Bob Williams, SVP with Little Rock-based Delta Trust Investments, says there is good momentum propelling the U.S. financial markets despite murky economic data.
In the past few weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eclipsed 13,000, the NASDAQ rose above 3,000 and the S&P 500 climbed over 1,400.
“These are psychological numbers,” Williams said in a Talk Business interview. “The average investor gets comfort from seeing us break these numbers.”
Williams said compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. “looks like the best-looking dog in an otherwise ugly litter.”
He said that 72% of companies that have already reported quarterly earnings have outperformed expectations, even though overall earnings aren’t stellar.
“Profits are the result of cost cutting in this environment,” he said in a generalized statement.
He also said that the financial markets’ recent runs are being fueled by retirement money that has been sitting on the sidelines, but is now churning in the market.
“A lot of people failed to take into account retirement money,” Williams said. “401(K) plans, which frequently hold mutual funds, find themselves in a position where the portfolio managers are scared to be left on the sidelines as the market takes a leg or a move up. As a result, they don’t dare stay in too much cash.”
You can listen to Williams full interview here.
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