Stocks are cheaper than they’ve been in more than two decades, according to a new report from Bespoke Investment Group.
According to CNBC.com, Bespoke says in its 2012 outlook report that it expects stocks to rise 11%, and perhaps more, in 2012 as investors realize how attractive valuations are. “The S&P 500 is currently trading below its historical average P/E and P/B ratios, and these ratios are also at their lowest levels in the careers of a large percentage of money managers,” Bespoke strategists Paul Hickey and Justin Walters wrote. “While the current level of earnings is by no means guaranteed, the economic backdrop in terms of the US economy remains stable to positive. … There is no denying the fact that the recovery has been tepid, but the manufacturing sector has been a pocket of strength, while the employment picture is really beginning to show improvement.”
At the start of 2012, the S&P 500 traded at a P/E multiple of 13, which is below the 80-year average of 15 — and lower than it’s been at any time since 1990, according to Bespoke, CNBC reports. In addition, Bespoke’s data shows the index’s price-to-book ratio is 2.05; the average P/B since the late 1970s is 2.43. And, the S&P’s dividend yield is higher than the 10-year Treasury yield — something that, aside from the period of the credit crisis, hasn’t happened since before 1960, Hickey and Walters say.