Peeing on a Forest Fire

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My research suggests that the secular bull market, which began at the 1974 low, peaked at the October 2007 high and that we have been in a bear market advance since the March 2009 low. According to Dow theory, all bull and bear markets unfold in 3 phases with important counter-trend moves separating each of the phases. As I have said all along, the rally out of the March 2009 low has been a bear market rally that should prove to separate Phase I from Phase II of the longer-term secular bear market that is now under way. Nothing has occurred to change this point of view. Since the rally out of the October low began, I have received a number of e-mails asking about manipulation and if “they” could prevent or if “they” have perhaps already prevented the phase II decline. 

All throughout the period between 2003 and 2007 I explained that we were seeing a stretched 4-year cycle. I also explained that the efforts by the powers that be to hold things together would ultimately only serve to make matters worse. There is no doubt that the manipulative efforts seen during this period contributed in a very negative way to the credit and banking crisis of 2007 and 2008. In my eyes, this was largely accomplished through the unscrupulous lending practices and mass financial irresponsibility, resulting in the housing bubble, which Greenspan tried to tell us did not exist and which I called, in writing, in late 2005, before the top became apparent.

In October 2007 the equity markets peaked. My subscribers were informed of that fact as we knew what technical signs to look for and as they occurred we knew exactly what was happening. As the decline took root the manipulative efforts became even more drastic than what was seen into the 2002 low. But, cyclically, none of this mattered as the market continued lower until the cyclical events required to make the 4-year cycle low and the Phase I low were achieved. It was from that point that the bear market rally began. In the eyes of most people and the politicians, they believe that they have “saved” the market and that the economy has bottomed. This is not so. The market and the economy merely reached a temporary bottom in March 2009, in which the rally that should ultimately prove to separate Phase I from Phase II of the bear market began. This rally has served to give the public a false sense of security and hope that the economy is now on the road to recovery. This rally has also given the powers that be a false sense of power in that they think they have every thing under control as a result of their manipulative efforts. Sure, the decline into the recent October low was scary and we saw levels of bearishness not seen since 2008 as that low was being made. The fact that the market continues to hold above that level will in time also create an even greater false sense of security. But, according to the historical bull/bear market relationships and the longer-term phasing of Dow theory, this is a bear market advance and there is a Phase II decline out there, regardless of the manipulative efforts. Once the proper setup occurs, the bear will have his opportunity to cap this advance and at that time, financial hell will be unleashed on the world markets regardless of the efforts to prevent the inevitable. Unfortunately, in the meantime, the hope and hype of Wall street and Washington keeps the public blindly optimistic.

I have gone back to 1896 and have identified a very specific cyclical “DNA Marker” that has occurred at every major market top. If the Dow theory phasing is right about this being a bear market rally, this DNA Marker will appear in accordance with very specific statistics, which will set the stage for the suspected Phase II decline within this ongoing secular bear market to begin. These details are being covered in my monthly research letters. Now, just as was the case with the efforts to prevent the decline into the 2002 low and the 2009 low, once this DNA Marker is in place it won’t matter what the powers that be do or say because the bear will have his way. The bailouts were a waste of money and were only associated with a temporary low. The powers that be cannot manipulate the entire world out of the natural forces and cyclical events that have to play out. There is no such thing as endless prosperity. Their efforts only serve to make matters worse and to postpone the inevitable. Again, the most recent example of this occurred as a result of the efforts to keep things going between 2003 and 2007. Were things not worse in 2008 and early 2009 than they were in 2001 and 2002? Yes, they were. Did the efforts between 2003 and 2007 prevent the downturn into the 2009 low? Did “they” warn you of the downturn in 2000, or of the housing bubble, or of the 2007 top? Have the efforts in 2008, early 2009 and the time since not been more extreme than they were in the 2003 to 2007 period? Have the problems not grown? Is it not now a global issue? Yes, Yes, and Yes. As a result, I look for the fallout from these extreme efforts to be worse than the fallout of the 2003 to 2007 efforts. So, once we see this DNA Marker occur, then we will have the proper setup in place for the Phase II decline to begin. Such setup should correspond with the 4-year cycle top and the decline into the next 4-year cycle low. The greater risk to the market is that if the longer-term Dow theory phasing is correct, this should also correspond with the Phase II decline. Just as I warned of the 2000 top, the 2007 top, the top in housing in 2005 and of the top in commodities in 2008, I am now warning that there is a much larger trap being set for both the bull and bear alike. Yes, there is another surprise is coming. It is the appearance of the proper setup that will ultimately set the wheels into motion and the manipulation is once again not going to matter.

The following text on Manipulation was taken from Robert Rhea’s book, The Dow Theory.

“Manipulation is possible in the day to day movement of the averages, and secondary reactions are subject to such an influence to a more limited degree, but, the primary trend can never be manipulated.

Hamilton frequently discussed the subject of stock market manipulation. There are many who will disagree with his belief that manipulation is a negligible factor in primary movements, but it should always be remembered that he had, as a background for his opinions, a most intimate acquaintance with the veterans of Wall Street, and the advantage of having spent his life in accumulating facts pertaining to financial matters.

The following comment, taken at random from his many editorials, affords convincing proof that his views on the subject of manipulation did not vary:

‘A limited number of stocks may be manipulated at one time, and may give an entirely false view of the situation. It is impossible, however, to manipulate the whole list so that the average price of 20 active stocks will show changes sufficiently important to draw market deductions from them.’ (Nov. 29, 1908)

‘Anybody will admit that while manipulation is possible in the day-to-day market movement, and the short swing is subject to such an influence in a more limited degree, the great market movement must be beyond the manipulation of the combined financial interests of the world.’ (Feb.26, 1909)

‘…the market itself is bigger than all the ‘pools’ and ‘insiders’ put together.’ (May 8, 1922)

‘One of the greatest of misconceptions, that which has militated most against the usefulness of the stock market barometer, is the belief that manipulation can falsify stock market movements otherwise authoritative and instructive. The writer claims no more authority than may come from twenty-two years of stark intimacy with Wall Street, preceded by practical acquaintance with the London Stock Exchange, the Paris Bourse and even that wildly speculative market in gold shares, ‘Between the Chains,’ in Johannesburg in 1895. But in all that experience, for what it may be worth, it is impossible to recall a single instance of a major market movement which depended for its impetus, or even for its genesis, upon manipulation. These discussions have been made in vain if they have failed to show that all the primary bull markets and every primary bear market have been vindicated, in the course of their development and before their close, by the facts of general business, however much over-speculations or over-liquidation may have tended to excess, as they always do, in the last stage of the primary swing.’ (The Stock Market Barometer) ‘…no power, not the U. S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve System combined, could usefully manipulate forty active stocks or deflect their record to any but a negligible extent.’ (April 27, 1923)

‘The average amateur trader believes the stock market is guided in its trends by a certain mysterious ‘power,’ this belief being the one factor, next to impatience, most responsible for his losses. He reads tipster sheets avidly; he scans the newspapers industriously for news likely, in his opinion, to change the trend of the market. He does not seem to realize that by the time the news of real importance is printed, its effect, so far as the basic trend of the market is concerned, has long ago been discounted.’

‘It is true that a flurry in the price of wheat or cotton may influence the day to day movement of stock prices. Moreover, sometimes newspaper headlines contain news which is construed as bullish or bearish by market dabblers, who collectively rush in to buy or sell, thus influencing or ‘manipulating’ the market for a short period. The professional speculator is always ready to help the movement along by ‘placing his line’ while the little fellow timidly ‘lays out’ a few shares; then, when the little fellow decides to increase his commitments, the professional begins to unload and the reaction ends, and the primary movement is again resumed. It is doubtful if many of these reactions would ever be caused by newspaper headlines alone unless the market was either overbought or oversold at the time---the ‘technical situation’ so dear to the hearts of financial news reporters.’ 

‘Those who believe the primary trend can be manipulated could, no doubt, study the subject for a few days and be convinced that such a thing is impossible. For instance, on September 1, 1929, the total market value of all stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange was reported to have amounted to more than $89,000,000,000. Imagine the money which would have been involved in depressing such a mass of values even 10 per cent!’

Today’s total market cap is some $50 trillion and QE 2 was valued at $600 billion, which is a mere 1.2 percent of the estimated total market cap of all stocks worldwide. So, if they do come out with a QE 3 it'll amount to no more than peeing on a forest fire. Again, the manipulation will not matter and once the proper setup is in place the bear will have his way with the Phase II decline.

I have begun doing free market commentary that is available at www.cyclesman.net. The specifics on Dow theory, my statistics, model expectations, and timing are available through a subscription to Cycles News & Views and the short-term updates. I have gone back to the inception of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896 and identified the common traits associated with all major market tops. Thus, I know with a high degree of probability what this bear market rally top will look like and how to identify it. These details are covered in the monthly research letters as it unfolds. I also provide important turning point analysis using the unique Cycle Turn Indicator on the stock market, the dollar, bonds, gold, silver, oil, gasoline, the XAU and more. A subscription includes access to the monthly issues of Cycles News & Views covering the Dow theory, and very detailed statistical-based analysis plus updates 3 times a week.

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About Tim W Wood CPA

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