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The Fair-Price CAPE Value Can Anchor Your Thinking About Where Stock Prices Are Headed

The Fair-Price CAPE Value Can Anchor Your Thinking About Where Stock Prices Are Headed



QoQ contraction intrinsic value of stocks Early-stage business low pe ratio On Deck Stanphyl Capital

A friend of mine set me an e-mail when stock prices started falling a few weeks back. His stock broker had sent him an e-mail making the case for “buying on the dip.” My friend knows that I place a lot of focus on stock valuations. So he asked me what I thought about the broker’s recommendation.

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

I certainly didn’t think much of it. Stock prices have fallen by a significant amount in recent weeks. All humans employ “anchoring” to make relative comparisons. When gasoline has recently been selling for $2.50 per gallon, we react to a price of $2.00 per gallon as being shockingly low. When it has recently been selling for $1.50 per gallon, we react to a price of $2.00 per gallon as being shockingly high. Our recent experience has a great influence on our assessment of what values are the right ones. Since stocks have in recent memory sold at a higher price than the price at which they are selling today, the claim that today presents an opportunity to “buy on the dip” possesses surface appeal.

But of course the reality is that recent prices tell us next to nothing about intrinsic value. What investors want to do is to buy stocks when they offer a strong long-term value proposition and not to buy them when they offer a poor long-term value proposition. Shiller’s CAPE value gives is the information we need. The fair-value CAPE is 16. When the CAPE is less than 16, stocks are a buy. As the CAPE value rises more and more above 16, the value proposition diminishes. The CAPE value today is 27. Stocks are a terrible value. The fact that the CAPE value was 32 not too long ago does not change that.

Determining The Intrinsic Value Of Stocks

That’s a simple enough analysis. But I know from experience talking with investors that it is an exceedingly controversial one. Most investors do not believe that it is possible to determine the intrinsic value of stocks. The Buy-and-Hold Model encourages that skepticism. Buy-and-Holders discourage market timing. If it were widely accepted that it is possible to identify intrinsic value, the merit of market timing would be self-evident — investors would want to own more stocks when intrinsic value was strong than when it was weak. Buy-and-Holders begin with a premise that market timing is a bad idea and thus feel logically forced to conclude that making an accurate assessment of intrinsic value is not possible.

But is it an objective fact that the median CAPE value for the time-period in which we have good records of stock prices is 16. The CAPE value has obviously risen far above that at times. But prices have always eventually dropped from those high levels. And the CAPE value has obviously dropped far below that at other times. On those occasions, it eventually rose above those low levels. Since 16 is the CAPE value to which stock are always moving, is it not fair to say that that number reveals the intrinsic value of stocks and that the current-day price is merely a temporary resting place at which the price sits for a time while the market shakes off its irrational exuberance or its irrational depression?

The CAPE value has been well above 16 for a long, long time. Shiller published a paper in July 1996 warning investors that, if they stuck with their high stock allocations despite the high prices that applied at the time (the CAPE was 25 in those days), they would live to regret it within 10 years. Prices increased by 126 percent over the next four years. And we did not see the price crash anticipated by Shiller until late in 2008. That crash brought the CAPE down to 13 for a few months in early 2009 but the CAPE shot up much higher by the end of the year and has remained at super high levels until today. Today’s CAPE of 27 — a reading taken several months into the coronavirus crisis — is a notch higher than the CAPE value of 25 that Shiller was warning about in 1996.

Interpretation Of Price History

Buy-and-Holders and Valuation-Informed Indexers interpret that bit of price history in different ways. In the eyes of the Buy-and-Holders, it tells us that this business of seeking to determine the intrinsic value of stocks is silliness. Shiller obviously was not able to do it successfully in 1996. And anyone who went with a lowered stock allocation from 1996 forward “missed out” on the far-above-16 CAPE values that we have “enjoyed” (the Buy-and-Holders enjoyed those high CAPE values, I have not) in the days since.

For a Valuation-Informed Indexer, the fundamental rules apply. The fair-price CAPE value was 16 in 1996 and it remains 16 today. If it is possible for us to see a long stretch of years in which the CAPE never drops below 16, it is equally possible for us to see a long stretch of years in which the CAPE never rises above 16. Can you imagine how a stretch of years like that would play on the minds of today’s investors? To drop to 16 would require a 50 percent price drop from where we were just a few months ago. To drop below that and then remain there for many years would be deeply upsetting to those who think of purchases made when the CAPE is 27 as “buying on the dip.”

The Best Indication Of Recent Values

It’s a matter of perspective. Buy-and-Holders think of recent prices as the best indicators of recent values because Buy-and-Holders believe that it is economic developments that determine price changes and that recent prices thus give us the best indication of recent values. Valuation-Informed Indexers believe that irrational exuberance affects recent prices to a greater or lesser degree at all times. When the irrational exuberance is as much out of control as it has been since 1996, none of the current-day prices that applied during those years count for much. It is intrinsic value that matters and to know that we need to determine what the size of our portfolio would be if the CAPE returned to its fair-value resting place.

I don’t trust stock prices that produce a CAPE of much above 16. I believe in “buying on the dip.” But I don’t believe that the dip is genuine until it takes the CAPE below 16. The fair-value CAPE number is the product of 150 years of historical return data. The idea that most of us have in our head that CAPE values far greater than that are meaningful indicators of value is the product of a much shorter number of years of stock market history.

Rob’s bio is here.

The post The Fair-Price CAPE Value Can Anchor Your Thinking About Where Stock Prices Are Headed appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate…



Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate iron levels in their blood due to a COVID-19 infection could be at greater risk of long COVID.


A new study indicates that problems with iron levels in the bloodstream likely trigger chronic inflammation and other conditions associated with the post-COVID phenomenon. The findings, published on March 1 in Nature Immunology, could offer new ways to treat or prevent the condition.

Long COVID Patients Have Low Iron Levels

Researchers at the University of Cambridge pinpointed low iron as a potential link to long-COVID symptoms thanks to a study they initiated shortly after the start of the pandemic. They recruited people who tested positive for the virus to provide blood samples for analysis over a year, which allowed the researchers to look for post-infection changes in the blood. The researchers looked at 214 samples and found that 45 percent of patients reported symptoms of long COVID that lasted between three and 10 months.

In analyzing the blood samples, the research team noticed that people experiencing long COVID had low iron levels, contributing to anemia and low red blood cell production, just two weeks after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. This was true for patients regardless of age, sex, or the initial severity of their infection.

According to one of the study co-authors, the removal of iron from the bloodstream is a natural process and defense mechanism of the body.

But it can jeopardize a person’s recovery.

When the body has an infection, it responds by removing iron from the bloodstream. This protects us from potentially lethal bacteria that capture the iron in the bloodstream and grow rapidly. It’s an evolutionary response that redistributes iron in the body, and the blood plasma becomes an iron desert,” University of Oxford professor Hal Drakesmith said in a press release. “However, if this goes on for a long time, there is less iron for red blood cells, so oxygen is transported less efficiently affecting metabolism and energy production, and for white blood cells, which need iron to work properly. The protective mechanism ends up becoming a problem.”

The research team believes that consistently low iron levels could explain why individuals with long COVID continue to experience fatigue and difficulty exercising. As such, the researchers suggested iron supplementation to help regulate and prevent the often debilitating symptoms associated with long COVID.

It isn’t necessarily the case that individuals don’t have enough iron in their body, it’s just that it’s trapped in the wrong place,” Aimee Hanson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge who worked on the study, said in the press release. “What we need is a way to remobilize the iron and pull it back into the bloodstream, where it becomes more useful to the red blood cells.”

The research team pointed out that iron supplementation isn’t always straightforward. Achieving the right level of iron varies from person to person. Too much iron can cause stomach issues, ranging from constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain to gastritis and gastric lesions.

1 in 5 Still Affected by Long COVID

COVID-19 has affected nearly 40 percent of Americans, with one in five of those still suffering from symptoms of long COVID, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Long COVID is marked by health issues that continue at least four weeks after an individual was initially diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, months, or years and may include fatigue, cough or chest pain, headache, brain fog, depression or anxiety, digestive issues, and joint or muscle pain.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 12:50

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February Employment Situation

By Paul Gomme and Peter Rupert The establishment data from the BLS showed a 275,000 increase in payroll employment for February, outpacing the 230,000…



By Paul Gomme and Peter Rupert

The establishment data from the BLS showed a 275,000 increase in payroll employment for February, outpacing the 230,000 average over the previous 12 months. The payroll data for January and December were revised down by a total of 167,000. The private sector added 223,000 new jobs, the largest gain since May of last year.

Temporary help services employment continues a steep decline after a sharp post-pandemic rise.

Average hours of work increased from 34.2 to 34.3. The increase, along with the 223,000 private employment increase led to a hefty increase in total hours of 5.6% at an annualized rate, also the largest increase since May of last year.

The establishment report, once again, beat “expectations;” the WSJ survey of economists was 198,000. Other than the downward revisions, mentioned above, another bit of negative news was a smallish increase in wage growth, from $34.52 to $34.57.

The household survey shows that the labor force increased 150,000, a drop in employment of 184,000 and an increase in the number of unemployed persons of 334,000. The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.5, the employment to population ratio decreased from 60.2 to 60.1 and the unemployment rate increased from 3.66 to 3.86. Remember that the unemployment rate is the number of unemployed relative to the labor force (the number employed plus the number unemployed). Consequently, the unemployment rate can go up if the number of unemployed rises holding fixed the labor force, or if the labor force shrinks holding the number unemployed unchanged. An increase in the unemployment rate is not necessarily a bad thing: it may reflect a strong labor market drawing “marginally attached” individuals from outside the labor force. Indeed, there was a 96,000 decline in those workers.

Earlier in the week, the BLS announced JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) data for January. There isn’t much to report here as the job openings changed little at 8.9 million, the number of hires and total separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.3 million, respectively.

As has been the case for the last couple of years, the number of job openings remains higher than the number of unemployed persons.

Also earlier in the week the BLS announced that productivity increased 3.2% in the 4th quarter with output rising 3.5% and hours of work rising 0.3%.

The bottom line is that the labor market continues its surprisingly (to some) strong performance, once again proving stronger than many had expected. This strength makes it difficult to justify any interest rate cuts soon, particularly given the recent inflation spike.

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Spread & Containment

Another beloved brewery files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The beer industry has been devastated by covid, changing tastes, and maybe fallout from the Bud Light scandal.



Before the covid pandemic, craft beer was having a moment. Most cities had multiple breweries and taprooms with some having so many that people put together the brewery version of a pub crawl.

It was a period where beer snobbery ruled the day and it was not uncommon to hear bar patrons discuss the makeup of the beer the beer they were drinking. This boom period always seemed destined for failure, or at least a retraction as many markets seemed to have more craft breweries than they could support.

Related: Fast-food chain closes more stores after Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The pandemic, however, hastened that downfall. Many of these local and regional craft breweries counted on in-person sales to drive their business. 

And while many had local and regional distribution, selling through a third party comes with much lower margins. Direct sales drove their business and the pandemic forced many breweries to shut down their taprooms during the period where social distancing rules were in effect.

During those months the breweries still had rent and employees to pay while little money was coming in. That led to a number of popular beermakers including San Francisco's nationally-known Anchor Brewing as well as many regional favorites including Chicago’s Metropolitan Brewing, New Jersey’s Flying Fish, Denver’s Joyride Brewing, Tampa’s Zydeco Brew Werks, and Cleveland’s Terrestrial Brewing filing bankruptcy.

Some of these brands hope to survive, but others, including Anchor Brewing, fell into Chapter 7 liquidation. Now, another domino has fallen as a popular regional brewery has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Overall beer sales have fallen.

Image source: Shutterstock

Covid is not the only reason for brewery bankruptcies

While covid deserves some of the blame for brewery failures, it's not the only reason why so many have filed for bankruptcy protection. Overall beer sales have fallen driven by younger people embracing non-alcoholic cocktails, and the rise in popularity of non-beer alcoholic offerings,

Beer sales have fallen to their lowest levels since 1999 and some industry analysts

"Sales declined by more than 5% in the first nine months of the year, dragged down not only by the backlash and boycotts against Anheuser-Busch-owned Bud Light but the changing habits of younger drinkers," according to data from Beer Marketer’s Insights published by the New York Post.

Bud Light parent Anheuser Busch InBev (BUD) faced massive boycotts after it partnered with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. It was a very small partnership but it led to a right-wing backlash spurred on by Kid Rock, who posted a video on social media where he chastised the company before shooting up cases of Bud Light with an automatic weapon.

Another brewery files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Gizmo Brew Works, which does business under the name Roth Brewing Company LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 8. In its filing, the company checked the box that indicates that its debts are less than $7.5 million and it chooses to proceed under Subchapter V of Chapter 11. 

"Both small business and subchapter V cases are treated differently than a traditional chapter 11 case primarily due to accelerated deadlines and the speed with which the plan is confirmed," explained. 

Roth Brewing/Gizmo Brew Works shared that it has 50-99 creditors and assets $100,000 and $500,000. The filing noted that the company does expect to have funds available for unsecured creditors. 

The popular brewery operates three taprooms and sells its beer to go at those locations.

"Join us at Gizmo Brew Works Craft Brewery and Taprooms located in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Find us for entertainment, live music, food trucks, beer specials, and most importantly, great-tasting craft beer by Gizmo Brew Works," the company shared on its website.

The company estimates that it has between $1 and $10 million in liabilities (a broad range as the bankruptcy form does not provide a space to be more specific).

Gizmo Brew Works/Roth Brewing did not share a reorganization or funding plan in its bankruptcy filing. An email request for comment sent through the company's contact page was not immediately returned.


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