Is the party over?

       In our previous blog we discussed the consequences of the Federal reserve removing their easing and stimulative policies.  Yesterday the Fed minutes indicated this could start happening as early as June. The markets responded by selling down a bit.  Today, Chinese manufacturing came in below the growth line and Asia as well as Europe sold off quite hard.  In the U.S., both sets of information are at play as we are selling down.  The well documented potential negative reaction is unfolding today, but our perspective is that the announcement by the fed that the party may be ending soon will have much longer effects on the stock market.  We don’t think the world is coming to an end, but equity market valuations, based upon the earnings and economic growth, became extended.  This is a healthy start to bringing P/E ratios back to a reasonable number as we are trading at roughly 15 times this years and 14 times next year’s numbers. We normally would only see those type of valuations if the business sector is firing on all cylinders, frankly we are not in that type of environment.

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