Someday, we’ll have a chuckle with our (yet unborn) basketball-playing grandson about the time Shaquille O’Neal was able to raise several-hundred-million dollars in his second SPAC. But while these anecdotes get sillier and sillier, we have a personal bias toward speculative activity we can measure over time. That activity isn’t quite as alarming as the anecdotes, but it’s getting there.
The granddaddy of all technical indicators—the NYSE Daily Advance/Decline Line—continues to make new highs alongside the S&P 500, suggesting the market should move to even higher (but perhaps narrower) highs well into the fall. As noted a month ago, we increasingly suspect that granddaddy may be telling a lie.
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.