MARKETS

Stronger-than-expected employment numbers fueled the sixth straight day of gains in the stock market, and as euphoria starts to creep in, MoneyShow’s Tom Aspray counsels investors to be patient, concentrate on risk rather than reward, and wait for better opportunities in the months ahead.

It has been quite a week for the stock market as the Dow made a series of new all-time highs and financial reporters were tripping over each other to find new slants on the stock market’s surprising strength.

There are still some skeptics voicing their opinions, but there has been quite a change in sentiment since Christmas when headlines like these seemed to dominate the news. 

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The current market sentiment is a bit too euphoric and the great numbers on unemployment Friday gave most even more reasons to be bullish. Both the weekly and daily charts of my key technical indicators (see below ) are positive, and while I expect more new market highs in the months ahead, I do not think it will be easy.

What I am looking for in March is what I call a “vegematic market,” which was a term I coined in the 1980s on FNN, a precursor to CNBC. It is, of course, based on the popular Ronco device that “slices and dices” everything. If I am correct, a choppy market this month this will make it difficult for those who invest in index-based products while stock pickers who concentrate on entry levels and risk should do much better.

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The seasonal analysis of the S&P 500 using data going back to 1937 supports this view. This chart shows that the typical seasonal tendency is for a high around March 6 (in red), then a low around March 14 (in green) followed by another high on the 21st with a low at the end of the month. I would be surprised if we didn’t see at least one-two sharp down days this month.

Most investors who are not in the market are wondering whether it is too late to buy or if they are long, should they be selling. Countless articles focus on the popular, but not really accurate view that the public always buys at market tops and sells at market bottoms.

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Tickers Mentioned: SPY, DIA, IBM, MCD, IWM