It's the last day of the month and what a terrible trading month it has been for most investors! The month of May saw all the major indices turn negative based on our Trade Triangle Technology. This is not something to be taken lightly, as it foretells of the future trends for all of the major indices.
No matter what side of government intervention you're on, it's agreed that it has an affect on the market. Whether that effect is a shorter bear market or simply a prolonged slide is debatable. Today's guest blogger is Tony of KhronoStock.com. Tony is going to share what he thinks the similarities between the great depression and the current state of the economy means for the markets. Be sure to comment and let us know what you think.
For most people who've lost 30% or 40% of their IRAs or 401(k) plans, it just looks that way on paper. In other words, it hasn't sunk in yet. The reality is that when this sinks in, and it will, the realization will have a significant negative impact on the psyche of the US consumer and the US economy.
This is the first real bear market we have seen in a generation and maybe the start of the greatest bear market we have seen since the Great Depression. All of these distressed securities have to be worked out and priced accordingly in the marketplace and that is going to take time. Right now, there is no reason to jump in and buy stocks because they look cheap.
The technical and fundamental trends are clearly down in all the equity markets as the de-leveraging of the hedge funds continues. You may remember I made a post some time ago about hedge funds. I said that in the end "they will devour their young." That's exactly what's happening right now.
This is without a doubt an extremely challenging time for both the US and world economy. There are no easy answers. China's economy was built on manufacturing and selling products primarily to the United States, but also the rest of the world. The global slowdown will dramatically impact their economy.
The fact that crude oil has crashed and lost almost half its value in a very short time has helped the consumers shake the real fear that rests in their subconscious psyche. Will lower gas prices jump-start the economy if consumers see more disposable income in their pockets? Even if lower gas prices come to fruition, will consumers commit to spending the extra money?
If we see the recent lows in the equity markets taken out, we could see another huge capitulation to new lows. If that occurs, both professional and amateur investors alike will be scrambling for the exits at the same time.
So what's an investor to do? I have blogged in previous posts that these are not markets you can buy and hold forever. Unfortunately those days are long gone. The classic fall-back line for all stockbrokers is, "if it doesn't go your way, it will work itself out in the long-term." Did General Motors (NYSE_GM) work itself out over the long-term? NO. Has GE (NYSE_GE) worked itself out over the long term? NO. This can be said for thousands of other stocks that have not gone up "in the long-term." So remember when your broker tells you to, "hold it for the long-term...it'll come back," you might want to cut your losses early.
The key thing to trading and investing is knowing what the markets are doing at all times. Right now the market remains negative. Why would anyone go into defensive stocks just to be in the market? If the trend is down in a so-called defensive stock, why would you want to hold on to that stock? It just doesn't make much sense in my book.
I believe we are going into a prolonged, protracted time when stocks don't do much of anything. People are fearful right now. Over the years we've lived the good life here in the United States. Credit was easy, people thought the money carousel would go on forever. Well, guess what? The world has been playing musical chairs and when the music stopped (read that as the credit) there are no chairs to sit on. We are left standing, not sure what to do next.
I am normally an very optimistic person, but at the moment, I feel an economic chill settling over the world for quite some time.
Having said all of this, the perception of the marketplace can change at anytime. When that does, you need to change with it. You can no longer be passive in these types of markets. The individuals who do remain passive and hold for the "long-term" are now way behind the eight ball. Unfortunately, many may never recover.
Mark my words, there will be some fantastic opportunities in the weeks, months and years ahead. But, those opportunities will only go to the well-prepared, disciplined individuals traders who believe in what they're doing in the market. That's the only way successful investors will succeed in my humble opinion.
NEW YORK: It has taken Wall Street considerable time to recover from crashes and for investors to regain their confidence and decide it was safe to put their money into stocks again. A look at how the market recovered from its two best-known crashes, and how much it needs to recover from its latest plunge.
When the market crashed Oct. 19, 1987, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down 508 points to 1,738.34, the blue chips had lost 938 points, or 36.1 percent, since reaching a then-record close of 2,722.42 on Aug. 25, 1987. It took just over 15 months for the Dow to get back to its pre-crash level, and almost two years to the day Aug. 24, 1989 to reach a new closing high, 2,734.64.
_The recovery from the 1929 crash was more difficult and spanned a quarter century. The Dow had reached a high of 381.17 on Sept. 1 and then began drifting downward. Although the date of Oct. 29, 1929, Black Tuesday, is probably best-known by the public, many market historians say the crash began on Thursday, Oct. 24, and accelerated the following Monday and Tuesday.
From its close of 305.85 on Oct. 23, the Dow tumbled 75.78, or 24.8 percent, by the time it ended at 230.07 on Black Tuesday. It continued its decline to a low of 198.69 on Nov. 13, giving it a drop of 107.16, or 35 percent.
That also made for a drop of 182.48, or 47.9 percent from the September high. But stocks kept on falling as the Great Depression wore on, and the Dow fell to 41.22 on July 8, 1932, giving it a loss of 339.95, or 89.2 percent from the September 1929 high.
The Dow did not close above 305.85 again until April 1, 1954, more than 24 years after the crash, and it didn't return to 381.17 until Nov. 23, 1954, a quarter century after Black Monday and Tuesday.
The Dow has a large percentage drop to regain this time. By Friday's close, the average had fallen 5,713 points, or 40.3 percent, from its record finish of 14,165.43 a year earlier, on Oct. 9, 2007. More recently, it fell 2,970, or 26 percent, from its close before the Sept. 15 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the event that triggered the freeze-up in the credit markets and that sent stocks plunging.
With Monday's advance of 936.42, the Dow is still nearly 4,778, or 33.7 percent, below its record close.