Stocks have been on a general upswing since mid-March, indicating the market may have found its bottom. But several analysts are warning...
Stocks have been on a general upswing since mid-March, indicating the market may have found its bottom.
But several analysts are warning of another drop near the market’s March 10 closing low, when the Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped to 1,273.37.
Credit Suisse strategist Andrew Garthwaite calls the recent rise a “rally-ette” and sees a strong chance of a double low over the next three months.
He believes the first phase of the bear market, with a focus on corporate-credit problems, may be over, but that a second phase highlighted by weakening earnings remains.
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If corporate profits fall by 20 percent later this year, as Garthwaite expects, it would sink stocks.
A double dip would follow historical trends, he says. In two-thirds of past bear markets, a second low occurred three months after the first, he notes.
In the larger context, he says the average bear market has lasted 13 months and stocks have dropped 28 percent.
The current downturn is about six months old and has seen a nearly 20 percent drop from peak to trough, based on closing prices.
Factors that would boost Garthwaite’s confidence in stocks include oil prices dropping to $80 per barrel and manufacturing orders finding a trough.
Citi Investment Research strategist Tobias Levkovich sees U.S. stocks rallying in the second half of 2008, but he also thinks the market could face a second dip before then due to diminished earnings.
While most investors hope for a “U”-shaped recovery, he says a “W” may be more likely.