So many market-watchers are betting that stocks have peaked out - or are about to - that it's tempting to put your money on the other side. Today's 82-point gain in the Dow comes after yesterday's 186-point drubbing, and speaks to the "massive tug of war" that Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of OC bond fund manager PIMCO, was describing to Reuters. He says that the stock rally has hit a wall because valuations have gone up more quickly than fundamentals.
El-Erian, who oversees $850 billion in assets for Pacific Investment Management Co, including equities, said U.S. stock markets have been on a "sugar high" as recent corporate earnings have surpassed expectations. But for the most part profitability has been driven by cutbacks in layoffs and capital spending, he said. Moreover, the nascent economic recovery in the United States faces massive headwinds, including high unemployment, which translates into a vulnerable consumer, and weak private demand.