The stock market finally gave in yesterday to mounting woes in the U.S. economy, with the Dow Jones Industrial sinking to a seven- month low. And, for the first time in five years, we are celebrating Thanksgiving at stock market levels very similar to those of Thanksgiving 2006.
Back in November 2002, with the Dow Jones struggling at the 8,000 level, it looked as if the market correction that started in 2000 had brought stocks to an oversold level not seen in years. The market rallied from there and, by Thanksgiving 2003, the Dow Jones was up a healthy 25% from the same time in 2002. (I remember having an extra fat turkey that year.)
Thanksgiving 2004 was good, too. The Dow Jones was at 10,500 by that time, up five percent from 2003. Thanksgiving 2005 provided another five-percent gain from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The turkey got bigger in November 2006, when the market was up a healthy 13.5% from November 2005. Hence, the past five years have delivered Thanksgivings where, in every case, the Dow Jones was higher by a minimum of five percent from the previous Thanksgiving.
This year, it’s a different type of Thanksgiving for investors. (The turkey will be leaner this time.) For the first time in five years, we are celebrating Thanksgiving with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at about the same level at which it traded in November 2006.
I’m sure the Dow Jones’ breakdown yesterday to a new seven- month low of 12,799 will have many market players doing a lot of thinking this Thanksgiving. Is a new bear market in play or is the rebound correction from the oversold bear market low of 1998 over? (More on that in my next few columns.)
The markets have not been kind to investors as of late. In fact, since October 11, the Dow Jones is down 9.2%.
Yes, my forecast in early January 2007 was for the stock market to have a losing year in 2007. I’m sticking with this forecast. The Dow Jones started 2007 at 12,500 and we are only 300 points away from that now. (New readers: In the first week of January of each year, I offer my predictions for the stock market, interest rates, the U.S. dollar, real estate and commodities over a series of five PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL issues.)