Wiethe: Goldman’s S&P Target By No Means Out of the Question

Your Real Vision Daily Briefing for August 17, 2020

Senior editor, Ash Bennington, is joined by editor, Max Wiethe, to talk gold, stocks, housing, and New York.

  • Homebuilder sentiment has jumped to a record high as people move from urban centers to the suburbs, but some are still betting on cities like New York to recover.
  • Goldman’s new price target of 3600 on the S&P is a real possibility as markets are starting to price where we were pre-COVID.
  • Precious metals, which have traditionally been safe haven assets, can be driven by speculative fervor just like equities.

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The NAHB housing market index matched its all-time record high set in 1998, which lends credence to the urban exodus narrative prompted by the pandemic, Max Weithe told Real Vision during today’s Daily Briefing.

Wiethe said what’s interesting to him about the data is more about what people are doing with their money rather than whether they have money to spend, and he looks to multiple confirming indicators like lumber and copper to determine whether homebuilder sentiment is a one-off or part of a larger trend.

He said that we have to square strong housing numbers with weaker manufacturing numbers, so in this period of contraction, it is best to look at where money is being spent.

One of those places is New York; Facebook bet big on the city earlier this month when it leased all the office space in the former main post office at Penn Station in Midtown. Wiethe said that sentiment may be to the downside at the moment, but news like this makes him think that anyone calling the death of urban centers is doing so prematurely.

Wiethe also discussed the big story of Goldman Sachs boosting its S&P target to 3600 by the end of the year. He argued that price is changing sentiment, which explains some of the disconnect between prices and underlying macro fundamentals, but said that Goldman could be right.

“To get to 3600 is less than 10%, so it’s not out of the question,” he said. “It would be quite the run but by no means out of the question.”

Wiethe wrapped up the interview with a discussion of precious metals. Although they’re traditionally treated as safe haven assets, Wiethe sad he thinks precious metals are involved in the same dynamic as equities; that is, they can be driven by speculative fervor.

He questioned whether people are buying gold for a macro value play or whether they are traders chasing price appreciation in the short term, and suggested that people entering the market now are likely opportunists rather than traditional gold bulls.