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时事新闻:看涨派不再看好美股前景

来源:天星 更新日期:2009-08-24 点击:

The Bulls Of March

It feels good to be right. But the few analysts who accurately called the market's bottom in early March aren't feeling so great about where stocks are headed.

One of the most famous of this group, Jeremy Grantham, penned a note on March 10 entitled 'Reinvesting When Terrified' that encouraged investors to buy, suggesting stocks were 30% undervalued.

Since then, the market has roared ahead, without stopping for a correction of 10% or more. Standard & Poor's 500-share index ended last week at 1026.13, up nearly 52% from its 12 1/2-year low on March 9 and its highest close since Oct. 6. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at 9505.96, up 45% since its March low.

Now, the chairman of Boston asset-management firm GMO and his colleagues say the S&P 500 has zoomed right past what they consider fair value of about 880, based on earnings estimates and historical price-to-earnings ratios.

Mr. Grantham sees 'seven lean years' of a sluggish market ahead, to atone for what the firm believes was a long era of overpriced stocks, according to his newsletter.

'The past 12 years have seen two bubbles that were really good for corporate profits,' says Ben Inker, GMO's director of asset allocation. 'Now things are unlikely to be anywhere near as good as people have gotten used to, because we're not going to have a bubble to help us.'

Several other analysts who got it right in March say they aren't roaring bulls about the long-term outlook, although their views for the next 12 months are split.

In March, analysts who picked the bottom were a lonely lot. Panic was widespread, and previously bullish analysts were advising clients to stay out of the market. Yet rather than double down on their bearish take, some long-time market skeptics decided a bottom was near.

One who shifted gears, Michael Darda, chief economist at brokerage firm MKM Partners in Greenwich, Conn., is optimistic about stocks' prospects for next year. But he harbors doubts about stocks' ability to eke out gains past 2010.

On Feb. 24, after months of advising clients to invest defensively, Mr. Darda released a note entitled 'Getting More Constructive,' in which he said, 'Several indicators that caused us to go bearish on equities last summer have recently improved.'

Though he now suggests the market could be due for a pause after its breakneck rally, Mr. Darda says he believes the economic recovery will be more robust than most investors expect, driving the S&P 500 to 1200 or 1300 next year.

'The depth of the recession, the turn in leading economic indicators and the shift in credit markets, which has been pretty dramatic, lead us to an above-consensus view on GDP and earnings, in line with our stock-market target,' he says.

Beyond 2010, the outlook may not be so sunny given the prospect of Federal Reserve monetary tightening, the potential for higher tax rates as a result of swollen government budget deficits and other headwinds.

Other analysts are glummer about the near-term outlook.

Among them is Vinny Catalano, chief investment strategist at Blue Marble Research. After months in the bear camp, Mr. Catalano on March 5 published a piece on the Minyanville Web site titled 'Bears Out of Momentum,' in which he identified what he called 'the first signs of a cyclical bullish scenario.'

Like Mr. Grantham, Mr. Catalano now thinks stocks are slightly overvalued. He thinks the S&P's fair value is closer to 945, based on earnings estimates and traditional P/E ratios, and could retreat to that point, or lower, in a hurry, possibly as soon as autumn.

The last time market indicators were flagging a market move this consistently, he says, was early March. Of some comfort to the bulls, Mr. Catalano doesn't expect a retest of the March lows; at most, he sees a correction of about 10%.

He has company from former newsletter publisher Peter Grandich. On March 6, Mr. Grandich, now the chief commentator for Canadian online investment community Agoracom, put out a note entitled 'Bye, Bye Permabear Camp -- It's Been Great!' After 18 months of 'feasting on bull meat,' he turned slightly more positive.

'I no longer believe it's worthy to sell rallies and one should now look to buy declines,' he wrote at the time.

Mr. Grandich now thinks the Dow is likely to stall roughly at 10500. While that would be a gain of about 10% from here, foreign markets offer more juice, he says, given that they have less of a debt overhang than the U.S. does.

He also doesn't expect a retreat to March lows, but says he thinks headwinds from an aging population that will pull money out of stocks, lost wealth and household debt will keep stocks in a rut in the coming years, churning between the March lows and the pre-Lehman highs.

Like all of the analysts who got the March call right, Mr. Grandich warns that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

'Those of us that live by looking in a crystal ball,' he says, 'learn to eat a lot of broken glass.'

看准了的感觉真好。但几位3月初时准确判断出股市已经触底的分析师,目前却对股市的未来走势不那么乐观。

他们中间最出名的格兰瑟姆(Jeremy Grantham)在3月10日曾发表了一份题为《兢兢战战之时再投资》的研究报告,鼓励投资者购买股票,文中说美国股市被低估了30%。

自那以来,美国股市一路高歌猛进,股指从未出现过10%以上的回调。标准普尔500指数上周收于1026.13点,较3月9日所创12年半低点高了52%,创下去年10月6日以来的最高收盘点位。道琼斯工业股票平均价格指数上周收于9505.96点,较3月份低点高了45%。

现在,身为波士顿资产管理公司GMO董事长的格兰瑟姆及其同事们认为,标准普尔500指数目前已经超过了他们认为的代表股市合理价值的880点左右水平。他们是基于对上市公司收益的预估和历史上股市的市盈率水平做出这一判断的。

格兰瑟姆在其简报中说,作为股票价值长期处于高估状态的偿赎,股市在未来7年将走一段不景气的下坡路。

GMO的资产配置总监殷克(Ben Inker)说,过去12年中经历了两次泡沫阶段,泡沫对企业利润确实有利。但人们已经习以为常的这种好日子不大可能再现了,因为将不再有泡沫来助我们一臂之力。

其他几位今年3月时对股市走向做出了正确判断的分析师表示,他们对股市的长期前景并不十分乐观,不过这些人对股市未来12个月表现的看法却存在分歧。

今年3月份时,认为股市已经触底的分析师是孤独的少数派。当时市场上弥漫着恐慌情绪,那些以往看涨股市的分析师建议客户离场观望。但一些长期对牛市行情持怀疑态度的分析师却没有变本加厉地唱衰股市,而是认定股市已接近触底。

经纪公司MKM Partners的首席经济学家达达(Michael Darda)就是此时转变立场的分析师之一,他目前对明年的股市前景持乐观态度。但他对股市在2010年后继续维持上涨的能力持怀疑态度。

今年2月24日,在连续几个月建议客户投资抗跌性产品后,达达发表了一份题为《变得更具建设性》的研究报告。文中说,几个去年夏天导致我们看跌股市的指标最近已出现了改善。

虽然他目前暗示说,股市在经历了一段猛涨后可能需要暂停一段时间,但他同时表示,相信本轮经济复苏将比多数投资者预计的更为强劲,从而推动标准普尔500指数明年升至1200或1300点。

他说,经济衰退的深度、领先经济指标的逆转以及信贷市场的剧烈变化都让我们对GDP和收益产生了高于普遍预期的观点,与我们对股市的目标相吻合。

2010年以后,鉴于美联储收紧货币政策的前景、政府由于巨额预算赤字而可能上调税率等不利因素,经济预期可能不会如此乐观。

一些分析师更不看好近期的前景。

这其中就包括Blue Marble Research首席投资策略师卡塔拉诺(Vinny Catalano)。在处于空头阵营几个月后,卡塔拉诺3月5日在Minyanville网站上发表了一篇名为《熊市力竭》的文章,称他看到了周期性牛市的先兆。

同格兰瑟姆一样,卡塔拉诺现在认为股市稍微有些高估。他认为,根据收益预期和传统的市盈率,标准普尔的合理价值接近945点,最早可能会在秋季就回落到这个点位,甚至更低。

他说,市场指标最近一次成为市场走势预兆的时间是在3月初。卡塔拉诺对牛市抱有一些乐观情绪,他预计不会再次考验3月份的低点,顶多会出现10%左右的回调。

前时事通讯发行人格兰迪奇(Peter Grandich)与他持有相同看法。今年3月6日,目前任加拿大网络投资社区Agoracom首席评论员的格兰迪奇发表了一篇名为《再见,熊市主义者》的研究报告。在发表《享受最后的牛市盛宴》18个月后,他的看法变得积极了一些。

他当时写道,我不再认为应该逢高卖出,现在应该逢低买进。

格兰迪奇现在认为,道琼斯指数可能会在10500点遇阻。他说,尽管这仍比目前点位高出了约10%,但海外市场能带来更大甜头,原因是这些政府的负债都要少于美国。

他也预计不会回落至3月时的低点,但他认为,人口老龄化的不利因素将使资金撤出股市,财富的丧失和家庭负债将在今年几年内让股市在3月份的低点和雷曼兄弟破产前高点之间波动。

同所有那些在3月份时判断正确的分析师一样,格兰迪奇警告说,过去的表现不能保证将来的结果。

他说,我们这些靠盯着水晶球为生的人都学会吞下很多的碎玻璃了。

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