Saturday, 18 February 2017

US stocks resume rally, Dow 30,000 next?

Markets were mixed on Friday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 was little-changed and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.6 percent.

With the S&P 500 finishing up 1.5 percent for the week, analysts continue to be optimistic on stocks.

Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at Seaport Global Securities LLC, said that “the bias higher seems intact”.

“I still remain optimistic on the market going forward,” said Gary Anetsberger, chief executive officer at Millennium Trust Co.

“The broader uptrend is intact thanks to renewed optimism about the global growth outlook and supportive bottom-up corporate earnings,” Ian Williams, a Peel Hunt strategist, wrote in a note.

Indeed, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed little-changed at 20,624.05 on Friday, Nigam Arora at MarketWatch wrote that the “fundamental case for Dow 30,000 during Donald Trump's first term has strengthened”.

“The biggest single factor in the long-term direction of stocks is earnings growth,” Arora wrote.

While the current consensus for S&P 500 operating earnings is $133 per share, Arora said that tax cuts could add about $13 while deregulation could add another $7.

“If gross domestic product growth were to accelerate to 4%, S&P 500 earnings could reach as high as $190 by the end of Trump's first term,” he said.

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