“I have to get into this market; otherwise it’s just dragging on me” (A portfolio manager quoted in the Wall Street Journal just prior to the March 2000 peak in the S&P 500.)
“..as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.” (Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince in July 2007) You know how that turned out.
It’s that time again. The Dow surpassed its all-time high and the S&P 500 is not that far from the tops of 1553 on March 24, 2000 and 1576 on October 9, 2007. Just as in 2000 and 2007, the economic, valuation and political background does not support the budding euphoria.
Jim Rogers decries the growing uncertainty and recklessness of global central planners as the world enters unchartered financial markets:
For the first time in recorded history, we have nearly every central bank printing money and trying to debase their currency. This has never happened before. How it’s going to work out, I don’t know. It just depends on which one goes down the most and first, and they take turns. When one says a currency is going down, the question isagainst what? because they are all trying to debase themselves. It’s a peculiar time in world history.
I own the dollar, not because I have any confidence in the dollar and not because it’s sound – it’s a terribly flawed currency – but I expect more currency turmoil, more financial turmoil. During periods like that, people, for whatever reason, flee to the U.S. dollar as a safe haven. It is not a safe haven, but it is perceived that way by some people. That’s why the dollar is going up. That’s why I own it. Will I own it in five years, ten years? I don’t know.
The chart below provides a nice visual summary of what Mellman sees happening right now:
BEA, J.P. Morgan
While the 236,000 gain in non-farm payrolls and the 0.2 percentage-point drop in unemployment for February excited many, another number threw some cold water on the optimism.
Max Keiser – UK Economic Crisis, Eurozone is NOT out of the Water
(Chart) Market Correction Looks Imminent. By Gregory Mannarino
Dow is down 11 percent since 2000 adjusting for inflation. Looking at the stock market and the impact of inflation.
The Dow has now reached a new peak. The media is prancing up and down like a giddy school girl as if this had a significant impact on the bottom line for most Americans. Don’t let the details out that many companies have increased their bottom line by squeezing wages and cutting worker benefits. Yet the mainstream press can’t even get one thing straight with inflation. The Dow is actually down 11 percent from where it was in 2000 adjusting for inflation. After all, a dollar is only worth as much as it can purchase in the economy. The US dollar has been hit over this period as well. Real household wages are back to levels last seen in the mid-1990s. So the Dow “peak” is really more symbolic and many Americans realize this. Let us take a look at where the stock market stands today through the lens of inflation….