The signs point to more troubles ahead. The stock market is in bear market territory for small-caps with the collapse on Thursday. There were several technical breaks materializing on the broad-based heavy selling. The small-cap Russell 2000 is a mess, down 17.89% this year and 25.46% from its 52-week high. The S&P appears to be heading towards support at 1,100. The downside risk is extremely high given the death cross on the stock index charts. When stocks traded at this level before, we saw buying support surface. Watch to see if it happens this time around.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) is to the technology world what Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT) was in the 90s. The stock traded at a record $415.00 on Tuesday and, in my view, could be heading for $500.00 within a year. The market capitalization of $382 billion makes Apple the biggest company in the world. And not only is Apple the biggest, but it also leading the technology pack with innovation and a desire to be the world’s dominant company.
The fact that consumer spending has not tanked in spite of unemployment being at over nine percent and expected to stay around this level through 2012, and continued weakness in housing is encouraging.
Again, I want to reiterate how impressive the current strength is in the broader stock market. We continue to get lackluster news on employment, housing and consumer prices, but the stock market seems to be moving beyond the bad news. Institutional investors are focused on stability with the sovereign debt issue in Europe and the upcoming third-quarter earnings season.
Investor sentiment is fragile and the stock market’s been volatile, but the trading action over the last little while has revealed one big consolidation, not a breakdown in the main stock market indices. What’s holding the market around 1,200 on the S&P 500 Index is the expectation for decent corporate earnings. From my perspective, third-quarter earnings results can’t come soon enough.
Most Americans will be glued to the television tonight to see what the leader of the most powerful country in the world has to stay about his plan to get the economy going; in specific, to create jobs. There is no doubt in my mind: President Barack Obama will be a one-term president unless he delivers on the promises he will make tonight.
Let’s call a spade a spade. In the aftermath of our economic crisis, the U.S. government and Federal Reserve pulled out all the stops. God bless our politicians and our government. Not knowing what to do, most having never been in the situation before, once the U.S. economy collapsed in 2008 our government threw all kinds of money at the economy.
One of the most common questions I hear these days: “Is the U.S. headed in the same direction of the Japan economy of 1990s?” The big fear is that we are headed to 10 years of deflation, as Japan experienced in its “lost decade.” Yes, there many similarities between the Japan of the 1990s and the U.S. of the 2000s. Japan’s real estate market and stock market both peaked in euphoria and collapsed, just like they’ve done here.