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Is This Why Stocks Closed Not "Off The Lows"?

1. October 16: "Buyers beware, the bear market has begun":

The selloff in global markets is set to continue as a bear market takes hold "for a long period of time," according to widely followed investor Dennis Gartman, who warned investors not to go long on stocks.

 

"This is the start of a bear market," Gartman, the founder of the closely watched Gartman Letter, told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. "You stay in cash and you stay in short term bonds and you don't move out, this is a very difficult period of time and I'm afraid - and

 

I don't like to think about it – but this might be the very beginnings of a bear market that could last some period of time," he warned.

2. October 21: "Failure here suggest that a fully-fledged bear market has begun"(sic)

As noted in the chart of the S&P at the upper left of p.1 this morning we were swiftly approaching the bottom of “The Box” that marks the 50-62% retracement of the recent sharp decline from the interim highs forged earlier this month. Given the manner in which stock index futures are trading rather briskly lower this morning as we write, it does not appear that we shall see the S&P futures trade into “The Box,” and that makes us all the more suspicious of share prices generally, for a market than cannot even retrace 50-62% of its previous weakness is a market that is weaker, internally, than it might at first appear. Worse, failure here suggest that a fully-fledged bear market has begun, for this would be a clear failure well below the highs of the last interim rally, with the lows of the last interim break having already been taken out to the downside.

3. October 22: Bear market called off

... in retrospect, having gone effectively to the sidelines two weeks we should have embraced last week’s weakness enthusiastically; we should have considered ourselves fortunate to have decided stand down from our modestly bullish perspective and we should have “margined up” as everyone else was being forced to “margin down;” however, we are not that wise nor are we that lucky… nor shall we ever be. We play the “Great Game” as we have been taught and as we have learned, being reticent about following inordinate strength and/or inordinate weakness; holding as best we can to major trends and always remembering that in a bull market… and this does still remain a global bull market… there are but three positions one may have:  Aggressively long of equities; “pleasantly” long of equities, and neutral of them.

And in chart format:

Finally, in virtual money world, being "market neutral" also means being long beta: "For those who care, for the year-to-date in our retirement funds we are up 8.4%, having gained 0.6% yesterday, even as we were… and still are… effectively market neutral."

Win win for everyone, but most of all: comedy.