Adam Parker, Morgan Stanley’s Chief U.S. Equity Strategist, is starting to sound frustrated with how the stock market has been behaving. Since the beginning of the year, Parker’s year-end target for the S&P 500 has been 1,167.”The S&P 500 is within 3.5% of its all-time high (in total return) after screaming higher the past two days,” writes Adam Parker, Chief U.S. Equity Strategist for Morgan Stanley.
“The problem is that it’s impossible to be bullish and right for the right reasons,” he continues.
Like Morgan Stanley’s other economists and strategists, Parker is pessimistic on the outlook on Europe, worried that the U.S. economy is slowing, and convinced that corporate profits have topped.
Admittedly, he does note that things could turn out much better than what he has modelled into his base case.
From his note:
Where could we be wrong? We worry all the time about our market call, but at the end of the day, we are not really worried that Europe is going to be “solved” or that its economy will strongly grow. We also don’t think strong corporate profitability relative to expectations will save the day. To us, the biggest bull case for US equities is based on the huge cash balances and the potential belief that they will be more actively and productively deployed. The biggest possibility here would be Romney winning the Presidential election. Our guess is that the market multiple would expand if in fact more investors start believing Romney will win. Secondly, we think an improving outlook in China could create a bid for cyclicals in the US, given how much they have sold off. Interestingly, the microstructure of the market rally this past week was not full-on beta, with health care (our largest overweight) the best performing sector in Friday’s large uptrend. Investors are worried, they are just not worried now. We think the time for more worry is near. Perhaps the champagne should be for mood enhancement, not for celebration.
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