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Differences In Opinion: Big Names Weigh In On Whether The Market Is Overvalued

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Differences In Opinion: Big Names Weigh In On Whether The Market Is Overvalued

Why is it that the S&P 500 has been consistently hitting new all-time highs for over a week now and so many investors are having such a hard time enjoying it? With the S&P 500 now trading more than 37 percent above its pre-crisis high, it’s hard not to start to wonder just how much higher stock prices can go.

Despite concerns over slowing growth in emerging markets, a continuing global oil market depression and uncertainty in the U.K. and Europe following a surprise Brexit vote, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) is up 6.0 percent so far in 2016.

In terms of valuation, Robert Shiller’s cyclically-adjusted P/E ratio for the S&P 500 is currently at 26.9, similar to its peak level prior to the last market crash and well above its historical average of 16.6.

Not even the top minds in the investing world seem to agree about whether the stock market is getting too expensive. Here’s a look at some high-profile market bulls and bears.

Bears

Carl Icahn sure thinks stocks are expensive. “I do believe in general that there will be a day of reckoning unless we get fiscal stimulus,” Icahn said on CNBC back in April, adding that he was “extremely cautious” on U.S. stocks.

George Soros is on Icahn’s side and is putting his money where his mouth is. “The world is running into something that it doesn’t know how to handle,” Soros said back in January. “We are repeating 2008.” Soros reportedly has been rotating funds out of stocks and into gold.

Related Link: The Fed's Mixed Feelings On Rate Hikes

Just last week, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) said that the S&P 50 has no business making new highs. “I don’t think we have enough evidence to justify these levels in the equity market at this moment,” Fink told CNBC.

Bulls

According to Warren Buffett, there’s good reason stocks are on the pricey side at the moment. “Interest rates act on asset values like gravity works on physical matter,” Buffet said in April. “If you had zero interest rates and you knew you were going to have them forever, stocks should sell at, you know, 100 times earnings or 200 times earnings.”

Back in March, CNBC analyst Jim Cramer thought the market was undervalued. “I think a lot of this move has to do with the fortunes of individual companies and how much more their stocks may be worth than where they are currently valued,” Cramer explained.

Avondale Capital co-founder Marc Lasry is surprised by the recent push to new highs, but feels that it could be a sign of better things to come. “The market is telling us what’s going to happen for the next two years,” Lasry told CNBC on Monday.

Did you like this article? Could it have been improved? Please email feedback@benzinga.com with the story link to let us know!

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

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