By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Dow skyrockets near 20,000 by 2014? In two years? Then crashes near 10,000 by 2016 presidential elections? Possible? You bet. Déjà vu 2007-2008.
So what’s your biggest risk as an investor? Listening and acting on the relentless manipulative B.S. from Wall Street’s media bulls in the next few years.
This scenario could play out: The Dow industrial could hit 20,000 by 2014 and then crash to 10,000 within two years.
Last week USA Today suggested the stock market will soon set a new record high, “How high? How about an all-time high in six months, 16% higher in 12 months, almost 40% higher two years from now.” Yes, 40% said one bullish technician with a mega-bullhorn sounding the rally call for all bulls: “Now is the time to finally break out” of today’s secular bear market.
New secular bull market driving stocks up 40% in just two years, by 2014? Yes, halfway through the next presidential term the DJIA would have to rocket past the 2007 peak of 14,164 to a record close just under 20,000, ignoring GOP leaders warnings that gridlock of all tax, jobs and economic programs will continue if Obama is reelected.
Now compare that with my recent report that says the Dow would drop 20% by 2016, down near 10,000. But it’s not really an impossible scenario: The U.S. stock market could rise near 20,000 in the first two years of the next presidential term. Then by 2014, a global crisis could sink the Dow to 10,000 by the 2016 presidential elections, like 2008.
Wall Street never learned lessons of 2008, so we’re doomed to repeat
Repeating? Yes. Here’s why today’s stock market parallels the 2007-2008 run-up to Wall Street’s disastrous subprime credit meltdown. Remember, the Dow hit 14,164 in October 2007. Then lost more than 50% of market value, crashing to around 6,600 in March 2009. Get it? Lots can happen in two years. And unfortunately technicians can’t fit this kind of macro-volatility into their myopic equations.
How do I know? Earlier when I was publishing my own financial newsletter I developed a healthy skepticism of predictions made by technicians. One day with a commodities trader, after watching his two-minute ticker moves, I asked him about predicting the market two weeks down the road: No can do. Besides, they don’t want to. Like today’s high-frequency traders, they think short-term, in minutes, micro-seconds, not weeks.
Besides, too many variables. It’s tough enough just focusing on short-term technical numbers. In the process, they have to minimize other key analytical tools — fundamental analysis, MPT and macroeconomic trends — and speculate on Fed policies, fiscal cliffs, internecine partisan political wars, jobs, terrorist attacks, China’s exports, and so many other technically less-quantifiable big-picture factors for long-term predictions.
Warning: 93% of Wall Street’s message intentionally misleading B.S.
So if you remember nothing else today, here’s your big take-away: You can never trust Wall Street bulls, they’re lying to you 93% of the time. Studies tell us analysts signal “buys” vastly more than “sells.” And behavioral-science research tells us that bankers, traders and other market insiders are misleading us, manipulating us 93% of the time in their securities reports, PR, ads, speeches, sales material, in their predictions on television, cable shows and when quoted in newspapers and magazines.
Get it? It’s 13-times more likely that Wall Street’s telling you a lie than the truth. Yes, they’re manipulating you 93% of the time. They know your brain’s easy to manipulate. That’s just what they do. They can’t help themselves in today’s highly competitive world. And they’ll never change. So they always win, you always lose.
17 stupid statements bulls make to deny a bear recession
You have to “tune your B.S. detector to high,” as the great financial adviser Jane Bryant Quinn says in her classic “Making the Most Out of Your Money.” Quinn’s warning was reinforced with the publication of “Bull! 144 Stupid Statements from the Market’s Fallen Prophets,” which hit the book stores near the end of the 30-month recession a decade ago, after $8 trillion of the retirement money for 95 million Americans was wiped out.
We picked 17 of the stupidest statements made by Wall Street’s leading minds to illustrate their tendency 93% of the time to mislead and manipulate investors using hype, happy talk and pure biased B.S.
Warning to investors: It will happen again, in 2013. Why? This time is never different: It repeats every market cycle, never stops:
March 1999: Harry S. Dent, author of “The Roaring 2000s.” “There has been a paradigm shift.” The New Economy arrived, this time really is different.
October 1999: James Glassman, author, “Dow 36,000.” “What is dangerous is for Americans not to be in the market. We’re going to reach a point where stocks are correctly priced … it’s not a bubble … The stock market is undervalued.”
August 1999: Charles Kadlec, author, “Dow 100,000.” “The DJIA will reach 100,000 in 2020 after “two decades of above-average economic growth with price stability.”
December 1999: Joseph Battipaglia, market analyst. “Some fear a burst Internet bubble, but our analysis shows that Internet companies … carry expected long-term growth rates twice other rapidly growing segments within tech.”
December 1999: Larry Wachtel, Prudential. “Most of these stocks are reasonably priced. There’s no reason for them to correct violently in the year 2000.” Nasdaq lost over 50%.
December 1999: Ralph Acampora, Prudential Securities. “I’m not saying this is a straight line up. … I’m saying any kind of declines, buy them!”
February 2000: Larry Kudlow, CNBC host. “This correction will run its course until the middle of the year. Then things will pick up again, because not even Greenspan can stop the Internet economy.” He’s still hosting his own cable show.
April 2000: Myron Kandel, CNN. “The bottom line is in, before the end of the year, the Nasdaq and Dow will be at new record highs.”
September 2000: Jim Cramer, host of “Mad Money.” Sun Microsystems “has the best near-term outlook of any company I know.” It fell from $60 to below $3 in two years.
November 2000: Louis Rukeyser on CNN. “Over the next year or two the market will be higher, and I know over the next five to 10 years it will be higher.”
December 2000: Jeffrey Applegate, Lehman strategist. “The bulk of the correction is behind us, so now is the time to be offensive, not defensive.” Another sucker’s rally.
December 2000: Alan Greenspan. “The three- to five-year earnings projections of more than a thousand analysts … have generally held firm. Such expectations, should they persist, bode well for continued capital deepening and sustained growth.”
January 2001: Suze Orman, financial guru. “The QQQ, they’re a buy. They may go down, but if you dollar-cost average, where you put money every single month into them, I think, in the long run, it’s the way to play the Nasdaq.” The QQQ fell 60% further.
March 2001: Maria Bartiromo, CNBC anchor. “The individual out there is actually not throwing money at things that they do not understand, and is actually using the news and using the information out there to make smart decisions.”
April 2001: Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs. “The time to be nervous was a year ago. The S&P was overvalued, it’s now undervalued.” Markets fell 18 more months.
August 2001: Lou Dobbs, CNN. “Let me make it very clear. I’m a bull, on the market, on the economy. And let me repeat, I am a bull.”
June 2002: Larry Kudlow, CNBC host. “The shock therapy of a decisive war will elevate the stock market by a couple thousand points.” He also predicted the Dow would hit 35,000 by 2010.
The Dow didn’t bottom until October 2002 at 7,286, down from 11,722. The Iraq War started in April 2003. Soon after, Enron, Spitzer and Sarbanes-Oxley were distracting us from all the insanity of the 2000 crash, the bear market and the 2000-2002 recession.
Warning: In the next four years — no matter who’s president — Wall Street will keep repeating the B.S., piling it on thicker, deeper, until they finally trigger a new meltdown bigger than 2008, worse than 1929, driving America into another Great Depression, like the 1930s.