Secondary or Cyclical Bull Market? Part II

From Investment Postcards from Cape Town, some related analysis to the Ned Davis article I posted earlier on whether we are in a cyclical or secular bull market:

Ever since Richard Russell (Dow Theory Letters) called a “Dow Theory bull signal” last Thursday, the debate has been rekindled as to whether the US stock markets are experiencing a primary (secular) bull market or a rally within a primary bear market, i.e. a secondary or so-called cyclical bull phase.

As mentioned previously, Russell views the March 9 low as a secondary low, saying: “We are now in a cyclical bull market as opposed to a secular or primary bull market. In effect, we’re in an extended bear market rally. The true bear market bottom lies somewhere ahead.”

Irrespective of terminology, 64% of the readers of the Investment Postcards blog see the current phase as one characterized by “irrational exuberance”, as gleaned from a quick poll a few days ago.

As always, there are various signals pointing in different directions. The 200-day moving average of the S&P 500 Index just three days ago turned up for the first time since January 2008, after having been breached upwards by the Index in early June. The 200-day line is generally seen as a key indicator distinguishing between a primary bull and bear market.

Also, when considering monthly data, three momentum-type oscillators (RSI, MACD and ROC) are reversing course for the first time since the sell signals of 2007 and now either indicate buy signals (or are getting close to a signal in the case of MACD).

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