Common Sense Says US Stocks Are Overvalued

Touching Stock Market Chart

Dow up 180 points yesterday. Gold rose $16, once again breaching the $1,200-an-ounce mark.

The first number measures the value of America’s business. The second measures the measure.

We watch the two, but not closely. Most often, nothing important happens. There is no information content in the numbers. Just ‘noise.’

Then, occasionally, they say something…

The story of our times

Many investors and analysts spend their time trying to figure out what the numbers will say next.

That is like trying to guess what will come out next from the mouth of a raving lunatic.

Instead, we try to figure out what Mr. Market would say…if he had some sense.

Would he say that ‘all is well’ and America’s businesses are becoming more valuable?

Why would he?

Companies compete with each other for whatever sales are available. Some win market share; some lose market share.

Overall, the value of businesses should rise along with the rest of the economy — that is, along with GDP.

But for the last 30 years, the value of equities has risen much faster than GDP. In raw numbers, the Dow is up about 12 times. GDP is up only about three times.

How is that possible?

That is the story of our times…and our lives. Most of our adult lives have been spent in this world, where strange things have happened…and been taken for normal.

And now we live with stock prices — and also bond prices and real estate prices — far higher than economic performance would predict.

What gives? And what would Mr. Market say about it?

Trouble in the bond markets

It doesn’t make sense for asset prices to run so far ahead of the economy that supports them.

There are only so many sales to be had…only so much business…and only so many profits.

‘Oh…but interest rates are lower!’ you might say…

Yes, but that is not a permanent condition.

Mr. Market will have something to say about that too.

And although he has been mumbling and grumbling, one interesting thing has slipped from his lips: ‘Bonds have topped out.’

At least, that’s what we thought we heard.

About two months ago, nominal bond yields dropped to such strange levels — negative in many cases — that it must have caught Mr. Market’s attention and offended his delicate sensibilities.

Since then, bond prices have dropped. This has pushed up yields.

Here in France, for example, yields on the 10-year French government note quadrupled in just 60 days.

This could be more than noise. It could be the end of the whole thing…

Stay tuned…

And stay tuned, too, as we defend ourselves against a terrible, outrageous, and preposterous calumny…

Until Monday.


Bill Bonner,
For The Daily Reckoning, Australia

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Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

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3 Comments on "Common Sense Says US Stocks Are Overvalued"

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slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat
1 year 4 months ago
a preposterous calumny? ~which one? ——————————————————————————————————- Jim Rogers, sounding like he’s channeling slewie on the NEW bankstering “competition”: “Well, it’s gonna change the world,” Rogers says when asked about the role of the BRICS Bank. “You know, the world has been dominated by IMF, World Bank, and other American-controlled institutions, and that’s never good, that only one players in charge of everything. So now we’re going to have competition… “This will be very good for the world,” he adds. “Jim Rogers: Turmoil Is Coming Sunday” June 21, 2015 10:15 AM ——————————————————————————————————– by golly! it’s Central Bankster “competitiion”! you heard… Read more »
slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat
1 year 4 months ago

i really don’t think it will “change the world”, but, think of the choices, Hobson!
i really do think this [“competition”] is the way it will be “billed” and promoted, once the novelty wears off and they actually hafta DO something as a “development bank”, though.
from whom do you wish to borrow?
to whom do you wish to be indebted?

China is not poorly-positioned, physically, and has been building ports and trade-route plans
with some big transportation and engineering aspects.
so now, for the financing…

the banksters haven’t changed.
only the names have been changed,
to protect the innocent.

1 year 4 months ago

So stocks are over valued.
Where else to park funds?

In physical cash that’s about to be outlawed?
In ethereal digital cash that is about to be bailed-in?
In bonds (i.e. debt) ?
In Real Estate ?
In suppressed PMs?

Honestly Bill, sometimes you can be pathetically obtuse.

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