These Crazy Charts Prove the U.S. Stock Market Has Become Crash-Proof

As red flags about the economy’s depressed fundamentals pile up, stocks keep moving higher. Has the U.S. stock market become crash-proof?
US equities trader
The U.S. stock market continues to defy gravity amid the recession. The eye-popping gains have completely ignored fundamentals, raising red flags about valuation risks. | Image: Bryan R. Smith / AFP
  • The S&P 500 made an all-time high on Tuesday.
  • The rally occurred after several important indicators flashed red.
  • The U.S. stock market should have undergone another crash, but it looks like stocks only go up.

Back in March, the U.S. stock market plummeted after the novel coronavirus brought the world economy to its knees.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 continued its baffling rally and logged in an all-time intraday high at 3,395.06, rising more than 50% since March crash.

S&P 500 index chart.
The S&P 500 erases 2020 losses in a V-shaped recovery after the March crash. | Source: Yahoo! Finance

After the March crash, the U.S. stock market’s rally has wholly decoupled from the fundamentals. Markets should have declined to reflect the actual situation on the ground.

It looks like the Federal Reserve has made the stock market crash-proof with the help of loose monetary policy. Watch the video below for more information:

The following charts also highlight why equities have become crash-proof.

GDP and Stock Values Have a Major Disconnect

When the value of all stocks listed exceeds that of the entire GDP, the market is officially in bubble territory.

According to this chart, the stocks in the U.S. are worth 177.8% of the U.S. GDP. This so-called ‘Buffet indicator,’ named after famed investor Warren Buffett, has gone off the handle.

Total market cap to GDP ratio.
Mind-boggling distortions in the stock market and the economy. | Source: Guru Focus

During the 2008 financial crisis, all it took was for this indicator to hit 100% for investors to run for the exits.

S&P 500’s Forward P/E Has Sky Rocketed Back to 2000 Levels

Earnings of companies listed in the S&P 500 haven’t followed the rising stock prices.

The steep rise of the index has piggybacked off earnings expected in the years to come, just like what happened in 2000.

S&P 500 forward P/E ratio
S&P 500’s forward P/E ratio has seen a steep rise. | Source: Twitter

Rather than reflect current earnings, the S&P 500 reflects what investors think companies will earn in the future (and they’re expecting tremendous growth). If this isn’t a bubble, I don’t know what is.

Healthcare and Technology Now Make up 50% of the S&P 500

Amid the exuberance over a coronavirus vaccine, healthcare stocks have climbed dramatically.

Meanwhile, technology stocks have shot up as the lockdown forced people to rely on technology for work, communication, and shopping.

Technology and health care as a percentage of S&P 500
Healthcare and tech stocks drove the S&P 500’s rally. | Source: Twitter

When a few sectors lead the charge, along with a certain stock going parabolic, investors get wary because of narrowing market breadth. This should have induced a bit of profit booking, leading to a pullback.

But it looks like investors have a new-found confidence in the stock market’s rally.

Tweet describing SPY ETF's trading volumes.
Happy investors sit back and relax. | Source: Twitter

S&P 500’s Real Earnings Yield Breaks Ten-Year Low

While the S&P 500 hovers around record highs, the index’s real earnings yield has broken a ten-year low. The average return since 1952 is 3.5%, and severely depressed fundamentals have pushed it down to 2%.

S&P 500 real earnings yield
S&P 500’s real earnings take a nosedive. | Source: Twitter

Stocks keep rising amid depressed fundamentals, a clear sign that investors remain optimistic about the market. At the same time, a barrage of dumb money has made its way into the market thanks to trading apps like Robinhood.

Even with a hoard of red flags like the ones mentioned above, stocks keep going up. It looks like the Fed’s liquidity bubble only keeps getting bigger.

In the short term, it looks like the stock market has become crash-proof. Only time will tell whether these sorts of gains are sustainable.

Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s opinion and should not be considered investment or trading advice from CCN.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author holds no investment position in the above-mentioned securities.

Sam Bourgi edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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