Measuring the Bubble

The comments above & below is an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by John Hussman

“Last week, the US equity market climbed to the steepest valuation level in history, based on the valuation measures most highly correlated with actual subsequent S&P 500 10-12 year total returns, across a century of market cycles. These measures include the S&P 500 price/revenue ratio, the Margin-Adjusted Measuring the Bubble | BullionBuzzCAPE (our more reliable variant of Robert Shiller’s cyclically-adjusted P/E), and MarketCap/GVA—the ratio of nonfinancial market capitalization to corporate gross value-added, including estimated foreign revenues—which is easily the most reliable valuation measure we’ve ever created or tested, among scores of alternatives.”

“I expect the S&P 500 to lose approximately two-thirds of its value over the completion of this cycle. My impression is that future generations will look back on this moment and say “… and this is where they completely lost their minds.” As I’ve regularly noted in recent months, our immediate outlook is essentially flat neutral for practical purposes, though we’re partial to a layer of tail-risk hedges, such as out-of-the-money index put options, given that a market decline on the order of even 5% would almost certainly be sufficient to send our measures of market internals into a negative condition. It’s best not to rely on the ability to execute sales into a falling market, because the range-expansion we’ve recently seen on the upside may very well have a mirror-image on the downside. As usual, we’ll respond to new evidence as it emerges.”

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