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Guest Post: "So Much For The Market Being Cheap" Charting A 50-75% Downside Case In The S&P

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Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:21 | 456062 King_of_simpletons
Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:25 | 456067 bull-market_3.0
bull-market_3.0's picture

Some very interesting points, especially about the 10 year P/Es

Not a big fan of the SPX/Gold Ratio however. If S&P represent the top 500 companies in the US, and Gold doesn't increase in value, it makes no sense that the ratio should be constant given that technological progress should improve the value of the numerator.

Nevertheless the 10 year P/E analysis is interesting and really pisses me off because it suggests to me that I will have to get out of this market again....ughhhh! 

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 06:21 | 456210 George the baby...
George the baby crusher's picture

Don't understand why your post was flagged as junk.  It's a valid comment and opinion.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:19 | 456273 ratava
ratava's picture

because ZH is full of butthurt people after the latest gold plunge. you cant be a deflationist and a goldbug at the same time, sorry guys.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 22:12 | 457739 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

$40 drop on $1250 is a butthurt?  You must never have invested in the S&P.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 07:41 | 456248 Chemba
Chemba's picture

regarding the SPY/Au ratio, if the SPY constituents are creating intrinsic value, that just means there would be a secular up-trend in the ratio, but you could (would) still have the cyclical swings about that trend.

regarding p/e analysis, we'll get to those bear market lows but it will take time.   The experiences of most investors today are anchored in the greatest bull and bubble market of all time.  to them, a 15x P/E seems "cheap", and they can't "see" how the credit bubble has fueled "E" to unsustainable levels.

We will get a bear market P/E of 6-8x and it will be on an "E" that nobody can anticipate.  A 7x P/E on $35 of "E" is ~ $250 on the SPY.

When this happens, and it will, the only silver lining is that voters will send the corrupt corporate-socialist (fascist) Obama back to Chicago for some "community organizing"

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:56 | 456306 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

You're not Chemba Wumba.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:28 | 456069 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

If the SPY is going to lose another 50%....

Well, say hello to 5-yr. yields of .70%, 10-yr. yields of 1.8% and 30-yr. at 2.6%.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:44 | 456089 Jasper M
Jasper M's picture

"Either gold is 3x underpriced, or stocks have 75% downside."

Probably a bit over both.

It pains me to say (hate to risk offending that avatar) I have one quibble with Robotrader's analysis - Treasuries, especially on the long end, will only continue to plummet proportionally Until Federal default is manifest. And, really, how much longer do you think that'll be? 

Not that I'd mind if the rates Do go that low - I am am currently holding a bit of IEI, in the (normally boring) 5 year zone, and any such windfall would be welcome. 

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 02:38 | 456158 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

There you go, the biggest bubble of them all.

Its so obvious is sickening

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 03:12 | 456169 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

we've already traded at 2.6% on the long bond (pre-christmas '08).  considering the prior post we may get to only 3.5% or so this run.  nothing like higher interest rates to collapse p/e ratios.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:09 | 456266 Hungry For Knowledge
Hungry For Knowledge's picture

THAT is when I'll refinance my house!

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:30 | 456071 Tripps
Tripps's picture



sp500 at a 11-12 pe on 2010 and 2011 right NOW with HARD data. and was a 10 PE at the 2009 LOWS...when banks were going to zero


what do you freaking bears want? utter destruction. i hope you all get BLOWN out of your shorts for your LYING regarding PE, etc!

you got stocks like verizon paying 7% yields and you want them to trade at 20% yields while treasuries would pay .1%?


the bubbles are in currencies and bonds. wake up. not stocks


Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:44 | 456140 Assetman
Assetman's picture

Stocks with zero yields are vulnerable-- and certainly good handful of the higher beta variety are very bubblelicious.  This is certainly true if earnings growth gets revised downward-- valuations be damned.

Gravitating to stocks like Verizon (assuming they can continue maintaining its dividend payout) can retain a greater portion of its stock value if things go wrong.  Investors will be naturally attracted to the yield if there is a huge premium to Treasuries.

I don't disagree that there is a bubble in bonds, or currencies, for that matter.  But process of seeing that bubble prick may take longer than most expect.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 03:15 | 456170 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

i'm impressed he's got HARD data for 2011.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:59 | 456313 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Here's a newb question:

Why would anyone (in their right mind) bother owning a stock that didn't pay dividends?

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 11:31 | 456649 Reductio ad Absurdum
Reductio ad Absurdum's picture

Well... growth. Microsoft didn't pay dividends until recently. If you had bought it in 1986 and held for about 13 years you'd have done very very well, all without any dividends.

Also, there are a lot of trendy or opportunistic stocks out there that you might want to get into and out of very quickly, in which case dividends are irrelevant.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 07:29 | 456240 obelisks
obelisks's picture

So do you think now is a good time to buy real estate in Vegas ?

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:08 | 456265 kc135guy
kc135guy's picture

Sorry Tripps, here is the correct information on PEs during that time and an improvement to Shiller data.  Not sure where you get the 11-12 pe - been downloading S&P data for years and haven't seen those yet either GAAP or Operating.

BTW, when asked about a company's future earnings, Carl Icahn replied "How the hell do they know what they will earn next year?"


Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:29 | 456279 Thomas
Thomas's picture

That Icahn quote is spot on. Accounting is still in an atrocious state of affairs (actually the accounting is probably fine; it's the reporting part.) There is also that niggling little detail that percent drops from different p/e's is questionable. In our current case, I think it is the best case scenario. Of course, once stocks lose the p/e ratio, the p will be chasing the e to the bottom.



Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:34 | 456076 DoctoRx
DoctoRx's picture

You say:

politicians unwittingly took austerity measures in 1929-1930 that caused a depression

There is a reason that the liberal economist Robert Shiller says he admires both Hoover and FDR.  Both were interventionists.  Did not candidate FDR rail against the Hoover deficits and campaign on a balanced budget platform?  Perhaps the Fed's sudden move to high interest rates contributed to the stock crash.  But to blame the Great Depression on 1929-30 "austerity" is questionable.  Whether Smoot-Hawley in 1930 can be called austerity is unclear, rather than unwise under a more modern view than existed in 1930.

It appears that Gentle Ben blames the Fed more than Hoover or the politicians, Smoot-Hawley aside, for the severity of the GD.

In any case, this is not the post's main point, with which I am very sympathetic. 


Wed, 07/07/2010 - 03:26 | 456172 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

your critique is well founded, imo.  fiscal changes were largely expansionary '29 to '32 (fdr elected late '32) and the federal govt much, much smaller relative to gnp.  money supply growth also non-contractionary at 3% or so.  a lot of the contraction was debt run off from excessive consumer, business and foreign government borrowing '14 to '29 combined with the specter of no deposit insurance/bank runs. how this latter squares with the 3% money supply growth that the data show is an area i'd like greater clarity.  wads of money pressed on big banks/wall street while tough times/austerity on main street?

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:43 | 456088 pitz
pitz's picture

What's the difference between then, and today?  Back then, money was commodity backed, on some form of the gold standard.  Today, it is entirely floating.  Once you reference both those S&P500 charts with a common commodity, ie: gold, they look identical, and you should see that we are at what appears to be a very low point, perhaps even lower than experienced in the depths of the 1930s.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:45 | 456294 dehdhed
dehdhed's picture

you can still exchange fiat currency for gold or commodities .. for now anyway

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 08:48 | 456298 dehdhed
dehdhed's picture

i meant the dollar is indirectly backed by gold

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:45 | 456090 qikbucks
qikbucks's picture

US Debt/GDP = 90% and climbing.. tic .. toc.. 

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:04 | 456101 FranSix
FranSix's picture

Expecting a crash? Well, we just had a huge stock market crash and bear market rally.  What happens next?  Ok, let's compare bear markets on an inflation adjusted basis:


Looks like a coming denoument that compares closely with the Nikkei.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:53 | 456105 Johnlaw2012
Johnlaw2012's picture


Aaron Boesky of Marco Polo Pure Investments is calling a 3,500-4,000 point level for the Shanghai market at the end of 2010. If the index finishes this year lower than it is today, he pledges to AsianInvestor that he will run around Hong Kong in his underwear.

By Simon Osborne | 7 July 2010
Keywords: aaron boesky | marco polo | china
The Shanghai index has fallen more than 30% since its recent peak in August last year. Enough already, says Aaron Boesky, chief executive of Marco Polo Pure Investments in Hong Kong, who has made what he claims to be his most high-conviction call ever that this is a market bottom.

Lots of money managers, pundits and hedgemites make bullish calls. We hear them all the time and never punish anyone for getting it wrong. We must and will.

Will Boesky put his money -- or in this case, his trousers -- where his mouth is?

And if you're wrong? What if the market ends 2010 lower than today?
We hold, and continue to try and raise capital, while we await the Chinese investors' return to the market.

Come on, you've just made what you say is one of your biggest calls ever. That doesn't sound like a very big reaction should you get that call wrong...
We will continue doing what we do and investing for the long term in a market we truly believe in...

No, I am not satisfied.
Ok, ok. I will make a wager with you Simon. If we are right in saying the market finishes the year with an impressive rally to over 3,500 points, you tell your readers in a nice piece that we made the call of the year.

If we are wrong and it finishes the year below the July 5 close of 2,475 for the Shanghai A-share index, I promise to run the streets of Hong Kong dressed only in my under-shorts. Is that enough skin in the game for you?

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 07:03 | 456229 obelisks
obelisks's picture

Surely this will have a bearing on which direction The Shanghai index is going to go ?



Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:53 | 456106 DoctoRx
DoctoRx's picture

pitz:  You might be interested in this analysis by Andrew Smithers, which values the stock market both on an earnings and an asset parameter.  Both show it about 40% overvalued, far different from the early 1920s and the early 1930s and at various other times:


Wed, 07/07/2010 - 00:55 | 456109 maddy10
maddy10's picture

SPY will be down only if honesty miraculously returns and Mark to market bares real bank balance sheets

NOT happening!

Move on! Muddle in the mud bath!

There will be constant disclosures of filth to keep SPY within range!

Follow where big money goes and prosper!

System is officially biased in favour of biggies!

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:10 | 456120 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

I want to agree with this but my scientific mind says n=2, so I wouldn't get too excited about a trend line though that data set (R^2=1.000000000).

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:31 | 456134 ChevronSky
ChevronSky's picture

I posted this comment in another thread, but I believe it is relevant to this article as well. CS


For the first time since the start of the March '09 rally, the persistently rising quarterly values have reversed (as of 6/30/10) in the following: SPY, QQQQ, DIA, IWM, RSP as well as most of the individual Dow Industrial components; and GOOG and AAPL if that matters to anyone.  When quarterly values reverse, this indicates that the recent directional bias (in this case, down) is continuing with unusual trend tenacity.  In other words, it indicates a change of higher-timeframe trend, i.e. of Primary degree.  Quarterly values for most major index ETF's began increasing in Q3 2009. Prior to the end of Q2 2010, it was premature to call an end to the Primary bull run that started in March '09, especially for long-term investors.  Now it is not.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:32 | 456135 Eric Cartman
Eric Cartman's picture

I've seen this on so many blogs recently that I'm starting to think it was just one whack jobs prediction and a bunch of bears are quickly jumping on board, varying the study slightly and publishing it anywhere they can. 

I star. 

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:38 | 456136 Oh Jesaulenko -...
Oh Jesaulenko - you beauty's picture

I posted this elsewhere and it's a bit off-topic, but why did the PPT ever let the SPY get down to 666 last year?  If they let it happen then, why won't they now?

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:47 | 456142 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

there was no PPT then silly, PPT was created BEACUSE it fell to 6-6-6, the number of the beast :P

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 02:19 | 456153 Oh Jesaulenko -...
Wed, 07/07/2010 - 07:56 | 456251 Scooby Dooby Doo
Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

Inside the beltway it's referred to as 'The Reston 6'. Six organizations in the DC area that, in concert, use algorithmic trading to move the market in an agreed upon direction. They take their marching orders from the Fed, not Timmah. Only the Fed can pay for their margin calls and take or make delivery on the contractual agreements.

They have a packet sniffer that sits in front of the exchange boxes. It's disguised as a router and firewall but it uses the router’s ability to log ACL matches in its own buffer in order to catalog the traffic that crosses it.

They know what orders are inbound and have a threshold order size that they trade against.

It's all very elegant. Beautifully architected. It gives me goose bumps standing in the chilled room that houses those servers. Knowing what potential they have. Like being in the same room as a God.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 09:04 | 456321 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

That gave me a boner.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:46 | 456138 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

yet *MORE* go give your shotgun a blowjob analysis.....love it

meanwhile, check out Robert Prechter, ms smiley, calling for DOW<1000:


Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:44 | 456139 Misean
Misean's picture

All very intersesting...outside of the insipid "austerity measures" comment...a claim without a warrant, but is common Keynsian/Moneterist mythology...but anyway...

My problem is that comparing the US today to the US of the Shitty Depression is an incorrect historical analogy.  The correct analogy is to look at Great Britain of 1920-1940 and US today-ish and US 1920-1940 and China today-ish.

My two cents.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:58 | 456146 From Italy
From Italy's picture

Have you seen Marc Faber's "mirror mirror on the wall...." conference from about a month ago? He shows that when you have a situation in which they print money, the stock market stays up even though it will be volatile, and the currency collapses. Gold is going up for this last reason, I don't know if you can always compare graphs from 80 years ago to today. The population was young in the 30's. Today we have a rich world population made up of senior citizens especially in Europe, and of young people in Asia, so you should consider this when you project earnings on 30 year bonds, or before comparing today to the past. Of course Faber assumes they will keep printing, in fact this is the real question.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 02:23 | 456154 Eric Cartman
Eric Cartman's picture

This confused the fuck out of me. 

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 02:46 | 456164 agrotera
agrotera's picture

You get the same idea when you look at the history of the DOW, and run a simple regression --you will find the DOW between 2000-3000 and if there is such a thing as reversion to the mean...just sayin...

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 03:54 | 456171 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture


The DXY looks all gulliver and pletchoes to me.

Hey Johnny Bravo, you're a self purported TA guy, watcha think? I mean every time you find some minor indicator on the USD/Au chart you can magnify to look even remotely bearish you're 'creeching "TOP" repeatedly in all caps while offering predictions of three-fingered bottoms, so how have you missed this crucial technical? It's not like this DXY H&S pattern is at all subtle; indeed it's as plain as the ass on your head.



Wed, 07/07/2010 - 16:00 | 457087 Johnny Bravo
Johnny Bravo's picture

The DXY looks all gulliver and pletchoes to me.

Well pip pip cheerio to you.

The dollar is currently in a triangle pattern, with support around 82 if it does a 50% fib retracement, and slightly under 80 if it does a 61.8% fib retracement.

I have no idea what you are talking about as far as a head and shoulders pattern goes.  I think we revisit the 61.8 fib in late 2011, to early 2012.  I think that the rally in the dollar has peaked until we see these levels.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 04:45 | 456193 laosuwan
laosuwan's picture

Charts are great for predicting the past.

Charts are just visual representations of historical data points; they do not explain anything or predict the future. Besides, the market is now so corrupt and manipulated you cannot draw any conclusions about anything. The only sure way to measure earnings is dividends. That is what I have learned by comparing Asian companies to American companies. If you find a company with no dividends in my part of the world you can be sure their earnings are fake.


Anyway, like Warren Buffet said, "I stopped charting when I realized I got the same answer turning the chart upside down."

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 09:16 | 456339 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

If you find a company with no dividends in my part of the world you can be sure their earnings are fake.

Or just a "flash in the pan", or a combination of both.

In either case, a very astute observation on your part. 

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 16:02 | 457093 Johnny Bravo
Johnny Bravo's picture

Computers trade on technicals and charts and that's all you need to know to say that your assertion there is total B.S.

Companies don't trade on earnings as much as they trade on technicals.  75% of the traders on earth are HFTs using technicals.

Wed, 07/07/2010 - 19:37 | 457534 laosuwan
laosuwan's picture

if 75% of the traders on earth are trading based on technical charts then there would be no uncertainty. This is not the case so charting does not work. It does not matter if traders trade on earnings or not, the fact is that companies with dividends have real earnings. The whole, "we use the earnings to invest in future growth so there are no dividends now" story is like a big screaming white pair of shoes on a timeshare salesman. It says, stay away from this company.

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