Getting Close to a Severely Oversold Stock Market

Crude oil prices fell $5.33 a barrel yesterday and, as can be expected, stock prices rallied, having their best day in weeks. But to get this stock market really moving, we are going to need a lot more than just a $5.00 reduction in oil prices. I was also surprised that the market did not rally more yesterday. Here’s the scoop:

I don’t believe most investors realize how sick and oversold the stock market really is today. The following stock indices are at or near their five-year low (“DJ” stands for Dow Jones):

— DJ U.S. Bank Index — DJ U.S. Automobile Index — DJ U.S. Home Construction Index — DJ U.S. Leisure Goods Index — DJ U.S. Retail Index — DJ U.S. Financial Services Index

If we look at the above indices, they all have one thing in common. They are indices of companies selling goods to consumers.

The banks are taking a hit as foreclosures rise. Consumers are not buying cars. Homebuilders are not selling houses. Nor are consumers spending on leisure goods. And if it wasn’t for Wal- Mart, the DJ U.S. Retail Index would be in much worse shape than it is. The bottom line is that consumer spending is down sharply in the U.S. and that is affecting the stock prices of the companies that make consumers goods.

So what stock indices are at their five-year highs? The following, of course:

— DJ U.S. Resource Index — DJ U.S. Oil and Gas Index

The companies that drill and produce crude are the ones laughing all the way to the bank in 2008. The good news is that cycles don’t last forever. I’m really surprised to see so many of the Dow Jones sub-indices breaking to new five-year lows. In due course, this will spell opportunity for retail stock investors.

Yesterday, we witnessed a big crack in oil prices. Hopefully, that is a sign of things to come. From a technical standpoint, I see the stock market today close to a severely oversold condition.