This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on June 6 at 8:21 a.m. EDT.
" Ma nishtana ha-laila ha-zeh mi-kol ha-lelot?The investment mosaic is always complex, and my opening missive today cannot possibly cover all the bases that culminate an overall investment viewpoint. "Ma Nishtana," the Jewish prayer above, comprises the four questions asked during the Passover seder. In Hebrew, its meaning is "what has changed?" -- in English, it is referred to as "the four questions." Over the past weekend, many investors were asking themselves the following four questions in order to determine what (if anything) has changed and whether the consensus economic and stock market forecasts are still intact:
(Why is this night different from all other nights?)" -- Passover prayer
- Will the domestic economy proceed in a smooth trajectory, be self-sustaining and capable of maintaining itself in line with the historic length of previous economic expansions (lasting nearly four years)?
- Will S&P 500 profits meet the consensus earnings forecasts of $95 a share for 2011 and $100-plus per share for 2012?
- Is the consensus forecast for a year-end S&P target of 1450 still a reasonable expectation?
- If the answer to the first three questions is no, does that mean we are entering a bear market?