Traders Ignore Valuation Concerns And Continue To Buy Stocks
S&P 500 finished the previous week near all-time high levels as traders remained optimistic despite worries about the potential reduction of Fed’s asset purchase program.
The stock market remains driven by available liquidity, as well as FOMO (fear of missing out) and TINA (there is no alternative). Meanwhile, the yield of 10-year Treasuries remains stuck near 1.30% which is bullish for stocks. The U.S. Dollar Index has pulled back from recent highs which is also bullish for the stock market, but it should be noted that fluctuations of the American currency had little impact on U.S. stock market in 2021.
Some analysts speculated that S&P 500 will find itself under pressure after the end of the earnings season as stocks would lack catalysts to move higher. In addition, September has been (on average) the worst month for S&P 500 in the last thirty years. However, the stock market started the month with a test of new highs which indicated that traders remained bullish despite problems like the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus or the potential reduction of Fed’s asset purchase program.
As is often the case in the stock market, there is no pullback when too many people are waiting for such a pullback. The last chance to “buy stocks at a discount” was in mid-August, and this pullback was quickly bought. The two other pullbacks which happened during this summer were very quickly bought as well. This indicates that there are many traders on sidelines who use any pullback to buy stocks. When many traders want to buy and few traders want to sell, a correction cannot occur.
Obviously, many stocks are generously valued by the market. Tesla is trading at more then 105 forward P/E , and it remains well below yearly highs! Netflix is valued at more than 45 forward P/E after the recent rally.
The risks for high-flying growth stocks have been recently highlighted by Zoom which issued disappointing guidance for the third quarter and lost about 17% of market capitalization in just one trading session. However, even Zoom shares have found some support in recent trading sessions as traders rushed to buy the stock after the major pullback despite the fact that it is valued at more than 60 forward P/E while analyst estimates have started to move lower.
In this liquidity-driven market, the Fed is one of the main players. So far, the Fed was successful in managing market’s expectations. Fed Chair Jerome Powell remained very dovish and calmed markets on rare ocassions of small panic.
Powell has a more challenging task in front of him as the Fed will have to cut its asset purchase program in the upcoming months. Even if the Fed decides that it’s too early to announce tapering at its meeting on September 22, it will still have to reduce support to markets at the beginning of the next year to avoid pushing inflation above reasonable levels.
It should be noted that traders may stay bullish and bet on dovish comments from Powell up until the time he finally says that it is time to reduce the asset purchase program. In this light, the market may experience several months of calm, bullish trading in case the Fed keeps the current support intact at its next meeting.
The current bullish trend is strong, and traders have been “trained” to buy pullbacks. A change of trend demands strong catalysts, and there are no such catalysts at this point. The situation may change in case inflation gets out of control, Fed has to reduce its asset purchase program at a very fast pace while Delta variant forces new lockdowns, but this negative scenario is not the base case for the market right now.
Let’s take a look at the weekly chart. S&P 500 is moving higher in a rather tight upside channel, and any attempt to settle below the low end of this channel is quickly bought.
RSI is in the overbought territory and the risks of a pullback are increasing. However, RSI has been in the overbought territory for several weeks and nothing serious happened as pullbacks have been quickly bought.
On the daily chart RSI remains in the moderate territory which is good for the continuation of the current upside trend. Pullbacks are more visible on the daily chart, but it is obvious that they were not big at all as the bullish trend remained strong.
This is the type of the market when being bearish and trying to short tops leads to poor results. At one point, the bears will be right, but they can lose a lot of money trying to find the true top. Put simply, the trend remains bullish until proven otherwise. The Fed may break the trend by reducing support too quickly, but it has been very supportive in previous months and will likely remain very cautious when it finally begins to reduce its asset purchase program.
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