The market made an impressive stand yesterday, which points to one element of the 2014 selloff...a lot, was simply a buyer's strike. There's a lot of cash out there, but it's the smart players who have the luxury to wait for the moment. On the other hand, the masters-of-the-universe types had a poor 2014 and they're going to have to take extra risk this year, and maybe even do good old fashioned analysis rather than insider trading of wild shorts, like Green Mountain and Herbal Life. Of course there's certain arrogance in this bunch that's not unlike Vladimir Putin.
The Sochi Winter Olympics will be the most expensive ever. There's no doubt it will go down as one of the greatest money grabs in history as Putin and his friends have pocketed billions. In the meantime the joint is a wreck- akin to a modern day Potemkin village. But it doesn't matter to the Russian strongman; just as a few years of embarrassing returns doesn't matter to these guys that manage billions and get it wrong more often than novice investors. The thing is they keep getting the cash.
That's really a challenge for individual investors, never told by the media that says things like buy all the dips and don't time the market. Well most people don't have the cash to buy each dip, and moreover you must time to a certain degree. Warren Buffett tries to pick the right time to buy and sell, taking his cues from fundamentals and price distortions. Of course you have to time the market, but not be a slave to all its nuances, temper tantrums and occasional emotional moves. But know you want to buy when great stocks become cheap and the dust might be settling.
There is a ton of money that will get to work in the market this year; we might even see that long awaited Great Rotation out of bonds. Unlike Sochi, our stock market and the ability of regular people to be masters of their own fate is real and will only get better.113,000 jobs in January is a horrific number, even taking into account some noise from the Polar Vortex. Moreover, there was a lot of anticipation about major revisions higher for December and November. The latter was increased by 33,000 to 274,000 but the former only saw an additional 1,000 to 75,000. The only good news came from construction, which saw a robust 48,000 and there was a small nudge higher in participation. This is not the recovery we could have, should have and were promised for a long time.