Two great Wall Street gurus, Elaine Garzarelli who manages multimillions of investors' dollars and George Soros, king of the hedge funds, each have a different take on the future.
Elaine thinks the Dow Jones Industrials will be at 12,000 to 12,500 by the end of the year. Big George says we are in a bear market and must be very careful where to invest money right now. Another pundit I saw on CNBC whose name I can't remember made a very good case for a trading range for the next several months.
Let's examine the psychology of the majority of investors at this moment in time. Almost every one of them has been beaten with a large stick and big paper profits have been taken from their wallets. They haven't really lost anything, but their enthusiasm for putting more money into the market has been greatly diminished. Most of the financial columnists and talking heads are saying this is a time for caution. The old "buy the break" conventional wisdom seems to have disappeared. How is this going to affect the entire market?
It takes more buyers than sellers to put the market up. That takes conviction and enthusiasm, both of which seem to be lacking. Until the little investor gets back his confidence it makes sense that this market has more chance of going sideways than of making any new contract highs.
There is so much bearish sentiment about what Mr. Greenspan is going to say next week that it may turn into a nonevent. In fact because of all this negative sentiment whatever he does may already be factored into the market. Even if it is a sharp interest rate increase the market may throw it off and move up much to everyone's surprise. A negative event followed by a market rise is quite bullish as we saw from the unemployment number on Friday. That 3.9% unemployment number should have made the market go down, but it went the other way. We could be in for a rally this week.
I believe that if a stock or mutual fund is not going up with a strong momentum you should not buy it. Right now almost all mutual funds are going sideways. There is plenty of time to get invested so the best thing to do is wait until a definite upward trend is established and then buy it.
Since none of the great market mavens can agree then who must you rely upon? You know. You must reply upon your own judgment. Not a broker, not a banker, not an economist, not the guy on CNBC. You. Your guess is just as good as anyone else. You.