Monday, July 12, 2010

Will stocks keep rising?

Analyst ratings "have got to come down," Puls says. "And that's going to be bearish on stocks."

Another reason for investors to exercise caution is all the corporate cash lying around in banks vaults, earning little. Companies worried about the future hoard money, just as people do. In March, cash at S&P 500 companies hit a record $837 billion.

SHOOT: Short answer, no. Double Dip is on the cards, and we've seen Dip # 1.
clipped from

By the end of 2011, S&P 500 index companies should be earning more than they did at the peak of the credit bubble in 2006 -- if you believe the professional prognosticators.

Shannon Puls, who runs researcher in Jackson, Mo., says that even if earnings reports are upbeat, investors should think twice before jumping into the market. His reason: Wall Street analysts are saying to do it with both feet.

The problem, Puls says, is that analysts shy away from "gutsy calls" because if they're wrong, clients could lose money and analysts will lose their jobs. So, Puls says, they predict in packs, often proving a "contrarian indicator."

In other words, don't do what they say. Do the opposite.

He ranks analyst recommendations on more than 3,000 companies on a sliding scale, with 1 representing a strong "buy" and 5 a strong "sell." The average call now: 2.07. That's the lowest, or most bullish, in the nine years he's been tallying the numbers.
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