Why are equity markets at their current level?

21's picture
Rank: Baboon | 115

Why is the equity market still at relatively high levels despite the Fed's QE programme coming to an end and the impending rates hike?

I remember reading just a few months ago about how the Fed's monetary policy programmes were the main factor supporting the equity markets and yet, they have not really seen much of a decrease.

Any reasons?

Comments (11)

Oct 9, 2014

They are kind of in a yo-yo right now rather.

Oct 9, 2014

Like everything everywhere at every time, because that's what people are willing to pay at that point in time.

Oct 10, 2014

Rate hikes are not a credible threat, and the market knows this. QE4 should be coming soon.

Oct 10, 2014

What is love? What is this longing in our hearts for togetherness? Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to?

Oct 10, 2014

we're about 5% down from peak, which is a minor hiccup, not a correction or really anything of substance. I still believe that markets are where they are because of the fed-driven relative value trade. people see little return in bonds (low interest rates) and so the ERP doesn't have to be very high (high PE = low earnings yield = narrower ERP) for people to want to go to stocks and continue to buy them up. also M&A activity, improving employment numbers (very high job openings & quits numbers here in the US), as well as accommodating monetary policy are all reasons why the market is up right now. is it justified? depends on what camp you're in. for our clients, we're still invested in US over international & EM, but we took profits before the recent spat of volatility beginning in September and put it elsewhere, sort of as dry powder if this goes down 10%+.

people don't seem to realize that it's highly unlikely (though not impossible) that when rates rise, they don't rise tremendously. today, the 10y is at 2.3, which is low. we came into the year with it at 2.86, and I'd argue it's been declining because of global demand given lower yields in other countries' sovereign bonds (see Germany & Japan's 10y yields, and make sure you're sitting down), as well as various geopolitical events and China depressing its currency.

in a word, people are uncertain. they always are, they always will be, and they make decisions with their money because of their uncertainty. no one is certain if Europe will break up or if the Euro will survive, no one is certain that employment will keep improving, no one is certain that things will be bad, so they increase exposure to risk assets.

to OP, instead of wondering why the market is doing what it's doing, do your best to buy quality assets at discounts from intrinsic value. regardless of what the market "should" be doing, Mr. Market will not abide.

Oct 10, 2014

Thanks for all your insights. what do you anticipate will happen once rates start rising? I've read that it could go either way - stocks could fall as the discount rate increases (is this correct) or stocks could be mostly unchanged as the interest rates increase is accompanied by strong economic data.

Oct 9, 2014
21:

Thanks for all your insights. what do you anticipate will happen once rates start rising? I've read that it could go either way - stocks could fall as the discount rate increases (is this correct) or stocks could be mostly unchanged as the interest rates increase is accompanied by strong economic data.

The latter is more likely this time because the Fed won't meaningfully raise rates until economic data is strong.

Oct 10, 2014

That's 'cause stocks are cheap. I am a buyer here.

Nov 18, 2014

You would do far better trying to understand a basket of 5-10 stocks than you will trying to understand the entire market.

Oct 11, 2014

Anyone who claims to be able to predict the macroeconomic environment is extremely likely to be full of shit.

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