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Below is a percentage comparison chart of the Dow 30, S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, and Russell 2000 Indices, and the Financials ETF (XLF). I've started it from the October 2011 lows.
As you can see, the Russell 2000 Index has been leading the advance from that point on a percentage-gained basis until the second-place XLF shot above it on March 13th.
The Russell 2000 has been, effectively, in a basing mode since February, but has been moving up from its low of last week and is now near the highs of this year. It had begun pulling further and further ahead of the other Major Indices from mid-December, and they have closed the gap to the point now where they have all been moving up "in tandem" from last week's lows.
As lofty as the market is (up about 110% on the S&P compared to three agonizing years ago), the chart-based reasons for a serious bear market have been taking serious damage lately. I have reluctantly been purchasing stocks whose patterns I feel are strong and whose prices haven't run so far as to make them unduly risky. Here are some favorite holdings.
Yesterday, interest rates went zooming higher and, naturally, TLT took a plunge. I think playing bonds on the bear side makes sense, but only after a retracement. I'd like to see TBT ease back below $20 and TLT to get as close to 113.89 as possible. Once that's in place, I think this makes for a terrific, relatively low-risk position.
A few years ago, my wife bought me a watch from a web site called Overstock. I had vaguely heard of them. After I got the watch, I decided to return it (I'm just not much of a watch-wearing type of guy).
In short, the process was a big pain in the butt. I had to place a phone call…..wait on hold to talk to someone……explain myself…..get an RMA number…..write down all kinds of information……write out a shipping form. I don't remember all the details, but I do remember two things: (1) it was a big pain in the 'nads; (2) I decided never to do business with them again, and I told my wife to please likewise refrain.
At that point, I pretty much forgot about them (except for seeing an occasional story about how their CEO would rage against shorts, blaming them for Overstock's dropping share price).