In the February 11, 2011 post (“Stock Market Comment“) I mentioned, among other comments, that I believed the stock market, as a whole, is currently a bubble.
I would like to elaborate upon my reasoning for such, especially since it is a view (admittedly) held by very few. What makes this stock market bubble particularly insidious is that by many outward appearances it doesn’t appear to be a bubble. The most deadly bubbles are ones that don’t obviously appear as such.
I believe that the subject of bubbles, and determination of such, is a very complex, yet critically important subject. As such, I have written extensively about them in the context of our present economic situation and their impact on future economic prosperity.
Perhaps adding to this complexity is that there really isn’t a concrete definition of what constitutes an asset bubble (or “speculative bubble”).
For many of these reasons, “spotting” and identifying bubbles – especially while they are “in the making” – can prove difficult. As I commented in my post of December 2, 2009:
“Some bubbles are harder to spot than others. Bubbles, almost by definition, include irrational behavior, and therefore can be hard to predict both in their formation as well as their ultimate size. There are many factors that can come into play in order to cause bubbles.”
I view the process of identification of bubbles into two components; fundamental analysis and technical analysis. The fundamental case that the stock market is a bubble ranges from relatively simple to vastly complex; as such, I will (at least for now) primarily focus on some of the technical analysis (and other price movement) issues that are of a more straightforward nature.
In my next post I will elaborate upon these factors…
A Special Note concerning our economic situation is found here
SPX at 1328.68 as this post is written