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The Next Three Stock Market Headwinds After Greece Debt Crisis

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2010 Feb 12, 2010 - 05:49 AM GMT

By: Q1_Publishing

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe last few weeks have not been good for the markets.

If you’ve enjoyed the recent rally and, like we’ve urged, stopped arguing with the market and just rode it out for all its worth, you’ve been caught up a little in this correction.


The downturn was inevitable. We all knew it was going to come. And we wanted to prepare ourselves for the cost of riding out the rally.
But right now, the markets are acting like its 2008 all over again and investors and traders are running for the exits.

Fears of a Greece debt contagion are starting to wane. At this point it looks like the cash will be handed over to Greece and in return he Greek government will make some promises to slash spending over the next three years which, of course, will never materialize.

But hey, that’s long-term and this is Wall Street. After the Greece solution is revealed the markets will likely face three headwinds which must pass before the markets make another big move upwards.

Market Headwind #1: Patience is Running Out

Throughout the recent market rally, the market seemed to focus on the near-term future.

Wall Street’s “Not as bad as expected” mantra reigned supreme. As we focused on, this type of mentality can last far longer than most everyone expects, but history has proven this mentality still will only last so long.

Lately, it looks like the clock has struck midnight on that kind of thinking. The market was willing to be patient and now it’s starting to get very impatient.

No place is this sea change in mentality more evident than in employment.

The chart below shows why the market is starting to get pretty impatient when it comes to jobs numbers:

As you can see, the current recession is by the worst in both magnitude and duration.

The thing is: the market knew it was bad this whole time. What was a “lagging indicator” is now a concern especially considering the economy is still losing jobs two years into the downturn.

Market Headwind #2: Carbon Regulation: By Any Means Necessary

It’s not just jobs though, there’s another more important factor that has the market spooked – energy prices.

Now, we’re in the middle of a feeble “recovery” and oil is holding steady above $70 a barrel, a gallon of gas is at $2.66, and natural gas is above $5 per Mcf.

Basically, energy prices are still high despite the weak economy and the next leg up is now only a few months away.

But this isn’t the kind of energy price rise where we can load up on oil stocks and turn it into our gain - it’s one where government intervention increases the costs of energy.

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared its timeline for implementing top-down carbon dioxide emission regulation. With the Senate stalemated over cap-and-trade legislation, the EPA said it will be enforcing carbon emission regulations on stationary sources of carbon (i.e. coal-burning power plants).

As you might expect, the market doesn’t like policies that will increase costs and drive down earnings for companies.

And don’t think that the EPA is about to hold back because Congress or the majority of the public greatly opposes the rules. EPA Assistant

Administrator Gina McCarthy recently explained, “I am more than a little distressed that the American public is more confused about climate science than when we began our discussions at EPA about what is the science of climate.”

They’re going forward and willing to use any means necessary.

Market Headwind #3: Risk and Reward

The biggest headwind of all comes down to investors attitudes towards stocks.

Last year most investors proved they don’t want much to do with stocks. The asset class which attracted the most new capital last year was bonds.

Frankly, that attitude isn’t about to change soon either. The market is still expensive. The price-to-earnings ratio of the S&P 500 is currently at 18. That’s 20% above its long-run average of about 15.

Basically, there are a lot of things to like in this market – agriculture, commodities, and a few beaten down sectors – but it’s tough to find an idea where the risks far outweigh the rewards.

And in a market like the one we’re going to be going through over the next few years, you better get used to a disciplined approach which demands the best opportortunities where the potential rewards far outweigh risks.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Clearly, there are a lot of headwinds that will help limit any market-wide upsurge.

Whether it’s the monthly unemployment report, new tax scheme proposal, or costly regulatory intervention, there’s always bad news around the corner.

That’s why this earnings season, which has turned out to be a very good one for companies, has proven to be disappointing for most investors.

Consider this. Since companies started reported earnings, 73% of S&P 500 beat analysts’ expectations. That’s the second best performance since in the past 17 years. The S&P 500 index, however, is down 8% from its highs before most companies started reporting earnings.

There are a lot of reasons to be bearish and most investors have been shaken hard. But we at the Prosperity Dispatch (Sign up here – it’s 100% Free) still continue to believe it is times like these, when fear is high, that the best opportunities exist to get into position to benefit from the long-term trends of rising interest rates and inflation.

Good investing,

Andrew Mickey
Chief Investment Strategist, Q1 Publishing

Disclosure: Author currently holds a long position in Silvercorp Metals (SVM), physical silver, and no position in any of the other companies mentioned.

Q1 Publishing is committed to providing investors with well-researched, level-headed, no-nonsense, analysis and investment advice that will allow you to secure enduring wealth and independence.

© 2010 Copyright Q1 Publishing - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


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