Early this week I put a $775 price target on Apple (AAPL), but do not mistake my price target for a bullish market perspective - everyone needs to keep their risk controls on. If you missed my interview with Jeff Macke (Yahoo Finance) please check it out: AAPL price target.
The decisive move by Bernanke was eye opening, it has brought investors out of a slumber, and the first reaction to this open ended program is positive, but something else lingers. Wall Street forgets fast, and in a few short days the honeymoon will be over. When that happens the focus will not be on what has happened, but what will happen, and the forward looking discounting mechanism that is the market will no longer have new Fed policies to rest its hopes on.
Already economists say that QE3 will not have the desired impact, none of the past QE programs did, but effectively Big Ben is now out of bullets. He even answered a reporter's question about what the FOMC could do if this QE3 effort failed to do what he had hoped, and his response was that he could adopt the second of the two policies that he had been using. The first is increasing the balance sheet (as he has just done), but Bernanke said that can't happen forever, and the second was to just talk about it.
That's right, Bernanke said that if this does not work they could talk about it and that language would hopefully suffice. Effectively, if QE3 does not work the FOMC has nothing left to give but hot air, and that puts the onus completely on our politicians.
The Market has been addicted to easing for years, now it has more of this drug, but when the market stumbles next time, and it will indeed fall again, the market will not have new Fed programs to fall back on like it has in the past. Instead the leaders will see that the economy is still weak in the face of these programs, they will recognize that no new programs are coming, and that will make what now looks quite sanguine turn into a much different environment, one that will struggle to recover.
Whatever happens in the next few days DO NOT stop using integrated risk controls. We all must maintain a proactive approach, and that means one that is able to make money in both up and down markets, and one that uses integrated risk controls. This is the only way to approach a market with the inherent risks and overvalued nature that ours has.
To be specific, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) has both negative revenue and negative dollar denominated earnings, and that means our market is actually contracting. Eventually that will come home to roost and this hype will subside, so do not get caught up in it. Keep those risk controls on.