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What Now? S&P 500 Is Back At Previous Secular Bear Peaks!

 February 11, 2013 03:43 PM


The S&P 500 has reached the level of its previous two peaks in the secular bear market that began in 2000.

It's also being observed that the 2009-? cyclcal bull market is getting long in the tooth.

So there are important questions being asked.

Are we near the end of the cyclical bull market that began in March, 2009, with another leg down in the secular bear approaching? Or if the S&P 500 breaks out to higher highs will it mean the secular bear market has ended and the next secular bull market has begun (Dow 50,000 here we come)?   

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In the new era of anyone with a computer being able to launch blogs, and being welcomed to contribute opinions to websites (Forbes now has more than 800 contributors providing unpaid content to their Forbes.com site, Huffington Post more than 3,500) there is no shortage of opinions.

And they are running off in all directions, so investors can pretty much find any number of opinions to support whatever their own expectation may be, or more likely to provide more than the normal amount of confusion in their thinking.

Lest you think the S&P 500 chart indicates that if the S&P breaks out to higher highs it will provide proof that the secular bear market is over and we can relax, have a look at the Dow chart.  

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The Dow broke out above its previous secular bear market peak in 2007, significantly so, convincing many that the so-called secular bear didn't even exist, before making up for it on the downside as the secular bear continued.

So be careful about accepting opinions either saying that the S&P's upside is over because it has reached its previous peak, OR that if it breaks out it indicates the secular bear is over.

Secular bear markets usually last for about 17 years and it's my opinion, expressed often, for instance a month ago (‘Yeah But – Where Are We In the Secular Bear Market-)   that there will be one more leg down at some point.

But anything can happen in markets, so our approach has always been to use technical analysis to let the market tell us what it is actually doing, rather than what opinions think it should be doing.

By following intermediate-term buy and sell signals based on money flows, internal strength, momentum reversal indicators, etc., one is likely to be on the right side of intermediate-term moves in either direction if they then morph into something more significant like new bull or bear market.

So we will simply continue to follow our indicators rather than try to sort through the hundreds of opinions as to which is likely to be right or wrong.

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