Monday, January 31, 2011

History suggests time is right to buy Dow stocks

It's not too late to profit from rally as market's cycle shifts in favor of blue-chip stocks

NEW YORK (AP) -- Are you too late to the rally?

One of the fastest bull markets in history pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to a close near 12,000 last week, the highest point for the index of 30 blue chip stocks in two and a half years. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 index, the benchmark for most mutual funds, flirted with similar highs. An investor who bought an S&P 500 index fund at its March 2009 low has doubled his money since then, assuming dividends were reinvested.

But lost in the attention focused on Dow 12,000 is the fact that it has lagged every other U.S. market index over the past 12 months. Large companies have only recently started to take the lead. That suggests that the bull market could push ahead despite the Dow's 1.4 percent drop on Friday when concerns about political turmoil in Egypt and a couple of disappointing earnings reports gave investors reason to sell.

Markets tend to move in cycles. Riskier smaller companies often fall hardest during a recession and perform the best coming out of one. Larger companies, which often hold more of their value during downturns, tend to perform better after a recovery turns into an economic expansion. After the tech bubble popped, for instance, small companies performed better than the Dow index every year from 2003 to 2006. Dow stocks performed better from 2006 to the start of the financial crisis in 2008.

That cycle is under way again. The Russell 2000, which tracks the performance of smaller companies, returned 27 percent after dividends each of the last two years. The Dow gained 22.6 percent after dividends in 2009 and 14 percent in 2010. So far this year, however, the Dow has gained 2.4 percent, while the Russell index has dropped 1.1 percent.

"We're getting closer to the cross-over point in the bull market," says Doug Godine, managing director at Signal Hill, an investment bank.

Dow stocks range from Caterpillar to Coca Cola and Merck to Microsoft. The index is meant to mirror the overall economy, which is improving. The Commerce Department said Friday that the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent from October to December. Economists expect consumer spending to double in 2011 from last year's rate. And businesses are starting to spend more money on computers, energy and basic products.

Dow components International Business Machines and Hewlett-Packard have jumped more than 8 percent since the start of the year. Another Dow member, General Electric, closed above $20 a share Monday, the first time since October 2008. The company said the previous Friday that fourth-quarter profit jumped 52 percent thanks to big gains from its GE Capital and energy infrastructure divisions.

The other reason Dow stocks are doing well lately: They're cheap by recent historical standards. The index's trailing price to earnings ratio, a measure that shows investors how much they are paying for a dollar in earnings, is 14.7, well below the 18.1 it has averaged since 2003. The price to earnings ratio for the S&P 500 index of large companies, meanwhile, is 17.3.

"Big stocks are still playing catch-up," says Bob Doll, chief market strategist at BlackRock, a firm that manages $3.45 trillion in assets. "As they go higher, investors are going to say 'Stocks are going up, so I better buy some more of them.'"


Source/转贴/Extract/: Yahoo.com.sg (David K. Randall, AP Business)
Publish date:31/01/11

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Warren E. Buffett(沃伦•巴菲特)
Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful
别人贪婪时我恐惧, 别人恐惧时我贪婪
投资只需学好两门课: 一,是如何给企业估值,二,是如何看待股市波动
吉姆·罗杰斯(Jim Rogers)
“错过时机”胜于“搞错对象”:不会全军覆没!”
做自己熟悉的事,等到发现大好机会才投钱下去

乔治·索罗斯(George Soros)

“犯错误并没有什么好羞耻的,只有知错不改才是耻辱。”

如果操作过量,即使对市场判断正确,仍会一败涂地。

李驰(中国巴菲特)
高估期间, 卖对, 不卖也对, 买是错的。
低估期间, 买对, 不买也是对, 卖是错的。

Tan Teng Boo


There’s no such thing as defensive stocks.Every stock can be defensive depending on what price you pay for it and what value you get,
冷眼(冯时能)投资概念
“买股票就是买公司的股份,买股份就是与陌生人合股做生意”。
合股做生意,则公司股份的业绩高于一切,而股票的价值决定于盈利。
价值是本,价格是末,故公司比股市重要百倍。
曹仁超-香港股神/港股明灯
1.有智慧,不如趁势
2.止损不止盈
成功者所以成功,是因为不怕失败!失败者所以失败,是失败后不再尝试!
曾淵滄-散户明灯
每逢灾难就是机会,而是在灾难发生时贱价买股票,然后放在一边,耐性地等灾难结束
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