Customer Service 1 (888) 261-2693
Please enter Search keyword. Advanced Search

The Recession Has Bottomed

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Friday, January 16, 2009

I know it's bad out there...

But you must remember, this recession WILL end. 

Chances are excellent we're more than halfway through. You have to go back to the early 1930s (the Great Depression) to find a recession that lasted 
longer than 16 months.


Since this recession started in late 2007, it will undoubtedly be the longest since the Great Depression. But as I'll show today, I believe the recession has already hit bottom and could end before the end of this year.

Stock prices typically bottom out in the middle of recessions. This is because stock prices "look ahead." They "see" recovery before recovery actually arrives.

Consumers don't look ahead like this... They are interested in their present situation, which is not good. So while stock prices can bottom in the middle of recessions, consumer confidence typically bottoms at the end of recessions. People don't see things getting less bad... It's a "darkest-before-the-dawn" type thing.

It helps to see what I'm talking about. So take a look at this chart, which shows how the stock market behaves during recessions (the shaded blue periods)...

The Stock Market Usually Bottoms in the Middle of a Recession
Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Portfolio

If you focus on the two longest recessions (1973-75 and 1981-82), you can see stocks bottomed in the mid-to-late innings of those two major recessions.

Now take a look at consumer confidence...

Consumer Confidence Usually Bottoms Late in a Recession
Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Portfolio

Again, focus on the last two "real" recessions... around '74 and '82. You can see consumer confidence bottomed just about at the end of those recessions. Today, consumer confidence sits at a record low – lower than in the 193-75 recession, which was the worst recession of our time.

These two things – the stock market and consumer confidence – paint a simple picture.

If the November stock-market bottomholds, and the record low in consumer confidence holds, we may be closer to the end of this recession than just about anyone thinks. It's too early to know for sure, but these factors suggest the recession may have bottomed, and things are already getting "less bad."

I believe and hope that's true. If I'm right, you should make a pile of money investing in both stocks and bonds in 2009.

Good investing,


P.S. If stocks fall below that November low, and consumer confidence keeps falling to even lower record lows, then we're not done yet. Either way, I'll keep you updated.

Market Notes


One more line in the sand this week... one we're close to crossing... one even more serious than $1.30 copper.

Today's "line" is the $34 level for the iShares U.S. Financial Fund (IYF). With over $500 million in assets, it's one of the largest and most liquid ways to make a broad bet on the financial industry.

We featured a chart of the IYF back in November 2007. Financials had just shattered a four-year uptrend. The mortgage mess was hitting the papers. We took a line from Dennis Gartman and claimed "more cockroaches would crawl out" of the financial sector. Crawl out they did... and the IYF was clobbered from $110 to $35 in just over a year.

The IYF carries large weightings in JPMorgan, Visa, Citibank, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and American Express. These companies live and die along with the public's ability to earn money, invest money, launch businesses, and generally just "get along." This fund hit a panic low of $34 a share on November 20. If IYF shatters this level and these stocks make another leg down, it's a huge red flag America isn't
getting along at all. IYF, we're pulling for you.

Recent Articles