This is Part 2 of a two-part story. Please be sure to read Part 1.
As with most investors, the fourth quarter was a difficult time for most of this column's sources. Some fared better amid the carnage, but many got the kind of report cards you would have been afraid to bring home as a kid. Having never had to forge my parents' signature in all my years of schooling (my older sister was much better at it), I can't imagine what it'd be like to get these kinds of grades. Then again, I suspect this is the first time many of these "gurus" got such blatantly failing marks.
In the spirit of brevity, I've left out all of the "bottom" calls from the fourth-quarter. Plus all of the "rewards outweigh the risks," especially as they applied to tech stocks, and all the "it's time to start accumulating" or "anticipation of the 'January effect' will boost stocks in December" calls.
Individually and cumulatively, anyone calling for any kind of fourth-quarter rally outside of energy and select value stocks got failing grades, including:
Jeffrey Applegate, chief investment strategist at Lehman Brothers on Oct. 2 and Nov. 7;
Abby Cohen, U.S. investment strategist, Goldman Sachs on Oct. 3 and Nov. 14;
Greg Nie, chief technical analyst at First Union Securities on Oct. 4;
Edward Kerschner, chief global strategist at UBS Warburg on Oct. 10 and Nov. 14;
Charles Payne, chief analyst at Wall Street Strategies on Oct. 11;
Brian Belski, fundamental market strategist at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray on Oct. 18;
Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist at Kirlin Holdings on Oct. 18;
Scott Bleier, chief investment strategist at Prime Charter on Oct. 26 and Nov. 5;
Robert Robbins, chief investment strategist at Robinson-Humphrey on Oct. 27.
Remember, the performance column assumes an investor held the stocks from the time the call was made through yesterday's close. The reality is that most of the sources (it's hoped) altered their portfolios during the intervening period.
As always, we'll try to catch up with the sources in the coming days to update their calls. Given recent published reports and comments from Applegate, Belski, Cohen, Kerschner and Robbins, I can tell you none has markedly altered his or her viewpoint.
Another update I can provide now regards Bob Brinker of
Bob Brinker's Marketimer
. In the February issue of his monthly newsletter, Brinker wrote "our expectation of a target range
for the QQQs in the 80 to 90 range remains intact. We believe this remains an achievable objective into the second quarter."
Brinker will "work to identify an appropriate sell point during the coming months" for the QQQs. It's possible Brinker has changed his outlook since the newsletter was published on Feb. 7, but in that issue -- and in a recent conversation with me -- the market timer seemed as adamant as ever that his "countertrend rally" call will prove accurate. The QQQ was off 0.50; or 0.97%, to 51 today after trading as low as 48.89.
Finally, also missing from the table above were a few good calls from Steven Hochberg and Peter Kendall, co-editors of
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast
. Late in the fourth quarter, the newsletter writers correctly identified mid-December and late January as Fibonacci turn dates, indicating short-term changes in the market's direction.
More recently, on
Feb. 2 to be specific, Hochberg said the next expected turn date isn't until late March, suggesting February could be "choppy" at best for those long. The Comp could retest its Jan. 2 lows and the Dow could break 10,000, he forecast.
This ends Part 2 of a two-part story. If you missed it, please be sure to read Part 1.
Aaron L. Task writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He invites you to send your feedback to
Aaron L. Task.