Virtually every major technical analysis shop and market timer in the country has declared the 2004 rally dead in the water over the past two weeks. But Florida-based Lowrys Reports is one exception. The firm has a great long-term record, so it's worth hearing its point of view. I have mentioned the institutional advisory firm, of which I am a client, before. It is objectively focused on proprietary equity supply-and-demand measures. It was appropriately bearish during the 2000-2002 bear run and has caught turns back to bullishness beautifully -- first in mid-October 2003 and then with a timely and long-lasting bullish call in late March 2003. The firm was bullish, particularly on mid-caps and small-caps, all the way through the last three quarters of 2003 and into 2004. It remains so today. I had a long talk on Wednesday with John Brooks, who has been at Lowry's since the early 1970s. He said that his team studies 145 market indicators, and he sees nothing more on the weekly charts today than a normal correction to the bull trend. He says that most of their short-term indicators are four-fifths of the way to oversold or better, and are thus very nearly ready for a full reversal. Brooks notes that most of his clients, at funds large and small throughout the country, were skeptical of the bull market throughout 2004 and are thus somewhat happy to be vindicated with the recent selloff. In October and even November, amid the big speculative end-of-year run, he said, it was "like pulling teeth" to get people to buy stocks. So it's not a surprise to him to learn that so many managers are exhibiting a morose skepticism today.
Confident Against the HerdBrooks is confident that sellers will be as wrong today as they were in October last year. The percentage of NYSE and Nasdaq stocks below their 10-day moving average is one indicator that he says has given almost perfect signals for the past 20 years, and it is giving a very clear buy signal now: When that number goes below 10% (i.e., 90% of all stocks are trading below their 10-day moving average), the market is typically much higher three to six months down the road. It was at the same level in August last year, and since 1990, the signal has tripped 15 times. On average, the market is up 4% two weeks later, up 11% three months later and up 24% one year later.
|Big-Caps Poised to Perform |
|Johnson & Johnson||(JNJ)|
|Procter & Gamble||(PG)|
|American International Group||(AIG)|