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It Is Not a New Bull Market

The U.S. stock market averages continued the bear market correction – the correction actually extended for another week.  We capped a strong week with a strong gain today across the board.  But this is a correction. It is not a new bull market. But of course, if you watch stations like CNBC you wouldn’t know that. All day today all they kept talking about on CNBC was that the market is now out of correction territory, meaning that it is no longer down 10% from the highs, and so we’re no longer in a correction.

We Entered a Bear Market

First of all, we didn’t enter a correction – we entered a bear market. Now, bear markets have corrections, too. They’re called rallies, except people at CNBC don’t get that. They think the only correction is a move down in a bull market. Now this bull market went on for 10 years, so a lot of these guys don’t remember the last bear market, and it wasn’t even that long.  A lot of these bear markets have been very short. They decline 40-50% and then the Fed was able to come in and save the day.  But people don’t get that we are in a bear market now.  We haven’t made new highs, so any rally is a correction.  Certainly a rally of more than 10%  – that’s the same definition for the downward correction in a bull market.  So if you want to apply that definition to an upward correction in a bear market – we are in a correction. This is a pretty big correction, helping the bear market fall a slope of hope.

Russell 2000 Had  Best Annual Start Since 1987

The Dow was up around 330 points today, back up to 24,706.35.  In fact, if you look at the Dow Jones year to date, we’re up almost 6% so far this year. Strong move.  We’re not even finished with the month of January.  Of course we have a holiday weekend,  s the markets will not be open on Monday celebrating Martin Luther King Day. But there are still quite a few days left in January.  The NASDAQ composite is actually outdoing the Dow, it is now up almost 8% on the year and the biggest gainer is the Russell 2000.  It’s up almost 10%.  In fact the Russell 2000 is having its best annual start since 1987.  Now, of course, 1987 didn’t end well for the Russell 2000 or any of the stock markets. That was the year of the stock market crash in October.