ON THE SPOT
Markets are turning, but ‘they will not shoot out the lights’
Business Day asks RECM chairman Piet Viljoen his views on market trends
The Dow Jones’s performance this week capped what some investors have called the "most hated bull market in history", tearing through 22,000, partly due to gains in Apple’s share price following its quarterly results. JP Morgan’s strategists also assess present market conditions — low interest rates, low inflation, decent earnings — as "better than Goldilocks", though, as the Financial Times reminds us, let’s not forget how that fairytale ends. Business Day asked RECM chairman Piet Viljoen: Are we in a better-than-perfect world for stock markets? Globally you’ll see that earnings growth is fairly healthy. We think economies are turning, they’re doing better, but we also think they’re not going to shoot out the lights. The key is interest rates — at zero or 1% or in some cases negative — also tells you that things are not massively strong. If so, we would probably be higher by now. In the case of some South African companies, their shares are at records highs and yet earnings will pr...