Howard Dean and the magazine cover indicator

I’ve followed contrary indicators for many years; I even wrote a series of articles on them for; (Contrary Indicators Tip Off Discerning Investors in Year 2000 1/5/01) and (Even More Contrary Indicators 1/19/01).

In fact, I’ve been working on a monster piece on these kinds of Indicators; It should be out in a week. So these things have been on my mind lately.

That’s what brings me to the Howard Dean magazine covers of Time and Newsweek.

If Dean was a stock, I would sell him; If he was a market, I would short him. Politics is in some ways similar (market of ideas) and different (voters don’t pay money) to and from equity markets, so the analogy is not quite perfect.

So what is the “Magazine Cover Indicator”, and how does this work as a contrary indicator?

When a magazine cover focuses on the Bear Market, for example, the odds favor that the sell off has already peaked. When its a well known company (EMC or Cisco come to mind), the good news is already priced into the market. Whatever response the magazine engenders is typically the last spasm of its cover subject. (You can see an early draft of this subtopic here).

Regardless, Dean may be peaking too early. Unless he figures out how to maintain and even accelerate his momentum, he runs the risk of another candidate surging past him at the right time. Lieberman seems to be to laid back (i.e., boring). Maybe its Kerry who has the ability to make that thrust at the right moment.

Either way, the American Political Season is now in full swing . . .

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