The melt-up continues today as “buy the dip” has turned into “buy the rip”. David Rosenberg is dusting off Bob Farrell’s 10 rules as the market soars:
Not only have sentiment indicators flagged a high level of investor complacency but also the equity market looks highly overbought right now. Looking at the internals, there is much less buoyancy than there is on the surface. As an example, back in April there were at least 600 stocks on the Big Board making new highs versus around 180 right now. Moreover, back at the April highs, we had well over 90% of the S&P 500 universe trading above their 200-day moving average and currently that share is barely above 70%. Keep these metrics in mind when judging the health and breadth of the overall market, and be sure to dust off Bob Farrell’s Rule 7: “Markets are strongest when they are broad and weakest when they narrow to a handful of blue-chip names.”
But let’s not forget Farrell’s first rule either:
1. Markets tend to return to the mean over time
The Nasdaq 100 has rallied 21% in 7 weeks. The Russell 2,000 has rallied 20% in 7 weeks. These are your greed indices. The ones where the pigs go to die at market peaks. At the May peak , the Russell was 10% from its 50 day moving average while it is 9% from its 50 day moving average today. The Nasdaq 100 was 6.5% from its 50 day moving average in May. Today it is 9.5%! This does not spell impending doom, but the 3 month risk adjusted returns from such a level are very poor.
The risks just strike me as being extraordinary at these levels. Complacency is high, everyone is bullish, everyone buys every dip, all the news is good, etc. The pool of greater fools has gotten mighty crowded and my hands are starting to get pruny. I wouldn’t buy this market with my worst enemy’s nest egg.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.