Markets stocks

How Long Can Liquidity Trump Fundamentals?

Maybe forever, but a word of caution...

"We have seen this before", SocGen's Andrew Lapthorne wrote on Monday, in a kind of pseudo-lament. What is "this", you ask? Simple. "This" is equities rallying despite lackluster profit growth. That was a defining feature of 2019. By all indications, it will be a fixture in 2020 as well, although folks are penciling in a rebound in bottom line growth stateside. Various explanations have been floated to "explain" 2019's blockbuster equity gains against a backdrop of flatlining EPS growth. One such explanation is that although, over the long-term, price performance tracks profits, in the near-term, stocks rally in anticipation of EPS trends. That, Ned Davis suggested last month, helps explain why 2018 was a rough year for stocks even as EPS growth boomed, and vice versa in 2019. Read more: Prophesying Profits. Of course, a simpler explanation might be that central bank liquidity has intervened yet again to ensure that risk assets can remain disconnected from fundamentals. "During various central bank interventions post various financials crises, equities have rallied despite a lack of support from earnings", SocGen's Lapthorne goes on to say. Here's an illustration: (SocG
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8 comments on “How Long Can Liquidity Trump Fundamentals?

  1. babeinwoods says:

    how much does plain ol’ greed and the US being the best/most stable country to invest in have to do with it?

  2. George says:

    The primary goal / function the system has adopted is strictly to keep everyone guessing.. The wild card is it’s ability to inject (funny money) call it liquidity (??) at random… It works because other options have been pinched off at the bud each and every time they appear..
    The whole issue in this post is something resembling a question of why Pavlov’s Dog salivates when you rattle his food dish when he is not hungry….

  3. Can some of the various forward PE warning signs be explained by overly pessimistic estimates that were made with the backdrop of Q4 ’18 and the volatility throughout 2019?

  4. Randall says:

    The market got where it did with a strong dollar. With just under half of S&P profits coming from international what happens when the dollar falls bc of all the sanctions and trade fights.

  5. Could the PBOC provide the most accurate roadmap to what “maybe forever” looks like?

  6. Bas says:

    Nosebleed valuations, stalled profit growth, political uncertainty unmatched in (Recent?) US history. Yeah, definitely not a train wreck in the making.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget corp bal sheets are far worse today so Enterprise Values are staggeringly high.

    IF rates (ever) return to “normal’ Net Income will have another headwind. And imagine if they have to pay down debt and cut capex, op ex, stock buybacks, etc to do it.

    If inflation accelerates it will make 08/09 look good.

    We are in a mess folks with no way out……………

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