Saturday, March 15, 2014

U.S. Stock Market Value Metrics Show Tremendous Danger Ahead

The chart below from John Hussman uses a basket of value indicators to show the under or over valuation of the U.S. stock market. You can see that we are currently more overvalued than the peak in the late 1960's and the peak in 2007. The only question is if this move will bring us back to the 2000 mania before finding gravity. It would take an enormous price decline to bring the market back down to fair value and an event much greater to make them inexpensive.


The retail investor has now poured money into stocks for 15 straight months.


Bearish sentiment peaked in 2008 and has fallen steadily for over 5 years. Complacency is fully entrenched.


Investor leverage continues to rise to new highs, but the more important metric is the leverage compared to GDP and the leverage compared to total market cap. Here is how we stack up today compared to previous peaks:

Margin Debt/GDP - March 2000: 2.7%
Margin Debt/GDP - July 2007: 2.6%
Margin Debt/GDP - January 2014: 2.6%

Margin Debt/Market Cap - March 2000: 1.8%
Margin Debt/Market Cap - July 2007: 2.3%
Margin Debt/Market Cap - January 2014: 2.0%


Charts and data: Hussman Funds, STA Wealth and Short Side Of Long

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