Friday, January 22, 2016

This Time It Was Really Different But The End Should Be As Usual

Firstly, a chart:

The chart depicts two financial instruments:

  • U.S. stock market (represented by an index S&P 500)
  • BDI - Baltic Dry Index, which is a measure of shipping transportation activity
  • Copper

Generally, when the world economy grows, each measure goes up - world trade grows (BDI), there is demand for commodities (Copper) and stocks go up (S&P 500). It is a healthy economic model depicted by the yellow area on the chart above.
In other words, the previous bull market in stocks (2003 - 2007) was supported by the two leading economic measures (BDI and Copper price).

However, the ongoing bull market in stocks, depicted by the pink area, has not been supported by these economic measures (both world trade and copper prices have been going down).
So, this time it was different. But was it, really? I don't think so. In the long run everything should reverse to the mean so there are two alternatives:

  1. the stock market will go down (or, at least, it will stop going up)
  2. suddenly the world economy will speed up lifting copper prices and the world trade

I choose the first alternative. In my opinion, the last bull market was supported by central banks and artificially low interest rates plus a lot of the so-called quantitative easing - hence the flourishing stock market and stagnating world economy.  I think that this stimulus is dissipating, which should have a negative impact on the world stock markets.

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