The bull market continues to run but a growing number of experts say it might be at its tipping point.
This year's winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics admits he is nervous about the stock market.
Richard H. Thaler, who won the award in part because of his contributions to the understanding of behavioural economics, told Bloomberg: "We seem to be living in the riskiest moment of our lives, and yet the stock market seems to be napping."
There was a lot more but because his comments were fully reported in The Globe and Mail and other media I won't repeat them again. Suffice to say he doesn't like what he is seeing in Wall Street, Washington, or London, where the British are still figuring out how to cope with Brexit.
He's not the only one that has expressed concern about high share prices. Yet investors don't want to listen. The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 set more new records last week and the TSX is edging closer to a new all-time high. This train doesn't want to slow down.
There are several reasons for that. For starters, there is no sign of a recession on the horizon. Earnings so far this year have been good, interest rates are still historically low despite recent increases, global growth continues at a reasonable pace, inflation is contained, and consumer confidence is strong. None of the obvious triggers for an economic downturn are in evidence.
However, there is no question that U.S. stocks are overvalued by historic standards and the number of people expressing concern is growing. The Shiller p/e ratio for the S&P 500 is now at 31.15, higher than at any time since the 1880s except for just prior to the 2000 high-tech crash. It's even higher than just before Black Tuesday in 1929! One unexpected event could trigger a flood of sell orders and plunge us into a new bear market.
What might that tipping point be?
Click through for a few possibilities.
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