Friday September 28, 2012
by Jim Stack, editor Investech Market Analyst
Throughout the past 3½ years we have described this market as the most unloved bull market in history. It remains so today.
The stock market this year has defied the skeptics and bears. And after just 9 months, this year’s gain has already doubled the 7.3% average election year gain since 1900. That’s not bad, considering the widespread fears and economic headwinds.
Unfortunately, you can’t choose the period of history in which you get to live and invest. If one could, we’d probably all prefer to go back to the 1950s and ’60s when growth was steady, recessions were mild, and inflation/deflation fears for the most part didn’t exist.
No, you can’t choose the times in which you must invest – but you can choose how to invest in the times that you are given.
The Fed’s own “shock and awe” campaign has given an additional boost to the market as all major indexes hit new bull market highs.
Yet the simple fact remains that even after $3.5 trillion in Federal Reserve debt purchases and government stimulus spending, this remains the worst recovery since the Great Depression.
There is increasing risk looking ahead at three leading U.S. economic models which have generally turned downward ahead of past economic recessions:
Nevertheless, the market's technicals remain strong. If the recent new market high somehow turned out to be the final bull market top, then it would be unlike any market peak of the past 50 years.
Here’s why… Breadth, as measured by our A/D Divergence Index and the Advance-Decline Line, is usually one of the most reliable warning flags of a market top.
At past market tops, there is almost always a negative divergence of some degree where the A-D Line peaks ahead of the market and is already in retreat by the time the market tops out. That is NOT the case today.
Likewise, we see solid strength when looking at our InvesTech Bellwether Index, which contains leading stocks from the bellwether industries that commonly peak ahead of the market. These bellwether stocks are telling us that this bull market is most likely not over.
And when we look at leadership in our Negative Leadership Composite, we’re getting a more positive reading instead of the bearish distribution that would warn of a pending bear market.
Bottom line, our technical tools in breadth, bellwethers and leadership are telling us not to give up on this bull market. And we have a lot of historical trust in their reliability.
Learn more about this financial newsletter at by Jim Stack's Investech Market Analyst.