Market Watch: A 'Much More Severe' Selloff Looms in the Stock Market, Strategist Warns
Article by Shawn Langlois in The Wall Street Journal Market Watch
The coronavirus death toll continues to rise across the U.S., as do the number of job losses, with an increasing number of companies reporting on the deep damage the pandemic has already inflicted. Yet the stock market, despite its volatile stretches, continues to hold up relatively well.
Doug Ramsey, the chief investment officer of The Leuthold Group, warned clients that the day is coming when the dire state of the economy catches up with equity investors. “The stock market punishment doesn’t fit the economic crime,” he said. “We expect it eventually will.”
“The depth and duration of this economic calamity are unknowable, but values don’t yet reflect it,” he told clients in a recent note. “S&P 500 valuations are 30-40% higher than seen at even the comparatively-shallow market low of 2002.”
Ramsey went on to show that the median S&P 500 stock is still historically pricy based on several metrics, including price-to-sales and price-to-earnings.
“If the median S&P 500 stock traded down to the average valuation seen at the last three bear market bottoms, it would have to decline another 46% from April 30th levels” he said. “If we play along and assume that valuations bottom at the ‘richest’ levels ever seen at a bear market low, there’s still 32% downside remaining in the median S&P 500 stock.”
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