Friday, 17 January 2014

She didn't say yes, she didn't say no.

What is the market doing now? Good question. I prefer to look at the US market for although the tight link between international markets has weakened I still think that the US still has all the best tunes. That's where we should go to get our view of the markets' mood.

It seems to me what the markets are doing now is consolidating. They made substantial gains in the Santa Claus rally and they are now taking a pause for breath. "That's a very anthropological view of something as inhuman as a market," I hear you say. Well, ignoring the fact that markets are driven by human decisions, I agree. This is not a pause for breath it's an intense battle. Traders who have been in the market while the move up developed have now taken sides:

  • there are the naysayers who think to themselves "enough is enough" and they bank their profits
  • then there are the optimists who say "just look at what the market has done, there must be more to come". They take the pull-backs as opportunities to buy up shares dumped by the pessimists. (Don't forget: the trend is my friend)
The pattern formed by the actions of the warring sides is called a consolidation and it can go on for some time. It comes to an end when the nerve of one group or the other is broken, or when some piece of news settles the argument from the outside. Then the winning group pats itself on the back while the losers lick their wounds.

I have said before and I say again I am a bull, partly because of time of year and partly because the response to the beginning of tapering of QE was so muted.

As ever I am ready to switch direction on a sixpence if my view turns out to be mistaken, but for now I am basking in very satisfactory improvement in my position.

My portfolio has been helped by a strong recovery in the dollar which was going really well until excellent retail sales figures, announced this morning, gave the pound a terrific lift.

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