At some point in his career, famed stock trader Jesse Livermore ceased using the terms bull and bear, opting instead to describe trends in terms of “lines of least resistance.” He felt the change in terminology enabled a more flexible, unbiased mindset.
The bears gorged themselves in the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and the S&P 500 closed at a correction low the day afterward. “Christmas” arrived immediately thereafter, with a six-day gain of 6%. But that was followed by a two-day collapse on December 4th and 6th, which undercut the post-Thanksgiving low on an intraday basis.
We wrote in October’s Green Book that “many once reliable seasonal market patterns have been out of sync in recent years.” The market gods punished us for having the audacity to write such a thing (and during October, of all months!), taking the S&P 500 down to within 0.1% of “correction territory” at the October 29th low. But the punishment outside the U.S. commenced long beforehand, and last month’s losses drove several foreign market measures into bear territory. We expect U.S. blue chips to follow.