Beware of the sucker's rally!

Do Financial Times

The granddaddy of all bear markets, 1929 –1932, had six false alarms with an average gain of 47 per cent. And Japan’s ongoing bear saw the Nikkei rise by at least a third four times in its first four years with 10 more false dawns since then.

Bear markets typically end with a whimper rather than a bang, casting doubt on the latest recovery according to Hussman Econometrics, which analysed numerous US market bottoms and bear market rallies. With the exception of the 1987 crash, the month before the lowest point of a downturn saw a gradual descent. By contrast, bear market rallies were preceded by steeper declines and had sharper rebounds. Another characteristic of bear market rallies has been modest volume on the rebound compared to the decline. The current recovery fits the pattern of bear market rallies in terms of volume and the “V” shape of the trough. Analysts at Bespoke Investment Group noted that there have been only seven other periods in the past 110 years with rallies of similar magnitude for the Dow. Three preceded the Great Depression, three came during the Depression and one in 1982.

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