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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dow Theory Bear Market Signal & Sentiment Readings-- Follow-Ups

In the Dec. 10 issue of Barron's, Richard Russell, the publisher of Dow Theory Letters, discounted the Dow's recent (at the time) ebullience as characteristic of every bear kickoff.

"Often, bear market rallies look better than the real thing," warns Russell. "But once the market tops out, it will continue down until it's severely undervalued again."

Even if one is skeptical of technical analysis, one reason to care about Dow Theory is that so many others do--especially institutional investors who leave a large wake..

MrKen notes that the rally from the late November lows has resulted in weakened sentiment readings. According to Investor's Intelligence, the latest sounding of advisory sentiment showed a marked increase in bullishness to 53.3%, from 49.4%, and a corresponding shrinkage in bearishness to 25.6%, from 27.6%--these are, of course, contrary indicators (curtesy of Alan Abelson's-"Up & Down Wall Street" column-Barron's,12/17/07). Similarly, the AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) Index is 47.6% Bullish & 35.7% Bearish, up sharply from readings 3 weeks ago of 28.6% Bullish & 56.1% Bearish (from Barron's 'Market Laboratory-Indicators, 12/17/07).

It would therefore seem that the technical underpinnings of the stock market for a sharp "Santa Claus" end-of-the-year rally are absent from the scene--despite reported heavy insider buying of retail & some financial issues.

Disclaimer: MrKen is NOT a registered Investment Advisor & NONE of the above should be taken as investment advice. It is the writer's Personal opinion ONLY, except where specific cites are given. MrKen has no market positions at the time of this post.

To view this week's Barron's for free, follow this link (MrKen has no connection to Barron's, except as a devoted reader for over 40 years):

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