Friday File: Is the Shaq SPAC the Last Straw, or the Straw that Stirs the Drink?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, October 10, 2020


Let’s start with the obvious, just to get my weekly brain dump underway for you: We don’t know what the election will hold, or where the market will go from here… I continue to think stocks are pretty expensive, particularly the hottest tech stocks (and I still own a lot of them), but I also think that we’ll see massive stimulus spending next year and some version of a health recovery from vaccines, growing immunity, and improved treatments, combined with continuing zero-interest-rate policies from the Federal Reserve (and from all central banks, everywhere). There’s going to be no shortage of investable money in the world, and it is going to keep flowing to wherever it can make a good return or feel safe — which I’d say is in stocks that have real long-term growth potential, and stocks with some stability who can pay a growing dividend. Gold will probably do well as currencies decline, too, as will bitcoin (though both have already anticipated a weakening dollar in recent years), and bonds will probably stink unless we have to go to negative interest rates in the US — which seems very unlikely, given the Fed’s willingness and ability to buy stuff and the near-certainty that more federal spending will come rushing at us in 2020.

None of that is really “contrarian” or unusual thinking… it’s mostly just the “nowhere else to go” argument for stocks (the CNBC flacks often call this the “TINA” trade, for “There Is No Alternative”), since there remains a huge amount of capital that hast to be invested in something to seek returns, and there are a limited number of appealing places that can absorb that capital. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Enough money rushes into the market, and prices can go up even if everyone kind of worries, probably rightly so, that a lot of popular stocks are overvalued. If the stimulus and rescue spending ends up finally helping the real economy out of the COVID crunch, probably that provides a lift for some of the more cyclical stocks… maybe that shifts some of the enthusiasm away from technology growth ideas and and consumer staple and healthcare dividend plays and into industrial companies or materials stocks, or even emerging markets and energy, that wouldn’t be terribly shocking (or unwelcome), but for now it’s hard to see stocks in general falling dramatically ...

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