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Dangerous signal in the S&P 500 & other equity indices

by Ashraf Laidi

The following sobering analysis on the S&P500 reinforces our expectations that recent record highs in US equity indices will not be revisited before at least six weeks.

A decline of at least 10% is expected to follow.

- Last week’s 3.6% decline in the S&P500 single-handedly erased all of the prior seven weeks’ consecutive gains.

The last time the S&P500 erased at least three weeks’ of consecutive gains was the week after the October 2007 record. Stocks fell more than 50% thereafter and took six years to regain that high.

- And for an unprecedented finding, last week’s S&P5 500 decline took place after SEVEN weekly consecutive gains, which had NEVER been seen before in the index.

Seven consecutive weekly gains have occurred in the past (Aug-Jul 1989, Aug-Sep 1993, Apr-May 1997, Feb-Mar 1998, Dec 2003-Jan 2004, Apr-May 2007, Mar-Apr 2009, Dec 2010-Jan 2011, Jan-Feb 2013), but never in any of those cases has the streak-breaking week fallen by more than 2.0%.

The fact that the magnitude of last week’s declines was nearly 4.0%, following as many as seven rising weeks, shows an unprecedented departure in sentiment from greed to fear.

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