Poll of the Week: Stock markets – which way José?

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Is it a bull market? Is it a bear market? Or is it some other stock market wiggle or waggle awaiting to be named after another of the veterans of Noah’s ark?

I recently borrowed the word “muddle through” from business partner John Mauldin (Thoughts from the Frontline) to describe what would otherwise have been called a sideways market. So many Johns, so many terms: John Hussmann (Hussman Funds) highlights a number of phrases currently been bandied about by pundits to describe the market outlook: “looking across the valley”, “last innings”, “glass is half full” and “the Fed is on top of this”. But, alas, these are often just guesses and mostly pretty useless in describing whether the stock market is going up, down or sideways.

It has become a national pastime to try to figure out where in the stock market cycle we are. Dear readers, this is where I am going to rely on your collective wisdom and ask you to express your opinion on the direction of the stock market. We will specifically focus on what is in store for the Dow Jones Industrial Index by considering two periods:

(1) from now until the close on June 30, 2008; and
(2) from now until the close on December, 31, 2008.

All you need to do is to think about this for a short while and provide your answers by clicking the appropriate button on each of the two poll images at the bottom of this post.

But let’s make the poll even more interesting and throw out a challenge to good friend Barry Ritholtz (
The Big Picture) and his cohorts: Barry, please set up identical polls on your blog site and let’s then measure whether, in the aggregate, The Big Picture fans or the Investment Postcards supporters rule the roost. There is $100 prize at stake in each of the two categories for the group (i.e. Big Picture or Investment Postcards) that nails the actual interval.

This prize money will be paid by Barry if the winner comes from the Investment Postcards team and by me, in the unlikely event of the Big Picture team claiming the spoils. The winning proceeds will be donated to a charity of the winner’s choice. (Individual side bets are totally in order, but please then let us know about these by posting the details in the comments section on the respective blog sites.)

STOP PRESS: Barry has accepted the challenge and will put the details on The Big Picture site early next week.

Please share your thoughts on the direction of the stock market with other readers by clicking the appropriate buttons in each of the two polls below (and then start rigging the markets to give the required result!).

The polls will run until 17:00 EST on Friday, May 2, 2008.

Opinion Polls & Market Research

Opinion Polls & Market Research

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8 comments to Poll of the Week: Stock markets – which way José?

  • Steve S

    I firmly believe that the market will move.

  • james whitehead

    good poll

  • Bob S.

    The flatness of the long term poll histogram sure indicates a real diversity of opinion.

  • Tommy

    It would be helpful to know the sample size of the poll. Even so, by the end of the year the trend appears definitely bearish.

    What other sources of financing are available so that US consumers keep spending?

    Since the US economy is so diversified will high commodity prices and exports (read Boeing´s, CAT´s results) pick up enough of the slack?

    Is the US economy so “globalized” that it adjusts remarkably quickly to otherwise deadly blows (subprime, credit crises)?

    Lots of questions….

    Thanks for the polls, monsieur.

  • Tommy: Once you have cast your vote, click on “Comment” at the bottom of the poll images. This will bring up a screen with a lot of detail, including the number of people that have voted (top right). It is 346 so far, but still growing rapidly.

  • Ralph Branca

    Your info over the past few months has been very helpful.
    I believe due to the liquidity problem and the current status of our financial system the market will see 10000 to 11250 by year end and waver between 10500 and 12000 thru at least June 2009. the interest earned rate to the mortgage rate has to get into balance and get back to a 5-6+/7-8 ratio before we can see a true economic recovery and a market reach new higs.

    Senior citizens need to earn 5-6 % with a inflation rate of 3-5 before they can start to contribute again to economic growth.

  • Jim Hancock

    Very interesting poll…
    – 6/30 There seems to be consensus that we stay roughly within the “channel” for two more months
    – 12/31 But there are two starkly different views about the end of the year. Either the bears or the bulls are going to be very disappointed!

    6/30 doesn’t surprise me much, but 12/31 does. I guess it’s the Kudlow versus Roubini effect …short and shallow (bull) versus deep and long (bear). It’s going to be a bloodbath when one side finally capitulates. 🙁

  • Rick

    The dollar and the US are in trouble. We use a quickly devaluing fiat currency, and the Government as well as US Corporations have to constantly cook the books to get their imaginary numbers and people believe them.

    I do not understand why people even look at things like the CPI or unemployment. They are false.

    I am dumbfounded that the market is where it is and the banks are not out of business, as many should be.

    I guess you see my take on the stock market.

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