Look Beyond Europe News, Sonders Says

Charles Schwab’s Liz Ann Sonders — whose calls on the start and end of the “Great Recession” proved quite accurate — warns against hyperfocusing on Greece’s debt problems.

“Even the broader European focus has largely seemed to overshadow developments in the United States, which remains the world’s largest economy,” Sonders writes along with Brad Sorensen and Michelle Gibley in commentary on Schwab’s web site. She says that industrial and manufacturing data has been encouraging in the U.S. recently, and that third-quarter earnings reports have overall been solid. “After factoring in the latest results and guidance, valuations are attractive, especially relative to bonds,” she writes.

Sentiment is also giving a bullish sign, she says, noting that pessimism continues to reign, despite the market’s recent surge. And that bodes well for the rally’s sustainability, she says.

Sonders also indicates that economic issues may be making emerging markets a more attractive investment opportunity than Europe. The need to cut back on debt could lead to shorter business cycles and pressure on earnings and economic growth in the coming years in Europe, she says. Emerging markets, meanwhile, “tend to have lower debt levels. Additionally, generally younger demographics create a lighter burden on public finances and potential for more output. Meanwhile, expectations for emerging markets are low, with valuations at the lowest levels since 2009.”