Let’s Talk About Valuations

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LPL Research discuss why stocks might not be as expensive as many think and how the economy continues to improve faster than expected.

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Stocks have soared, which has many worried that stocks are expensive. Although this is true, it isn’t that simple. This week in the LPL Market Signals podcast, LPL Research Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick and Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder discuss why stocks might not be as expensive as many think, while also talking about higher capital gains taxes on the wealthy, the economy continues to improve faster than anyone expected, and what to be watching for this week.

How overvalued are stocks?

One of the big worries lately is stocks are as pricey as they’ve been since the late 1990s. The S&P 500 Index is trading at price to earnings ratios (PE) multiple of 22 times forward earnings for the next 12 months (FactSet). The LPL Strategists did point out that using 2022 earnings, it drops to 20, but this is still well above the 17 average since 1980. Here’s the catch though—when you factor in extremely low rates, stocks are actually more reasonably justified. The truth is stocks might be expensive, but bonds are historically expensive, so looking at them together does show a fuller picture. It doesn’t stop there though, as the Strategists noted when inflation is low (like it currently is), you tend to see higher multiples as well, as higher inflation reduces the value of future profits and cash flows.

Let’s talk about higher capital gains taxes

Stocks tumbled on Thursday when it was announced the Biden administration was considering a massive hike in capital gains taxes on the wealthy. As the LPL Strategists discuss, this shouldn’t have been a surprise at all—in fact, this is exactly what President Biden ran on last year. Cooler heads prevailed on Friday, with the realization that there is very little correlation between tax rates and equity returns. In fact, as the Strategists noted, what matters more is the economic cycle—which in this case is still young and improving.

U.S. Dollar and economic round up

The LPL Strategists finish things up with a discussion of why LPL Research continues to expect a lower U.S. dollar (hint – massive budget deficits), while also discussing the record-breaking earnings season and what to expect from the Federal Reserve (Fed) at this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Tune in now

Listen to the entire podcast to get the LPL strategists’ views and insights on current market trends in the US and global economies. To listen to previous podcasts go to Market Signals podcast. You can subscribe to Market Signals on iTunesGoogle Podcasts, or Spotify and find us on the LPL Research YouTube channel.

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IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth in the podcast may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

All index data is from FactSet.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.

Member FINRA/SIPC

For Public Use — Tracking #: 1-05137213 (04/22)

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