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Altaira's Acampora: Stocks Are in 'Early Stages of Secular Bull Market'

By John Morgan   |   Friday, 24 May 2013 11:34 AM

Master stock market technician Ralph Acampora says the United States is still in the early innings of a secular bull market that has years longer to run, and predicts non-believers with cash still on the sidelines will eventually be drawn in to push it higher.

Acampora's sunny view comes despite a lengthy litany of economic ills that he ticks off — the U.S debt downgrade from Standard & Poor's, the sequester stalemate, the Boston Marathon bombings, North Korean rocket tests and weakness in Europe and China, to name a few.

"At this point, I take comfort in repeating the following three old Wall Street adages," Acampora wrote in his monthly column for the New York Institute of Finance. "When bad news can't take the market down, that's good news. Don't fight the Fed. And, the trend is your friend."

Editor's Note:
See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

Acampora, senior managing director at wealth management firm Altaira, who has spent a lifetime studying stocks and is one of the market's must influential technicians, said investors should take a longer view.

"I firmly believe that stocks are in the early stages of a secular bull market that still has years to run. In fact, after close to 50 years of doing technical research, I can honestly say that I have never seen a market so hated by so many for so long."

According to Acampora, investor psychology follows three stages during each bull market cycle: fear and disbelief that a bear market can end, belief and trust after the market makes upward progress for a while, and complacency and greed after the market rises strongly.

So where is the market for U.S. equities now in this cycle?

"For sure, we are not in Part III — the last time we saw excessive investor speculation was in the late '90s, during the 'Tech Bubble,'" he wrote.

"Currently, I believe that we are on the cusp of shifting from disbelief to belief; however, there are no real signs yet that the public is moving in this direction because they still have trillions of dollars in money market funds and U.S. Treasurys."

In a separate interview with USA Today earlier in May, Acampora declared there are fundamental reasons to be optimistic about stocks, and investors should redeploy from bonds into stocks.

"We're in a sweet spot right now. We have no inflation, and low interest rates. It doesn't get any better than that. Rising stock prices [and] all-time new highs ... lure people in. I think that's what lifts the market," he said.

"If earnings come in as expected or even better than expectations, the public becomes more sanguine on the market; then you get your multiple expansions," Acampora told USA Today.

From a technical standpoint, Acampora said the Dow theory for a bull market is intact, because both industrials and transports continue to move higher.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

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