Kevin Mahn, chief investment officer and president, Hennion & Walsh, took a balanced view of the Fed's efforts, noting stocks still face a large number of unresolved issues, including Europe's debt woes.
"While I believe that the most recent Federal Reserve intervention (i.e. QE3) will help to provide some additional legs to the equity bull market rally that has essentially been in place since the market downturn hit bottom in March of 2009, I do also believe that there are certain headwinds and uncertainties confronting the potential for future economic and stock market growth," Mahn said.
Mahn cited the European debt crisis, the upcoming U.S. presidential and congressional elections, rising commodity prices and the elevated unemployment rate as potential stumbling blocks for equities.
While he sees risk that QE3 may exacerbate inflation pressures, Mahn's biggest takeaway from the Fed's plan was the central bank's pledge to keep its zero interest rate policy even after the U.S. economy begins to strengthen."Such comments would seem to point towards an attraction to equity allocations in growth oriented portfolios and the need to look to stock dividend strategies for additional sources of income over the next few years -- at least," he said, adding later: "QE3 might also provide further grease to a real estate recovery machine that currently stands as one of the brightest and most hopeful areas within the U.S. economy." The FTSE in London finished off 0.37% Monday and the DAX in Germany closed down 0.11%. A meeting of European Union finance ministers in Cyprus over the weekend resulted in a deadlock over how the region plans on combating the debt crisis, with the leaders unable to work past their differences on a banking union, the role of the European Central Bank and the conditions of bailout requests. "Headlines over the weekend laid bare political divisions on how to introduce a pan-European regulatory framework," said Gareth Berry, a currency strategist at UBS. "Considering that a single supervisor is a necessary condition before the ESM could start recapitalizing eurozone banks, a continued deadlock could put a stop to the recent euro rally."
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