The Return of Dow 36,000

By: Clif Droke | Fri, Mar 22, 2013
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Some of you may remember the unforgettable title of the 1999 financial best-seller, Dow 36,000. It made a lot of waves back during the heyday of the internet stocks and day trading, but unfortunately for the authors, the timing of the book's release was less than ideal. The market topped out in late '99 and the infamous "tech wreck" followed in 2000. To this day, Dow 36,000 is considered as the ultimately example of a contrarian indicator - that is, when a book cover announces an extremely bullish forecast, the end is usually near for the bull.

I was surprised to discover recently that the Dow 36,000 forecast has been resurrected. A Bloomberg article last week penned by the co-author of the book, James Glassman, tried to make the case that his mis-timed forecast still has validity in the foreseeable future. Glassman argued that Dow 36,000 is within reach in view of current levels of market momentum, corporate earnings valuations, etc. Given that the first release of Dow 36, 000 was a contrarian harbinger of doom, should we be concerned by its reappearance in the media?

INDU Daily Chart

To answer that question I recently paid a visit to my local Barnes & Noble bookseller. I've derived a great deal of useful data over the years, from a contrarian perspective, from perusing the shelves of mainstream booksellers. When the financial section of book stores like B&N are brim-full with bearish titles, like they were for much of 2009-2012, you're generally safe in assuming that the market is probably not going to crash. This is based on the principle that when all the scary bearish scenarios make the covers of mainstream books, the negatives have already been fully discounted by the stock market. What's more, book authors are notorious for being behind the curve of market trends. Most of them write about what happened yesterday, not about what's going to happen tomorrow.

Bearish book titles have abounded in recent years and a few examples will suffice: The Warning: The Coming Great Crash in the Stock Market, Conquer the Crash, the The Great Crash Ahead, Patriots: Suriving the Coming Crash, the Coming Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit From It . Admittedly the numbers of crash-related books have thinned from bookstore shelves in the last year or so, but I found many more bearish book titles on my latest visit than bullish titles. I didn't get the impression, as I did in the late '90s, that the collective mindset of financial book writers was overly optimistic - far from it! There's still a great deal of caution and conservative that characterizes today's leading financial book titles and Dow 36,000 is at this point an anomaly.

If ever Dow 36,000 and its ilk become the rule rather than the exception, we'll definitely have much to worry about as far as the stock market is concerned. For now, however, I think we can pretty much discount the super-bullish forecast of Dow 36,000 as being an attention-getting ploy rather than a manifestation of widespread bullish psychology.


Gold and the Cyprus Crisis

The latest scare out of Europe occurred during this week's EU Summit. European finance ministers agreed to extend a bailout for Portugal and Ireland. They also agreed on a 10 billion euros rescue plan for Cyprus, a reduction from the original 17 billion euros. The European Central Bank (ECB) had planned on forcing banks in Cyprus to impose a 9.9% levy on deposits compared to the previously announced 6.75% levy on bank deposits up to 100,000 euros. Cyprus politicians on Mar. 19 voted the levy down in defiance of the ECB, however. In response the ECB backed down and agreed to proceed with supplying liquidity to Cyprus banks without the tax.

Had it been implemented, the unprecedented levy could have triggered a widespread panic over similar levies being imposed on other peripheral European banks. This in turn would have raised additional concerns on the European debt crisis, resulting in capital flight to safer havens. The mounting problems in Cyprus have increased demand for alternatives such as gold and safer assets such as U.S. Treasuries. But the move to gold so far has been a slow walk instead of a spirited run. That could change next week if phase 2 of the ongoing drama in Cyprus doesn't unfold according to plan.

Banks in Cyprus will remain closed until at least Monday, the same day the country must come up with a plan to rescue its banks or lose the emergency funding that has been keeping them afloat. In a press release dated Mar. 21, the ECB said it has "decided to maintain the current level of Emergency Liquidity Assistance" until Monday. "Thereafter, Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) could only be considered if an EU/IMF program is in place that would ensure the solvency of the concerned banks."

The European Union and International Monetary Fund have promised Cyprus 10 billion euros in assistance if the island nation can come up with an additional 5.8 billion euros. After rejecting the plan to tax insured and uninsured bank deposits, Cyprus is now racing to come up with alternative plans such as borrowing pension-fund assets, selling the island's two biggest banks and getting a loan or investment from Russia, whose citizens have large deposits in Cyprus banks. None of these options are very promising, according to experts, and most observers think taxing deposits will be part of any solution.

All of this falls under the category of "the more things change, the more they stay the same." It would seem that even after only three years of failed experience, ECB authorities are still trying to impose heavy-handed austerity type measures on the citizens of beleaguered countries. Italian voters voiced their clear displeasure with austerity in the recent parliamentary elections. Even some ECB members were forced to concede that the central bank's insistence on heavy tax measures against member countries aren't working. Yet once again we see Europe's leaders trying to impose an economy-killing tight money policy on failing nations. As per our recent discussions, Europe's troubles should eventually translate into higher gold prices.


Momentum Strategies Report

The stock market recovery is nearly four years old, and investors wonder if it will continue. While many experts have made forecasts for the coming year, few have been as impressive as the Kress cycles in projecting the market's year-ahead performance since the recovery began.

Each year I publish a forecast for the coming year based on a series of historical rhythms known within Kress cycle theory. Last year's forecast was remarkably accurate in predicting the pivotal market turns, including the June 1 bottom in the S&P.

Here's a sampling from last year's forecast:

"The first five months of 2012 will likely be characterized by greater than average volatility....This will create a level of choppiness to coincide, if not exacerbate, the market's underlying predisposition to volatility owing to the euro zone debt crisis...the May-June 2006 stock market slide could be repeated in May-June 2012. Our short-term trading discipline should allow us to navigate this volatility and there should be at least two worthwhile trading opportunities between [January] and the scheduled major weekly cycle around the start of June 2012. From there, the stock market should experience what amounts to the final bull market leg of the current 120-year cycle, which is scheduled to bottom in October 2014.

"Keeping in mind that like snowflakes, no two markets are exactly alike, the Kress cycle echo analysis for 2012 tells us to expect a final upswing for stocks in the second half of the year with the first half of 2012 likely to be more favorably to the bears, especially if events in Europe are allowed to get out of hand."

This is your opportunity to find out what the Kress cycles are telling us to expect for 2013. Subscribe to the Momentum Strategies Report now and receive as my compliments to you the 2013 Forecast issue.

In addition to that you'll also receive the MSR newsletter emailed to you each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. MSR provides reliable forecasts and analysis of U.S. and global markets based on internal momentum, cyclical and technical factors. Low-risk stock and ETF recommendations are also made based on my proprietary system of selection. Specific entry and exit instructions are also given for each recommendation.

[For the complete 2013 Kress cycle forecast for the U.S. stock market and the latest newsletters, subscribe to the Momentum Strategies Report at the link below.]

http://www.clifdroke.com/subscribe_msr.mgi

Clif Droke is the editor of the three times weekly Momentum Strategies Report newsletter, published since 1997, which covers U.S. equity markets and various stock sectors, natural resources, money supply and bank credit trends, the dollar and the U.S. economy. The forecasts are made using a unique proprietary blend of analytical methods involving cycles, internal momentum and moving average systems, as well as investor sentiment. He is also the author of numerous books, including most recently "2014: America's Date With Destiny." For more information visit www.clifdroke.com

 


 

Clif Droke

Author: Clif Droke

Clif Droke
ClifDroke.com

Clif Droke is a recognized authority on moving averages and internal momentum. He is the editor of the Momentum Strategies Report newsletter, published since 1997. He has also authored numerous books covering the fields of economics and financial market analysis. His latest book is Mastering Moving Averages. For more information visit www.clifdroke.com

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