Hussman: Under Extreme Secular Undervaluation S&P Hits 400

John Hussman
John Hussman, of Hussman Funds, had an interesting Weekly Market Comment out last week (there's a new one out tonight) that included a range of S&P targets based historical "prospective returns". He also thinks there's a possiblity that the S&P could revert back its secular valuation lows, with the potential of overshooting. He's not alone, Felix Zulauf sees the S&P reverting back to book value. In this case, Hussman values the S&P 500 between 600 and 1000 based on the historical prospective returns listed below; but under extreme secular undervaluation and/or macroeconomic conditions, he thinks the S&P could hit 400!

"Historically, the typical bull-bear market cycle has produced a range of 10-year prospective returns in a band between about 7.5% and 13%. That band presently corresponds to a range for the S&P 500 index between 600 and 1000. A 10% prospective return is right in the middle, at about 800 on the S&P. Once you recognize that profit margins are in fact cyclical, that range is about right, as uncomfortable as it may be to contemplate. Jeremy Grantham of GMO estimates that fair value is "no higher than 950." A tighter norm for prospective return between 9-11% maps to an S&P 500 between 750 and 850.

Finally, while I certainly would not expect it in the absence of extreme macroeconomic upheaval, major secular undervaluation as we observed in 1950, 1974 and 1982 would presently map to about 400 on the S&P 500. When you think of "once in a generation" valuations and "secular bear market lows" - that number, not anything near present levels, should be what crosses your mind. I am well aware that even discussing numbers like these, given the present mindset of investors, is likely to be dismissed as utterly ridiculous. Frankly, I would rather risk the ridicule of those who pay lip-service to research, cash flows, fundamentals, and value than to pretend these outcomes are impossible, when the historical record (and even the experience of the past decade) strongly indicates otherwise." (continue reading at HussmanFunds.com)

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