First, the strong dollar.THAT'S PRETTY BASIC STUFF.
Second, plunging energy prices that will generate an economy-wide tax-cut effect.
And third, rapid money-supply growth after 18 months of flat money.
In fact, on this last point — which is so important — it looks like the Fed has un-pegged its fed funds target rate and is instead focused on pouring cash into the liquidity-starved global banking system.
Meanwhile, the Treasury purchase plan for toxic assets will get off the ground sooner, not later.
RIGHT NOW: STOCKS ARE CHEAP. THEY MIGHT GET CHEAPER, BUT NOT BY AS MUCH AS THEY HAVE ALREADY. MANY ARE DOWN 50%. OR MORE. THAT MEANS IT'S TIME TO BUY.
I PREDICTED WHEN OIL WOULD DROP AND BY HOW MUCH.
HERE'S MY PREDICTION: THE DOW WILL BE HIGHER IN APRIL THAN IT IS NOW - BY A LOT: ABOUT 20%.
Now some veteran investors, including G. Kenneth Heebner, a mutual fund manager who has one of the best long-term track records on Wall Street, say that the sell-off has gone much too far and stocks are poised to rally powerfully if the downturn is less severe than investors fear.
“The fact is, there are a lot of tremendous bargains out there,” said Mr. Heebner, who manages about $10 billion in several mutual funds. Indeed, by many measures stocks are as cheap as they have been in the last 25 years.
He pointed to Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas producer that he owns in his CGM Focus mutual fund. In July, Chesapeake traded for $63 a share. On Friday, it fell as low as $11.99.
... after falling 30 percent or more since early September, stocks in stalwart, profitable corporations like Nokia, Exxon Mobil and Boeing are trading at nine times their annual profits per share or less. Many smaller companies are even cheaper. Some of those stocks are trading at five times earnings or less.
Those ratios are historically low. Over all, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is trading at about 13 times its expected profits for 2009, its lowest level in decades. In contrast, at the height of the technology bubble in early 2000, the stocks in the S.& P. traded at about 30 times earnings, the highest level ever. At the same time, the 10-year Treasury bond paid about 6 percent interest, compared with less than 4 percent today.