Although commodity prices are moving up over the long run, the recent drops could continue, a plus for both economic growth and stocks, says BlackRock Chief Equity Strategist Bob Doll.

Among the positive economic signs, he counts an uptick in household debt levels. He also sees significant differences between current conditions and the summer of 2010, when the Fed ended its first round of easing in the summer of  2010. “Lending standards have eased noticeably since that time and business and consumer loan markets have been growing.” Money growth was flat or negative then, and growing now.

“Equity markets have held up pretty well in recent weeks in the face of some weaker economic data and we do not believe there is significant downside risk in the markets. Valuations remain attractive, with stocks trading at price-to-earnings ratios of around 14X compared to 2011 earnings estimates and less than 13X compared to 2012 estimates. With corporate earnings continuing to grow, we believe these ratios help make stocks an attractive long-term investment when compared to bonds or cash.”


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