Global Investing

Eight days could point to a correction

April 12, 2010

Morgan Stanley has been crunching some numbers about Europe and come up with something that (not surprisingly) fits their scenario of  a near-term stock correction but only within a longer-term cyclical bull market for equities. It all comes down to eight days in March, apparently.

Here is the gist:

During 8 days in March, MSCI Europe was up (more than) 50 percent year-on-year.  This is a rare event, has happened on only 80 individual days since 1919.  It is a bullish signal on a 12-month view, a cautious signal on a 6-month view.  On average, the next 12 months  the market has been up 10 percent, up 96 percent of the time, the next 6 months down 4 percent, down 77 percent of the time

As for timing of the correction, MS says it will be when good economic news becomes bad market news sometime in Q2. That is to say, when a string of positive economic data prompts  central banks into a policy reaction or when markets react by sending bond yields and inflation expectations up.

Not terribly helpfully, but again not surprisingly, MS doesn’t know exactly when this will be.  Could be some way off, it says, because of loose money and mixed economic data. But then again, it says it could be imminent because of potentially peaking leading indicators and sentiment indicators suggesting investor complacency.

So, as the expression goes in England,  you pays your money and you takes your choice. When has it even not been thus?

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