Godzilla, the latest version of Japan’s King of Monsters, took the top spot at the box office this past weekend. But Japan’s stock market looks like a giant mutated lizard stomped all over it. One of the worst-performing stock markets in the world this year, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average is down 13% in yen and 10% measured in dollars. The drop has been enough to push down the forward price-to-earnings ratio for companies in the MSCI Japan index to a rare discount to the U.S. S&P 500 Index. Yet Japan’s economy is finally growing. First quarter 2014 economic growthin Japan was a strong 5.9% above the prior quarter and 3.0% above the year-ago quarter, according to data released last week. It marked the fifth straight quarter of growth — a streak not exceeded since before the 2008 – 09 global recession. The quarter’s growth was boosted by spending ahead of a consumption tax increase, which could be largely reversed in the second quarter. Nevertheless, the consensus of economists tracked by *Quantitative Easing (QE) dates **Monetary Base = all money in circulation plus bank reserves held at the central bank Indices: MSCI Japan. One cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in theprices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services….