Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup, presented his bullish perspective on CNBC Thursday (see CNBC article).

Source: CNBC Video

Some points from the Levkovich interview include:
  • Production rates have to pick-up, and not because final demand is picking-up, but because inventory levels are so low.
  • Earnings are a function of production. Top-line growth will pick-up. This will cause the second half GDP to be higher.
  • Cost controls were not a one quarter phenomenon, but will provide even more operating leverage to the upside going forward.
  • Worries of lower consumer spending hurting GDP are overblown. Over the last 30 years nearly all of the growth of consumer spending as a percent of GDP has come from health care expenditures. It is an illusion that we have always had isolated increased spending. When spending did increase, so did wealth. Debt increased $6 trillion, but assets increase $24 trillion over the same time frame.
  • While we will see sales growth this year (which is counter to conventional wisdom), 2010 estimates that are calling for a 22% gain in earnings might be a little high.
  • Finally, while there is a possibility of a market correction later in the year, an overshoot to 1,100 on the S&P 500 is very plausible. Positive moves in the market will be supported by the strength of Q2 earnings and the probability of second half earnings power.