First Word

Raising S&P 500 YE Target to 3,185 (+60) due → Santa Claus rally + ISM inflection + positioning... don't sell this rally

Equity markets have decisively broken to the upside in the last few days and no doubt, leaves many wonder whether to “fade this” into year-end or view this as a sustained risk-on move.  In our view, this advance, is supporting by rising visibility around the upturn in the global industrial cycle, thus, we are buying this rally, not de-risking.

POINT 1: US ISM Exports index moved back above 50 after tanking below 45 for 2 months… implies 18% EPS growth next yearThe ISM exports turned back above 50 in October.  This is exports–> it strongly supports our view that the industrial recession is bottoming and now turning up.  Since 1990, moves back above 50 lead to average EPS growth of 18%.  

– this points to a re-acceleration cycle, not late-cycle move into a recession.

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POINT 2: Stocks are just catching up to EPS –> 2-yr EPS CAGR is 11% (’17-’19) while S&P 500 CAGR only 7%
EPS growth last 2 years has outpaced market gains.  Hence, we would argue that 2019 is merely catching up to the EPS move. 

– Moreover, if EPS is accelerating next year to as much as 18% EPS growth, then stocks have similar upside, arguably.

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POINT 3: Santa claus rally.  10 of 10 times in last 20 years, if market is up YTD 9% thru 11/5...

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