I forgot to mention yesterday that some recent comments were picked up in Barron’s The Trader column this week:
"While the bear market could persist (as this week’s cover story warns), the stock market’s worst June in 78 years — and its worst first half since 1970 — have encouraged bargain hunters looking for at least a short-term bounce.
They were egged on by a few signs: Large-cap indexes have fallen decisively to fresh 2008 lows. Energy and material stocks, the last bastion of strength, have begun to crack, and even the high-flying Market Vectors Coal exchange-traded fund (ticker: KOL) has plunged more than 15% over the past three trading days. NYSE volume reached 5.8 billion Tuesday, almost matching the decisive 6.1 billion seen at the mid-March bottom. The crop of NYSE and Nasdaq stocks scraping year lows swelled above 1100 midweek, approaching mid-March’s 1236 tally.
A pronounced spike in investor fear, matching levels seen in January or March, is no guarantee of an enduring rally, as recent selling wiped out the year’s gains. But traders hoping for the kind of climactic purge that marks a stock-market bottom remain disappointed by the almost-but-not-quite-there cues. Option-market sentiment gauges also remain unruffled. "I would have thought the most recent drop might have frightened investors just a tad," notes Barry Ritholtz, director of research at Fusion IQ. "Instead, the bottom callers were out in full force. There is still a whole lot more greed than fear."
Always cool to get in The Trader column . . .
The Bear Arrives — With Bargain Hunters
BARRON’S, JULY 7, 2008