Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dow Theory: "The Primary Trend is Down"

Richard Russell is a legend in the markets. When he talks people tend to listen and with good reason. His current views as expressed in "Let the Bear Market do its Work":

“People in this country don’t realize how bad things can be,” said Richard Russell on Saturday night.

“I lived through the Great Depression. I remember people standing in bread lines. It was hard to get a job, any job, back then. But now, you see the restaurants are still full. People are still spending money. They may be worried and they may be beginning to save, but there’s no sense of urgency. And there’s a rally on Wall Street. You know, every bear market produces a rally. You can expect the market to retrace its steps by one- to two-thirds.

“And every bear market has a surprise. I think the surprise is that this is going to be a lot worse than people expect.”

Richard Russell is 84. He’s been writing his investment newsletter, Dow Theory Letters, for 50 years. This weekend a group of his admirers, including your editor, came together to say thanks.

There are a lot of people with opinions on the economy and the stock market. You can hardly turn on your computer without getting dozens of them. But there are not many opinions with the depth of experience and knowledge behind them as those of Richard Russell. He’s been studying “the language of the markets” for more than half a century. Though no one ever fully masters the language of the market, Richard can at least carry on a conversation with it.

The primary trend is down,” says he. In the end, he continues, no matter what Obama and Bernanke do, the primary trend will have its way. The bear market will continue until it “has fully expressed itself.”

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