Monday, November 15, 2010

Hussman Weekly Market Comment: The Cliff

Municipal bond investors are clearly re-evaluating the prospects for additional fiscal stimulus from the federal government. Indeed, many state and local governments (as well as health and disability service providers that benefited from stimulus dollars), are beginning to talk about "the cliff" - an abrupt reduction in revenues due to the loss of current stimulus funding which has been used to bridge existing budget shortfalls. My impression is that equity investors face a similar "cliff" which they may not have adequately recognized yet.

The essential point is that stocks are much more richly valued than simplistic P/E multiples would suggest. Investors may pay a heavy price if they fail to adjust valuations for the level of profit margins. The only proper way to value stocks is in relation to measures of sustainable, long-run, full-cycle financial performance.