If you remember, Doug Kass was within a few days of calling the bottom in March. He is now out calling the top. I tend to agree with him but would be careful with the end of the month portfolio buying, ISM numbers that should be really good next week, and retail sales which are going to be all convoluted because of cash for clunkers. I still think we find our top, if we haven't found it, by the end of September. The top may very well be in. Personally I would prefer Doug Kass to be as accurate in timing as he was with the bottom.
It was at this point in time, on RealMoney Silver, in an appearance on CNBC's "Fast Money," on "Mad Money" and in multiple appearances on "The Kudlow Report," I confidently forecast the likelihood that a generational low had been reached.
I went on to audaciously predict that the S&P would rise to 1,050, a gain of nearly 400 points from the S&P low of 666 during the first week of March, by late summer/early fall. I even sketched a precision-like SPDRs (SPY Quote) expectation chart that would reach approximately the 105 level (a 1,050 S&P equivalent) within about six months.
Yesterday the SPDRs peaked at 104.20, within spitting range of my intrepid March forecast of 105, and the S&P nearly touched 1040 in Tuesday's early morning trading.
As if the movie is now being shown in reverse, the bull is persistent, stock corrections are remarkably shallow, cash reserves at mutual funds have been depleted, and hedge funds hold their highest net long positions in many moons.
A double-dip outcome in 2010 represents my baseline expectation. When the stimulus provided by the public sector is finally abandoned, it seems unlikely to be replaced by meaningful strength or participation by any specific component of the private sector, and the burgeoning deficit (described above) will ultimately require a reversal of policy, leading to higher interest rates, rising marginal tax rates and a lower U.S. dollar. My forecast assumes that the market's focus will shortly shift from the productivity gains that have been yielding better-than-expected bottom-line results toward these chronic and secular worries.
Stocks bottom during times of fear. With the benefit of hindsight, the March 2009 lows represented a dramatic overshoot to the downside. Markets top during times of enthusiasm. I believe that the markets are now overshooting to the upside and that the U.S. stock market has likely peaked for the year.