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Is There Still Room For Optimism?

Glass Half Full
Flickr by Mr. Keef

Last week I did a video saying that I thought we were still in a new bull market. This was a follow up to a video I did in January listing some of the indicators I follow as reasons I thought we were in the early stages of a bull market. I pointed out that even with all the bad news about the economy, and jobs, and bailouts, the S&P 500 remained above 800. I saw this as a positive sign.

Since last week, the economic news has gotten worse. There have been renewed talks about nationalization of our banking system. [Psst. We’ve basically already nationalized the banks.] In response, the Dow reached a new 6-year low, penetrating the bottom it reached this past November. The S&P 500 broke through the 800 price barrier and threatens to challenge the low of 752 it reached last year. As of this moment (9:55 a.m.) the S&P 500 is trading at 769.

So was I wrong about this being a new bull market? Technically, no if the market holds where it is. Unless the S&P 500 falls below 752 (the November 20, 2008 price), this will still (technically) be considered a bull market. Recall I pointed out in the in first video that only once has the market declined 20% or more, rebounded 20% then, broke through the previous low. Could that happen now? Well we’re very close. It’s definitely possible.

Does any of this matter? Not really. The overall point I was trying to make in the videos and the past few posts on the topic is that stocks are cheap. They remain cheap. As I pointed out in the last video, we don’t know what the market or the economy will do in the next or any six month period. But it is highly probably the stock market will generate very good returns over the next five to ten years. And an investment in stocks now makes a lot of sense at these valuations. I’m still optimistic.

Next week I will be doing another video highlighting why I’m still optimistic about the market using some specific company examples. Stay tuned.

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