Hitting a ‘Low’ Point – RealMoney

The best illustration of how poorly this market is acting is the fact that over 3,000 stocks hit new 12-month lows today. There are around 8,500 stocks listed, which means that about 35% of stocks are now at their lowest point in a year.

In addition, 66% of all stocks are down more than 20% from their highs, which is the technical definition of a bear market. Unfortunately, neither the S&P 500 nor the Dow Jones has reached the 20% threshold, so the folks in the media still aren’t calling this a bear market despite the horrible action.

What was most notable about the action Monday, other than the very big point loss and seven to one negative breadth, was the inability to bounce, despite very oversold readings. There were a couple of brief attempts to turn back up, but they were swamped by sellers, and the indexes closed near the lows of the day.

The Nasdaq is down about 25% so far this year, which is the worst start on record, according to Bespoke. The next closest was way back in 1973, when the Nasdaq was down 17.2% at this point.

There is an endless number of statistics that illustrate how bad this market is acting right now, but that doesn’t do us much good as far as determining how much longer it will last. This is extreme action, and it is now so stretched to the downside that some sort of oversold bounce should occur, but the selling momentum is so strong that there is no way to expect a solid bottom to form for a while.

My mantra right now is to stay patient and wait for better price action before putting money to work. Trying to predict when the market will hit a low isn’t a game that you want to play.

Have a good evening. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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