Monday, March 9, 2009

Markets: Now Is it a Bottom? What About Now? Ok, Now? (or is it Dow 5000)

From MarketBeat:

As a number of market commentators are starting to wonder if a stock-market low is nearing, equities have put together a mild rally in the early going Monday, rebounding from last week’s horrific results.

With such prognostications, one finds a litany of counterbalancing rationales for why the market is nearing a bottom or not, using someone else’s explanation for bullishness as a reason to worry about further market weakness. Eventually, a person could screw himself into the ground due to the need to act contrary to contrarians....MORE
Which reminded me of a site Infectious Greed linked to a week and a half ago: Is this the bottom?

And from today's Wall Street Journal:

Dow 5000? There's a Case for It

Just how low can stocks go?

Despite Friday's small gain, the Dow Jones Industrial Average marked its fourth consecutive week of losses as it tumbled through the 7000-point mark and spiraled to new 12-year lows. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is trading below 700 for the first time since 1996.

As earnings estimates are ratcheted down and hopes for a quick economic fix fade, the once-inconceivable notion of returning to Dow 5000 or S&P 500 at 500 looks a little less far-fetched.

A decline to 500 on the S&P is 183.38 points and 27% away. The index already has lost 881.77 points, or 56%, since its peak in October 2007. The index, which lost 7% last week, hasn't been below 500 since 1995, when the tech-stock bubble was just beginning. After dropping 6.2% last week, the Dow is 1626.94 points and 25% above 5000, a level it also hasn't seen since 1995.

Analysts and investors looking at valuations, history and stock-price trends are mostly predicting the indexes will avoid plumbing those lows, although all concede that, in this market, anything is possible.

Even Wall Street strategists are crunching the numbers, while sticking to forecasts of a second-half rally.

Goldman Sachs's David Kostin in late February presented three scenarios for the S&P, including a "bear case" that put the index at 400 to 500. Although Mr. Kostin says he doesn't anticipate the index will fall that low, "these are the cases that different types of investors are making," he says....MORE