03 February 2013

Has the Market Peaked at 14,000?

Dow at 14,010: Market peak or new leg up?

One hardly knows what to find more amusing: the thought that something as impersonal as a measure of stock value would somehow pause or stall at a round number like 14,000 ("Doc! His fever has hit 100. Does this mean he'll die?") or that, given human psychology, it is legitimate to ask such a question.

Actually, it's worth clicking through on the above article. It has some interesting facts, including these:

Siegel (a finance professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania) says with cash yielding 0% and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes paying roughly 2% in interest, investors have little alternative other than to buy stocks in search of bigger gains. "Where else are they going to go for returns," says Siegel.
Main Street investors now have $2.4 trillion parked in money market funds, $6.7 trillion in bank savings accounts and $633 billion in low-yielding certificates of deposit, according to Peter Crane, publisher of Money Fund Intelligence, citing Federal Reserve data.

The Dow also looks attractive from a valuation standpoint, as the stock market is now trading at 14.5 times its trailing four-quarter earnings, a slightly cheaper price-to-earnings ratio than at its prior top in 2007. It sports a P-E that is 50% below where it was during the prior peak in 2000, according to S&P Capital IQ data.

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