In light of the DOW making a new all time high (just dont adjust for dollar depreciation!) I find myself wanting to buy into all the bullish arguments for the all powerful American economy. As I go over what the general media and talking heads keep pouring out, I am struck by the amazing twists and turns of logic which somehow all arrive at the same conclusion: the economy is going to heat back up and stocks need to be bought aggressively. Take a look at how every possibility is bullish, followed by my one bearish question:
Bull1: Rising oil prices dont matter anymore. Gas prices and oil prices have doubled over the past 2 years with no problems, so $100 oil is no big deal.
Bull2: Rising oil prices will curb demand, and hence lower prices.
Lonelybear: Cant wait to see an oil heating bill this winter!
Bull1: A falling dollar is bullish for US companies that export overseas as those products become cheaper to buy.
Bull2: A falling dollar will cause foreign capital to pour into the US to buy US assets at a huge discount.
Lonelybear: Cant wait for the DOW to become the CHOW (chinese equivalent) and the European Union to own Orange County! How exactly foreign entities buying US assets will help the average Joe is hard to see.
Bull1: Explosive global demand will make up for any slight pause by the American consumer.
Bull2: The US consumer has been called dead over a million times, and keeps on trucking.
Lonleybear: I didnt know folks in Africa went to the Walmart here in my neighborhood. You have me on the consumer thing.
Bull1: We have a goldilocks soft patch landing going on, and the FED is doing the right thing to keep growth going while eradicating all inflation at the same time.
Bull2: The unprecedented weakness in the housing market and the ongoing credit crunch makes a fiancial meltdown very possible, so the FED must cut aggressively, right now, which is bullish of course.
Lonelybear: My head hurts! Things are great so cut rates to make sure, or the world is going to end so cutting rates saves it all and re-ignites the housing boom? Thats alot to take in.
Bull1: All the bad news is out there, and is factored into stock prices so the only surprises will be to the upside.
Bull2: All the losses in the small subprime area have been written off by Citigroup, UBS, etc and there are no more hidden dangers from the mortgage market. All the bad news is priced in.
Lonelybear: Only surprises can be to the upside? What if home sales next month came in a ZERO? Would that number be factored in already? What about the all the coming mortgage resets from October to February of next year, I take it no more losses will be seen going forward? Thats good I was worried for nothing.
As you can see, anywhich way you look at it, the markets are going up, up and away. The housing market will reignite after rate cuts, and losses at banks are a thing of the past. Truly a magnificent story. Either the 2 week span in August where Jim Cramer was screaming for rate cuts to save the economy from the abyss, a massive credit crunch occurred, mortgage companies shut down their business and limited the loans they will make going forward, was all that was needed to purge the system of all problems
We have not seen the extent of the problems and folks are whistling past the graveyard.
I of course dont pretend to know, but it is shocking how we can go from financial armageddon to wonderland euphoria in 8 weeks. Somethings gotta give.