Shiller: Hurdles Await Housing Market

The housing market, which was at the heart of the 2008 financial and stock market meltdowns, is improving but has some big hurdles ahead, says Yale economist Robert Shiller. He tells Bloomberg that “the big cloud on the horizon is the withdrawal of government support”. Shiller says where the housing market goes after government support is withdrawn will depend largely on “animal spirits”, and he puts the probability of a double-dip in housing at “50/50”.

Sonders Remains Optimistic

While some have been concerned about the low volume and lessened volatility in the market of late, Charles Schwab’s Liz Ann Sonders remains upbeat on stocks. “The grinding-higher [market] action that has resulted is certainly no disappointment,” Sonders says in her latest market commentary, written with Brad Sorensen. “The market has moved through important resistance levels while setting new 52-week highs.” She says a near-term pullback is a possibility given recent increases in sentiment, but she adds that mild corrections are “a healthy part of any cyclical bull market”, and that she is “relatively optimistic on near-term prospects of the […]

Berkowitz Targets Financials

In an interview with Barron’s, top fund manager Bruce Berkowitz says that he’s high on some of the firms most beaten down by the financial crisis — including Citigroup and AIG — and that we’re reaching a point where finding “really great investments” is going to become more difficult. “There were some obvious and wonderful places to invest for those who had cash,” Berkowitz says of the environment around the time of the financial crisis. “Today, as always, we continue to hold lots of cash, and we like very much what we own. But it is going to be more […]

Ellison Continues to Find Attractive Financials

David Ellison, the fund manager and Peter Lynch disciple who sidestepped much of the financial sector meltdown and then turned bullish on the sector shortly before the March 2009 low, is keying on stable, deposit-taking banks. “I am looking for companies that have stable deposit franchises,” Ellison, whose funds focus on the financial sector, tells Financial Planning magazine. “They have the ability to fund themselves cheaply and with stability.” He adds, “Of course we want to pay as little as possible for a stock. We just came through a period where these stocks were trading at two times book.” Ellison […]