Now that the S&P 500 has had all of a 3.4% correction, rationalizations for dip buying are coming out of the woodwork. E.g., the latest headline from Yahoo Finance: “Fear not. The VIX is flashing a buy sign.” Seriously?
There are better indicators of bullishness:
“Spikes in the VIX tend to indicate heightened investor fear,” said Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer. “From a contrarian standpoint we use that as ‘buy’ signals, and the numbers agree.”
We wholeheartedly disagree. Investment professionals have adopted the Orwellian logic that up is down, black is white, stimulus is sustainable, and bravado is fear. The true contrarian position is to raise cash, get short, and fasten the seat belt.
Addendum: Recent quotes from some of our favorite talking heads:
This is not a weak economy, it’s a pleasantly strong economy. This is a nicely strengthening economy. This is a very well demeanored economy. It’s not an excited one. It’s one that’s doing quietly better… Let’s all be calm and not be panicked at this point. I turned from being quite bullish of stocks to being neutral early last week and I have to tell you, I never thought we’d see the market fall several hundred Dow points in the course of three or four days. I got very lucky, and I’m going to turn back to being bullish again.
~ Dennis Gartman, as appeared on CNBC, August 4, 2014