Portfolio Strategy: Monday, July 14th, 2008
Principles of the Stock Market

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Have You Seen This?

Have You Seen This?




This year’s mid-March to mid-May bear market rally was the first rally versus the new primary bear market downtrend.  Usually the first rally is the best rally (just like the first loss is the best loss) because many investors believe the bull market still lives and thus it’s eminently playable as bears still have buyers to sell to.  But this second time up, if we do get a rally going, the odds are higher it may not last as long and thus not be playable.  It may be just a quick, sharp bounce – futures are way up today -- but then after a few days dissipate quickly.  Comparing today to the last Papa Bear market (of 1973-1974) we did get a three-month playable rally seven months into the first year of that two-year decline.  But I have to equate that to our just completed (in mid-May) two-month rally (which began five months into this bear market). 


Generally this middle phase of a bear market is pretty consistently down, except for short, sharp rallies caused by events like the government stepping in.  Thus, for aggressive market participants, correct strategy may be just to cover one’s shorts, temporarily.  Taking advantage of this morning’s excitement that the long suffering financials may be bottoming.  Remember that’s the consensus view on Wall Street, that when the financials finally bottom out, that will signal the bottom in the overall stock market.  And for others who are still too long this bearish stock market, which is down -20% but over time looks destined to go as much again lower, any strength here on the latest Fed moves may be to just sell into strength.  That’s sort of my strategy as I watch the market this morning.  To watch this rally unfold and then to use it for our best interests, keeping in mind that its very likely only a “flashy-splashy normal bear market rally.


Posted 07-14-2008 8:34 AM by Richard Schwartz