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December 26, 2018

Wall Street Debates Wheter Bear Market to Continue in 2019


The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded last week its worst weekly performance in a decade, and the Christmas Eve trading session saw the worst-ever performance for the day. Will the sell-off carry over into 2019?  
BofA: 6 More Months Of Selling
Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief equity technical strategist Stephen Suttmeier told CNBC the S&P 500 charts point to another six months of selling. The index is flirting with the "massive support" level between 2,500 and 2,600, and if it dips below the index could fall to the mid-2,300 level over the next few months. (Note: The S&P 500 closed at 2,351.10 on Monday.) 
"We do think the equity markets are set up to continue this cyclical bear market or bear market, just call it what it is — and correct further, a deeper retracement." 
A near-term move lower of 20 percent in no way implies an end to the bull market, Suttmeier said. The secular bull market is alive and well, and a sell-off is consistent with what's been seen throughout history, he said. 
"You have periods where you trade in ranges," he said. "You have periods like the '80s, like the '60s and '70s and the Great Depression era. You also have periods where you are trending up like the 1950 to 1966 time frame — and 1980 to 2000. We think we're in another one of those phases."
Related Link: Holiday Cheer Hard To Find Following Wall Street's Worst Week In A Decade
KKM Financial: This Isn't 2008
Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial told CNBC early Monday that Mnuchin's phone calls with six bank executives was "not taken in the best way" by investors. But the calls could also be seen as a sign of support from the U.S. government at a time of "absolute carnage" in the overall market, he said. 
Comparisons to the 2008 market are inaccurate, as earnings today remain strong and rates remain low from a historical perspective, he said.
"Stocks are on sale," Kilburg said. "Don't be afraid. I think this is a great time to allocate."
CCB International: The Worst Is Yet To Come
The worst for markets is ahead, as there aren't "too many positives out there" to warrant upside, Mark Jolley, global strategist at CCB International Securities, told CNBC Monday. The Federal Reserve's openness to raising rates in 2019 will make it incrementally difficult for companies to service their debt and will be followed by defaults or rating downgrades, he said. 
Debt concerns will "further weigh on equity markets," which in turn will "definitely weigh on high-growth sectors," Jolley said. 
AA Deans Advisory Puts Mnuchin's Actions In Perspective
Mnuchin's calls to bank CEOs and comments on liquidity are consistent with the Trump administration's "unconventional approaches," Alison Deans, founder of AA Deans Advisory, told CNBC Monday. Mnuchin has a background in the investment banking side of the financial market, so he may not be "quite as knowledgeable on this front of the market," she said. 
"We would have heard rumblings [of liquidity issues] before the administration would have heard it." 
© 2018 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.  
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