What a difference a year makes…

Last year at this time stocks were in a free-fall. At one point in August of 2011, the top four indicies were all down well over 10% on the month. Fast forward to this year and so far in August the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) is up 1.53%, the Nasdaq (chart) +2.77%, the S&P 500 (chart) +1.92% and the Russell 2000 (chart) +1.85%. It is very unusual for the markets to be posting gains in the dog days of summer. This is especially true when earnings reporting season has been less than stellar. Add into the mix a continuing flow of disappointing economic reports from around the world, and one would think we would be down 10% on the month!

So what gives? Call it an election year, call it the global flow of liquidity, call it what you want, but I am going to refer to the old adage on Wall street and that is “you can’t fight the tape!” This means when markets are trending lower or higher in this case, it’s best to go with the flow rather than try to pick the top to sell or sell short. However, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that we are at multi-month highs considering the global-macro picture. One thing is for sure, and that is stocks or indexes can remain overbought for extended periods of time regardless of the circumstances. Next week we will take a look at how the technicals are playing out in the markets to see if there is anything from a technical perspective that we should be paying attention to. Good luck to all.

Have a great weekend 🙂