An air of optimism freshens the stock market. Despite recent woes, some see a 3,000 Dow
On Wall Street some iconoclasts see the supply-and-demand situation improving. The supply of pessimism about the future of the stock market has grown during the past few week. The demand for stocks has fallen. The market, in the parlance of technical analysts, has moved fairly clearly into ''oversold territory.''Skip to next paragraph
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Conclusion: A summer rally may be imminent.
After that, in late 1984, the market could get rocky. But in the longer term, they say, (meaning the next two to four years) the United States will experience a ''secular bull market'' that could carry the Dow Jones industrial average toward 3,000.
And after that? Few analysts venture a guess much farther out than '88. But at least one speaks darkly about a ''hard landing'' thereafter.
All of which makes interesting food for thought - but in the short run the market still has to pull itself out of the hole that has been dug for it since the first of the year. The Dow closed Friday at 1,086.90, down 44.35 points for the week. Friday itself was a bad day: down 10.71 points.
Optimism about the course of the market is reflected in a recent survey by Robert J. Eggert, editor of Blue Chip Economic Indicators of Sedona, Ariz. Mr. Eggert polled 35 economists this month on an off-the-record basis. The average forecast was of a 1,170 Dow in three months. This was slightly more pessimistic than an early May poll, but it was interesting considering the pounding the market took during the last half of May and early June.
One analyst who strictly times the market is Robert R. Prechter Jr., editor of the Elliot Wave Theorist market letter of Gainesville, Ga. Based on R. N. Elliot's theory of long-term investment patterns, Mr. Prechter sees a big rally coming and recommends ''aggressive buying.''
From now until the end of December, he foresees the market recapturing the 200 points it has lost since January and peaking at 1,290 to 1,340. The bond market will rally hand in hand with the stock market, he says. By 1988, Mr. Precter predicts, the Dow will have hit 3,000. After that, however, Precter says a big drop could occur.
A similarly optimistic point of view is taken by mutual funds expert John Templeton. He considers stocks to be at bargain prices and commenced a buying program in late May.
''In the long run,'' says Mr. Templeton, ''share prices are determined by basic value; in the short run, by temporary emotions.''
With the Dow below 1,125, he says, the replacement value of the assets of Dow companies (meaning blue chip stocks) is actually more like 1,800. Within five years, he says, the replacement value of the Dow could be around 2,800.
''If we were really smart we would wait until the bottom day of the market,'' Templeton said in a taped conversation released by his office. ''But it is a mistake to miss the opportunity to buy at these low prices.''
Market analyst Richard Yashewski of the Butcher & Singer brokerage has been bearish since late '83, continually warning that the Dow was heading toward 1, 050. Now he thinks the midday low of 1,083 on May 30 might well have been the bottom of this phase.
The market rallied from that point but then retreated to ''test the lows,'' he says. There could be further tests, but he now feels ''we are at the starting point of a summer rally.'' He is equally positive on the bond market and believes bonds will act as the catalyst for the stock rally.
That rally could last four to eight weeks and send the Dow to 1,180 to 1,220. Afterward, he says, the market could drop again, perhaps hitting a yearly low of around 1,000.
''A year ago,'' Yashewski says, ''the market had nothing going for it, and we became cautious. There were a lot of reasons to fight greed back then. Now there are a lot of reasons to fight fear.''
Yashewski recommends investors ''play the blue chips - that would be safe and right.'' These are engaged in a long-term bull market, he says. Secondary stocks , however, have entered a long-term bear market and he counsels against accumulating these.
Those are just some of the theories about what could happen. According to most financial analysts, a durable market recovery must be based on more accommodative economic conditions. A slower economy would take pressure off interest rates, and that would be good for both stock and bond markets.
The most recent data suggests that the economy is cooling down from the torrid pace it set earlier this year. Retail sales have slowed, and producer prices are level. That is good news for investors - especially if other considerations were put aside. But other considerations are worrisome: The federal budget deficit also has an impact on the level of interest rates - as Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker noted last week.
Though the economy is growing without the risk of inflation, ''the combined credit demands of the federal government and the private sector have generated disturbing pressures on interest rates, on developing countries, and on exchange rates,'' Mr. Volcker said.
Any notions that the economy is cooling off will have to be confirmed by economic data this week on capacity utilization, housing starts, and the preliminary estimate of the second quarter gross national product. Only if moderation holds, it seems, will there be an environment in which a Wall Street rally can be hatched.