In an interview on “Closing Bell: Overtime,” the longtime University of Pennsylvania finance professor stressed it’s impossible to know if the S&P 500 has bottomed. But he essentially said long-term investors should welcome the fact the main U.S. stock benchmark is now down about 13.3% year to date and trades at roughly 18 times forward earnings.
“It is so hard to actually pinpoint that low. If you’re a trader, these are the things you worry about,” Siegel said. “If you’re a long-term investor, I think these are values you become interested in the market at.”
Siegel, who authored the well-known investing book “Stocks for the Long Run,” earlier this year correctly predicted the Nasdaq Composite would fall into bear market territory, defined as 20% or more below a recent high. At the same time, Siegel also said he thinks the S&P 500 could tip into “deep correction.” A correction is defined as 10% or more below a recent peak.
The S&P 500 is down about 14% from its early January high, as of Friday’s close. Siegel said he still thinks the index could fall a few more percentage points, as investors navigate a Federal Reserve tightening cycle, inflation, the Covid pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
But even with all of those headwinds, Siegel said investors who have an extended time horizon should like the current levels as an entry point.
“I like the market long term,” said Siegel, who has been critical of the Fed for waiting too long to raise interest rates and end monthly asset purchases. “The S&P is 18 times … forward 12-month earnings. That’s very cheap. Ex-tech, it’s 15 to 16 in a low interest rate in environment. Even with the Fed tightening, that looks good.