Turn on CNBC. Read the headlines. You would think we are already in a bear market having lost 20% or more from the highs in equity prices. Or is that coming? In reality, the major equity indices are struggling to hold onto their gains for the year, and this is after gains of 100% plus over the prior 2 years on the major equity indices. I am scratching my head to figure how or why there is a whole lot of angst out there. Sure there is a lot to worry about with Greece, sovereign debt, unemployment, a slow down in China, stagnating US growth, gridlock in the US, housing, and on and on... these were concerns many months ago, and they are still with us today. So why now? My guess is that if you were a buyer of the kool aid and hype several weeks or even months ago, your positions are now underwater or you have seen your gains evaporate. That is where the angst is coming from.
So is the angst warranted?
Taking a longer term view by looking at the monthly charts of the major equity index ETF's my answer is "No, the angst is not warranted." See figure 1 a monthly chart of the S&P Depository Receipts (symbol: SPY). The SPY is still within a nice up trend channel, and in fact, it is approaching the lower end of that channel. From that point of view, this would seem like a good buying opportunity. How it will work out several months from now is another story, but if I had to be a buyer, I would rather be a buyer down here than where the market was a few months ago.
Figure 1. SPY/ monthly
Figure 2 is a monthly chart of the PowerShares QQQ Trust Series (symbol: QQQ), and it shows the same thing. An asset that is is in a well defined up trend with prices approaching the lower end of its trend channel.
Figure 2. QQQ/ monthly
Angst? The longer term view has me asking, "What angst?"