Unfortunately, some of the folks can’t go there, like the cheerful bloke, Greg Robb (Senior Economic Reporter for MarketWatch) who penned the following article … “Greek euro exit would be ‘Lehman Brothers’ squared: Economist (Barry Eichengreen, Economic Historian, U. C., Berkeley).” I think what Eichengreen meant, but was not made clear in the headline, was that a Greek exit from the Euro-Zone would be a Lehman Brother’s squared event for Greece, not the world financial system. Several other economist quoted in the article opined this might be a potential death blow to the Euro. As a result of the sensational headline, this was the top trending headline yesterday morning (1/5/12) in MarketWatch. It continued last evening as the the number five trending article.
This little nugget was the headline MarketWatch presented at 9:40 PM CST (1/5/12). The article features an opinion post from Mark Hulbert (Hulbert Financial Digest) that, except for the headline, had nothing to do with the beginning of a new bear market. What the article did cover is statistical work indicating a loose correlation between the direction of the market’s first two trading days of the New Year and the market’s performance the rest of the year. Bottom line: if those first two days are negative, you have lower probability of a positive year (51%) than if those first two days are positive (75%). This of course, is not a bear market predictor. In fact, for most sensible long-term investors, it is just plain noise. For example, last year we started out with the Dow Jones Industrials down 0.6% the first two days. An investor would still have made 8.2% by holding on.
The Bear Market in Oil Continues, as the Bull Market in consumer pocketbooks thrives
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) trades as low as $49.90/barrel yesterday. In trading today I have seen it as low as $47.74. There continues to be clamor among the ignorant, or those trying to create fear, that this is all about world-wide economic weakness. I continue to believe it about a market that is way oversupplied with U.S. shale oil, Saudi oil (Saudis, punishing their enemies and maintaining market share) and Russia (desperate for revenue). This is very bullish for the majority of countries and people of the world who are not energy independent.
I only take issue with one thing he said at the end of the clip: ‘when I first got in the business in 1972, the Dow was at 400’. I will say, unequivocally, that never happened. However, it did trade as low as 577.60 in 1974. Here is the chart to prove it.
Even if you weren’t lucky enough (or were even born then) to get that price, even if you waited and bought in 1982 at 1000, as we closed yesterday (1/5/15) at 17,501, you still would have 17.5 times your investment over the past 32 years, not including dividends (which in 1982 were about 6.5% on the Dow) … about 9.4% compounded before dividends.
So what do you think, are we in for an Annus Mirablis on Annus Horribilis?
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