By Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul
Octogenarian and 53-year financial markets veteran from Loyola, California, Richard Russell, announced it’s time to get out of stocks—pronto! The market expects a Greek exit of the EMU and further trouble from the other PIIGS, according to him.
In his latest missive, the venerable Russell stated that the 80-year old Dow Theory market-timing indicator he has plied throughout his newsletter writing career has triggered another “textbook bear signal” and advised his subscribers to avoid the stock market at this time.
“IMPORTANT — Dow Theory — The D-J industrial Average recorded a high of 13,279.32 on May 1, 2012,” Russell began his latest addition of Dow Theory Letters. “This Dow high was not confirmed by the Transports. The two averages then turned down and broke below their April lows. This action confirmed that a primary bear market is in progress — it was a textbook bear signal.”
Russell’s remarks come off the heels of another respected market watcher Marc Faber of the Gloom Boom Doom Report, who told CNBC, Friday, he’s “100 percent” confident of a global recession next year.
Considering stocks discount expectations of the future—with recent signs of a feeble economic recovery rolling over once again—the rally in stocks from the March 2009 lows could be an echo of a similar bear market rally of 1935-7, during the Great Depression. But by the second quarter of 1937, the rally fizzled out and stocks sold off sharply, taking the Dow down approximately 50 percent from the rebound rally high.
“This bear market will be deeper and longer than most people think,” Russell said in a Mar. 29, 2009 speech at a banquet in his honor. “People got optimistic too quick” about stocks, and added, “none of the characteristics of a major bottom” are in place for a major bear market bottom.
Though dividend-paying stocks exceed US Treasury yields, the ‘manhandling’ of exceedingly low artificial rates by the Fed has induced investors to take on inflation risk by buying stocks, which, at the moment, washes out after inflation to a negative real rate of return from dividends paid.
Moreover, many analysts suggest that much of the rally in U.S. stocks during 2011 came mostly from investors fleeing the euro. Bank runs in Europe, especially in Greece and Spain, end up in mattresses and the U.S. stock market. But as investors witness the alleged decoupling between Europe and the U.S. that never will be, stocks won’t be the place to be to preserve wealth, after inflation.
“I believe that the bear signal is telling us that Greece will default, to be followed by Spain, and the whole Eurozone may then fall apart,” Russell stated in his letter of last week. “I consider the April-May action to be a continuation of a primary bear market that started on October 9, 2007, with the Dow at 14,164.53. We are now dealing with the latter part of the primary bear market that began in 2007.”
Russell’s recommendation today hasn’t changed from his March 2009 speech, when he said, “Stay on the sidelines,” in cash or gold. The gold market rally won’t end in a whimper; it will end as all bull markets end: in a “speculative explosion.”