While Wall Street's bullish storytelling was creative, December looks like another down month for the S&P 500. Here's Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough's analysis, from a note sent to subscribers earlier today, reviewing 2015:
"What a year it was! Worst year for US stocks since 2008; worst year for FX funds since 2011; worst year for Commodity funds ever – and no, it wasn’t “transitory,” as Fed head Janet Yellen is fond of saying – I think it’s all just pricing in the end of what was a mediocre economic cycle."
Here are the numbers, as of yesterday's close:
While we're at it, here's a sampling of the rest of equity markets around the world:
So what does 2016 hold in store for equity investors? In a word, volatility. Here's more analysis from McCullough:
"There’s a big difference between a regime of 10-14 VIX and 15-30; provided that the latter prevails, I think we’re going to see equity markets continue to trade choppy at best and continuing to crash at worst to start 2016."
You won't hear that kind of honesty from Wall Street. Remember, there were plenty of Old Wall equity strategists looking for "Santa Claus rallies" and "Rip-your-face-off rallies" into year-end.
That didn't happen...
Backing up a bit, to our original question about Wall Street storytelling, how did the supposed "blue chip" forecasters do this year? Well, not to belabor the point but MarketWatch has an excellent story assessing the "usefulness" of Wall Street's year-end forecasts.
After completely missing 2015 – calling for 2,201 on the S&P versus yesterday's 2,063 close – Wall Street did revise its forecast. Down, down, down... Now, 2016 estimates are below the number projected for the 2015 year-end. Hello flip-flop.
That's why we called 2015 "A Year Of Epic Face-Plants on Wall Street." Meanwhile, our non-consensus analysts made some particularly prescient calls. Here's a look back at some of our choicest picks from 2015.
Finally, heading into 2016, our outspoken CEO offers up his Best Idea in the video below.
As far as Wall Street is concerned, while it was a good year for storytelling, ultimately reality, and the pull of economic gravity, won out, as it always does. The perma-bull narrative has been flat-out wrong. Don't let Wall Street blow you up again. That's no way to build wealth.
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