Whether you're a bull or a bear, if you don't think the market looks weak right now, you need to have your eyes examined (and a check-up……..from the neck up). We've lost 7% in seven sessions, and the trendline crack that occurred on January 20th marked the begin of what has been an uninterrupted tumble.
But what about the "bounce" that would let the bears short even more, and at better prices? Well, it hasn't happened yet. Since we're only dealing with two components here – time and price – there are two stark possibilities before us:
ONE – The bounce won't ever happen, and whatever shorts you're in right now are at about the best prices you're going to see, so you might as well just hang on;
TWO – Prayers delayed are not prayers denied, and the bounce is going to happen on a slower schedule, which means that the ride back up will be a nail-biter for everyone.
Of course, a third possibility is that we not only get a bounce, but we push right through to new highs for reasons I can't fathom (the miraculous economic healing power of high-speed trains to Anaheim, perhaps?) I am dismissing this as a realistic possibility, although my stops would get me out of my positions eons before such a thing were to occur.
The percentage of my portfolio committed to positions has been bouncing between 50% and 70% lately, since I've been taking profits (reducing the percentage) and also loading up on new positions or augmenting old ones (thus enhancing the percentage).
The cold fact of the matter, though, is that this market is Weak with a capital W. I was concerned earnings would goose the market higher. Well, fantastic earnings are everywhere – IBM, Intel, Apple, Amazon – and they've done two key things to the market:
I also thought Benjamin Shalom Bernanke's re-appointment would cause the bulls to breathe a sign of relief and bid up prices aggressively, but the same aforementioned dual effects were the net result.
Friday morning gives us GDP for Q4, and the consensus is really, really rosy. If the GDP gives the market another push down, I wouldn't be at all surprised to say bye-bye to the 10,000 level on the Dow. I'm about 62% "loaded" on the portfolio at this point, and I'm ready to increase my short positions selectively if this wimpy market remains so.