In times like these — when we see the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 400 points one day and down 400 points the next day, when we see 1,000 point swings by the Dow in a single day – volatility reigns.
Stocks go up for only one reason: more people are buying stock than selling. This can now be defined as the “greed” period in the market from 2002 to 2007. Stocks go down for only one reason: more people are selling stock than buying. This can be defined as the “fear” period, which has reigned since the beginning of 2008 and still continues today.
Have we found a market bottom?
My flat out answer is no. Once the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke below the mid-point between its 2002 low and its 2007 high, all bets were off as to support in the stock market.
Looking at a chart, my technical side says the Dow could test its 2002 low just above the 7,000 level, which is still a good 20% below its current level. Remember, the stock market is a leading indicator. Therefore, a breakdown by the Dow below 7,000 would be an ominous indicator for the future of the American economy.
Fundamentally, some great stock values are starting to appear. And the patient money is now jumping in and buying. For example, and as we all know, Warren Buffett has been investing billions in U.S. companies. The investors buying stocks today are taking the position, “I’ll take the risk today and buy stock, even if the market goes down another 20%, because if the market doesn’t go down, I’ll have missed a great buying opportunity.”
For me, the new stock market order is about finding a proper valuation of future earnings. And unfortunately the stock market hasn’t found it yet.