far, the few earnings results we’ve already received have been quite good, with brand-name businesses beating consensus.
Underperformance in terms of earnings results is likely to come from resource-related companies. Gold, silver, and oil were soft in the last half of 2012, and costs, especially among precious metals producers, are rising steadily.
If the financials report good numbers, which is what I expect, then I think the stock market will experience a strong start to 2013. The S&P 500 is fairly valued, given the earnings outlook and consistent and strong dividend payments This year, the risks include all the usual suspects: the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, political gridlock in Washington, war in the Middle East (possibly Iran), and the hegemony that China is becoming. All in all, the picture hasn’t really changed.
The S&P 500 index is now very close to forming the right shoulder of a traditional head-and-shoulders technical pattern that began at the start of 2007. This S&P 500 stock market chart is ominous, because the pattern itself looks like the index could retreat to a support level around 800. Anything is possible these days, but a shock to the system isn’t likely to come from corporations, which, for the most part, have healthy balance sheets. This year, a potential shock would more likely be related to sovereign debt problems or another war. Regardless, the interest rate cycle still favors the stock market and the S&P 500—at least over the short term.