Thomas Kee, editor of Stock Traders Daily has good news and bad news for Americans obsessing over the 2012 election. The good news is neither Mitt Romney nor President Obama can derail the economy. The bad news is that neither guy can do much to help, either.
"The macro economic environment tells us that we're in a natural state of weakness," Kee says in the attached clip. "It's natural, it's demographic, there's nothing you can do to stop it."
Kee has both a practical and fatalistic support for his argument. On the practical side, America's existing debt makes more real stimulus either a non-starter or futile. Existing debt makes turning on the stimulus spigot, either through deficit spending or cutting taxes, an increasingly unappealing option. Changing nothing or actually living within our financial means likely makes things worse, at least for the foreseeable future. Lose, lose.
Equity markets and the economy are only connected at the hip in the very long term. In the short run stocks can get crazy for no good reason at all. Kee says that's bad news for investors determined to "Buy and Hold" forever but an opportunity for the more nimble who are willing to go to cash when the market looks good.
"Stop listening to the media for a minute," shouts Kee. "Just look at the charts."
He isn't advising sophisticated chart analysis but a bluntest of charting methods. If stocks are at or near relative highs, sell. If the market is taking out prior lows, buy. It's Buy Low/Sell High in the extreme only without the general "feel" that normally comes with people being fearful or ebullient. Kee doesn't think you should have any opinion whatsoever on how people feel; just a chart.
Stocks hit four-year highs last Thursday. "This is one of those times when you want to move to cash," Kee warns. Anything beyond that suggests you're over-thinking it.