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This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on March 16 at 8:28 a.m. EDT.
Today's column is ambitious and some might think reckless in its objective of introducing an optimistic market forecast and the logic behind my S&P 500 -- and SPDRs (SPY) -- price targets.My view of a meaningful upside stock market trajectory in the months ahead is clearly a variant view, but I am familiar with that terrain as I have consistently expressed a negative (if not dire) baseline assumption for credit, the world's economies and stock markets for much of the past three years. To add to my relatively bold and audacious expectations and presentation, I will attempt to be precision-like in exhibiting a chart that most closely represents that promising market outlook over the next several months. Nearly two weeks ago, I suggested that a 2009 market bottom had been put in, and last week I surmised that, in the fullness of time, a generational market low might have been put in for the U.S. stock market. At inflection points gauging the market's technical bearings is often useful as is a history lesson, so let's travel that route. A deep oversold, worsening sentiment and positive internal divergences almost always provide the foundation to stock market recovery. The move from the October lows to the March lows indicated growing fear and gave way to rising cash positions and the loss of hope, but the market's internals were improving. November's DJIA low of 7,552 was nearly 11% below the October low of 8,451 and the March low of 6,547 was 22.5% under October's low. While each new low was more frightening than the prior one, however, there were improving technical and sentiment signals -- for example NYSE volume at the October low expanded to 2.85 billion shares; at the November low, volume dropped to 2.23 billion shares; and at the March low, volume was only 1.56 billion shares. As well, new lows traced decreasing levels: At the October low, there were 2,900 new lows; at the November low, there were 1,515 lows; and at the March low, there were only 855 new lows on the NYSE.