Keep an eye on May stock market peaks, says Richard Russell

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Richard Russell, 88-year-old writer of the Dow Theory Letters, called a bear market for U.S. stocks a few months ago. An update on his latest thinking is reported below.

Question: Richard, everybody has emotions. So where are your emotions regarding this market? From an emotional standpoint, be honest, are you really bullish or bearish?

Answer: If the Averages confirm that this is truly a bear market, I’ll have mixed emotions. On the one hand I will have been proven right on my bear market call, and that will be a boost to my ego. But I can’t say I’d be happy we’re in a primary bear market.

But if the Averages close above their May peaks, and all my charts point to a bull market, I’ll have been proven wrong on my bear market call, and that will be a bruise to my ego.


Nevertheless, I’d much rather be living through a bull market than a bear market – a bull market would be far better for me and my kids and for my business. So call it strange, but from an emotional standpoint I’d prefer to have been wrong on my bear market call, and I’d prefer that we’re in a re-confirmed bull market.

Therefore, instead of confusing my subscribers with a lot of ego-boosting baloney, I’m just going to call this market the way I see it, being as honest and unemotional as I can possibly be.

If we are truly in a primary bear market, I have an intuition that it could turn out to be the worst bear market in history – and that’s another reason why I secretly hope I have been wrong on my bear market call.

Another intuition – we will know the final answer as to whether we’re in a bull or bear market by October.

[PduP: Yesterday’s closing levels of the benchmark U.S. indices were within reach of the May peaks: Dow Jones Industrial Average – 13,176 vs 13,279 and S&P 500 Index – 1,402 vs 1,419.]

Source: Dow Theory Letters, August 7, 2012.

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1 comment to Keep an eye on May stock market peaks, says Richard Russell

  • Greetings,

    Although Russell publishes a newsletter titled “Dow Theory Letters” the above commentary has little to do with Dow Theory. If the above commentary were related to Dow Theory then the reference to the May 2012 peak is only in relation to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow Jones Transportation Average has a July 2011 peak to exceed in order to confirm any exceeding of the May 2012 peak in the Industrials.

    To add fuel to the Dow Theory bearish case, when the Dow Jones Transportation Average exceeded the 2007/2008 highs on June 27, 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average did not confirm the move. This lack of confirmation to exceed the previous bull market peak suggests that while the Industrials could go much higher the Transports current divergence is a warning that the downside risks are high.


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