Futures are pointing higher, at least for the moment after the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) lost nearly 2% Monday. Yes, the selling has abated if not forever at least for now. That'll change -- if it hasn't already then probably later this week. That's not a hard guess. It's a reflection of the global sense that something, somewhere is very wrong and the only rational thing to do is hide.
No one says such things aloud. Confessing to fear, inaccuracy or other human foibles is forbidden in financial punditry. Everyone still officially likes stocks in the abstract, they just aren't willing to actually buy any stocks just yet.
How can I tell they're afraid? Look at the Yield on the 10-Year Treasury (^TNX), below 2% again for the first time since last October when it very briefly looked like Ebola was a first world problem. Look at gold, via the SPDR Gold ETF (GLD) finding bid and Apple (AAPL) falling apart. Mostly check out WTI Crude (CLG15.NYM) oozing lower yet again, now below $50.
By some measures we're off to the worst start to a year in decades. According to Yahoo Contributor Chad Gassaway the second trading day of the new year is historically the strongest session; up .4% since 1950. Suffice it to say yesterday's 2% drop wasn't part of the plan.
What's the play? As always, be a contrarian. Right now is when you should be making lists for stocks you want to buy at lower prices. How about Apple below $100? How about the market as a whole about 5% lower than where we are right now? If more recent history is our guide it won't be time to buy stocks until we get lower and it will be incredibly difficult to pull the trigger when we get there.
So we wait in the cold, dark, dismal days of January. Making lists and hoarding money. Sounds pretty bleak but it beats losing money.
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