With the dollar continuing to surge higher, today King World News is featuring a piece from one of the greats in the business that discusses where he sees the markets at this point.
March 5 (King World News) – The 36th Annual Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference wrapped up yesterday, and amidst all of the handshakes, company presentations, and ubiquitous snack foods, I actually got to talk about the markets with a number of people who serve many diverse roles in this industry. While specific opinions varied, I did detect that the vast majority of those who were Bullish were quick to throw in a few caveats to their positive conjectures, as if hidden behind their optimistic exteriors was at least some modicum of fear (the few outright Bears I spoke with, of course, were unabashedly concerned).
It would seem then that most investors still cannot believe that we can perpetually be at or near new all-time highs in many of the popular equity indexes while concurrently analysts are slashing 2015 earnings estimates and the specter of the Fed raising rates sometime this year never lurks too far away. With all the negative headlines we've encountered over the past few years, the uptrend has certainly climbed a wall of worry, which is what the great bull markets do, but the ever-popular cry that this multi-year run is getting long in the tooth sounds to me as if it's been getting louder and louder recently.
Of course, it was entirely possible that I was just being crazy and paranoid, so I set out to find some actual data to support this thesis. I utilized Google's "Trends" application to see if there has been a noticeable increase in the number of searches for "stock market top" in the past couple of months, and, sure enough, the search results show that only in the Fall of 2008 were more people "Googling" those terms than they are right now. Initially, this may sound like cause for concern due to the memories that time period elicits, but keep in mind that the actual stock market top (at least in the S&P 500) occurred an entire year prior to that spike in search traffic.
Mr. Joe Q Investor is not exactly known for his market timing, so the fact that so many people have decided to take to the Internet to discover more information about a potential peak in stocks is yet another reason why I am not overly concerned that we have hit our apex this cycle. And naturally, the executives I watched present at the conference were firmly in this camp too, though their collective ebullience reminds me of a quote I gleaned from Warren Buffett in the Berkshire Hathaway 2014 Letter to Shareholders released last weekend: "Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut."
Meanwhile, stocks did little yesterday to change my current views. Since breaking out to new highs on February 13th, the S&P 500 has essentially treaded water, closing yesterday only about 7 basis points above where it ended on 2/13. 2090 remains the key short-term level I am watching. A daily close below that point would signal to me that the energy build-up we have discussed is more likely to be released to the downside. ***ALSO JUST RELEASED: Man Who Predicted Riots In Athens Now Warns All Hell Is Going To Break Loose As Greece To Exit Euro CLICK HERE.
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The audio interviews with Michael Pento, Gerald Celente, David Stockman, Marc Faber, Eric Sprott, Felix Zulauf, Andrew Maguire, John Mauldin, Egon von Greyerz, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Lord Christopher Monckton, Bill Fleckenstein, Dr. Philippa Malmgren, Stephen Leeb, John Embry and Rick Santelli are available now. Other recent KWN interviews include Jim Grant — to listen CLICK HERE.