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Why the Countertrend Rally Can't Be Stopped


Ten fundamental and technical indicators that this market will go higher. Much higher.

I've previously described the fundamental and technical rationales for an aggressive move to go 100% long in the US equity market. A complete argument for the countertrend rally was published in Op-Ed: Is a Countertrend Rally Inevitable?.

In this article, I'd like to update the case for what I believe will be stage II of the countertrend rally.

Fundamental Drivers

1. A series of announcements of decisive and increasingly coherent policy actions by governments and central banks around the world.

I think that there can be little doubt that this has occurred. While there are still policy measures that are yet to be announced, I believe this factor has pretty much played itself out. At this point, the risk of governments messing things up may be fairly equally balanced against any further upside from policy initiatives.

2. A dramatic turn in the economic growth dynamic.

Of all of my predictions, this has always been the most important. My proprietary statistical work has thus far proven prescient, and it's strongly indicating that we'll continue to see very strong momentum in the economic data through June and possibly July. Economists' and analysts' numbers are still too low, and so the surprises throughout the second quarter will continue to be to the upside.

Indeed, as I've pointed out in several articles, such as in Op-Ed: Surprises Continue to Drive the Rally, many indicators aren't just going to show turns in the second derivative, several are actually going to show positive growth! The blue-chip economists haven't figured this out yet. This is going to be a shocker and will keep the rally going.

3. Consensus economic views are far too bearish.

This is still the case. The media is filled with pundits talking about the "certain collapse of the dollar," "currency debasement that will inevitably lead to inflation," and "crushing debt levels." Most of the arguments in favor of these apocalyptic views are based on discredited ideological precepts that have become urban legends and have very little empirical evidence to support them.

I haven't written in detail on debunking these urban legends for a reason: The market isn't ready for it. I've virtually been lynched by readers for merely suggesting that things might not be as bad as the consensus thinks. It makes little sense to make arguments that nobody's ready to listen to.

However, in the coming weeks, as the market rises, many are going to develop doubts about the bearish consensus. Many will start to wonder whether the celebrity Cassandras really have it all figured out.

In coming weeks, I'll be writing about bearish urban legends popularized by bearish commentators and suggesting possible ways out of this crisis. Many are going to be surprised to find that behind the confident proclamations of doom, there's precious little substance to back it up.

The final stage of this rally will be characterized by a breakdown of the bearish consensus and the development of narratives throughout the financial press that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

4. Valuations are inexpensive.

In my article Your S&P Roadmap, I laid out a framework that demonstrated that equity prices had massively overshot to the downside and were extremely undervalued. Valuations had reached a point that reflected "irrational despondence," and will only begin to enter into a "normal range when the S&P 500 crosses above 950." The midpoint of the "normal" valuation range is 1,100.

My target for the countertrend rally has been for the S&P to reach between 950 and 1,100. I now believe that the 1,100 is most likely. However, under certain circumstances, I believe it is possible for the S&P 500 to reach the upper end of its normal valuation range - which would place it at 1,350.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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