The unofficial beginning of fall is upon us after a summer that was true to form mostly in the sense that it pounded the largest number of people possible. On August 7th the AAII.com survey stood at 31% bulls and neutral and a commanding 38% bears. In 3 weeks the S&P 500 (^GSPC) had rallied 4% and 51% of those surveyed had found their bullishness compared to under 20% of investors calling themselves bearish.
Typically when there’s no one left to buy stocks everyone starts selling. With September and October traditionally rally bumpy affairs for the market Scott Nations of NationsShares is skeptical, even if he understands the reasons so many believe in stocks.
In the attached clip Nations notes that Friday’s weak consumer spending data probably keeps the Federal Reserve equity friendly. What’s more last week was almost disturbingly calm, with three of the tightest range trading days in the Nasdaq (^IXIC) he can ever remember. All the more reason to lock in some profits by buying some hedge protection.
“The S&P above 2,000 is pretty heady,” Nations notes. “Below here the 100-day moving average is the next interesting level. On Friday that was 1936. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was our next stop on the downside.”
There are four months left in 2014. The bulls have a commanding lead, a frisky attitude and seemingly no fear. If past is prologue that means it’s probably a great time to buckle up and brace yourself, things are likely to get pretty bumpy.
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