After a swift rally that saw stocks return to a bull market nearly as rapidly as they fell into bear market territory, Thursday delivered a sharp “gut check” and one expert says the market’s due to deliver another.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 dropped nearly -6%, the Dow fell almost -7%, and the Nasdaq slipped more than -5% lower.
Bleakley Advisory Group’s Peter Boockvar said this week that stocks are setting the stage to deliver at least a -10% summer sell-off.
As temperatures rise, “that’s when the gut check is going to take place,” Boockvar said.
Boockvar expects that as the market ignores what’s going on in the world outside of stocks, it’s likely to trade mostly sideways as the economy continues to reopen even amid what’s looking like the beginnings of a second wave of coronavirus cases. And then, Boockvar warned, there may be a wave of profit-taking that will hit stocks.
“Right now, the market is ignoring the bad news in the hopes that things obviously get better as we reopen,” Boockvar said.
“The market is extraordinarily expensive,” he continued. “Now we have to bifurcate that because a lot of that overvaluation is concentrated in technology. Because technology is a huge chunk of the S&P, it makes the overall valuation metrics pretty high.”
And there’s no denying technology has been on a massive run higher. On Wednesday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged above 10,000 for the first time. And the XLK S&P 500 Info Tech Sector SPDR is up nearly 40% from the March 23 bottom, even after falling nearly -6% on Thursday.
One big thing that’s been driving the rally higher in the market has been the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented stimulus policies, though Boockvar noted that the market has also been pushed higher by a premature assumption that we’re on the road to recovery and we’ve turned a corner in the coronavirus pandemic, despite evidence suggesting otherwise.
Until everything is back open, it will be difficult to gauge the scope of the recovery. Once all businesses are back open, we’ll get a better idea of how many workers are rehired and how many of the millions remain unemployed. We’ll also get a better idea of how eager consumers are to get back to spending.
“When you shut down [the economy], you cause yourself our own pain. When you reopen, obviously things get better,” Boockvar said. “Come August [or] September, when most things are reopened… that’s when we’ll be able to sort of fairly measure the state of the economy.”