Here is an interesting snip from August 31 Market Commentary by Art Cashin for UBS. Sorry, no link.
Monday’s market evaporated nearly all the gains from Friday’s rally. Despite lighter volume, it was a 90% down day. That means the bears got a lopsided advantage in negative breadth and negative volume. In Friday’s rally, the bulls had had a similar 90% advantage. Robert McHugh of Main Line Investors says 26 of the last 88 trading days have been 90% days – one way or another. Any wonder the public is wary.
Are these 90% Days a Good Thing?
While the big boys push the market around, small investors have thrown in the towel and are not coming back.
Market volume now consists of black boxes pushing all stocks one way or the other on 30% of the days. Is this a good thing? For who? Investors or Goldman Sachs?
Holding the Line
Today, the 1040 level on the S&P; held for about the 8th time on “fabulous” news consumer confidence rose to 53. Bear in mind number in the 70’s are typical of recession lows.
How long the 1040 level can hold is a mystery, but each bounce seems to be weaker and weaker.
Last Friday, I noted Market Cheers 1.6% Growth; Treasuries Hammered; while asking “what’s next?”
We have a partial answer already. Treasuries have regained the entire selloff that started (and ended) on the “great news” that 2nd quarter GDP was +1.6% instead of the expected +1.4%. Nevermind that growth was revised down twice from above +2.5% to +1.6%.
Looking ahead, I expect GDP to be negative in the 3rd quarter.
Art Cashin’s 17.6 Year Cycles
A little over a year ago Art Cashin commented Dow Trapped in 17-Year Cycle
Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services, offered CNBC his stock-market insights. Cashin decried the idea of a second stimulus, in light of the “infamous” first attempt.
“There was no ‘stimulus’ in the stimulus package. It was mostly social engineering,” Cashin said. Thus, talk of a new plan is shaking markets with fears of even more debt — with “nothing to show for it.”
Cashin revisited his theory of “the 17.6-year cycle.”
“It’s like the Biblical story of the fat and lean years. During the fat, you can throw a dart at the wall, and anything you buy goes up.”
He believes one such cycle spanned 1982 to 2000. And he notes that from “1966 to 1982, the Dow went to 1,000 — then went back down.”
Barry Ritholtz described the 17.6 year cycle in Art Cashin on Secular Cycles
“Back On The Cycle – David Rosenberg, formerly chief economist at Merrill Lynch and now at Gluskin Sheff was a guest host on CNBC’s Squawkbox this morning. During the discussion he alluded to an 18 year cycle in the market. Not to quibble but many traders have thought of it as the 17.6 year cycle. Here’s how I outlined it back in May 2002: Yesterday, as the elders were being asked about the hiding place of the great Bull Market one of the fogeys mentioned the “near 18 year cycle.” Like the fat and lean years, it refers to so-called “easy” times to make money in the market versus times requiring much harder work. The fogeys suggested it was near 18 years because it was approximately 17 years, 7 months. For ease of explanation to the juniors, one of the fogeys decimalized the number as 17.6 years so they could use their calculators. He then postulated this example – Let’s say the markets topped out in about February 2000. Let’s call that 2000.2. Subtract 17.6 and your back in about July 1982 (1982.60). The Dow was around 900. So you could see why those were a fat (easy) 17 years. Take away 17.6 again and you are back around January of 1965 and the Dow is around 900. (Yup – just like 1982.) Many twists and turns in those 17 years. Lots of chances to make money. But you had to work for every penny. Take away 17.6 again and you are back around May of 1947. The war is over. The Dow is around 170. Lots of prosperity ahead. Take away 17.6 and you are back around Sept of 1929 and the Dow is around 350. He began to go on. The juniors had had enough. Folks don’t like to hear that you can do well only if you do your homework everyday. Having lived through two of those cycles, we can attest to the work cycle.”
From where the market is today, Cashin is essentially describing the Japanese scenario of two lost decades. That has been my preferred scenario for quite a long time.
Japan’s Lost Decades Rallies
If Cashin is correct, and I believe he is, it’s another 7 years of nowhere at best for the stock market. Nonetheless, there will be trading opportunities in both directions as the above chart from Business Insider shows.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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