Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It So Rarely Pays to Act on Panic

During the recent market volatility, we've had a number of sudden, sharp runs both to the upside and downside. One of the things I've marveled at is how infrequently those who jumped aboard those sharp runs actually made money--whether they were bulls *or* bears. On a larger scale, we can see that those selling into the persistent bearishness noted earlier have also not fared well, as we've now retraced more than half the market's declines.

And to think it was just yesterday that we were wondering if Ben would be taking a helicopter over Wall St.! Meanwhile, the 10-year yield is up to 4.879 as I write, the Yen has broken to multiday lows, and the NYSE TICK distribution has been in monster positive territory. Indeed, traders seem positively giddy about owning stocks. And look at those "A" shares in China: they barely caught their breath during the market weakness before launching to new highs--even as inflation rumbles.

All's well with the financial world indeed. Which may be cause for concern.