Closing prices for December 31, 2015:
That's a wrap for the year. Read on, because 2016 is going to be even more interesting.
Picks for 2016
Courtesy of Barron's, here are some of Wall Street's top strategists picks to click in 2016:
Aside from Steven Auth's outrageous call for 2500 (it might be a typo) the target for the S&P 500 ranges from 2100 to 2250. The expected 2016 GDP is all in a range from 1.9% to 2.8%. These are not the brave and the bold, that's for sure.
So, since Wall Street analysts have decided to continue with the false narrative that all is well, Money Daily offers the following set-up for what figures to be a downright fascinating year.
Since it's a presidential election year and the past two which marked the end of an eight-year presidency (Bush replaced Clinton in 2000, Obama replaced Bush in 2008) both were near-disasters for equity traders, 2016 promises to be an explosive twelve months.
Now that you've seen theirs - which, by the way, don't vary much - here is what Money Daily believes will work in the coming year.
First, the equity markets will absolutely tank.
Stocks Take a Beating
While it would be foolhardy to predict where whole indices will be trading at the end of the year 2016, it may be more instructive to offer a timeline. Since the S&P and Dow haven't made new highs since May of 2015 and both ended the year lower than they closed out 2014, the table has been set for an absolute bear-fest in the opening quarter of the year.
As bears emerge from a short hibernation due to climate change (one of the warmest winters on record in the Northeastern US), they will be hungry to take down entire sectors of the market. Hardest hit will be consumer goods, financials, health care, technology and services. No sector will be spared, but the safest havens will be in basic materials and utilities. The best place of all to be will be largely in cash or bonds. The 10-year note is likely to rally strongly as people flee to safety, and, despite the best efforts of Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve to boost interest rates, the market will set the tone.
The major indices will be looking up at highs which will seem ridiculous by June. Taken on a monthly basis, January will see outright selling, putting the major indices into correction (-10%). February and March may be mild, but could be wild, depending on the direction of most of the well-followed indicators, like industrial production, capacity utilization, the various Fed surveys, factory orders, ISM manufacturing and services, and, of course, non-farm payrolls.
By April or May, the bloom will truly be off the rose, as first quarter GDP comes in below expectations or even shows up negative, the most likely culprit, warmer weather, as opposed to cold weather, which was blamed for the last two Q1 debacles.
Timing the return to a bear market can be tricky, so let it suffice to say that by June at the very latest, stocks will be down more than 20% overall, and the scare will be on.
At the bottom, which will be any time prior to election day, here's where Money Daily expects the major indices to be residing:
S&P 500: 1450
Bonds Will Be Wonderful
The 10-year note will trade higher from February through September, with the yield going below the two percent mark and staying there for an extended period, perhaps through the end of the year. Since stocks will offer only losses, lowered guidance and dividend cuts, the flight to bonds will be massive. The short end will be anathema; the 10-year and 30-year will be the bright spots.
GDP May Appear Recessionary
If 2016 results in any growth at all, it will be anemic, in the 1-1.5% range at best. With either the first and second or the second and third quarters putting up negative numbers, the odds for a true recession are high, and the Fed, without any interest rate cuts to counter the slack in the economy, will prove powerless.
The long look will be on currency collapse. After the massive gains in 2015 for the US dollar, that trade will likely reverse. Either that, or a global depression will be the order of the day.
Precious Metals Still Shine
While shunned with near-unaniminity on Wall Street, gold, silver, and platinum will hold their own and probably explode to the upside in the face of outright recession or depression. Gold and platinum could easily see 30-40% gains, while silver, the most-suppressed metal (and most important) could double by year-end, but all the metals will pull back in the early stages of the bear market in stocks.
Once a base is set for the precious metals, it will be off to the races in what will be the resumption of the decades-long bull market that began in 2000. The declines from 2012-2015 will be seen only as a cyclical bear correction amidst a secular bull.
Commodities Useful in Any Environment
So beaten down has been the commodity index, investors may be able to pick and choose from their choice of useful basic materials. Coal, iron, copper, zinc, lumber, oil and other fuels can be a boon in the best or worst of times.
Low prices in crude oil, natural gas and coal should remain in place for the entire year, and beyond. The usefulness of any commodity is, naturally, the selling point, but, in an oversupply environment, end users, rather than producers, will be the main beneficiaries.
An outright deflationary environment should prevail, a boon to cottage industries and small business, which is a welcome change from the repressed conditions of the previous decade. Anyone with the ability to store or make productive use of any manner of commodity should benefit greatly.
Real Estate As Investment Could Be Solid
There are three good reasons to own real estate. Living in a residential home, farming or mining, and renting on a commercial basis.
Since residential real estate is and has been in the stratosphere in many parts of the USA, it's likely to take a serious hit in 2016, with price declines of 10-30% in selected areas, more in others. Speculators and flippers will be fed to the sharks and there will be a slew of defaults in the REIT space.
Farmland, especially anything under 30 acres, which can be handled by a family or small enterprise, could be the best investment of the year. Productive land is usually safe, and besides, you can eat what you grow, which is always a concern.
Commercial real estate will go begging. It's massively overpriced and over-leveraged, due for a massive decline.
The US and global economies have been on a collision course between a massive debt bubble and a large pin. It all comes to a head in 2016, some of it pre-planned, much of it unrehearsed, unwanted and unnecessary.
Stocks will be hated, Wall Street bankers will once again be the object of derision (as they so rightly deserve to be), and politicians will be exposed as mere vassals to the deep state and the banking cartel.
The US will be lucky to avoid a major war, as the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Conplex (MICC) seeks a way out of debt crash and currency debauchery. There isn't one. Only systemic collapse can heal what's wrong in the economies of the world. Watch Japan closely, then Europe. They are the proverbial canaries in the coal mines. China will set its own course, but will continue to emerge as a world power.
The outlook isn't very rosy, admittedly, but, the great oligarchs of the day have made it so. Unmanageable levels of government, business and household debt are screaming for a reset, a break, a jubilee, and it very well could happen.
On the other side of a currency collapse is a bright future, but, if any of the outcomes predicted here actually occur, it will only be the beginning, and there will be more pain for the remainder of the decade. Until Americans and people around the world throw off the shackles of governments, replete with their laws, rules, regulations and onerous taxes, there will be no prosperity.
Donald Trump will win the presidency in November, a sign that the American people have had enough of the status quo.
Happy New Year!