Monday, July 27, 2009

Dow 15,000, Here We Come

Dow 15,000, Here We Come: Stocks Going to New Highs, Lemonides Says.
Quarterly earnings reports have reignited the dormant rally that began in early March and ran into June. The Nasdaq is on an eleven-day winning streak. The Dow dipped fractionally Wednesday but is just about break even for the year and the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 is at its highest point since November.

Skeptics warn the rally may fade as expectations get ahead of reality. But Charles Lemonides, chief investment officer with ValueWorks, says there's plenty of upside left, thanks to improving fundamentals. "When you have better economic conditions and really, really compelling valuations; and you're bumping up against the top end of a range it’s sort of a good recipe for breaking through that range and going significantly higher," he says.

Brian Wesbury, chief economist at First Trust Advisors, got the 'Tech Ticker' crowd going on Wednesday, when he made a similar call, saying stocks are 50% undervalued and the Dow could hit 10,000 by year end. Lemonides' call is even more bold: "I don't think it would be surprising to see a 12,000 number [on the Dow] six months to a year out," he says.

But he's not done there: "You'll see the market retrace its old high which means I think that over a couple of years you'll see 15,000 on the Dow."

I told you it was bold.

According to Lemonides, the same thing that drove the tech and housing bubbles will also drive this next rally: low interest rates. In his view, "interest rates modulate economic activity.“ And, with rates essentially as low as they can go, he expects asset inflation, "not really fast but over time."

It's a simple formula "capitalism comes with boom and bust" and after going bust last year we're in the beginning stages of a boom.

In the meantime, he’s buying stocks he thinks are undervalued, including Legg Mason, 3M and Boeing. With each company, "you’re getting these names at valuations that are just off the charts… and in an economic environment that’s likely to be improving," Lemonides says.

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