Stock Market Lesson 5082

The ABS reported that during February, the Australian economy created 71,500 jobs. 17,800 of those jobs were full-time, with the rest being part-time.

It was a massive number and well-above estimates of an 8,000 job gain. However you should take it with a grain of salt. To understand why, read this. It has to do with the sampling methods undertaken by the ABS.

In other words, the jobs growth figure for February was vastly overstated. But the market saw the headline number yesterday and panicked. It equated stronger-than-expected employment growth with potential interest rate rises. That means the whole search for yield thing that has being going on for the past few months was suddenly brought into question.

Which is why the banks suffered a rare sell-off yesterday. The threat of rising interest rates is like kryptonite to a sector that benefits from everyone thinking its dividend yield is the equivalent to the risk free rate. It’s not. And when the stock market is good and ready to hand out a lesson, that reality will prove painfully obvious.

But the market doesn’t appear good and ready to do anything yet other than offer the promise of reward for no risk. After yesterday’s nervous wobble, it’s trying to regain ground today.

We asked Murray Dawes what he made of today’s rebound. He reckons the ASX200 is trading right around a critical juncture. In short, it’s right on the 10-day moving average (the beige line in the chart below) which is 5,082 points.

Keep an Eye on 5,082


A close below that level today means you should expect further falls next week. If the index manages to close above 5,082, we could have another short term move higher.

It’s high tension out there for the traders. Over in the US, the Dow just experienced its 10th consecutive daily rise, a record not bettered since 1996. Can it keep going, or is the elastic band fully stretched?

It seems to us like a pullback is due. At the very least, a correction of 5-10% seems like a given. But maybe the market is not yet done sucking investors in. Maybe we get another leg up, another new high and more optimism about new bull markets.

Maybe then the stock market will start its lesson in earnest.

Greg Canavan
for Markets and Money

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Greg Canavan is a Contributing Editor at Markets & Money and Head of Research at Port Phillip Publishing. He advocates a counter-intuitive investment philosophy based on the old adage that ‘ignorance is bliss’. Greg says that investing in the ‘Information Age’ means you now have all the information you need. But is it really useful? Much of it is noise, and serves to confuse rather than inform investors. And, through the process of confirmation bias, you tend to sift the information that you agree with. As a result, you reinforce your biases. This gives you the impression that you know what is going on. But really, you don’t know. No one does. The world is far too complex to understand. When you accept this, your newfound ignorance becomes a formidable investment weapon. That’s because you’re not a slave to your emotions and biases. Greg puts this philosophy into action as the Editor of Crisis & Opportunity. He sees opportunities in crises. To find the opportunities, he uses a process called the ‘Fusion Method’, which combines charting analysis with more conventional valuation analysis. Charting is important because it contains no opinions or emotions. Combine that with traditional stock analysis, and you have a robust stock selection strategy. With Greg’s help, you can implement a long-term wealth-building strategy into your financial planning, be better prepared for the financial challenges ahead, and stop making the same mistakes that most private investors do every time they buy a stock. To find out more about Greg’s investing style and his financial worldview, take out a free subscription to Markets & Money here. And to discover more about Greg’s ‘ignorance is bliss’ investment strategy and the Fusion Method of investing, take out a 30-day trial to his value investing service Crisis & Opportunity here. Official websites and financial e-letters Greg writes for:

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