05 Oct Bull market, bear market? Donkey market!
CHICAGO – Many say we have “turned the corner” in the economy and the arguments rage from the Bulls and the Bears on Wall Street as they check their charts.
They are both wrong. We are in a DONKEY market: A stubborn stock market that is being pulled in many directions both positively and negatively. The net result is that it is stagnant.It’s a donkey market right now. I don’t believe it is a full Bear Market and definitely do not think it has enough sustainable steam or real indicators to be a Bull Market. It is being pulled in too many directions which makes it hard to set a true direction.
IT’S NOT 1969 OR EVEN 1999 ANYMORE
When you hear about the financial markets from some of the experts, there is a lot of braying about this particular gain and that “current industry trend” but when you try to see real movement, it’s stubborn and really doesn’t move much. The DOW is sitting between 9,500 and 10,000.If something happens (even some narrow issue), the market becomes very stubborn and won’t move and may drop but there is always a lot of “experts” braying about the next big surge and that we arrived at the bottom for housing, or trends are up in car sales and now we are ascending into a Bull Market.Let’s cut the cheerleading and look at reality. Significant jobs are needed in order to spark the whole economy. Real paychecks (and benefits) create real consumer confidence not only in the stock market but also in the housing and automotive markets. Housing has NOT bottomed out and I still see people taking lesser jobs. No one is looking at investing if their mortgage payment is due and the credit card balance just jumped up another $1,000.Temporary paychecks, underemployment of the middle class and uncertainty about keeping a job (layoff, outsourcing, whatever) creates a shaky consumer base who will not spend unless there are firesale prices. Then people may find the money to buy the bargain. Then again, they may wait thinking that prices will go down even further.In a financial discussion that asks if we are on the verge of another Bull Market: (http://seekingalpha.com/article/164033-are-we-poised-for-another-great-bull-market#comment-696843) some argue with the author about his accuracy and others try to justify his stance:
Charts indicate clearly where we’ve been but not where we are going. They are useful for keeping clear about what happened and help to prevent us from believing things that aren’t true.However, there are other more fundamental reasons that point to the truth of your conclusion. They are economic, social, political and historical reasons.One of the funny lessons of history is that Columbus would never have set sail for America without the primitive compass that he took with him; but his compass worked so badly that he sailed hundreds of miles off course and when he finally landed in Cuba he thought he was in Japan.
COLUMBUS DID NOT FOLLOW THE CHARTS
If Columbus followed the charts and depended on the “experts of the day”, they would have told him not to sail. The prevailing expertise of the day all knew that the Earth was flat and that if Columbus challenged that knowledge, he would surely sail off the edge. They had charts that proved the Earth was flat.
And who was he? Just some adventurous boat captain wanting to get an expedition funded – not some member of the distinguished “Academy of Science”.
Well, when you are in “new waters” you are “off-the-charts”. Dead reckoning and navigational skills are what prevail, not following outdated variables and rules-of-thumb that are tied to a world that is no longer relevant.
We are in “new waters” when it comes to the economy. We are “off-the-charts”. As for another comment on that thread:
You cannot take the US market as a sole indicator anymore. You have to look at various world markets and take them into context because they are all interrelated.
Exactly. And what happened in the US Economy in 1960 or 1970 or even 1980 is NOT a good “chart” to compare today with.
Back then, the major automakers were the Big Three (GM, Ford & Chrysler). You did not have large Japanese or Korean influence in the market. Now you do.
The same goes for major electric and electronic appliances. Totally different market forces and strategies as well as consumer biases that are more global in nature.
Those are just two major industrial variables that knock out any relevancy to trying to compare and justify today’s economy with charts “back in the day”.
Other variables? Outsourcing and cheap skilled labor brought into the US on a large scale. Nothing like that was around in 1960, 1970 or even 1980.
We are in new waters and old charts do not apply.
Too many still think the “Academy of Science” is right. Wait `til the end of the voyage.
Carlinism: You cannot navigate and solve 21st century economic problems with 20th century charts and solutions.
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