Some people like to get outside on the weekends, maybe playing tennis or working in the yard. Some people like to visit their friends or cook a big meal or go out to see a movie. And some people who are passionate about their work — such as Elliott Wave International’s futures analyst Jeffrey Kennedy — like to stare at hundreds of price charts on their computer screen to find patterns that point to trade setups. We used to worry for his health but not anymore, because he’s been doing it for years and he comes up with some neat stuff. A case in point is his discovery of a two-bar pattern that he named the Popgun. Find out more in this excerpt from the Club EWI eBook, called How to Use Bar Patterns to Spot Trade Setups.
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Excerpted from How to Use Bar Patterns to Spot Trade Setups by Jeffrey Kennedy
I’m no doubt dating myself, but when I was a kid, I had a popgun – the old-fashioned kind with a cork and string (no fake Star Wars light saber for me). You pulled the trigger, and the cork popped out of the barrel attached to a string. If you were like me, you immediately attached a longer string to improve the popgun’s reach. Why the reminiscing? Because “Popgun” is the name of a bar pattern I would like to share with you this month. And it’s the path of the cork (out and back) that made me think of the name for this pattern.
The Popgun is a two-bar pattern composed of an outside bar preceded by an inside bar. (Quick refresher course: An outside bar occurs when the range of a bar encompasses the previous bar and an inside bar is a price bar whose range is encompassed by the previous bar.) In Chart 1 (Coffee), I have circled two Popguns.
So what’s so special about the Popgun? It introduces swift, tradable moves in price. More importantly, once the moves end, they are significantly retraced, just like the popgun cork going out and back. As you can see in Chart 2 [not shown], prices advance sharply following the Popgun, and then the move is significantly retraced. In Chart 3 [not shown], we see the same thing again but to the downside: prices fall dramatically after the Popgun, and then a sizable correction develops.
How can we incorporate this bar pattern into our Elliott wave analysis? The best way is to understand where Popguns show up in the wave patterns. I have noticed that Popguns tend to occur prior to impulse waves – waves one, three and five. But, remember, waves A and C of corrective wave patterns are also technically impulse waves. So Popguns can occur prior to those moves as well.
As with all my work, I rely on a pattern only if it applies across all time frames and markets. To illustrate, I have included two charts of Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) that show this pattern works equally well on 60-minute and weekly charts. Notice that the Popgun on the 60-minute chart [not shown] preceded a small third wave advance. Now look at the weekly chart [not shown] to see what three Popguns introduced (from left to right), wave C of a flat correction, wave 5 of (3) and wave C of (4).
There’s only one more thing to know about using this Popgun trade setup: Just be careful and don’t shoot your eye out, as my mom would say.
Posted on May 06, 2010
As you certainly know, the US stock market was in crash mode today, losing more than 8% at some point. I have not seen such panic selling since the top of 2000. The recovery that followed was spectacular as well. Only time will tell if the bear market is back or the uptrend will resume.
I hope that todayhotstocks.com subscribers were not surprised by this (temporary?) downturn as this was absolutely predictable (the downturn, not the panic selling). We alerted our subscribers about it in an email alert sent and posted on our website ( http://www.todayhotstocks.com/latest-trading-alerts/) on March 23. Here is what I said at the time:
“This is just a short update to let you know that we have not added new stocks to our portfolio recently as the market is extremely overbought right now and the odds for a downturn are very high.
The Nasdaq 100 index had 17 up closes during the last 19 trading days and the ‘NYSE New High New Low Indicator’ ($NYHL) made a new high at about 550 points two days’ ago. During this market rally (March 2009 – today), EVERY time this indicator made a new high, it was shortly followed by a maker downturn. Several other indicators we follow show that the odds for a market correction are very high.“
From the time we sent that alert, the market continued to stay on the extremely overbought territory for 3 more weeks, but the inevitable happened. What is important is that at the start of the downturn (April 26), our portfolio was 80% in cash and we were 90% in cash before today’s panic selling.
Why am I writing this? It’s because every time our portfolio holds a significant amount of cash, I get a lot of emails from subscribers complaining that they are paying a monthly fee and do not receive enough buy alerts. During those times, I am under the impression that most of our subscribers will be extremely happy if we issue a record number of buy signals everyday regardless of the returns generated. It is obvious that most people are after the excitement of buying and selling stocks, not after generating positive returns.
If you are one of those investors, you should remember that investing is about making money, not about excitement – making money implies risk management and taking a bet ONLY when the odds are definitely on your side. Sometimes, doing nothing is the best investment decision you can make. The reason we were 90% in cash before today’s panic selling was because the odds were completely against us and the best thing in such cases is to stay in cash.
This is basically how we managed to post great returns both in 2008 and 2009. We will not change our system because of the record number of people that unsubscribe during those times.
In 2002, Elliott Wave International’s president Robert Prechter published his New York Times and Wall Street Journal business best-seller Conquer the Crash, a prescient book that explained why a financial crisis was inevitable and predicted almost exactly how it would unfold.
Now in the 2nd edition, Conquer the Crash remains a very useful read. To give you an idea of just how useful, we are releasing 8 chapters of the book to all 150,000+ free Club EWI members. Here’s an excerpt. (Details on how to read full report are below.)
Make sure you fully understand all aspects of your government’s individual retirement plans. In the U.S., this includes such structures as IRAs, 401Ks and Keoghs. If you anticipate severe system-wide financial and political stresses, you may decide to liquidate any such plans and pay whatever penalty is required. Why? Because there are strings attached to the perk of having your money sheltered from taxes. You may do only what the government allows you to do with the money. It restricts certain investments and can change the list at any time. It charges a penalty for early withdrawal and can change the amount of the penalty at any time.
What is the worst that could happen? In Argentina, the government continued to spend more than it took in until it went broke trying to pay the interest on its debt. In December 2001, it seized $2.3 billion dollars worth of deposits in private pension funds to pay its bills. …
With the retirement setup in the U.S., the government need not be as direct as Argentina’s. It need merely assert, after a stock market fall decimates many people’s savings, that stocks are too risky to hold for retirement purposes. Under the guise of protecting you, it could ban stocks and perhaps other investments in tax-exempt pension plans and restrict assets to one category: “safe” long-term U.S. Treasury bonds. Then it could raise the penalty of early withdrawal to 100 percent. Bingo. The government will have seized the entire $2 trillion — or what’s left of it given a crash — that today is held in government-sponsored, tax-deferred 401K private pension plans. I’m not saying it will happen, but it could, and wouldn’t you rather have your money safely under your own discretion? …
Perhaps you have no such opportunity for a tax saving and do not want to pay the penalty attached to premature withdrawal. If your balance is high enough, you may wish to consider converting your retirement plan investments into an annuity at a safe insurance company (see Chapter 24). It is highly likely (though not assured) that such investments would be left alone even in a national financial emergency. …
If you or your family owns its own small company and is the sole beneficiary of its pension or profit sharing plan, you should lodge its assets in a safe bank or money market fund. As an alternative, depending upon your age and requirements, you may consider converting it into an annuity, issued by a safe insurance company. Such insurance companies are few and far between, but the next chapter shows you where to find them.
Read the rest of the 8 free chapters from Robert Prechter’s Conquer the Crash now, free! All you need is to create a free Club EWI profile. Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Chapter 10: Money, Credit and the Federal Reserve Banking System
- Chapter 13: Can the Fed Stop Deflation?
- Chapter 23: What To Do With Your Pension Plan
- Chapter 28: How to Identify a Safe Haven
- Chapter 29: Calling in Loans and Paying off Debt
- Chapter 30: What You Should Do If You Run a Business
- Chapter 32: Should You Rely on Government to Protect You?
- Chapter 33: A Short List of Imperative “Do’s” and Crucial “Don’ts”
Keep reading this free report now — all you need to do is create a free Club EWI profile.
By Nico Isaac
In case you were hiding out Tiger Woods’ style far away from the mainstream media during the past month, let me be the first to say: January saw an abrupt end to the U.S. stock market’s record-setting winning streak. Last count, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 4% in its worst monthly loss in a year.
And, according to one Feb. 1, 2010, MarketWatch story, “The time to consider an exit strategy” has officially arrived. Here, the article captures the public’s astonishment turned acceptance of the Dow’s boom-to-gloom shift:
“The Dow has shocked the bulls out of their complacency. After all, analysts were looking for the bull market to last until at least the second half of the year. Investors were not prepared for such a sharp decline and now at least some of the chatter has gone from ‘how high will the market go?’ to ‘how low will it fall?’ [emphasis added]“
Let me get this straight. The powers that be say it’s time to “consider an exit strategy” — AFTER the Dow has already plunged 700-plus points to land at its lowest level in two months. That’s about as helpful as building a life raft AFTER your ship has begun to sink.
Let me get this straight. The powers that be say it’s time to “consider an exit strategy” — AFTER the Dow has already plunged 700-plus points to land at its lowest level in two months. That’s about as helpful as building a life raft AFTER your ship has begun to sink.
Then, those same sources go on to say investors were “not prepared” for the degree and depth of the stock market’s decline. This is only partly true. On Main Street, the early January flood of bull-is-back-type headlines gushed in and washed all the bears away.
Yet, on our “Elliott wave” Street, preparation for a “sharp” decline in the Dow was fast in place. One week before the market turned down from its Jan. 19 high, Elliott Wave International’s Short TermUpdate went on high bearish alert with this commanding insight:
“The Dow’s diagonal remains in tact and its form is clear. We will afford the pattern a bit of leeway over the next one-two days… but the structure is very late in development. That means a trend reversal is fast approaching. A potential stopping range is 10,725-10,740. A close beneath [critical support] will confirm that the diagonal is over and the market has started a down phase that should draw prices significantly lower. Once a diagonal is complete, prices swiftly retrace to near its origin, which in this case is 10,263.90, the very first downside target.” (Jan. 13 Short Term Update)
Soon after, the Dow peaked within four ticks of our cited upside target; next, it went on to fulfill the second part of its Elliott wave script with a staggering triple-digit slide to “near the origin” of the diagonal triangle pattern, and then some.
That leaves one question: Are the bears now ready to relinquish control of stocks? Don’t wait for the market action to “shock” you.
Robert Prechter, CMT
The following article is an excerpt from Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist.
First they bought into the “stocks for the long run” case and got killed. Then they jumped on the commodity bandwagon and got killed. Many investors are buying back into these very same markets, but others are running to what they perceive as safe “yields” in the municipal bond market. So far this year, individual investors have “poured a record $55 billion” (Bloomberg, 11/12) into muni bond funds, with the pace running $2b. per week in August and September; many other investors are buying munis outright. These must be the people who tell us that they can’t live without “yield” and also cannot imagine their city, county or state government going bust. But as Conquer the Crash warned and as The Elliott Wave Theorist has reiterated, the muni bond market is heading for disaster.
Municipalities have borrowed more than they can repay, they have pension liabilities that they cannot meet (up to a trillion dollars’ worth, according to Moody’s), and tax receipts are falling. The only reason that states haven’t failed yet is the so-called “stimulus package,” which took money from savers, investors and taxpayers—thereby impoverishing the people who live in the various states—and gave it to state governments to spend so they would not have to cease their profligate spending. But political pressures will eventually cut off this gravy train. In the 2010-2017 period, the muni bond market will become awash in defaults. The leap in optimism since March, which has shown up in every financial market, has fueled a retreat in muni bond yields to their lowest level since 1967 and narrowed the spread between muni bond yields and Treasuries.
This rush to buy municipal bonds is occurring right on the cusp of a dramatic decline in their values. While many individuals are loading up right at the peak so they can participate in the next major market disaster, smarter investors, such as insurance companies Allstate and Guardian Life, are getting out. Subscribers to our services, we trust, own not a single municipal IOU. Our recommendation for investors is 100 percent safety, and such a program does not include muni bonds. If you are a recent subscriber, please read the second half of Conquer the Crash as a manual on how to get your finances safe.
Get Your FREE 8-Lesson “Conquer the Crash Collection” Now! You’ll get valuable lessons on what to do with your pension plan, what to do if you run a business, how to handle calling in loans and paying off debt and so much more. Learn more and get your free 8 lessons here.
By Robert Prechter, CMT
The following article is adapted from a special report on “Popular Culture and the Stock Market” published by Robert Prechter, founder and CEO of the technical analysis and research firm Elliott Wave International. Although originally published in 1985, “Popular Culture and the Stock Market” is so timeless and relevant that USA Today covered its insights in a recent Nov. 2009 article. For the rest of this revealing 50-page report, download it for free here.
Popular Culture and the Stock Market
Both a study of the stock market and a study of trends in popular attitudes support the conclusion that the movement of aggregate stock prices is a direct recording of mood and mood change within the investment community, and by extension, within the society at large. It is clear that extremes in popular cultural trends coincide with extremes in stock prices, since they peak and trough coincidentally in their reflection of the popular mood. The stock market is the best place to study mood change because it is the only field of mass behavior where specific, detailed, and voluminous numerical data exists. It was only with such data that R.N. Elliott was able to discover the Wave Principle, which reveals that mass mood changes are natural, rhythmic and precise. The stock market is literally a drawing of how the scales of mass mood are tipping. A decline indicates an increasing ‘negative’ mood on balance, and an advance indicates an increasing ‘positive’ mood on balance.
Trends in music, movies, fashion, literature, television, popular philosophy, sports, dance, mores, sexual identity, family life, campus activities, politics and poetry all reflect the prevailing mood, sometimes in subtle ways. Noticeable changes in slower-moving mediums such as the movie industry more readily reveal changes in larger degrees of trend, such as the Cycle. More sensitive mediums such as television change quickly enough to reflect changes in the Primary trends of popular mood. Intermediate and Minor trends are likely paralleled by current song hits, which can rush up and down the sales charts as people change moods. Of course, all of these media of expression are influenced by mood changes of all degrees. The net impression communicated is a result of the mix and dominance of the forces in all these areas at any given moment.
It has long been observed, casually, that the trends of hemlines and stock prices appear to be in lock step. Skirt heights rose to mini-skirt brevity in the 1920′s and in the 1960′s, peaking with stock prices both times. Floor length fashions appeared in the 1930′s and 1970′s (the Maxi), bottoming with stock prices. It is not unreasonable to hypothesize that a rise in both hemlines and stock prices reflects a general increase in friskiness and daring among the population, and a decline in both, a decrease. Because skirt lengths have limits (the floor and the upper thigh, respectively), the reaching of a limit would imply that a maximum of positive or negative mood had been achieved.
Five classic horror films were all produced in less than three short years. ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ premiered in 1931, in the middle of the great bear market. ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ played in 1932, the bear market bottom year, and the only year that a horror film actor was ever granted an Oscar. ‘The Mummy’ and ‘King Kong’ hit the screen in 1933, on the double bottom. Ironically, Hollywood tried to introduce a new monster in 1935 during a bull market, but ‘Werewolf of London’ was a flop. When filmmakers tried again in 1941, in the depths of a bear market, ‘The Wolf Man’ was a smash hit. These are the classic horror films of all time, along with the new breed in the 1970′s, and they all sold big. The milder horror styles of bull market years and the extent of their popularity stand in stark contrast. Musicals, adventures, and comedies weave into the pattern as well.
Pop music has been virtually in lock-step with the Dow Jones Industrial Average as well. The remainder of this report will focus on details of this phenomenon in order to clarify the extent to which the relationship (and, by extension, the others discussed above) exists.
As a 78-rpm record collector put it in a recent Wall Street Journal article, music reflects ‘every fiber of life’ in the U.S. The timing of the careers of dominant youth-oriented (since the young are quickest to adopt new fashions) pop musicians has been perfectly in line with the peaks and troughs in the stock market. At turns in prices (and therefore, mood), the dominant popular singers and groups have faded quickly into obscurity, to be replaced by styles which reflected the newly emerging mood.
The 1920′s bull market gave us hyper-fast dance music and jazz. The 1930′s bear years brought folk-music laments (‘Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?’), and mellow ballroom dance music. The 1932-1937 bull market brought lively ‘swing’ music. 1937 ushered in the Andrews Sisters, who enjoyed their greatest success during the corrective years of 1937-1942 (‘girl groups’ are a corrective wave phenomenon; more on that later). The 1940′s featured uptempo big band music which dominated until the market peaked in 1945-46. The ensuing late-1940′s stock market correction featured mellow love-ballad crooners, both male and female, whose style reflected the dampened public mood.
By Gary Grimes
Please understand that this article is about more than safeguarding your money; it’s about saving you headache and heartache. It’s about giving you peace of mind.
Before I explain, please allow me to ask a few questions:
- Have you given much thought about the money in your banking accounts lately? Do you know if it’s safe?
- Have you thought about what might happen if your bank fails?
- Did you know you could be left in the lurch for days, weeks, even months before you get your money back from the FDIC?
- What happens if the FDIC can’t cover your funds?
- How do you find a safe bank to protect your deposits right now?
I hope you’ve given these questions some serious thought.
I have to be honest: These questions were about the farthest things from my mind until about a year ago, when I downloaded the free “Safe Banks” report from my colleagues at Elliott Wave International. At first, the report scared me: I thought, “Oh My Gosh! I could lose all of my money if my bank fails. What would I do?”
But as I read on, I figured out that the report was not only about making my money safe; it was about giving me peace of mind.
If you’ve read any of the following news items, perhaps you understand the fear of learning your money might not be safe. Here’s a recent story from Bloomberg:
Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) — In May, the FDIC said it was projecting $70 billion of losses during the next five years due to bank failures. The agency said it expects most of those collapses to occur in 2009 and 2010.
The FDIC’s problem is that it didn’t collect enough revenue over the years to cover today’s losses. The blame lies partly with Congress. Until the law was changed in 2006, the FDIC was barred from charging premiums to banks that it classified as well-capitalized and well-managed. Consequently, the vast majority of banks weren’t paying anything for deposit insurance.
Of course, we now know it means nothing when the FDIC or any other regulator labels a bank “well-capitalized.” Most banks that failed during this crisis were considered well-capitalized just before their failure.
By the end of 2009, more than 130 banks will have failed. Most depositors will have little clue their bank was even at risk. Worse yet, the string-pullers in Washington are doing everything in their power to hide information about the safety of your bank from you.
So far, the FDIC has had enough money to cover insured depositors. But that money is quickly running out.
Just last week, the FDIC voted to mandate early payment of insurance premiums to help cover at-risk banks. But only time will tell if this move will provide the funds needed in the years ahead. Here’s what the Associated Press reported on Thursday, Nov. 12:
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks will prepay about $45 billion in premiums to replenish a federal deposit insurance fund now in the red, under a plan adopted Thursday by federal regulators.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board voted to mandate the early payments of premiums for 2010 through 2012. Amid the struggling economy and rising loan defaults, 120 banks have failed so far this year, costing the insurance fund more than $28 billion.
Worse yet, three more banks failed the very next day, Friday, Nov. 13.
This is a very real problem and a direct threat to your money. It’s more important now than ever to personally ensure the safety of your bank. The free 10-page “Safe Banks” report can help. It includes the very latest bank safety ratings from the third quarter of 2009 to help you prepare for what’s still to come this year and next.
Inside the revealing free report, you’ll discover:
- The 100 Safest U.S. Banks (2 for each state)
- Where your money goes after you make a deposit
- How your fractional-reserve bank works
- What risks you might be taking by relying on the FDIC’s guarantee
Please protect your money. Download the free 10-page “Safe Banks” report now.
By Jeff Reckseit
The following article is provided courtesy of Elliott Wave International (EWI). For more insights that challenge conventional financial wisdom, download EWI’s free 118-page Independent Investor eBook.
Large banks and more recently pension funds have suddenly become infatuated with gold. They chant the mantras that gold bugs have known for years: gold is a store of value; owning gold is financial insurance; an ounce of gold will always buy a good suit. The idea is that if the economy continues to weaken and share prices decline, a strategic allocation of the precious metal will hedge and offset some of the losses in the financial sector.
On the surface it seems to make sense and it’s hard to argue with the logic. Even so, logic can sometimes get twisted, whereas facts cannot. The evidence is found in the chart we describe as “All the Same Market.” Gold, stocks, currencies (versus the dollar), oil, grains, meats, softs, all decline in a deflationary environment. As liquidity dries up and credit contracts, people, businesses, and institutions sell everything to get dollars. Cash is once again king. This is bearish for gold.
Looked at another way: as the dollar advances from its lows, things denominated in dollars lose value against the dollar. As long as the dollar remains the global senior currency, assets will depreciate: not just stocks and commodities but residential and commercial property, works of art, collectible cars, pretty much everything. Of course, this outlook presumes a deflationary environment and that’s been our view for quite some time. But that’s another conversation. The topic here is stocks down/gold up – or not.
The long-time editor of the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast Short Term Update, Steven Hochberg summed it up succinctly in a recent issue:
“The other important aspect to a dollar bottom is the implication to all the other markets that have been moving opposite to this senior currency. The start of a major dollar rally should roughly coincide with a turn down in stocks, commodities, oil and the precious metals. So there are likely to be important trend reversals across nearly all major markets.”
Don’t fall into the trap of group-think. If investing was that easy we’d all have (insert your own private fantasy).
By Nico Isaac
The following article includes analysis from Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist. For more insights from Robert Prechter, download the 75-page eBook Independent Investor eBook. It’s a compilation of some of the New York Times bestselling author’s writings that challenge conventional financial market assumptions. Visit Elliott Wave International to download the eBook, free.
Once upon a time, the term “Black Monday” was to Wall Street what the name “Lord Voldemort” was to Hogwarts. It turned the air freezing cold and sent traders flinching around every corner in fear of a repeat of the October 19, 1987 or October 28, 1929 meltdown.
Case in point: The 2008 “Black Monday” anniversary. At the time, the U.S. stock market was locked in a ferocious downtrend that included regular, triple-digit daily declines of 400 points and more. Needless to say, when the final two Mondays of October arrived, the least superstitious investors surrounded their portfolios with more good-luck talismans than a Bingo player. See October 19, 2008 AP headline below:
“Black Monday: Stocks Sink As Gloom Seizes Wall Street. Prolonged Economic Turmoil” is seen.
That was then. Today, the usual dread surrounding the back-to-back string of “Black Mondays” is nowhere to be found. In its place, media reports abound of a new, global bull market “shrugging off,” “ignoring,” and “making a distant memory” of the event.
For one, “gloom” hasn’t “seized” the U.S. stock market in quite a while; from its March 2009 low, the Dow has risen more than 50% to above the psychologically important 10,000 level. For another, the mainstream experts insist that today’s financial animal is unrecognizable to that of 1987, and especially 1929. In their eyes, it’s a completely different — i.e. safer, smarter, and sounder system.
We beg to differ.
See, while the usual experts want to put as much mental distance between today’s market and those that facilitated the 1987 recession and 1929-1932 Great Depression — the physical similarities are impossible to ignore; more so, in fact, to the latter scenario.
Here, the October 2009 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast presents the following news clip from the October 25, 1929 New York Daily Investment News.
Now, take a look at these headlines from the week of October 12-17, 2009:
“The Great Recession Is Over.” (Reuters) — “80% of Economists Say The Worst Is Behind Us.” (CNN Money) — “The Bull Is Back” (AP) — “The Economic Recovery Is Well Underway” (Wall Street Journal)
They’re interchangeable — Eighty years later.
Along with a similar extreme in bullish sentiment, the performance of stocks between now and the 1929 situation is cut from the same cloth. After an initial plunge from August 1929 through late October 1929, the US stock market enjoyed a powerful rally well into the following year. NOW: After a steep freefall from its October 2007 peak, the US stock market is once again enjoying the fruits of a powerful rally back to new highs for the year.
Also, on closer examination, the October 19 Elliott Wave Theorist (EWT, for short) uncovers an even deeper parallel between the 2009 rally and the 1929-30 one. Here,EWT presents the following snapshot of the Dow during the Depression-era advance:
As Bob Prechter points out — in 1930, stocks rallied to the level of the preceding year’s gap. Bob then reveals that the same level has been reached now.
So, we all know how the 1930 rally ended. The question is whether the 2009 advance will experience the same fate. As Bob explains in the Theorist, the only way to know for certain is to “look at the reality of the situation.”
By Nico Isaac
When prices in a financial market go from Sea Level to Outer Space in a relatively brief time, two scenarios are at work — and they both start with the letters “B-U.”
When a precious metal goes from being a popular long-term investment of buy-and-holders to the quick, get-away “vehicle” of day-traders, two scenarios are at work — and they both start with letters “B-U.”
And when the majority of mainstream pundits see a “new paradigm” in which prices continue to rise indefinitely, two scenarios are at work – and, you guessed it, they both start with the letters “B-U.”
Enter: the recent Gold Rush of 2009, when ALL of the above conditions apply. Everyone from hedge funds to housewives now hustle to hitch their asset wagon to the rising gold star. Which begs this question: Which of the possible two scenarios are at work: B-U-ll
— Or B-U-bble?
Here’s the difference: A genuine bull market is driven by a self-sustaining internal dynamic that’s reflected by a host of technical indicators. A Bubble, on the other hand, is the result of untenable psychology that could shift at any moment and bring prices plummeting down.
It goes without saying into which category the mainstream experts put Gold: namely, a new bull market that has years, if not decades more to soar. “Gold Will Hit $2,000 an ounce,” reads an October 8 Market Watch. And — “Gold Has More Upside… The metal’s bull run is just getting started,” adds a same day Barron’s.
I found hundreds of news items which agree about the long-term potential for gold’s uptrend. But not a single one could tell me why the rally would continue, other than because the experts say so.
To know whether a diamond is real, it must cut glass. And, to know whether the bull market in gold is real, it must encompass at least one of these FOUR traits:
A surge in demand that outpaces supply
A falling stock market, which raises the “safe haven” appeal of precious metals.
A real (not imagined) threat of inflation
An increase in value relative to major foreign currencies
Right now, the Gold market can NOT check off a single one of these items. Case in point:
Supply: Demand for gold from jewelry makers – which comprises 60%-70% of the market – has plummeted to its lowest level in 20 years.
“Safe haven” appeal: From its March 2009 bottom, the U.S. stock market has soared 50% right alongside rallying gold prices.
Inflation: As the October 2009 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast (EWFF) notes: An increase in money supply is only inflationary if it is used to RAISE the total amount of credit. This is NOT happening, as both bank credit and consumer credit levels are contracting for the first time since World War II.
A gold rally in other currencies: Again, the October 2009 EWFF presents the following close-up of Spot Gold prices VERSUS Gold denominated in foreign currencies such as the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar, the euro, franc, pound, and yen since 2007.
The major non-confirmation between these two markets is clear, as is the overlying message: IF demand for gold truly outweighed supply, then its value as measured in other currencies would increase.
The rise in gold is primarily the result of speculation and a falling U.S. dollar. These are exactly the “untenable” forces that contribute to a Bubble, not a genuine Bull market. The difference is only a matter of time.
For long-term forecasts and more in-depth, historical analysis for precious metals, download Prechter’s FREE 40-page eBook on Gold and Silver.