The Chart du Jour

Contrarian Vibes

March 12, 2001

By, Barclay T. Leib

The deflationary depression that has now been flowing in Japan for over ten years has now made it to the front left feature article of today's New York Times. Dan Rather sported a long feature on the melting Nasdaq on Friday night's evening news, as did the NBC Nightly News on Sunday night. The media lightbulb is finally going off that "Houston, we have a problem" in the equity market, but it's certainly not doing so in time to save the average investor any money.

Alas, these are all signs -- at long last -- of a realization and capitulation in the popular psyche. Lawsuits are starting to flow against Wall Street's shady IPO practices, and people are slowly starting to think once again about capital preservation rather than the next hot stock to hop on-board.

While we would never advise trying to catch a falling icicle, and this realization certainly isn't going to turn on across America overnight, our contrarian psyche is shifting to be slightly bullish at this time. We previously suggested our 1690-1735 Fibonacci objective on the Nasdaq 100 might take some time to be reached, but now that we are upon it, we still deem this area of the market as significant support.

The only other choice is that we experience a true crash here and now, and seasonally through history, real crashes don't tend to come in March/April. Instead, true crashes are usually late third quarter or fourth quarter events.

Our favored path therefore is a trading rally to be in the cards between now and June. The fact that popular media has suddenly awoken about the Nasdaq being down 65% fuels our contrarian ways. The only thing missing perhaps is a good fundamental underpinning and a trigger to stop the blood-letting.

Perhaps Mr. Bush's proposed tax cut might provide the fundamental excuse for a rally if it starts to gain added votes in the Senate, and as for the trigger, we all know that Mr. Greenspan is at heart a wimp on interest rates whenever the market comes under a bit of duress.


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It also may be of interest to some as well that because so much time (and thus timeliness) has now transpired, we recently released three of our 2000 subscriber-only articles. These now appear under the public Earlier Articles section of the website. Perusing through them may give one a sense of the added premium level of analysis we provide to subscribers.

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