I must confess that I’m disappointed by both Romney’s lack of fire in his belly during last night’s debate and in the market’s negative reaction to that performance. I’m one of the crowd who was looking for a bounce rather than a swoon as we moved on to the election and for several weeks after a Romney victory. My market optimism was based on the belief that a Republican victory in both the White House and Congress would a big risk factor overhanging the market (whether fairly or not) as far as economic growth and would also reduce the risk associated with the country’s falling over the fiscal cliff at year end.
This morning’s reaction forces me to go reevaluate the game plan. Perhaps the market will slip over the edge before the economy does. But then again, there are many potential support levels to stop the fall …. albeit after some major damage to stock prices and portfolios (click on image to enlarge):
- The lower boundary of an ascending channel that begin in late-2011. Perhaps, not coincidentally, that trendline actually stretches back to the 2009 Financial Crisis Crash low (see chart below) and should, therefore, be considered an extremely important and strong one.
- Three slow moving averages that all happen to currently be ascending
- A horizontal trendline at approximately the prior 2012 low for the year
Unfortunately, however, my proprietary Market Momentum Meter will turn red suggesting that a move into cash is advisable based on similar situations in the past. If the decline continues at the current rate, it will be similar to the rapid decline in 2011. The recovery from that correction was fairly quick and dramatic so many investors, including me, were whipsawed and are still trying to recover.
Some look at the long-term chart a see the market back at the top of its 12-year secular bear market tradition range and, consequently, see the beginning of another major market crash (i.e., decline of 30-50%):
One usually bearish pundit recently wrote the following typical view of an impending market top,
“Cyclical bulls follow cyclical bears, so from those panic ashes a new cyclical bull was indeed born. And coming from excessive lows, it would more than double the stock markets again. Over the 3.5-year span running to just last month, the SPX blasted 116.7% higher! And that brings us to where we are today, what is almost certainly the third major bull-market topping witnessed in this secular bear.”
Rather than the proximity to the top of the secular bear market range, my focus will be on that ascending trendline from the 2011 and 2009 lows, currently at around 1400. A cross below that line would be a clear indication of more declines to come.