Any possible summer downturn for stocks just got that much more unlikely. The latest Federal Reserve Money Stock Measures report puts the amount of money circulating in the U.S. economy at a record high $12.837 trillion. The previous record was hit on April 18 at $12.801 trillion, when traditionally money supply tends to decline or stagnate until August or September. This year it has recovered almost two whole months early, which means we could be heading for an exceptionally strong fourth quarter for stocks.
To give some perspective on how fast money growth is accelerating in 2016, it took only 11 weeks for the April one-week average record to be broken this year. In 2015, it took 19 weeks, with August seeing a market crash and stocks struggling for over a year to make new highs. In 2014 it took 12 weeks and we saw an October 2014 market decline that quickly reversed. In 2013 it took 15 weeks and we saw minor summer declines that had no follow through.
While bullish trends may not be firmly established until September, and there will be pullbacks through the rest of the summer months as normal, the monetary signals are clear. It is time to buy the dips in your favorite stocks rather than sell the rallies. Here are three underperforming Dow stocks this year that, given the conditions, could turn into outperformers in the second half of the year.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) has yet to recover from last year’s August market crash. Down 5% year to date and down 18% from highs, the stock could find its groove after next earnings. Its biggest movies have been major hits so far, including “Finding Dory,” which broke U.S. box office records for the most successful opening weekend ever. “Captain America: Civil War” was widely lauded, as was “Zootopia,” with another highly anticipated Marvel movie, “Doctor Strange,” set for an August release. All Disney needs is some bullish sentiment for its stock to pick up for the rest of the year on the back of its successful 2016 in movies.
Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) is expensive, but housing and construction are still going strong and from a technical standpoint, and the stock is coming up to previous highs after a full year of consolidation. It is also much closer to the new money being added to the system since housing loans are generally third in line after stocks and bonds to have prices bid up. We are in no condition right now for a deflationary recession as happened in 2008, so there is no foreseeable danger to Home Depot’s core business. With the Federal Reserve finding any and every excuse not to hike rates even 25 basis points, Home Depot can continue riding the boom wave of this business cycle and make up for lost time once new highs are reached.
Just looking at a chart of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) could make one think that stocks in general are in a bear market. The company’s decline since the beginning of 2015 looks very much like its 2008/2009 decline. Amex may be having some problems, but a firm bottom looks to have been established at $50, which has been long-term major technical level since 2000. The chances of the credit card company breaking through that level without some kind of major economic depression are nil, limiting downside considerably. In general, a boom means more spending, which means more earnings for credit card companies. Even a minor recovery halfway to previous highs would translate to 15% gains in this case.
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