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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is the Dow the New Safe Haven?

Dow Jones 2006
Dow Jones 2006 (Photo credit: caseorganic)

New York, Mar.6, free portfolios .- As the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) surged to a record high on Tuesday, one analyst has labeled the index the "new safe haven."
The Dow rose 0.9 percent to 14,253 points on Tuesday, surging past highs seen in 2007 just prior to the onset of the financial crisis.
Gregg Gibbs, senior forex strategist at global investment bank RBS, said the resilience of the Wall Street index in contrast to other asset classes makes it a fresh safe haven for investors.
"We have been looking at the Dow as the new safe haven," Gibbs said on CNBC's "Asia Squawk Box"on Wednesday.
"When you look at the Dow and the U.S. dollar compared with many emerging markets including China, the U.S. offers the best economy with the best outlook globally," he said.
The Dow has enjoyed a strong rally this year, surging almost 9 percent year-to-date on the back of the U.S. government's avoidance of the "fiscal cliff" and its central bank's continuation of loose monetary policy.
The decreasing appeal of other asset classes has led investors to look for fresh areas of safety, said Gibbs.
"Bond yields are at record lows and cash rates are at zero, so equities are now seen as the place to put your money, especially as central banks continue to provide quantitative easing measures," said Gibbs. "Furthermore, the Fed is striving for growth and will accept higher inflation so equities work as an inflation hedge," he added.
Gold, the traditional safe haven, has in recent times defied its historic role as a hedge against inflation and bad times, with investors looking at other assets for safety.
According to Gibbs: "This is partly due to the fact that gold is already very expensive [on a historical basis] and due to the broad-based strength of the U.S. dollar against most currencies."
Gold has traded between a range of $1,500 per ounce and near $1,800/oz over the past year but has risen steadily over the past decade from lows of $300/oz in 2000.
Jack Bouroudjian, CEO of Chicago-based wealth manager Bull and Bears Market, supported the case for investing in the Dow saying he expected the U.S. equities bull rally to continue for the next couple of years.
"Not being exposed properly [to the U.S. equity market] is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Here we are with only 2 percent [yields] in the 10-year Treasurys, and we've got a market at record highs with corporate America making more than they've ever made before," he said.
However, other analysts raised concerns over the sustainability of the Dow's rally.
"We like the Dow and we are in a strong trend. But you have the Fed behind you spending $85 billion a month and that is a lot of money to keep these stocks propped up. There are a lot of headwindssomewhere down the line but not right now," said Adam Hewison, chief strategist at technical analysis and market commentary provider INO.com.
He was positive in the short-term, however: "We could see the Dow go to 14,600, 14,800 but 15,000 might be a bit of a stretch. This is a solid technical trend and a lot of people have missed the boat," Hewison added....

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