NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A phenomenon Wall Street insiders know is that markets peak on good news and bottom on bad news. Market-timing legend Tom DeMark of Market Studies revealed, in New Market Timing Techniques: Innovative Studies in Market Rhythm & Price Exhaustion, an initially counterintuitive correlation between the appearance of positive news and the price reaching a summit, or vice-versa.
My oversimplification notwithstanding, DeMark claims that a stock (or any traded security) reaches a peak because the "last buyer" comes on board. Conversely, a stock bottoms when the "last seller" throws in the towel and gets out. Obviously, the terms "last buyer/seller" is used figuratively, but the point is, when there are so many buyers already in a stock that positive news isn't able to push the shares higher (because "no one is left to buy"), there is no other direction for the stock to go but down.
Once the trend shifts lower, the slightest negative news will accelerate the process. As stop losses are triggered and sentiment changes, you are left with a chart pattern that resembles a mountain. The inverse is also true.
If you examine the bottoming of a long-term chart pattern that looks like the letter "V," you will sometimes see that near the date of the exact bottom is significantly negative news, but the shares actually remain flat or appreciate.Let's take this theory one step further, with Apple (AAPL) as an example. Take a look at some of the negative articles about Apple today after losing a court battle with the Justice Department:
Judge Comes Down 'Hard' on Apple in E-Book Ruling
Apple Loses E-Book Trial
Apple Price-Fixing Verdict May Not Result in Cheaper E-Books
The Apple e-Book Case Is Headed for the 2nd Circuit It's fair to say that Apple's loss was widely covered, and Apple being Apple, no one missed the news. In other words, all else being equal, the market's participating buyers and sellers fully understand that Apple lost a significant court case and, as of my writing, the shares are trading near even or slightly higher. Even more noteworthy is, no one knows what the damages will be. How about civil suits? Losing the case opens the door for civil litigators chomping at the bit to take a bite out of Apple (rinky-dink pun I know). Wall Street hates uncertainty, and yet, Apple investors were delivered two-scoops of uncertainty Wednesday, and the shares hardly flinched. AAPL Free Cash Flow data by YCharts
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