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  • ETF Tracker Newsletter For March 27, 2020

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    [Chart courtesy of]

    1. Moving the markets

    After trying to dig themselves out of an early hole, the major indexes dove into the close and just about touched the lows of the day again, caused by the Fed’s announcement that it will reduce Treasury QE from $75 billion to $60 billion per day, thereby removing the much wanted “unlimited QE” from their vocabulary.

    Despite today’s set back, the S&P 500 managed a gain of some 10% for the week with some pundits claiming this rebound to be the end of the bear market.

    As I posted before, markets don’t work that way, since it is a normal occurrence in bearish periods to the see reversals of a magnitude, you’ll never experience in bull markets.

    What we witnessed this week, also serves as a great answer to those who question why I don’t immediately go short after a trend line break to the downside. It’s too early for that kind of action due to the ever-present volatility. The idea of nibbling at short positions comes more into play, once a slow, steady and continued downward trend has been established.

    Despite Trump being scheduled to sign the government stimulus plan after the close, it was not enough of an event to keep the bullish theme alive. I expected a pullback into the weekend. After all, there could be a host of new and negative developments, not just related to the virus but also to the crisis in the LIBOR market, that nobody with a clear-thinking mind would want to be caught with long positions.

    So, was this a sucker’s rally? While that is too early to tell, I must agree with JC Parets at AllStarCharts, who summed it up like this:

    “I think you have to be a fool to actually think that the stock market moving an arbitrary 20% in either direction means anything to anyone anywhere in the world.”

    Yes, it will take a lot more than a 3-day 20% rebound of the temporary bottom, after the massive fall we’ve seen, to establish a new bullish trend, like broad participation and a host of moves of less than 1% per day.

    So far, the comparison to the events of 1929/30 are on target, as Bloomberg shows in this updated chart. It’s important to note that every drop was followed by a dead-cat-bounce, until the final low occurred some 2.5 years later.

    I for one am curious to see if history repeats itself.