Beware The Aging Raging Bull
A young bull is fresh and full of vigor, a more mature bull is strong and determined, the old fatigued bull is irritable, distressed, and often dangerous. This historic bull market certainly has had quite a remarkable run, but I contend that it is currently showing signs of exhaustion. The first leg which began in the Spring of 2009, like a young bull, was certainly fresh and invigorating. The second leg, as a more mature bull, was strong, determined and persistent. This final leg, much like an aging bull, has been unstable, irratic and belligerent. 2011 sure has been a rough ride thus far for this grizzled, irritable, exhausted bull…………heaving to and fro…………bucking wildly up and down…………throwing many a seasoned traders face first into the dirt.
For all those Slopers bulled up by last week's impressive yet "suspect" parabolic move in the dow, you may want to take pause and consider whether this truly is the revived 3rd leg of a seemingly indomitable bull market, or perhaps rather the beginning of the end for this majestic animal. All you raging bulls will undoubtedly snort……"How can you call this a suspect rally?!" Well, it's not to often that we see a spectacular relentless 700 point surge on the dow in only 5 days. Particularly one seemingly based off of nothing more than yet another Greek bailout band aid followed by a below average ISM number.
Forgive my dubiosity, but what I saw last week started out as; an expected relief bounce off of the much anticipated narrowly passed Greek austerity vote, combined with end of quarter window dressing & a dash of pre 4th of July exuberance, which then suddenly morphed into a turbo charged rally by setting off a mechanical, bot driven short squeeze on low volume. Who let the dogs out? "The algos dogs were then let loose order "stuffing" their way up to each stop without pausing, and scaring mental stops into action along the way." Adding to the heroics, was a very timely Chinese EURO pump, with Benny & the Jetts piling on for good measure, by firing up the re-activated FED/ECB currency swap lines, furthur pushing the EUR/USD back up towards the recent highs.
One would be hard pressed to attribute this sudden explosive rally to any recent revelation of actualized gains in a particular business sector, or any newly discovered fundamental strengths in our sputtering economy as a whole. What does that tell us about the legitimacy of this super spike, will it have staying power? Is it some sort of belated blow off top…..is it irrational……is it real?
Five ways to know if a bull market is over:
1) Oil prices surge and remain elevated………check
2) Treasury yields begin to run up………qualified check (may well have begun)
3) Number of rising stocks starts to shrink………check
4) Consumer spending often slows………check
5) Corporate earnings growth starts to slow………qualified check (will know for sure shortly)
One final note from your favorite Idiot Savant……Parabolic moves generally don't end well, especially when they are manufactured………They're planting stories in the press.