Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1/20/2009 ... Market correcting a bit ...

The legions of worry warts still abound as every minor sell down continues to be met with the response, "Is this the top ?"  The answer is probably not, especially while pervasive concern continues to be the dominant investor theme.

Now that said can we have a correction of five10 percent ? Of course. However we continue to find it hard to believe that top is in play when everyone continues to call for it ! After all tops are formed when everyone becomes so comfortable with stocks they invest all their available liquidity without a hesitation or care in the world. And clearly that is not the current sentiment.

Again it is very likely we will have some semblance of a decent size pullback soon seeing the S&P 500 has run up 10% from just November 2009, 31 % since July 2009 and 64 % from the March 2009 lows.

However so we think a major top is in ? The answer again remains no.

But in regards to protecting capital from a drawdown or a correction or what is the risk to putting new money to work today and the answer changes. The answer in this scenario is the run up in equities puts investors at risk to a correction, not a top, but a correction. Our guess is that the correction would be similar in size and scope to the June/July 2009 correction that saw the S&P fall 9.00%.

This correction would likely create more pessimism and fear and then create one last leg up that would create the overconfidence associated with a top or a very long protracted trading range.

At this point the best thing to do it to place trailing stops on current positions and or buy an inverse ETF to hedge out some temporary drawdown possibilities.

From a trend perspective the Trend remains up and must be respected.  If the S&P 500 violates its’ up trend near 10,500 we would suggest getting more active with a hedging strategy or tightening up stop loss levels.

However this remains a market fraught with caution not speculation thus we believe continue to believe corrections should be relatively shallow.

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