Can stocks rally from here?
After an extreme post-election slide, signs of strength are emerging.
It's no secret that Wall Street wasn't happy about President Obama winning a second term last week. Stocks have been in a violent and relentless selloff since then, with the S&P 500 index slicing through support at 1,400 and at its 200-day moving average like they weren't even there. And as a result, on some measures we're looking at the deepest oversold condition since the bear market ended in March 2009.
Popular stocks like Apple (AAPL) and high-yield bonds have been absolutely pummeled as investors yank their cash on fears about the $720 billion "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts, the unresolved Greek bailout situation, growing labor unrest and a new recession in the Eurozone, fresh violence in Israel, and signs that the U.S. economy here at home is stalling.
But I have been and continue to be a buyer, as I believe that the downtrend, since the September market high, has nearly run its course. Here's why:
For one, Friday's fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington went smoother than many were expecting. Both Republicans and Democrats seem to be moving towards a temporary fiscal cliff extension that will give lawmakers more time in 2013 to hammer out tough decisions on taxes and entitlement reforms. This will give the market a reprieve during the holiday season, a historically strong period for stocks.
Secondly, Greece has already taken tough action on passing its austerity-filled 2013 budget despite violent protests in Athens. And much of the holdup in getting the country its next bailout payment, as its cash reserves dwindle, focus on "extra" support via items like a two-year extension of its bailout, lower interest rates, and a possible writeoff of debt it owes other eurozone countries. The eurozone will hold another meeting early next week during which more details on these efforts will likely be released.
Thirdly, this week we got plenty of indications the Federal Reserve is preparing another round of monetary policy stimulus at its December meeting, which is just a few weeks away. A "QE4" initiative of around $45 billion-a-month in Treasury bond purchases looks likely, as it would maintain the current pace of $85 billion-a-month in overall asset purchases.
A QE4 would replace the "Operation Twist" initiative that's been running since late last year that has the Fed selling its short-term bond holdings and buying long-term bonds in an effort to reduce mortgage rates. And a QE4 would be more aggressive than Operation Twist since it would involve the creation of new money rather than simply reallocating the Fed's existing holdings.
And finally, a variety of technical and sentiment measures are at extreme lows, suggesting we're on the cusp of at least a short-term, short-covering rebound in stocks and other risky assets.
By one measure, the selling pressure has reached a level not seen since the March 2009 bear market low. The folks at Sundial Capital Research track what's known as a price oscillator, which measures where the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 close the day relative to where they opened and their intra-day range.
Weak markets tend to sink near the end of trading as major brokerages make their moves. When this happens consistently, as it has since the September market high, the price oscillator drops hard.
Using a big picture view of the indicator with a three-month moving average, the measure has moved into the bottom 8% of all readings over the past 20 years and the lowest since the bear market low.
What's scary is that these readings often occur during protracted downturns before a short-lived rebound.
That's my rough outline of what to expect over the next few months: A powerful short-covering rebound on QE4 from the Fed and a fiscal cliff extension from Washington before the real nastiness starts in the spring.
One more factoid from Sundial: This is the seventh time since 1950 that the S&P 500 has sunk to a three-month low in the week before Thanksgiving. After the six others, from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, the S&P 500 was positive five times returning +3.8%, +13.0%, -2.2%, +10.8%, +2.1% and +1.7%.
Let's not discount the power of holiday cheer.
Indeed, I'm starting to see action in commodity inflation hedges like gasoline, crude oil, silver, as well as key energy stocks like Cameron (CAM), Valero (VLO), and Tesoro (TSO). I'm adding all three to my Edge Letter Sample Portfolio.
Disclosure: Anthony has recommended CAM, VLO, and TSO, to his clients.
Be sure to check out Anthony's new investment newsletter, the Edge, and his money management service, Mirhaydari Capital Management. A two-week free trial has been extended to MSN Money readers. Click the link above to sign up. Mirhaydari can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @EdgeLetter. You can view his current stock picks here. Feel free to comment below.
When there are no more billionaires, we might have a really nice economy. When ever inheritor redistributes it to those in the village that made their ancestor great... we might have a really nice economy. When there is separation and segregation in finance politics law and administration, we might have a really nice economy. When you are being sworn in and can recite all the laws we will obey in Office before accepting the role, we might have a really nice economy. When wealth steps down instead of making up wars to step up, we might have a really nice economy. When banks are allowed to fail and bankers go to jail, we might have a really nice economy.
I don't know about you, but every time I see Boehner, McConnell, Rove, etc, I see no vision and a group who will compromise if necessary to maintain power.
It's time for the true believers in liberty to tie those establishment Republicans down on the bench, get back up to the line and on the next snap grab the face masks and twist to break the necks of these control freak progressives.
@ Max I think your wrong about dillinger. Because all i hear is how the middle class is getting robbed
Educated states? You mean --- "college educated"?
Sorry - 80% of college graduates are not educated, were conned into debt at state universities (institutions for unemployable administrators and staff) and have big problems with common sense.
===Enjoy the next 4 years of stagnation. Romney wanted to create jobs, but it appears that the majority of Americans aren't interested.=====
Yes we knew he wanted to create more jobs but the problem it wasn't in America.
Top Ten Educated States all went for President Obama.
Ten worst educated states with the exception of Nevada went for Romney.
====Then we wonder why people with money are running for the hills. And the liberal continue to think the rich will stand still while they are stealen from. Argentina here we come. STupid is as stupid does. Read Altas Shrugged.=====
Stop watching FOX half those people you talk about with money voted for President Obama.
jUST TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING...Buying a few good companies and some gold...
Gotta supplement retirement somehow....?
Don't think the Republicans or the Obama Administration, want's the blood on their hands..
They gotta do something now....AND THEY WILL; re-Toggy 2012
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