Wednesday, January 20, 2016

stock market update

The top three charts are daily charts recording the activity in my three favorite trend indicators. In all three cases the indicator is well below a declining 200 day moving average - a typical bear market configuration.

I do think we are in a mini-bear market. My best guess is that when the smoke clears the Dow and the S&P 500 will be off about 20% from their 2015 tops. But even if I am right about this I think the near-term course for the averages is upward from today's low. I expect a rally of 5-7%  followed by a subsequent decline to the ultimate bear market low points.

As I write this the S&P has broken below its October 2014 low at 1813 (basis nearby futures contract) and has now started to rally. The drop from the November 3 top has pretty much matched the size of both the September-October 2014 decline and of the May-August 2015 drop. Moreover, as you can see the 5 day moving average of CBOT put-call ratio is higher than its been since the bear market low in 2009. These observations are good reasons to expect a strong rally from current levels.

The bearish sentiment indicated by the put-call numbers was manifest in the front page of the New York Times last week. There was first a headline about the bearish implications of the crash in oil prices. There followed a couple of days later an above-the-fold story about the stock market drop world-wide.

The drop from the December 29 top in the averages has been extreme and relentless. The consequent build-up of bearish sentiment will probably fuel a strong rally but one unlikely to retrace as much as half the drop seen so far. After this rally is complete I expect the averages to resume their drops to levels about 20% below their 2015 highs.

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