Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Happy Anniversary Stock Market Rally" and "Bernie Schaeffer - Defining a Bull Market"

I like the fact that MarketTalk calls it a rally.

From Schaeffer's Research:

From my perch here at Schaeffer's Investment Research, I have access to some very interesting tools and data. I am also privy to some of the exchanges between Bernie Schaeffer and our trading department where thoughts about the market are debated and developed. There were a couple of interesting discussions over the weekend that I want to pass along.

One exchange began after Ryan Detrick noted some data from Bespoke Investment Group about the length of bull markets. Bespoke looked at the behavior of the last 13 bull markets that persisted for at least one year. Of those, the average length was more than four years and the average gain exceeded 150%. Ryan's comment was this -

    "We are exactly one year into the bull market and about nine months into the economic recovery."

Bernie Schaeffer then offered the following points to ponder...

    "One potential flaw in the historical bull market argument is whether we can truly define the rally since March 2009 as a 'bull market.'"
    "Looking at the S&P 500 (SPX) chart below from this weekend's Monday Morning Outlook, note the 160-month and 80-month moving averages just overhead. "
    "The 80-month held as support for more than 20 years until it was taken out in 2002, after which the 160-month contained the 2002-2003 lows. The 160-month ultimately broke in October 2009 and this was followed by major and rapid downside."
    "So if you consider these long-term moving averages to be good bull/bear market demarcation lines, we're still not back in bull territory. This may seem a strange conclusion after a 60% rally in 12 months, but if in fact we fail to take out these levels and the downtrend resumes it will look pretty smart in retrospect to have shorted what could then be referred to as a counter-trend rally in a bear market."...MORE