Poking The Bear

 

First and foremost, this week’s commentary should not be construed to suggest that we are saying stocks will go up forever. We are also not saying that stocks are immune from a pullback in the final four months of 2021. Corrections are a normal part of investing and the S&P 500 Index has yet to
pull back even 5% so far this year, something that happens on average three times per year.  However, we remain steadfastly bullish and this week want to explore five things that some bears believe that do not worry us.

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Why Stagflation Isn’t In The Cards

 

 

The term stagflation has been circulating increasingly in the financial media as inflation readings have risen sharply in recent months. The term is often associated with the 1970s, which saw runaway inflation—largely driven by sky-high energy prices—and lackluster economic growth. Stagflation and a return to the weak equity markets of the 1970s would be understandably scary. However, when looking at the data, we remain skeptical that either runaway inflation or low growth are right around the corner, much less both at the same time.

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Corporate America Does It Again

 

Corporate America did it again. Companies blew by estimates and made  strategists and analysts look silly (though we humbly suggest that we may have looked less silly than most in our earnings preview on July 12). S&P 500 earnings growth did not surprise by quite as much as in the first quarter, but came pretty close—boosted by the biggest quarterly upside revenue surprise in at least 13 years. Here, we recap the strong numbers and raise our forecasts for earnings and for S&P 500 fair value at year-end.

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COVID Update: Delta Variant Market Impact

 

The highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up an overwhelming majority of the new cases in the U.S., bringing with it a rise in cases and hospitalizations. Widespread vaccine distribution and distancing measures have helped limit the variant’s impact, but we could still see some drag on economic growth as some restrictions are reintroduced and consumers potentially become more cautious. While we may see an increase in market volatility due to the Delta variant, we believe the S&P 500 is still likely to see more gains through the end of the year.

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