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Travelin'

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The other day, as I was leaving Minyanville to go on a marketing trip with the Midwest Research version of "trader dude," I met with the critters and this is how it went:

Daisy: Hey darlin' where ya going? You just get back and then make like a tree and leave on a so called marketing trip - what's up with that? By the way, I hear the vacation was interesting...just don't think I missed you!

Snoop: Sorry Daisy and critters, but this is my new reality - I am traveling more, which ultimately is a better thing for our town because I can bring back snippets from the road. I have found that there is ALWAYS a difference between what people say to the masses and what they say sitting across a conference table. As for the Dwyer Family Vacation; we had fun but I liken it to the market right now.

Boo: You know how sick that is? Don't you ever leave it alone?

Snoop: Funny thing Boo is that I love what I do and let me explain the thought. We went to Rhode Island in search of beach fun and sun. What we found was very different. The place smelled, the accommodations were the worst, yet cost the most so after a couple days we packed it all up with a smile and went home. Once home and after the lights came back on, we went to Ocean City, NJ where my brother has a house ON the beach. A place where we have HAD sun and fun.

Hoofy: You know you are my pal right now, but what in the heck does any of this have to do with the market?

Snoop: Simply put, we spent a lot of money trying to find the "right" vacation spot for us when it was right in front of our face. We had to go through pain to be able to see it and take advantage of my brother's place. We could have stuck it out in Rhode Island because we were there and it would have been the ego driven thing to do. Staying would have meant no sleep, griping and moaning followed with constant fighting. It would have also meant living in the problem instead of the solution. Instead, we cut our losses, sucked in the ego, admitted to a mistake and went home. By taking that hard action, we had a great time once we got to the Joisey shore. If you don't believe me take a look at the pictures I sent Toddo and ask "car pool buddy Linda" who joined us for a day with her little guy. Now those are smiles.

Daisy: Great move snoop, but if you mention your Wife and car pool buddy Linda again I am going to smack you.

Snoop: Don't get me excited Daisy. Seriously, the reason it reminded me of the market is that despite my mind saying "look for the better reason", the market has been offering some solid reasons that I miss because of my attention on the need for something better. Intellectually, I find it difficult to justify much higher stock prices because of possible pitfalls in the road. I am so worried about what could happen that at times I miss what IS happening. If I am not flexible, I can lose track of independent thought and fall into the trap of telling the market what to do instead of listening what it is saying.

Sammy: Yeah snoop...I constantly have to ask myself if I am listening or just waiting to talk. If I am thinking about what I am going to say, it is pretty difficult to listen, much less accept another thought.

Snoop: The market seems to be talking pretty loudly right now, but despite the bull/bear polls, there remain signs of skepticism. Historically, there is always something "wrong" with the market or everyone would buy at the same time and there would be no free market. In other words, if the fundamental, technical, geo-political and valuation backdrop were poifect, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Do yourself a favor and see which is easier to write out...the reasons to be optimistic or pessimistic. Despite the ramp since March, I bet it would still be easier to outline "what could go wrong" vs. "what could go right."

Boo: Snoop, after a 20% move, you are telling me that EVEN HIGHER prices are possible given all the uncertainty that is around?

Snoop: Boo, this is the first time in a while that the market could climb the wall of worry. To date it has been catapulted by the cliff of panic that I have called the "it's not going to zero rally." The "wall of worry" is one of those terms that are used way too often but rarely fits. Now it seems to. The glass seems to be half full as the economic vitality seems to be coming back. This is happening despite a spike in rates, stubbornly high energy prices, geo-political uncertainty, above desired employment and a Fed that is more worried about deflation than inflation...a first in my career.

Hoofy: You tell 'em Snoop!

Snoop: Easy there hot shot. So far, the positive influences are simply keeping the market afloat vs. ramping it higher.

Snapper: That's right, there is nothing like a rally off the lower end of a trading range and oversold condition!

Snoop: Unfortunately Snapper, the market isn't at the lower end of the range and oversold right now so we must defer to Sammy, until more than one index and a few stocks make new highs on weak volume. Again, there is always some level of guesswork in this game, but until the range is broken and buying interest is resumed (either from downside break or greed from upside break) there is solid frustration except for the wise legless one over there (pointing to Sammy).

Hoofy: When the current range started, you said the best outcome would be working off the intermediate-term overbought condition by going sideways - how is that working out?

Snoop: Great question Hoofy. It is happening exactly as you would want. The S&P 500 has moved below overbought levels. While the market is not oversold by any stretch, the argument that the intermediate-term indicators are too extreme to be a buyer is no longer purely true. You could make the case for a loss of momentum after an extreme overbought condition, but that is what a consolidation period is all about.

Boo: How nicely that dovetails with your new signal - hogwash I say, hogwash.

Snoop: The beauty of the signal is that it is long-term in nature, and is not, AND I REPEAT, not opinion based. If I truly offered my opinion, I would be neutral at best. That signal is something that I found by trying to DISPROVE the long-term bullish view. With the help of John Brooks and Paul Desmond at Lowry's Reports, we found that it was better at proving a more optimistic view ---- even after a 20% jump. What independent thought does is give you flexibility to have a plan going into a break out of the range in either direction.

Hoofy: So you wouldn't buy with both hands here given your signal?

Snoop: Frankly my horned friend...with a range of less than 5% for two months and limited buying and selling interest, there is no reason to act from a broad perspective until a breakdown creates a buy on the dip opportunity or a breakout generates enough "I can't miss this one" greed. Right now there is neither because the broad market is still stuck in the range.

Wow - I am about to miss my flight...have a great day Minyans and I will see you when I get back.

At that moment, Daisy winked, Hoofy snorted, Boo yawned, Sammy smiled and Snapper snoozed. Sounds like a typical day in Minyanville.




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