Posts Tagged ‘p/e ratios’

P/E Expansion & Contraction

Interesting article on P/E Expansion & Contraction by Barry Ritholtz.  Notice in the chart below that P/E ratios now are about aveage – not at the depths seen in previous bear markets. Unless the historical norms are truly moving higher, this suggests there’s further downside in P/E ratios. – Ilene 

P/E Expansion & Contraction

By Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture 

Yesterday, Peter Boockvar referenced two WSJ articles on P/E:  The Decline of the P/E Ratio and Is It Time to Scrap the Fusty Old P/E Ratio?

I believe these articles are asking the wrong question. Rather than wondering if the value of P/E ratio is fading, the better question is, “What does a falling P/E ratio mean?” The chart below will help answer that question.

We can define Bull and Bear markets over the past 100 years in terms of P/E expansion and contraction. I always show the chart below when I give speeches (from Crestmont Research, my annotations in blue) to emphasize the impact of crowd psychology on valautions.

Consider the message of this chart. It strongly suggests (at least to me) the following:

Bull markets are periods of P/E expansion. During Bulls, investors are willing to pay increasingly more for each dollar of earnings;

Bear markets are periods of P/E contraction. Investors demand more earnings for each dollar of share price they are willing to pay.

via - click here to read more. 

Source: Crestmont Research

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Myths about stock market myths that just won’t die

Baruch actually likes stocks, embraces the HFTing-bots and thinks that now is a good time to go long. Share his George Constanza moment… except this is serious. Baruch makes a compelling argument that stocks are the best investment around, the "asset class of the future."  He takes on bond apologists, Brett Arends, Felix Salmon and the myths. – Ilene 

Myths about stockmarket myths that just won’t die

Courtesy of Ultimi Barbarorum

[Watch George Costanza Does The Opposite]

Baruch hasn’t stopped blogging. He’s just been busy at work. To be fair, there also hasn’t been that much he has wanted to write about.

That changes here! A recent and growing animus in the econoblogoverse to, of all things, equity markets, has woken him up. Baruch finds this fairly incredible. Equities, he is fairly convinced, are the asset class of the future. This anti-equities movement, led by jealous journalists and winking, cackling bond apologists with axes to grind, needs to be nipped in the bud, as it is dead wrong. The WSJ’s otherwise reasonable Brett Arends is Baruch’s immediate target among the evil-thinkers, for his (last week’s top read on Abnormal Returns) The Top 10 Stock Market Myths that Just Won’t Die. And that Felix Salmon is also guilty as sin in this, for many offences against shares committed over the past few years.

Myth 1: stocks don’t generally go up

Wronngggg! Try shorting for a living and see how long you last. I’ve tried it. It is *really* fricking hard. Actually this year my shorts have made me more money than my longs, but I am an investing genius, and you are probably not. To those bond apologists who claim that this “stocks for the long haul” stuff is bullshit, I urge you to actually count the number of 10 year periods since 1950 where stocks have not made you a net percentage gain. I can only see 1963-64 and 1999-2001 as periods with evident losses (check out the S&P log chart from 1950). So around 90% of the time in the past 50 years, stocks have made you money on a 10-year investment horizon.

It’s not like you lost lots of money when they did go down, either. At worst, if you had been unfortunate (or dumb) enough to invest in January 2000, by 2010 you had lost about 20%. You would have faced the same, a 20% loss,  in 1964…
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What do present large profit margins mean for stocks?

What do present large profit margins mean for stocks?

Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns 


US corporate profit margins reached a half-century peak with the housing bubble. As in most recessions, margins fell. But, this time they fell precipitously, only to snap back to near that 50-year peak. The chart above from David Rosenberg’s latest daily research shows the details. What kind of takeaways can we derive from these facts?

  • Clearly, US economic policy is geared toward the business sector. As I have indicated in previous posts, simple accounting demonstrates the economy’s financial sectors must balance to zero.  Therefore, a massive government deficit is balanced by an equivalent surplus in the trade and private sectors. But, depending upon public policy, that surplus can fall to businesses, households or exporters.
  • You should see the surge in corporate profitability as a priori proof that the US economic policy of zero rates, bailouts and stimulus is geared toward business through the maintenance of excess consumption. If we had an industrial policy more geared to promoting household deleveraging, the household sector would be doing the saving instead of the business sector.
  • Because the financial sector accounts for a huge percentage of US profitability, corporate margins are highly sensitive to interest rates. The margin whiplash you see from about 1996 onward demonstrates this. 
  • High P/E ratios are indicative of the later stages of a bull market, not the early stages.  Given that P/E margins are above their long-term average and based on high profit margins which also mean revert, you have two technical factors which will be negative for shares in the next downturn. Those who see 666 on the S&P 500 in March 2009 as a secular bear market low will be disappointed with returns over the coming years.
  • Given that the savings has been done by large businesses, household balance sheets will still be stressed when the next downturn hits. I anticipate, therefore, that the next recession will show a larger than garden-variety recession consumption pullback regardless of the other stresses in the economy.

Long-story short: high margins mean-revert as do P/E ratios. That means share prices will be doubly under pressure in the next recession. Moreover, with households also likely to pull back given still high debt levels, there is a lot of downside for shares going into that downturn which I believe could begin as early as 2011.

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Here’s a Comstock report via Pragcap that supports the views of Richard Davis at Consumer Metrics Institute, which Richard shared with us yesterday in "The 2010 Contraction Being Tracked by the Consumer Metrics Institute Traces Unique Pattern." – Ilene 


Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Side profile of a mid adult man standing and flexing his muscles

By Comstock Partners:

In our view the market is seriously overestimating the strength of the economy as the usual drivers of a sustainable recovery, namely consumer spending and housing, are in no condition to provide the catalyst that leads to steady growth.  The statistical growth we have witnessed to date is merely a bounce back from the brink of a potential financial disaster that was averted by massive stimulus.  However, the lingering after-effects of the credit crisis are creating strong headwinds against a typical post-war type of recovery.

The rise in consumer spending in recent months is nowhere near as strong as the media and the Street would have you believe.  The extremely sharp decline in consumer spending during the recession was caused by both negative fundamental factors and outright fear of a collapse.  Now the fear is gone, but the negative fundamentals remain.  Unemployment remains high, jobs are hard to get and credit is tight.  Moreover the consumer has barely begun to pay down the enormous debt accumulated over the last decade, and the deleveraging has a long way to go.  Savings rates are still low by historical standards and will take time to return to normal.

The housing industry is still in serious trouble and appears to have turned down again after the bump created by the home buyer tax credit.  Existing home sales were down 0.6% in February, the third consecutive drop.  Sales are back to the depressed level that existed before the start of the tax credit.  In addition new listings were up 10% to the highest level since September while inventories rose to an 8.6 months supply.

The problems were also reflected in new…
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Classic Market Bubble

Classic Market Bubble

Courtesy of John Lounsbury

The price to book ratio (P/B) is not a good valuation metric for individual stocks, because the price discounts future earnings and growth. A P/B ratio less than 1 for stock X with low earnings and no earnings growth does mean that stock X is undervalued. If stock Y, with P/B=2 has healthy and growing earnings, it may actually be undervalued and a much better buy than A.

However, P/B does have value when assessing the relative valuation of indexes over time. To that extent, I found the following chart from David Rosenberg, Chief Economist at Gluskin Sheff, which I have modified as indicated.

Rosenberg suggests that the normal range for P/B ratios is between 1.5 and 2.4. The lower number is what is expected coming out of an economic trough and 2.4 is approximately the long-term average. By his analysis we have not had a P/B ratio consistent with economic reality since 1996. We came close on March 9 but quickly left that place.

Note: My reference lines are slightly above 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 and are minimally above Rosenberg’s reference numbers.

Rosenberg also discusses other valuation measurements at length, including price to earnings ratios (P/E). Read his entire post here.

A graph such as this reinforces the opinion that some have regarding when equities in the U.S. really topped. Looking at this graph, one would say the market topped in 2000. The same conclusion is drawn when the market indices are priced in inflation adjusted dollars or gold. (See here.)

The inference from the Rosenberg graph is that one of the following conditions must pertain:

  1. We are well into recovery and should entering a maturing growth phase of the business cycle within a couple of years; or
  2. We are still declining from the 2000 market high and the current rally will have to give back substantial portions of the gains before long-term market growth can be maintained; or
  3. We are still declining from the 2000 market high and have not yet reached the bottom.

I give a greater than 50% probability to #2. The other two get much smaller probabilities: #1 Less than 10% and #3 less than 30%. (You can put the missing 10% into rounding errors. After all, guesses should have large rounding errors.)…
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Phil's Favorites

Why Trump will weather Stormy


Why Trump will weather Stormy

Courtesy of Monika L. McDermott, Fordham University

Donald Trump’s opponents have long been waiting for some sort of scandal to bring him down, and they may think they have finally found it in pornographic film star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels alleges she had an extramarital affair with Donald Trump in 2006 and was subsequently paid off by a Trump lawyer to stay silent during the presidential election. These types of charges, if proven true, have felled many politicians in the past.

But Trump’s opponents probably shouldn’t get their hopes up.

While political science research has shown that politicians are generally hurt by political scandals like extramarital affairs, the context is key. ...

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Zero Hedge

Trader Shares "A Few Ideas For Avoiding A Friday Faceplant"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

From Bloomberg macro commentator, Richard Breslow

Don’t mistake this as a trade recommendation, but it is all right to do nothing. Trading when you believe you have an edge is when it is time to step in. If you are there, then go for it. But trading merely because things are moving around is a day-trading concept, not an investment thesis.

It’s important to match trading style, objectives and realistic liquidity assumptions to how you view volatility vs risk. They are very much not the same thing. Made even more so if you think the Fed equity put has been eliminated. It hasn&#...

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Insider Scoop

41 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMEX) shares climbed 118.42 percent to close at $8.30 on Thursday after the company disclosed positive Mexico Court Decision nullifying a previous denial of application for Don Diego project.
  • Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) shares gained 35.31 percent to close at $15.75. The maker of a cataract surgery drug called Omidria realized a "big win" from Wednesday's release of the U.S. government spending bill, according to Stat News. Specifically, a policy included in the spending bill includes a pass-through exte... more from Insider

Chart School

Bitcoin Cycles Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker. uses Bartel's logic to find dominant cycles in a time series.

Cycles are present in markets, as shown below the 22 and 40 day cycles on calendar days looks like the best fit. Therefore the chart below suggest we can expect a bitcoin low either now or in a few weeks.

Bitcoin has not been effected by the SP500/Dow sell off which is a very bullish sign, bitcoin may see safe haven money chasing price very soon, add to this the sister coin, litecoin, isgetting ready for wider use with the massive e-commerce payment market (litepay, litepal, atomic swamps, lightening network).

The bitcoin move is not over!


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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Speaks With CNBC's "Power Lunch" Today

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

WHEN: Today, Thursday, March 22, 2018

WHERE: CNBC’s “Power Lunch”

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” (M-F 1PM – 3PM) today, Thursday, March 22nd. Following are links to video from the interview on

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Digital Currencies

Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Courtesy of Anwar Halari, The Open University

If you haven’t already heard of Bitcoin, you either haven’t been paying attention or you’re a time traveller who just touched down in 2018. Because by now, most of us will have heard of Bitcoin and some of us have even jumped on the bandwagon, investing in cryptocurrencies.

But despite its popularity, many people still don’t understand the technology that underlines it: blockchain. In...

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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)


"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...

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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!


We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.


EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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