Everyone thinks that they know where the stock, bond, commodity and currency markets are going yet everyone wants to know what everyone else thinks. It's herd behavior, of course, and it drives the markets.
I was at a family function over the weekend and chatting with some friends about stocks and real estate (the group included a mortgage specialist and a developer). The bottom line was that with all that experience in our little chat circle nobody really knows what the future will bring. We can read the signs and hopefully interpret them correctly (that's technical analysis, folks) but nodoby really knows.
After oil's crazy week, the pundits were out in force with their predictions. $150 oil (duh). gas prices will keep going up (duh). How about this one from two months ago - gold has topped? I bought more for myself in late April.
And the dollar? Look at vs. the euro and it looks sick. But vs. the yen and it's not so terrible (substitute Brighton Beach old world accent and a shrug of the shoulders for dramatic effect). The pundits say the dollar is still weak thanks to the economy. Didn't they all say the economic news last week - pre-jobs - was much better than anyone thought?
Will the Fed cut rates or raise them? Who cares? The ball is out of their court. Wait for the Europeans to do something and react to that.
But when nobody knows it is even more important to find different analyses from experienced professionals. Note how I did not say to listen to their conclusions - not even mine. Rather, see what they are looking at and let that trigger some ideas in your own head.
I'll tell you what I am looking at now. In the stock market, its a bear and surprises happen in the direction of the trend. Hello Lehman. Who's next?
And in the oil market, while I do think we are in a short-term bubbly move, for the long-term, the trend is up. Hello rumored attack on Iran (last week's news"). Who's next?
And one of my readers at the family party called me a permabear. I call it like I see it.