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The Markets
Old 09-15-2017, 12:45 PM   #1
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The Markets

Purely Curiosity.
As a non-investor, the Stock Market has become a mystery to me. With new records, every day, there has to be confidence... somewhere.
Would love to hear explanations for this.

Not asking for recommendations or predictions... just your opinion as to what is driving the increase.

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Old 09-15-2017, 12:56 PM   #2
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I listened to Marketplace last night where there was a segment about possible tax package that Trump will propose (details unknown, of course) and they played a segment with Trump talking about encouraging offshore $ to come back to US. Marketplace said when tax law related to this was last changed to encourage those profits to be brought back to US, companies did repatriate the money. But they used most of the money to buy back shares instead of investing in new production etc.

I wondered if movers and shakers in the market are pricing in big sock buybacks after a tax package is passed (if it's passed, if.., if.. etc)
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Purely Curiosity.
As a non-investor, the Stock Market has become a mystery to me. With new records, every day, there has to be confidence... somewhere.
Would love to hear explanations for this.

Not asking for recommendations or predictions... just your opinion as to what is driving the increase.

Some one read my post on social security assets being invested in the stock market. The newly created demand would make the prices skyrocket.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:00 PM   #4
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Central banks have pumped $2TRILLION YTD into the markets.... gotta keep those balloons inflated.
BofA: $2 Trillion YTD In Central Bank Liquidity Is Why Stocks Are At Record Highs | Zero Hedge
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:17 PM   #5
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Because this is the price level that investors collectively think it is worth. Ask why, and you will get as many answers as there are investors.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:40 PM   #6
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The economy has been doing great at least through 2016. Here is a report:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...3b4_story.html
Quote:
The incomes of middle-class Americans rose last year to the highest level ever recorded by the Census Bureau, as poverty declined and the scars of the past decade’s Great Recession seemed to finally fade.

Median household income rose to $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year and the second consecutive year of healthy gains, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. The nation’s poverty rate fell to 12.7 percent, returning nearly to what it was in 2007 before a financial crisis and deep recession walloped workers in ways that were still felt years later.
So if incomes are "the highest level ever recorded", then it stands to reason that the stock market should also be at the highest level ever recorded. Pretty simple it seems to me.

It also helps that "the rate of Americans lacking health insurance to be at its lowest ever last year, ...."
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:16 PM   #7
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Every pullback has been bought up. It seems that people have gotten used to the upwards market. I have friends who have been out of the market since last year and are waiting for a serious correction to jump in.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:18 PM   #8
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Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to invest or eat cat food.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:29 PM   #9
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I would like to correct AA, but hesitate if prices are super inflated at this time. Have been holding back...
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:32 PM   #10
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"Don't fight the Fed." When the Federal Reserve has an easy money policy (pushing for low interest rates) that stimulates the economy, which increases business earnings and drives up stock prices. When the Fed does the opposite, has a tight money policy, that restricts the ability to borrow and thus dampens earnings and stock prices.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:39 PM   #11
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Every pullback has been bought up. It seems that people have gotten used to the upwards market. I have friends who have been out of the market since last year and are waiting for a serious correction to jump in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryGal View Post
I would like to correct AA, but hesitate if prices are super inflated at this time. Have been holding back...
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:05 PM   #12
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I would like to correct AA, but hesitate if prices are super inflated at this time. Have been holding back...
Wouldn't that be a good reason to adjust your asset allocation now?

Unless you're talking about buying more stocks
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:07 PM   #13
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People buy stuff for more than it costs to make so stocks go up. Also goes up with inflation.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:35 PM   #14
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As an amateur watcher of the markets, I think market sentiment is a funny thing, and someone's personification of them as a bipolar guy who is either deliriously happy or depressed is pretty accurate in this way: Right now the markets are happy and are shrugging off any bad news. Someday, the markets will be depressed and shrug off any good news.

Why this happens, I've no idea. What causes sentiment to shift, I've no idea. It does seem, in my study of history, that the shifts are usually due to news items that don't really seem like they should cause a sea change. It also seems that these items are not usually ones that people were predicting. For example, the "Asian contagion" crash in the late 90's was not predicted by many. The mortgage-related crash in 2008-9 was seen by a few and probably obvious in retrospect, but the topic IIRC did not dominate the news headlines before things actually started unraveling.

As someone above posted, monetary policy can be a powerful force, and it does seem to me as though interest rates will probably need to be raised soon as inflation is likely to pick up soon. But I do like Yellen's data-driven policy even if it is less predictable.

I think the markets are high now because companies seem to be doing well and earning money. Why companies are doing well and earning money is more of a puzzle - labor costs are probably still lower than they otherwise would be as unemployed people return to the workforce and are just thankful for a job. Regulation changes and the possibility of tax reform, especially the corporate tax rate reduction and repatriation ideas, are probably driving stock prices up somewhat.

It could also be momentum. People with cash on the sidelines see the market going up for a few months, and they decide to join the party with some of their dry kindling, which results in the market going up more.

I like the high stock prices, but I do think we are beginning to form something of a bubble. How long it will last, how high it will get, and how bad it will be when it will pop are anyone's guess. I have my opinions, but as I said at the outset, I am just an amateur.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by flyingaway View Post
Every pullback has been bought up. It seems that people have gotten used to the upwards market. I have friends who have been out of the market since last year and are waiting for a serious correction to jump in.
Well, I think the market is up 25 % since last(2016 January). So your friends need a 25 % correction just to get back on even ground. Then when will they pull the trigger to reenter?

Tell them the BCG said buy now, a little every week, they missed a nice rally, they might wait for ever.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:05 PM   #16
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The economy continues to grow, as does corporate earnings.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:57 PM   #17
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I guess there is always those who talk about gloom and doom and how the markets are going to correct themselves. The markets always make corrections some big some small. You have to know what you're putting your money into, which a high percentage of people don't and then get upset when the stock loses.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:07 PM   #18
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Well, there's no dough to be made with bonds and CD's eh?
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:28 PM   #19
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The market tends to be a leading indicator. Many are betting that there will be more "business friendly" policies (like the tax cut mentioned above) with potential to increase earnings, so they think that the upward run will continue. Companies seem to be hiring more (though one can argue whether or not they are hiring at higher wages/benefits than in the past). Though North Korea is a wildcard, the apparent feeling that China and Russia are at least publicly supporting sanctions against them (who knows what is being talked about in the back rooms of diplomacy) makes them seem like more talk and less action. Interest rates are up but so little that folks do not seem very worried, in fact it seems if the Fed does not raise rates there is more concern, due to the feeling that the economy is slowing down.

Just my opinion. Personally I still follow Mr. Buffet's "be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful" rule.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:16 PM   #20
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The market tends to be a leading indicator. Many are betting that there will be more "business friendly" policies (like the tax cut mentioned above) with potential to increase earnings, so they think that the upward run will continue. Companies seem to be hiring more (though one can argue whether or not they are hiring at higher wages/benefits than in the past). Though North Korea is a wildcard, the apparent feeling that China and Russia are at least publicly supporting sanctions against them (who knows what is being talked about in the back rooms of diplomacy) makes them seem like more talk and less action. Interest rates are up but so little that folks do not seem very worried, in fact it seems if the Fed does not raise rates there is more concern, due to the feeling that the economy is slowing down.

Just my opinion. Personally I still follow Mr. Buffet's "be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful" rule.
So what are people now? Many on here seem to be waiting for the next crash, yet the rising prices indicate the market writ large is hopeful.
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