While the primary trend - months to years --for the S&P 500 is still decidedly higher, the secondary trend -weeks to months - is lower. That secondary trend however could change in a hurry if the 25-year seasonal for this index holds up - see chart below.
The 25-year horizon for stocks is a reliable one according to IBTRADE strategist Jay Norris, because it was in the mid-80's when 401K's with firm matched contributions kicked in, which changed the dynamic of investing and speculating because it insured a more regular cash flow on the buy-side.
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It was in fact the mid-eighties when stock market corrections, or secondary moves tended to be more short-lived, albeit more violent -- which is another story. Should the 25-year old bullish seasonal coming out of October hold up it could spell another leg higher into the New Year. According to Mr. Norris, When you talk to experienced investors there is certainly no shortage of cash waiting to go into the market... It's just they'd rather see one more dip to buy into, rather than have to buy an upside break-out. What investors want and what actually occurs though, are often two different things.
Judging from the amount of bad press about the global economy for two of its biggest drivers, the U.S. and Europe, a bet on a stock market recovery would appear to be a contrarian play.