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FULBRIGHT FINANCIAL CONSULTING, PA 

FULBRIGHT & FULBRIGHT, CPA, PA


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Economic Signs Are Fine Amid The Distractions

With the election, Covid pandemic, and the president’s health converging, the cacophony makes it easy to miss important signs that the economy is doing fine. The pace of the recovery has slowed from the breakneck rate after CARES Act federal aid created a surge in consumer income, spending and savings in April, May and June. But the latest data indicate the U.,S. economy could return to its record run-rate earlier than expected. Here are the facts.

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Is A Stock Bubble Bursting?

Is A Stock Bubble Bursting? Stocks plunged as much 6.6% last week, and, even though prices rebounded sharply by the end of the week, fear remains widespread. Despite the grim mood, the evidence is strong that the stock market is not in a bubble and that the economy is chugging along, on track for a long, slow ride to recovery. For a bubble in stock prices, irrational exuberance must be widespread, like it was during tech bubble of 2000. It’s not! Nothing like that is happening now! Covid crushed consumer confidence in March and April. Much of the uncertainty is caused by the runaway gains of the giant tech stocks. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, and Microsoft – the FAANGM – have led the recovery from the pandemic, leaving the broad market in the dust. And, because the major indexes are weighted by market capitalization, the super return on the giant FAANGM has powered a 42% gain in the S&P 500 since the March 23rd. 2020 bear-market low. The turbocharged returns of the major market indexes fueled by FAANGM are a Covid crisis anomaly, but FAANGM valuations are not out of control. The PEG ratios of the FAANGM – that is, their price-to-earnings ratios divided by the growth rate of their earnings, a more thorough metric than a standard P/E ratio, have not been outlandish, even as the price of the S&P 500 was breaking a new record high last week. In the months ahead, due to Covid-induced economic anomalies, stock plunges should be expected. The anomalies are bound to add uncertainty along the road to recovery. In March and April, for insatnce, consumer spending plunged because people were not going out and spending. At the same time, government payments from the CARES Act arrived in consumer accounts, disposable income hit a new record high, and the savings rate simultaneously skyrocketed by nearly 400% -- and this was happening at worst point of the Covid crisis! These conditions are without precedent and may take months to unwind. The latest economic data show a continued recovery in the manufacturing sector in August, with new orders booming. Meanwhile, in the much more-important service sector, responsible for 91% of jobs in the U.S., the latest figure – while not as a strong as expected -- remained strong in August, and the unemployment rate dropped much lower than the 9.9% rate that was expected, to 8.4%.. Amid the fear of a bubble in the FAANGM and anomalies of the Covid pandemic, the U.S. recovery is chugging along, slowly working its way back to the economic peak of 2019. Please contact us with any questions or to set up a meeting fulbrightteam@moneyful.com , and don't hesitate to share this video with people who might benefit from our work

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Putting The Market's Surge In Proper Focus

Putting The Market's Surge in Proper Focus It’s almost like the stock market is on another planet, with its record-breaking performance while the real-economy seems to be a different world. But when you take a closer look, the separation of the market from the real economy is not so mysterious but driven by “Covidnomics -- the unique economics of the Covid pandemic. The FAANGM companies -- Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, and Microsoft -– led the economic recovery after the Covid shutdown, and they have roared ahead of the broader market. But appreciation in shares of FAANGM share prices are magnified enormously in the performance of the major stock indexes, like the Standard & Poor’s 500, which weights each company by market capitalization –- the price times the number of all shares outstanding. The largest 25 companies in the S&P 500 account for about 42% of its return, while the smallest 25 of the 500 companies in the index accounted for just three-tenths of 1% of its return. The huge losses sustained by the smallest 25 companies are hardly a factor in the market-cap weighted S&P 500 index, but they reflect the world of pain in the real economy. Of the 500 stocks in the S&P 500, 294 suffered share-price declines so far in 2020 and the average loss was 24.1%! At the same time, it’s also important to note that the FAANGM stocks are not wildly overvalued. The PEG ratios of the FAANGM – their price-to-earnings ratios divided by their earnings growth rate – are not unreasonable, nothing like a stock-bubble of 1999! With stock indexes breaking records, remember that the S&P 500 is NOT the real economy. It’s just Covidnomics, just one of many financial economic anomalies caused by the Covid pandemic shutdown and recovery. Please contact us with any questions or to set up a meeting fulbrightteam@moneyful.com , and don't hesitate to share this video with people who might benefit from our work

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Despite Disastrous Jobs Report Stock Surged 1.6% Friday

Despite Disastrous Jobs Report, Stocks Surged 1.6% Friday Since the Coronavirus bear market low on March 23, 2020, stocks have soared 26.8%! That’s only 14.5% off the all-time closing high on the S&P 500 on February 19, 2020. On the same day the Labor Department announced job losses that are literally off the chart, that the nation lost a decade of jobs gains, the stock market shot up by 1.6%! Why? Stocks are looking past the pandemic, at a sharp recovery. Here’s a look at three forecasts for the economy, from independent institutions. The most optimistic is the consensus forecast of 60 economists in early April. They expect a v-shaped recovery back to the pre-pandemic level of economic activity by the end of 2021. The international Monetary Fund forecast is a bit less sanguine, projecting that U.S. gross domestic product will be 1.5% smaller at the end of 2021 than at its pre-pandemic peak. And finally the least optimistic of the three forecasts is from the Congressional Budget Office, which project the economy will be 3% smaller at the end of 2021 than it was in the quarter before the outbreak. While the three forecasts differ about the precise strength of the recovery, That’s why, despite disastrous economic news, stocks have soared. Please contact us with any questions or to set up a meeting fulbrightteam@moneyful.com , and don't hesitate to share this video with people who might benefit from our work

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