The Stingy News Weekly (07/21/02)
The Markets This Week
DOW 30: 8,019 -7.67% with a median P/E of 26.0
S&P/TSX: 6,535 -4.18% with a median P/E of 32.2
The Value View
Dow at a P/E of 20: 6,168 (-23.1%) Poor Value
Dow at a P/E of 15: 4,626 (-42.3%) Fair Value
Dow at a P/E of 10: 3,084 (-61.5%) Good Value
S&P/TSX at a P/E of 20: 4,059 (-37.9%) Poor Value
S&P/TSX at a P/E of 15: 3,044 (-53.4%) Fair Value
S&P/TSX at a P/E of 10: 2,030 (-68.9%) Good Value
Markets in crisis
"The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted Friday, losing almost 400 points after component Johnson & Johnson said it is the latest company being investigated by U.S. regulators for potential improper record-keeping."
The case for cash
"Beating the S&P 500 since before the 2000 stock market top, U.S. Treasury bills are more than just a sanctuary. And now is when keeping some dry powder makes sense."
What earnings recovery?
"It doesn't matter who is doing the forecasting--analysts who cover individual companies or market strategists who look at the economy as a whole. They're all Pollyannas."
The great stock illusion
"Over long periods stocks greatly outperform bonds, right? Maybe not. A new study raises the disturbing possibility that this conclusion derives from a misreading of history."
Panic of 1819--and 2002
"The economic cycle of boom and bust is fascinating stuff. Its essential elements are repeated endlessly throughout the dusty pages of financial history. All of this makes Murray Rothbard's book, The Panic of 1819, particularly interesting, timely, and enlightening. This was Rothbard's doctoral dissertation, published originally in 1962 but very hard to come by until the new edition made available online through the Mises Institute."
Given recent market declines it is a good time to take Warren Buffett's quiz.
A short quiz: If you plan to eat hamburgers throughout your life and are not a cattle producer, should you wish for higher or lower prices for beef? Likewise, if you are going to buy a car from time to time but are not an auto manufacturer, should you prefer higher or lower car prices? These questions, of course, answer themselves.
But now for the final exam: If you expect to be a net saver during the next five years, should you hope for a higher or lower stock market during that period?
Many investors get this one wrong. Even though they are going to be net buyers of stocks for many years to come, they are elated when stock prices rise and depressed when they fall. In effect, they rejoice because prices have risen for the "hamburgers" they will soon be buying.
This reaction makes no sense. Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices.
The answers for last week's trivia questions are:
Q1. Who said "If bankers are busy; something is wrong."?
A1. Walter Bagehot, 19th Century Journalist (See The Bear Book)
Q2. Who said "Lending is not based primarily upon money or property. No sir. The first thing is character."?
A2. J.P. Morgan
Q3. How far has the NASDAQ fallen from its peak?
A3. -74.3% (Source: MSN.com)
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