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CHART OF THE DAY: REVISITING THE MARCH LOWS?

If history repeats, keep this chart in mind.

CHART OF THE DAY: REVISITING THE MARCH LOWS?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

According to Bloomberg and Jim Reid, we’re likely to see much lower valuations (and stock prices) at some point in the next few years:

June 22 (Bloomberg) — U.S. and European stocks are destined to fall below March’s lows if bear-market history is any guide, according to Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank AG.

Share prices tend to hit bottom “at extremely cheap levels” relative to earnings during so-called secular bear markets, Reid wrote five days ago in his first equity strategy report. Secular bears consist of multiple rallies and declines, with each slump producing lower valuations than the prior one.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s price-earnings ratio since 1900, based on data compiled by Yale University’s Robert Shiller and cited in Reid’s report.

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Shiller calculated the P/E ratio at 6.6 in September 1982, just before the 1980s bull market started. The gauge sank to less than six in the depths of the Great Depression and at the beginning of the 1920s. This year, it has stayed above 13.

“History tells us that at some point in the next decade there will be much more stressed valuations than today and a once-in-a-generation buying opportunity,” wrote Reid, who previously focused on credit-market strategy.

Even “a large rally” later this year and into 2010 may not be enough to prevent this scenario from unfolding, he added. The S&P 500 has climbed as much as 40 percent from its March 9 lows. Reid’s European benchmark, a local-currency version of the MSCI Europe Index, has risen as much as 33 percent.


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