Monday, December 16, 2013

Where Are Stocks "Beaten Down"?

This shows the stock market today, with a tiny little red "candlestick" showing the month of December at the top right. I have highlighted it with a yellow arrow. It would be hard to see it at all if I didn't. Does that look "beaten down" to you? That tiny little red mark, if I had left all the technical indicators on the chart (I removed them so that this "beaten down" red mark could be seen more easily), would be close to the upper Bollinger Band, which indicates two statistical standard deviations outside of normal market activity.

I'm still struggling to find that "beaten down" part on this chart.
 So when the media tell you that stocks were "beaten down", show them this chart and ask them WHERE the "beaten down" part is.

It IS true that until today, stocks had closed lower 9 of the past 12 days. But the losses were relatively small, as evidenced by this chart, while the few days in the green showed much higher gains. One of those 3 "up" days had a gain of 200 points. That is another sign of the bubbly overbullishness of this market.

Interestingly, in his very arcane book (I had to borrow it from a university library, where only 3 other people had checked it out in 10 years), "Why Stock Markets Crash" by Swiss academic Didier Sornette, he mentions that one characteristic of a bubble is that the news media become cheerleaders for the bubble, buying into and promoting all the hype! They become tools in ramping the bubble even higher.

But ask yourself this: If the economy is doing so well, why has the Fed been using "unprecedented measures" (Bernanke's own term for all this QE) for FIVE YEARS? Why are we still on life support if the market is so strong? Does that make sense to you?

If these "unprecedented measures" are so effective, why are they still using them five years later? Does that really suggest that they have been INeffective instead? (In which case, if they DON'T work, it would be logical to eliminate them instead.)
How much further will this bubble rise? I DON'T KNOW!

But we would be wise to be wary, because the classic pin prick of a bubble usually comes in the form of some news event that typically wouldn't be all that significant, but that causes an abrupt and precipitous loss of confidence that sends markets literally crashing.

If you look at market crashes, they tend to collapse much more rapidly than they rose. If they were rising at a 30 or 45 degree angle, then they tend to crash at a much sharper 75 degree angle.

All it takes is one small event that causes an abrupt awakening, and everyone runs for the exit doors at once. That is, in the words of Sornette, "why stock markets crash".

And by the way, the attitude held by investors that they will be the first ones to find an "exit" chair when the music stops playing, is another classic characteristic of a bubble. All the players on Wall St believe that THEY will be one of the fortunate few that gets out the emergency exit door when the trigger event occurs. That is what causes the mad and hysterical rush for the doors -- that one seat in the game of musical chairs -- when the music stops and the insane clamor for safety begins. And that is also why it is Main St investors (on Wall St they call them "retail investors) that get slaughtered and suffer the greatest losses when bubbles pop. Main St investors tend to hang on in the hopes that the market will turn around and redeem them, so they don't throw in the towel until well after their losses have produced staggering losses. And Wall St counts on continued buying by Main St to allow them (Wall St insiders) to get OUT the exit doors first. They depend on Main St continuing to hang on while they literally "take their money and run" for the exit doors.

Note also that in this poor little "beaten down" stock market chart, stocks have barely looked backward since mid-2012. There hasn't been a single month of downward market correction since May 2012. Even the few months that closed in the red were still part of a trend higher. So in the face of economic weakness, stocks have continued an unabated rally without looking back since then. Isn't that a classic description of a bubble?