Kass: Short-Term Market Outlook Improves

(This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 7:58 a.m.)

"We have a lot more to go on the upside...  We made the low on June 24th... I love the leadership, guys. Take a look at secondary stocks which are leading the markets -- its not Blue Chips. And  the transports are on fire, we cant get any better than that... It's up up and away... . The Russelll 2000, its very impressive,  it's 2000 stocks vs. the thirty  Dow stocks. It's very impressive guys! ... The March, 2009 low was comparable to the August, 1982 low and that was the beginning of an eighteen year secular bull market.... we are only 4 1/2 years into a secular Bull Market. We are at all time high. There is no supply overhead and there is great leadership..Hello? It doesn't get any better than this. Come on guys we have a lot more upside... Why are you neutral on stocks, Brian? Buy high and it's going higher, Brian (Kelly)...Guys,  I cant believe you, in the early 1980s everyone complained too, all the way up. Enjoy it, enjoy it. "(Note: Ralph Acampora had a 17,000 Dow Jones Industrials target for year end at the time of this interview).

-- Ralph Acampora July 9, 2013 CNBC Fast Money

"Let me just talk about the technicals.... When good news can't take the market up is bad news... I took a good look inside the Dow Jones Industrial Average- it's months of churning ... You have to be careful..I tell my friends who participated should take a profit...(Note: One month earlier, while stocks were "churning" Acampora was confidently bullish)."

-- Ralph Acampora August 16, 2013, with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo "I just want to say something, Bill. My concern started three or four months ago. Step back and look at weekly bar charts. You have seen a lot of very heavy blue chip stocks. It is not a pretty picture. Even secular bulls have bear markets...This could be a difficult period...I am sorry I totally disagree (with your bullish guest), I can't turn my back on large cap stocks...if McDonald's and  IBM and others drop, near term don't fight Papa Dow." (Note: Acampora now looks for the DJIA to move to the 12,000 area - which is a 5,000 reduction in his year end forecast since early July)!

-- Ralph Acampora, August 30, 2013 with CNBC

If uncertainty is represented by a wall for the markets to climb over, there is certainly a tall wall ahead.

From my perch, the quotes above, in three separate CNBC interviews, by legendary and well-regarded technical analyst Ralph Acampora capture the evolution of an increasingly downtrodden view of the markets over the last few months by traders and investors. 

Let me emphasize that I am not picking on Acampora's reversal over the last 45 days, nor am I making an ad hominem attack on the guy. Rather, I am demonstrating the general change in sentiment that has so swiftly occurred. (But a 5,000 point, or 30%, reduction in his DJIA price target, with only four months to go in the year seems to be extreme and at odds with the strong self confidence he expressed when he was correspondingly bullish in July and now bearish in August).

Back in mid-August, in " Beware of the Momentum Cult," I cautioned readers to beware of those who worship at the altar of price momentum. Because, in the main, they are a fickle bunch who often suck investors in with their confidence just at the wrong time.

Here is an excerpt from that column:  

"Simply watch Bloomberg or read Tweets and daily newsletters today, and you will find even the most glib and self-assured bulls turn on a dime when stock prices move south. It's almost as if they had no memory what they said or wrote the day or weeks before!

I recently wrote about the growing self-confident bullish investment community. Unfortunately, most of the lot are technically oriented day-traders who never even looked at the companies' balance sheets or income statements before exclaiming their enthusiasm for the issues/stocks. They are mostly trend-followers who worship at the altar of price momentum.

Following prices and gazing at charts makes for an easy, simplistic and necessary strategy for a business commentator, strategist or investor who spends much of his time preparing for media engagement.  This is why it is important to do your own homework -- as Jim "El Capitan" Cramer  (who is a clear exception to my characterizations above!) implores  you to -- and come to your own independent investment conclusions.

And the theme of this column also applies to my musings as well as the others!"

My call for a market top in early August had numerous fundamental and technical reasons for it. As contrasted to the confidence of others, my forecast included words like possible, likely and contained other caveats appropriate with any strong and out-of-consensus forecast. (I try to always qualify my view and to demonstrate the lack of certainty of any forecast because I have the scars on my investment back that went along with my hubris and, ultimately, my misguided market prognostications of the past)

The lack of attention to some obvious warning signs, like the technical threats of churning and eroding breadth or the weak top and bottom lines of corporations in 2Q 2013 was, at the time, confusing to me when I made my top call in early August.

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