Tobin Smith Sees V-12 Market

06/06/2003 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Smith, TobinTobin Smith, editor of ChangeWave Investing , called for a market bottom at Dow 7500. At the time he said those dangerous words, "This time is different."  But at the time, he was convinced that the market was ready to rebound.  His original target was a move to 8,500, which he then revised to 9,000. He now sees even higher levels. Here's his reasoning.

"The market has moved above resistance targets. Many are calling for a rest at these levels, something that would be great for those of you who have missed this train. Don't be surprised if any 'rest'  is just a wee bit of a breather before the train rolls on to Dow 10,000 and Nasdaq 2,000 before early 2004. It looks like I may be underestimating the power of this transformed market. Yes, we do now have a transformed market, one that is anticipating 3%+ GDP growth in 2004 powered by the new, powerful engine of consumer business and governmental growth in future service and product demand. Indeed, t here is a new, powerful 'V-12' engine driving future economic demand. This is important especially in the context that our economy has been running on a two-cylinder engine for the last three years. Why is this V-12 engine of future economic recovery and growth now primed and ready to rumble, you ask?

* Cylinder 1: Significantly LOWER trade-weighted dollar valuation. (This stimulates exports and increases foreign and domestic pricing power for capital goods.)

* Cylinder 2: Significantly LOWER corporate bond yields. (This lowers interest rate expenses via refinancing of existing debt at lower rates.)

* Cylinder 3: Significantly HIGHER bond underwriting. (This cuts blended borrowing costs 50-150 basis points for corporations.)

* Cylinder 4: Significantly HIGHER mortgage rate refinancing. (This cuts household debt costs, liquefies home equity appreciation, raises home valuations, and reduces the overall interest costs of home buying.)

* Cylinder 5: Rising stock prices. (This mends corporate pension plan deficiencies, improves consumer confidence, and encourages capital formation by issuance of new stock/stock-based buyouts.)

* Cylinder 6: Significantly HIGHER consumer confidence about the future. (This stimulates consumer spending.)

* Cylinder 7: Significantly HIGHER corporate profits--the rise over last year's first quarter will extend into Q2 and grow as demand improves and costs stay low. (This creates investment capital within corporations.)

* Cylinder 8: Significantly HIGHER bank lending levels. (This creates capital and lowers overall borrowing costs for corporations.)

* Cylinder 9: Significant investment tax rate reduction. (This rewards higher rates of risk taking by investors.)

* Cylinder 10: Long-term Fed interest rate guidance. (This should keep short-term interest rates low throughout 2004 and creates demand for interest rate-sensitive goods like houses and cars.)

* Cylinder 11: Inventory replacement--with inventories at historic lows and unfilled order backlogs for non-defense goods rising for the last three months, a return to baseline normal rates of sales-to-inventory adds 1.2% to GDP demand.

* Cylinder 12: Loose money supply. Cash in the monetary system is still growing at 7%-8% annual rates, which is enough liquidity to fuel expansion.

"The real answer to the question, 'Is this just another bear market rally false start or the real baby bull within a secular bear market?' requires a little more context than 'yes' or 'no.' We will not know for sure if the new V-12 engine of economic growth is actually working till the first quarter of 2004. If the historic, demand-driving power of all 12 cylinders of economic stimulus do not bring about 3%+ growth to our economy by late 2003-early 2004, the economy is broken and all bets on economically sensitive growth stocks are off--and they should be sold and then shorted.

"And yes, betting against (i.e. shorting) economically sensitive stocks while the old two-cylinder engine of economic growth held court was a great way to make money in the post-bubble bear market. But that was then--this is now. And betting against a V-12 economic demand engine that has more than enough horsepower to drive a normal business cycle recovery is a very poor wager. That is what the market is saying here, in my humble opinion. Betting on (i.e. being long) economically sensitive stocks before the business cycle begins to expand (and conversely being short as the business cycle peaks and begins to contract) is one of the key ways we at ChangeWave Investing to keep our money growing through expanding and contracting economies.

"Betting on economically sensitive, smaller-cap growth stocks at the onset of sustainable economic expansion is a great way to make loads of money in the stock market--as the returns we've registered making this bet on stocks since early this year most emphatically proves. We may very well bail on stocks in early 2004 if our proprietary economic demand research shows the growth we expect did not arrive. But until then, this remains very much a 'buy the dips' market."

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