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A Three-Month Rally in Stocks Starts Now

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Friday, July 9, 2010

Ninety-eight percent of the time, when we've been in this situation, stocks end up higher three months later.
By "this situation" I mean when investor pessimism is high...
When pessimism is high, it's time to buy.
Right now, only 21% of individual investors are bullish on stocks, according to the latest weekly survey by the American Association of Individual Investors. That's "one of the lowest readings in the last 15 years," says my friend Jason Goepfert, who tracks these things at his website: SentimenTrader.
According to Jason, stocks were up an average 8.5% three months after hitting bullish readings of 21% or lower. That's data going back to 2003. Going back to 1987, this indicator has been at 21% or below just 47 times. And 46 out of 47 times (98% of the time), stocks were higher three months later.
When you combine that pessimism with Wednesday's 3% "up" move, you've got a recipe for a big rally. Jason said, "When we get a buying surge like yesterday, coming off a multi-month low, it has usually led to dramatic gains long term."
I know many readers will disagree with me about the possibility of a three-month rally. But I've found the more disagreement I get about an idea, the more money it usually makes me...
For example, I first started recommending gold coins back in 2003. Subscribers howled – and those were the nice ones! The rest canceled their subscriptions. Even my parents and in-laws didn't buy gold when I recommended it back then. Heck, if they didn't believe in me, who did?
But all that disagreement gave me more conviction that we had room for hundreds of percent gains. Gold is up from about $350 then to $1,200 today.
Today nobody believes stocks can rise. Everyone thinks the world is coming to an end. It's plastered all over the news. A double-dip recession... the national debt... you know the story. But you've got to understand most of that is already "baked in."
I try to ignore all the noise and look to my core investing principles: cheap, hated, and an uptrend – that's what I look for.
On those principles, we're looking good...
Stocks are a great value right now, particularly in relation to interest rates. Your money earns nothing in the bank, but you get paid a 5% dividend to own stocks like Pfizer.
Pfizer, for just one example, trades at a forward P/E ratio of 6.5. What that means is, if you bought that business privately, the earnings of the business would pay off your entire investment in 6.5 years – and all the rest of your earnings out to infinity would be "free."
That is crazy. You never get buys like that. And drug stocks like Pfizer aren't the only cheap sector... Big banks (like Citigroup and Bank of America) trade at single-digit forward P/Es. And so do big oil companies (like Exxon and Chevron).
My point is, many blue-chip stocks are super cheap. Based on the latest poll of individual investors, stocks are hated now. And with Wednesday's 3% move, it could be the start of the uptrend – the start of "dramatic gains" as Jason Goepfert described it.
I hope the crowd disagrees with me on this... But you should believe there's a great chance a three-month rally in stocks starts right now.
Good investing,

Further Reading:

If you doubt Sjug's timing, don't. His "sentiment guru," Jason Goepfert, called for a big rally in stocks just days after the March 2009 bottom. And Steve used Jason's research to call for a drop just days before the market peaked in April 2010.
If you're looking for more "big picture" predictions for the market, check out this recent essay from Steve: Five-Year Outlook in Stocks: You'll Lose Money.

Market Notes


For another picture of the big "Asia up, the West not so much" trend you need to watch for the next 20 years, we look at Malaysia...
Like Singapore, Malaysia sits in the crossroads of Asian trade. The giant markets of Australia, India, and China are all a short distance away. But unlike Singapore, Malaysia is not a global financial hub. Malaysia is a major producer of natural gas, timber, palm oil, cocoa, and rubber. Manufacturing and tourism are also big drivers there.
Look at the stock chart of Germany, France, Spain, the U.S., England, or Italy and you'll see a bearish series of "lower highs and lower lows." As we saw yesterday, that's not the case with Singapore... and it's not the case with Malaysia...
Below is the past 18 months of price action in the major Malaysian investment fund (EWM). While stocks in the West are taking a beating, this fund is enjoying a bullish series of "higher highs and higher lows" and sits near a yearly high. This is more confirmation that the bloated, socialistic welfare states of the West are losing ground to the hard-working, "can do" savers of the East... a heck of a change from 50 years ago.

Malaysia: another Asian market holding steady

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