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There's some very bearish commentary coming out of the mainstream media.
Marketwatch is reporting insider selling at companies like Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL), The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), and Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM). Because all these companies are sensitive to economic conditions, they're looking at the selling as a warning that "the end has arrived" for cyclical stocks.
Investor's Business Daily is asserting American Airlines Group (NASDAQ: AAL) and other cyclicals are "grossly overvalued" based on S&P 500 market data.
And Barron's is really hammering in the nail, cautioning that stalwart U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) is "one of the most overvalued stocks in America."
How can I put this in words fit to print? They're wrong. Nervous Nellies - sycophantic mouthpieces for a hidebound Wall Street. Their philosophy is totally out of step with the times. Their stodgy "guidelines" are like an investing straightjacket; it restricts your movement and keeps windfall profits just beyond your reach. Doggone uncomfortable, too.
Tune them out, I say. You'll be richer for it.
Indeed, I like all of those stocks. Every single one. If you don't own them already, buy them. If you own them, buy more.
They'll make great starters for the main course coming. I'll tell you why I'm so bullish on the long term...
Wall Street's View Is Too Narrow
The way I see it, it's not a question of the best cyclical stocks; it's identifying which companies will benefit from the paradigm shifts we've seen in finance and technology, all supercharged by the most powerful economic growth in 38 years.
Just because these economically sensitive "cyclical" stocks have zoomed a long, long way from their March 2020 depths doesn't mean they can't keep climbing.
The reality is that they can. And they will. Here's why...
Just to give us a little bit of context, let's start with the "traditional" take on a cyclical stock. Here we're talking about companies whose fortunes ebb and flow in tune with the broad economy. And their shares trade in pretty much the same way: They soar ahead of an economic bounce-back and tend to peak ahead of the economy's zenith - starting their skid before the economy swoons itself.
These are the stocks that, after an impressive run last month, Wall Street's loyal, hidebound mouthpieces are declaring "dead."
Classic cyclical plays include carmakers, steel producers, airlines, travel businesses, entertainment firms, and commercial-construction companies. As a moribund economy is jumpstarted and crawls out of a recessionary abyss, these cyclical companies see big surges in their sales and profits - and their share prices rocket in kind.
Of course, that's in a typical economic cycle. But what Wall Street doesn't seem to "get" is that the COVID-19 pandemic has made this cycle anything but "typical." (The Street's also crazy about these stocks, but I think they're pure portfolio poison.)
The pandemic triggered an almost-total collapse in U.S. economic activity almost exactly a year ago. And that set the stage for a truly unique rebound - one fueled by paradigm shifts in technology, entertainment, healthcare, and workplace practices.
As more Americans are vaccinated, as we approach some measure of herd immunity, as more states open for business (it's about time, California), and as pent-up demand gets unleashed, hungry consumers are going to stampede into restaurants and bars, embrace travel, leisure, and entertainment with unparalleled ardor, and buy furniture, cars, and homes with an enthusiasm not seen in decades.
Economists are saying this. And so am I.
Consumers have stashed away money at record rates; as of February 2021, the savings rate was 13.6%, which is down from 19.8% in January. Households generally are in great shape, paying down debt. Credit card delinquencies are plumbing lows, and the stimulus spigot is fully open; the White House is looking to spend trillions on job-creating infrastructure projects.
Ultimately, U.S. consumers have never been in a better position to do what they love to do: spend, spend, spend.
That's pretty much the case-study catalyst for "cyclical" stocks. It's powerful - and valid.
But the biggest profits will come to folks who aren't just thinking "cyclical" stocks, but who are taking the broader view of "surging economy stocks."
Where Wall Street sees the end of the road, I'm looking at an economy that's really just started its surge. It's one that's going to grow at record rates this year, continue that growth in 2022 - and probably keep surging well after that. I'm also looking at four unique catalysts that make this one of the most unique rebounds in memory - and one of the biggest profit opportunities I've ever seen.
And we're going to run through them right now.
Cyclical Catalyst No. 1: The "FOMO/ROMO" Jet Stream
Rising stock prices tend to keep rising as higher prices attract more investors, which then fuels additional momentum. The emotion at work here is "FOMO" - the fear of missing out. As the economy shows its true growth potential and cyclicals prove they're the place to be, FOMO will drive more investors into these economically sensitive shares. Also going to work here will be FOMO's second cousin: ROMO - the risk of missing out.
As the powerful economic rebound fuels inflation, and as the endless rounds of stimulus force Washington to boost taxes, the surge in economically sensitive stocks and overall rising stock indexes will make investors realize that not investing in stocks puts them at real risk of not being able to cover their taxes or to keep pace with rising prices.
Cyclical Catalyst No. 2: The Great Rate Assist
Continued low rates on the short end of the interest-rate curve will facilitate credit expansion even as interest rates rise further out on the yield curve. Rising rates aren't a problem for economically sensitive stocks if those rates are escalating because of a strengthening economy (and not because of rate increases by the U.S. Federal Reserve). In fact, rising rates will power cyclicals higher exactly because they signal future growth. Financials can do very, very well in circumstances like these - I just named my favorite one for my free weekly Total Wealth subscribers.
Cyclical Catalyst No. 3: Manufactured Optimism
The ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is expanding - in fact, has only been this positive three times in the last 40 years - and that's a huge positive for cyclical stocks. Consumer optimism was markedly - and unexpectedly - strong in March. The fact is that we're experiencing a sustained manufacturing boom not seen since the Reagan administration. If the PMI keeps trending higher - and it has room to move substantially higher - cyclicals will reflect that expansion trend by also trending higher.
Cyclical Catalyst No. 4: Profit Power
Rising profits are the key ingredient for rising stock prices. And corporate profits rise when the economy rebounds. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal just boosted their 2021 growth-rate forecast to 6.4% - one of the few times in the last seven decades the American economy is expected to grow that fast. I expect earnings to grow at an average of at least 2% per month, which translates to 6% per quarter, at least. But economists expect growth to slow to 3.2% next year, which would still make 2021-'22 the strongest two-year performance since 2005. Also, second and third quarter 2021 earnings "comps" to the second and third quarters of last year will show tremendous relative earnings growth, especially for cyclicals.
These four catalysts will put a lot of air beneath the wings of cyclical stocks - while also providing a jet stream tailwind that we can ride... and cash in on.
There's another catalyst at play here - it's big and it's one you won't find in economics textbooks, at least not for another 10 years or so. I'm talking about the historic influx of new, app-based retail traders and investors that have come into the markets over the past 12 or 13 months.
Their impact is undeniable - just ask anyone who made 1,900% on a stock like GameStop. These folks are putting $11.2 million on the table every second of every trading day, so much so that it's become like the "tail wagging the dog," with these regular people taking Wall Street to the mat.
My friend and colleague, Tom Gentile, has devised an algorithm that's able to spot the tradeable "surges" that all this new activity can generate; his backtesting on this system revealed an average 35% return in just eight days, but some of the biggest wins include 1,000% in three days, 2,500% in 16 days, and even 3,800% in six days. You can go right here to check out Tom's research for yourself.
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.