WMC 3-31-14-1

Is the party over?

Consumers are the most confident they have been in over six years, according to last week’s widely watched consumer confidence report from the Conference Board. Investors have been feeling confident too. The high valuations of stocks in some industries have been the talk of the markets lately, leading some to fear that a bubble in stock market valuation is again developing as investors become overly optimistic. The valuation of the stock market has risen sharply over the past year as investors have anticipated a better environment for growth. To gain perspective on whether a bubble has developed, we can compare the price-to-earnings ratios (PEs) of all 62 of the industries of the S&P 500 Index today to the same day 14 years ago in March 2000, at the top of the bull market — the last time a bubble in stock market valuation popped. The stock market was really “bubbly” in March 2000, with valuations of many industries floating higher, but now industry valuations are relatively flat.

Click here to read the full commentary from LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist, Jeffrey Kleintop.