Thursday, May 16, 2013


Here is the latest cover of The Economist. It shows an imagage of a bull breaking through a wall, presumably the wall represented by the previous all time high points the Dow and the S&P had reached in 2007. The top chart is a daily chart of the S&P 500 and the horizontal green line is the 2007 top at 1576.

According to Paul Montgomery's magazine cover theory this bullish cover is a definite negative for the stock market going forward. However, such covers on average preceded bull market tops by 4 months or so. This means that prices are likely to move still higher before anything resembling a bear market begins.

I would add that this cover is less representative of the investing public's mood than a similar cover on a general circulation magazine. I don't think there is anything like a bullish investment crowd operating in the US stock market right now. If fact I would characterize investors' attitudes towards the stock market as skeptical.The low levels of trading volume and volatility also testify to my conclusion.

However the rally of nearly 10% during the past month has caught investor's attention. Measured by the five day moving average of the CBOE equity put-call ratio there is more bullishness in the market than has been seen in more than a year.

The coupling of the fast, one month rally, a bullish magazine cover, and a relatively low put-call ratio suggests that a temporary interruption of this bull market is imminent. But I don't think it will be a very big interruption. The most likely development would be a drop to the vicinity of the S&P's 50 day moving average (green wavy line) and possibly to the level of the 2007 top at 1576.

The bull market which followed the bursting of the bubble lasted five full years. By that clock the current bull market could easily last until March of 2014 although I think a top sooner than that, perhaps in the fall of 2013, is more likely.

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