The January moves in heavily shorted Micro Caps were more bizarre than anything we saw during the wildest days of the Tech bubble. Despite these signs of rampant stock speculation by the retail crowd, we still wouldn’t characterize today’s sentiment backdrop as frenzied as the peak levels of 1999-2000.
It’s been more than two years since NYSE Margin Debt broke out above its 2007 high, and we remember the rash of bearish commentary that accompanied that milestone. We later showed the Margin Debt increase was almost perfectly proportional to the gain in the stock market itself, and not a reason to turn bearish in and of itself. But our tune has changed.