How low can stocks go? Updated risks and values for May 29th

How low can stocks go? Updated risks and values for May 29th              

Bottom Line: In case you're new to this series, the purpose of this story is to inform you as to what's possible in a near worst-case outcome for the financial markets. The reason is to understand what's possible, though unlikely, so you can plan soundly for your financial future unemotionally. Too often when we have a rare short-term downturn in the markets - it's too late to offer up information that might have been helpful ahead of time. This week's edition of "how low can stocks go" goes as the Dow, S&P 500 & Nasdaq stand against their all-time high levels:                           

  • DOW: off 7%            

  • S&P 500: off 5.3%            

  • Nasdaq: off 2.7%            

Markets were mixed over the past week with the Dow & S&P 500 lower but the Nasdaq posting gains as we effectively wrapped up earnings season. And it was an incredible earnings season. Earnings grew by 24.6% year over year. We have record earnings for American companies and it's the best quarter of year over year growth since the 3rd quarter of 2010 (when companies effectively went from negative earnings back into positive territory coming out of the Great Recession). News has been moving the markets day to day again and some of the renewed positivity on NOKO could be positive as we get going this week... 

Here's the 2018 year-to-date performance:                     

  • The Dow is up .1%, the S&P 500 is up 1.8% & the Nasdaq is up 7.7%             

As far as how low stocks could go...? If only market fundamentals mattered here's what we'd want to consider regarding the S&P 500 for example.                          

  • S&P 500 P\E: 24.87                       

  • S&P 500 avg. P\E: 15.7                           

The downside risk is 37% based on earnings multiples right now from current levels. That's 3% less risk compared with this time last year on a fundamental basis alone and flat for the past two weeks. Earnings have continued to grow faster than stock prices over the past year. 

Now, as always, I don't expect that type of selloff to occur (37%) but it's always important to ensure that you're positioned for negative adversity. If a short-term decline at the levels wouldn't affect your day-to-day life, you're likely well positioned to continue to take advantage of investment opportunities. If that size of selloff would rock your world over the short-term, that's when you should probably seek professional assistance in crafting your plan (that balances your short-term needs with long-term objectives).    

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