I think it is highly likely that the U.S. stock market will continue to put up significant gains in 2011. The reason is nothing complex. In-fact, it is just a simple phenomenon that has been going on since the 2009 lows in equities and continues to lift asset prices at this moment. It is quantitative easing and the Federal Reserves commitment to attain significant dollar inflation. Anything else one hears to the contrary is just chicanery.
But before we delve into this and the future let us look at a similar economic situation and how stocks performed in those years. In the depression immediately following the crash in 1929 banks were failing, assets were deflating and commercial credit was collapsing.
But what happened to stocks all through the 1930s despite high double digit unemployment? Stocks went up!
The big catalyst that allowed for the rise in stocks was that we went off the gold standard in 1933. This depreciated the dollar significantly and you can even see it in the CPI below.
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The same thing is going on now with the dollar and equities as it did in the 1930s. Bernanke has even admitted publicly that the goal of QE is to raise stock prices.
The macro picture hasn't changed much this past year and likely won't for some time. The FED will continue to try and prop up the debt bubble by rolling cheap money. Stagflation remains one of the best case scenarios. Money will run to the best assets while the bad assets continue to deflate. So, I see major commodities like oil and agriculture continuing to do well while real-estate remains flat. And of course metals like gold and silver will do well. This is all nothing new of course but I think it is going to be the status quo for many, many months to come.