My Crystal Ball

From a post at my old blog, dated January 16, 2008:

On November 14, 2007, I wrote:

Is it possible that the current bull market reached a temporary peak in May of this year, and is now descending toward a secondary bottom that it will not reach for a few years?

This was my tentative answer, then:

A reversal that lasts a year or two seems entirely possible to me.

My less tentative answer, now, is that the stock market (as measured by the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite Index) has crossed into “bear country.” That is, it has met the two conditions which indicate a “correction” or bear market that will last for months or years:

  • the index has dropped below its 250-trading-day average, and
  • the 250-day average is moving downward (if imperceptibly)….

P.S. [added March 12, 2008] By my reckoning, every downturn in the 250-day average since 1970 has signaled every recession since 1970.

It’s been obvious for months that we’re in a bear market. It’s now also obvious (to the National Bureau of Economic Research) that we’re in a recession and have been since January of this year (a “peak” in economic activity having occurred in December 2007).