US Equity Strategist
Morgan Stanley & Co.
Our 2014 forecast for the S&P 500 Index is 2,014. That may look like a big number, but it doesn’t take a giant leap to get there. It represents 9% potential upside from the 2013 close, driven by our estimate of 6% operating earnings growth, net 3% share repurchases and modest expansion of the forward price/earnings (P/E) multiple. Relative to our prior view, this represents about a 0.8 turn more in the P/E multiple—and there is potential for more. The low dispersion of price/forward earnings and higher company-specific risk lead us to conclude that a more concentrated portfolio will be prudent this year.
Since last March, we have been sanguine on US equities. Our logic has been driven more by lack of a bear case than the strength of the base case. We have seen three turns of multiple expansion in the last two years as the P/E moved to 15.1 from 12.0—only the fourth period with this level of expansion over the past 40-plus years. Obviously, a sample size of three isn’t statistically significant, but the prior three periods were followed by a continuation of the rally for another 12 to 24 months, as momentum typically persists. The only thing people are worried about currently is that no one is worried about anything, which isn’t a real worry.
In order to time the impossible—the inflection point—we remain focused on what could cause fear about a materially lower earnings trajectory, or even what could introduce volatility into the earnings estimates. The answer: not much right now. We need to see more capital spending, hiring, inventory and mergers-and-acquisitions activity in order to be more fearful of a material earnings decline as these costs get put in place and turn out to be imprudent. We would look for backlog extensions from the technology and industrials companies or increases in book-to-bill ratios as signs demand is improving and spending is imminent. The most pronounced risks remain: demand weakness in the emerging markets, which has been indicated by some large US multinationals; a policy error from the Federal Reserve; and a strengthening dollar, which can be a drag on profits earned overseas by US companies.
With a 2% dividend yield, a 3% net buyback and mid-single-digit earnings growth, a big down market is akin to calling for a double-digit contraction in the market multiple. We don’t think that’s likely. We are still optimistic and wouldn’t be surprised to see the S&P 500 remain robust. Our target for 2014 will likely be above Wall Street’s consensus. The dream of a steeper yield curve, a belief that the Fed can distinguish between tapering and tightening, and the lack of a credible bear case in earnings could drive further multiple expansion. Upside from economically stronger China and Japan could also help. In fact, it isn’t preposterous to say that we could be in an environment of synchronous global economic expansion in 2014 that isn’t fully in today’s prices.
At the sector level, we are upgrading materials to overweight from equal weight, a move driven by chemicals. We are also downgrading industrials to equal weight from overweight and lowering energy to underweight from equal weight. In addition, our strategy recommendations include a preference for small caps over large caps, and we recommend a barbell-like approach, holding both cyclical and defensive companies. We prefer health care to consumer staples, technology to consumer discretionary and chemicals to industrials and energy. Within financials, we prefer capital-market-sensitive banks and asset managers over insurers and regional banks.
My extended family (possibly up to 12 people) is planning on a white Christmas in the US next year. Where would be a good option for both young and old? Also, is there a reliable website to book our accommodation in that location for 10 days over Christmas?
Doc: For the guarantee of snow and lots of it at Christmas, somewhere in the mountains would be my pick. Head to Aspen in Colorado – it’s easy to get to and is not purpose-built as a ski resort, so there’s plenty of activities in the area to interest all ages. There’s also a huge range of accommodation choices. If you’re looking for something apartment-style or a condominium as they’re called there, the Alpenblick or the Dolomite Villas are well located, have large living areas with up to four bedrooms and other facilities including outdoor heated pool, hot tub, full kitchens and fireplace.
Or, for a group as large as yours, consider a house.
The majority are large, offering up to six bedrooms, several bathrooms and are well appointed with everything you could possibly need. Usually they are serviced by the free local bus, giving you easy access to town and the ski lifts. Most will have at least one fireplace, hot tub, barbecue, several televisions or a media room, internet and loads of space. For things to do, there’s the obvious skiing and snowboarding. There are four mountains in the Aspen Ski area and all are connected via the free shuttle bus. If you have little ones, there is the Treehouse Kids Adventure Centre in Snowmass that caters from babies to teens. There’s ice-skating, cinemas, snowmobile rides, heaps of shopping and a vast selection of dining options.
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A couple of ideas for a day out are the John Denver Sanctuary, or hire a car and drive to Maroon Bells, about 10km from town, to see the most photographed mountains in North America. Take a day trip to Vail about two hours away and stop at Glenwood Springs on the way for a dip in the hot springs. Another 20 minutes by road from Vail and you’ll find Silverthorne, a small town full of factory outlet shopping. Back in Aspen, go to a hockey game at the Ice Garden or take a tour to Ashcroft Ghost Town, an original silver mining town. Join one of Five Star Adventures’ Snowshoe tours or try fly fishing. Accommodation will be scarce at that time of year so make your bookings as soon as possible.
I am interested in heading to Gallipoli for the 2015 Centenary, is it too late to book and where can I book this trip?
Doc: Tours to the Anzac Day 2015 Centenary at Gallipoli are very popular and filling up fast, however it is not too late to book if you hop to it. Try Tempo Holidays, they offer two tours. One to suit those who secured official tickets entitling entry to services on the peninsula and one for those who didn’t but want to be nearby. The Eight-day Legends of Gallipoli departs April 19, and the nine-day Anzac Spirit departs April 22. If you have tickets you will attend the official services, if you don’t you will observe from a boat anchored off the coast, with large screens broadcasting the service. There are also excursions included led by military historians who will explain the events that took place in detail.
Do you know where can I get a list of the airlines that have a first-class section on their aircraft flying to and from Perth to Europe please? I have called six travel agents. None knew and all but two said there was no first class out of Perth.
Doc: There isn’t a list as such but I can tell you that Qantas combined with Emirates operate three flights daily from Perth to Dubai and on to Europe, and they all offer first class. If this doesn’t suit then other carriers offer a business class service to their Asian or Middle Eastern hubs combined with a first-class service through to Europe and the UK.
We intend to join a tour through France and are most keen to visit the famous historical theme park at Puy du Fou. What is the best way to get there by public transport?
Doc: The Puy du Fou theme park in western France is rated by some as a better attraction than Disneyland Paris. Set on 50ha it includes three themed hotels and 25 restaurants and is open from the beginning of April to end of September.
The park is divided into five “grand” performances – the Secret of the Lance and the Vikings are two.
There are also about 10 other medieval shows and two night-time shows. The main night show takes place behind a ruined castle and depicts 700 years of history in the area. It’s the largest stage in the world with thousands of actors – all volunteers from local villages – hundreds of horses and about 400 fireworks per performance. This show is only on in peak season and is booked separately. Book online and well ahead at puydufou.com to receive a discount. Tickets for a two-day pass are about $65 per adult and about $45 per child. Some of the shows are in French, but translating headsets are available.
You could drive there – it would take about three hours from Paris, or catch the TGV train, change in Le Mans for Angers St Laud. From there hop on the shuttle to the Puy du Fou. You must book tickets for the shuttle through the official Puy du Fou website. The journey takes about 90 minutes. While you’re there, head over to Poitiers and visit the Futuroscope Park – not as well-known but it will impress.
It’s about three hours by train from Angers and is full of 3D and even 4D movies and simulators. Your seats move in sync with the movie, as if you’re flying the plane or racing the car. There are also IMAX films and other rides. The park is suited to kids eight and older and tickets are about $50 per adult and kids five to 16 are about $38.
My husband and I will be driving from Brussels to Prague in early October 2014 and wish to stop in Germany and spend at least three nights halfway to Prague. Could you recommend the best area to stop in to see a few places?
Doc: Rather than a long drive to get half way then stop, try this. Drive from Brussels to Koblenz on day one. Stop for lunch in Cologne and visit the majestic Cologne Cathedral (Dom) and the Ludwig Museum. Head across the Rhine to the Rhine Promenade and the St Martin Church, all are within walking distance. Koblenz is about 79km from Cologne and is one of Germany’s oldest towns. It’s full of over 2000 years of history, castles and narrow streets and it’s where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet. Stay at the Hotel Brenner for about $140 per room and be sure to take a boat tour to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and do a walking tour of the old town. Then take the Autobahn to Munich and choose whether to have a stop in Stuttgart on the way to visit the Mercedes Benz Museum. Stuttgart is about 220km from Munich. Here’s a few things for your to-do list in Munich: the Marienplatz (central square) - go at noon to hear the Glockenspiel chime in the Town Hall tower and watch the life-sized figures act historical Bavarian events. The Pinakothek art museum, the daily farmers market around the corner from the Marienplatz, the Residenz Museum - former royal palace, the BMW Museum and at least one or two of the many beer halls.
I’m travelling to the UK in a couple of months with a six hour stopover in Singapore. I have heard that there is a hotel in the airport complex where I can rent a room for a couple of hours to shower/freshen up before the longer leg of the journey. Is this correct and if so can you please give me any details?
Doc: Changi airport is perfect for a stopover, the facilities on offer are endless and these include Transit Lounges and Transit Hotels. You’ll find the Ambassador Transit Hotel (www.harilelahospitality.com) in each terminal in the transit lounge area before immigration. There’s two options for rooms, both are charged in blocks of six hours. Budget rooms have share toilet and shower facilities and start at about $40 per single. Standard rooms including an ensuite bathroom, tea and coffee, wake-up call and TV, start at about $67. The other option is to use the services of the Ambassador Transit Lounges in terminals two and three. Adult prices start at about $50 for five hours in terminal three including the following facilities: Internet access, complimentary buffet, non-alcoholic drinks, gym and shower facilities. There’s many other services on offer in the lounge including massage, nap suites, nail and facials and meeting rooms. If you happen to be flying with Singapore Airlines, you will receive a 20 ChangiDollar Voucher and this can be used toward the cost of your transit experience.
A well priced home in good condition will attract offers. How does a buyer structure or position themselves so that they are the offer chosen? Here are a few tips to make sure you get the home you have fallen in love with.
1. Make sure you offer is reasonable. If you know there are several offers on a home, you must be full price or close to it. Make sure you provide a pre-qualification letter with your offer.
2. Increase your earnest money. This is a great way to show your commitment. You will get your earnest money back if you terminate due to inspection or if you do not qualify for your loan and you have a financial contingency. If the purchase is completed your earnest money will be credit to you at closing.
3. Price is not always the number one reason the seller selects an offer. Keep the terms of your offer simple. When a seller is selecting an offer to accept or counter they want to know exactly what the buyer is asking them to do. They do not want to get bogged down with special stipulations and request for the seller to do things.
4. Contingencies scare sellers. If you can avoid a contingency in a multiple offer then leave it out of your offer. As an example, if you are a buyer that is buying with a contingency on your home closing and there are multiple offers then take the contingency out but leave the financial contingency in the contract.
5. A good agent will try to find out the sellers needs and motivation. Once you know why they are selling, and when they need to move, you can structure your offer to meet these needs. Make sure you give them the time they need on the closing date.
6. Foreclosures do not have sellers who are attached. Emotions do not normally play a role in their negotiations but sharing details about the buyer of the property can influence their thinking.
7. If the seller of the home you fall in love with is an individual or a couple write them a letter. Let them know you love the house and why. Tell what emotions you felt when you walked in and why it is perfect for you or your family. In some cases, sellers will pick a family that will love their home over a higher offer.
Several years ago I had a buyer who was interested in a home for sale in the area. The home had already received an offer in the first week. Doing my due diligence, I learned that the seller’s desire was to get the home under contract quickly and have an extended time for closing.
I advised my clients to make an offer several thousand dollars below list price and leave the closing date blank so the seller could select the closing date. The buyer was flexible.
The sellers loved being able to pick their closing date and responded to our offer over the higher priced offer. My buyer got the home they loved and the sellers got to close when they wanted.
Ctrl+T or ctrl+P appears at the top, which is nice. For those two, you search something.
With Ctrl+F or ctrl+shift+F, you also search for something.
Problem : those two windows does not appears at the same position. Coming from textmate, just can't get used to it.
And it makes me think about e! or some eclipse flavors, which is a feeling I'm not looking for.
Is there a way to customize the Ctrl+F or ctrl+shift+F areas, and let them appear as the Ctrl+T or ctrl+P do ?
my wishes today:
1) While using colums, rows or grid and working on a special file, can open only the file i wish in an new view (like new instance) in fullscreenmode, so i have all the screen just for this one file (maybe a bigger script as the others). When closing or saving or just tipping in the file, the original in colums, rows or grid becomes the same content (just mirroring in the new view).
2) Make borders in colums, rows or grid flexible to move right/left/up/down. Fe: in grid moving the top vertical border from group 1 and 2 a bit to the left, but vertical border of group 3 and 4 stays in the middle.
3) When working with two or more monitors and using ST2 and one Browser (for example), i wish to have a new instance in Montor 2 without TAB (means: not TAB monitor 1 (ST2), TAB monitor 2 (ST2), TAB browser; i wish to TAB just ST2, TAB browser, TAB ST2, TAB browser,...
4) Show/hide MiniMap for each file separatly (just for this and for this file for ex.)
5) MULTILINGUAL (wanna got german and german dictionary)
So far, sublime text is the best and nicest editor i got (and i got many editors for editing HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, SQL,...). The last few years i used Notepad++ most of my time, now i got Sublime and i love it!
There is something similar for Vim, called foldsearch (http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=2302).
I suspect some smart person could write a Sublime plugin to do this. Maybe one exists and I haven't found it yet.
I would like to code on my main monitor in full screen mode and watch a webcast / training video on my notebook screen. With OS X Lion full screen this is not possible.
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