Morgan Stanley is out with a helter skelter note of caution on markets, warning investors to sell the Trump inauguration while upping earnings estimates by 18% for 2018 — citing material upside in earnings and multiple contraction.
Plainly, if what Morgan Stanley says comes to fruition, stocks should trade higher on the backs of buybacks, fiscal stimulus, and big corporate tax cuts. However, the sages at Morgan are worried about the recent scale of the rally, coupled with Fed hike fever risks, European uncertainty and of course a rising dollar.
They see no near term catalyst to drive shares after the inauguration and suggest investors start to think about getting out.
U.S. stocks have rallied since the election, but it’s time for investors to start thinking about getting out, possibly timed for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, Morgan Stanley said.
“We are worried that there is arrogance in telling people that they should be worried, but to stay bullish for now,” Morgan Stanley said in a note dated Tuesday.
“Part of us thinks we should just sell the inauguration. After all, what incrementally positive and exciting outcomes could be produced in the first few weeks after that?”
“To us, it is WHEN, not IF we should fade this recent reflation trade,” it said.
Morgan Stanley set its base-case target for the S&P 500 at 2300 at end-2017, marking 16.2 times its 2018 earnings forecast, compared with Tuesday’s close at 2257.83.
“We can’t help but think that the Republican sweep has created a more uncertain and volatile outlook for the economy and corporate earnings growth,” it said, citing risks from a more hawkish Federal Reserve, China’s economic slowdown, a much stronger dollar and European political uncertainty.
Morgan Stanley said there was clearly a lot of earnings uncertainty ahead, but it still forecast that the S&P 500 earnings would be about 18 percent higher in 2018 than in 2016.
But it noted that the biggest driver of that increase – more than 50 percent of it — would come from Trump’s promised corporate tax cut to 20 percent from 35 percent. Another 30 percent of the earnings rise over the next two years would likely come from fiscal stimulus and nearly 27 percent from acceleration in share buybacks, it added.
One final note of weariness by Morgan is the possibility that companies might pass on cost savings to consumers following Trump’s tax cuts. This abhorrent specter of ‘competing away’ savings is hateful to Morgan and they feel that could pose as a potential pitfall for markets.
God willing, our valiant and industrious corporations will continue to gouge us and take said tax savings to increase corporate bonuses for C level executives and execute superfluous share buybacks to further enhance their standing at their local country clubs.
Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com
Source: zero hedge