These 4 FTSE 100 stocks have surged in 2016: get ready for a correction!

Today I’m running the rule over four FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) stocks that are looking dangerously overbought.

Sliding into the pit

Despite the threat of prolonged demand troubles, commodities plays Anglo American (LSE: AAL) and BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) have enjoyed a stellar run in the year to date. Indeed, the iron ore giants have climbed 122% and 16%, respectively, since early January.

Sure, metal imports from steelmaking giant China may remain solid at present — data released this week showed iron ore purchases rise to 86.75m tonnes in May from 85.77m tonnes the prior month. But concerns abound as to whether these numbers reflect strategic stockpiling rather than robust underlying demand.

Indeed, news that total Chinese exports tumbled 4.1% on a US dollar-denominated basis last month raises fresh concerns over the health of the global economy, and with it worries over the scale of raw materials demand looking ahead.

In addition to these murky demand pictures, the likes of BHP Billiton and Anglo American also face the prospect of rising supply across their major markets, the result of colossal capacity increases drawn up by many of the world’s biggest commodities producers.

Against this backcloth, Anglo American is expected to see earnings dip 38% in 2016, the fifth successive fall if realised and creating an elevated P/E rating of 21.9 times.

And a projected 88% earnings fall at BHP Billiton for the period to June 2016 leaves the business dealing on a ridiculous P/E multiple of 70.8 times.

With these numbers sailing comfortably above the benchmark of 10 times — territory indicative of high-risk stocks such as those within the mining sector — I reckon both BHP Billiton and Anglo American are in danger of colossal share price corrections.

Crumbling core

Information group Pearson (LSE: PSON) has also printed solid share price gains in 2016, the business rising 16% since the start of the year.

This comes despite the company’s core markets continuing to toil, however. Pearson saw revenues at constant currencies dive 9% during January-March, it advised last month, mainly reflecting lower assessment revenues in the US and UK.

To add to its troubles, Pearson is also suffering from lower demand in key growth regions such as Brazil.

Consequently Pearson is expected to endure a 24% earnings slide in 2016. I reckon a subsequent P/E rating of 15.7 times, while not terrible on paper, remains too high considering the obstacles the media giant has to overcome to return to growth.

Market mayhem

Struggling supermarket Morrisons (LSE: MRW) has seen its share price leap 28% since the bells first chimed on New Year’s Day, the firm shrugging off signs of escalating difficulties in the grocery sector.

Latest Kantar Worldpanel data showed sales at Aldi and Lidl leap 11.4% and 14.2%, respectively, in the three months to 22 May, reflecting their ongoing expansion schemes.

By comparison, till activity at Morrisons dipped 2.1% during the period. And while this indicates the sale of its M Local branches to some extent, the Bradford chain’s inability to fight off the competition has seen earnings sink for years now.

So while the City expects the bottom line to bounce 31% in the year to January 2017, I’m not so optimistic, and don’t believe a P/E ratio of 18.5 times factors-in Morrisons’ long-term troubles.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.