Will There Be a Spring Stock Market Slide?
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- One month ago we provided our list of the 10 indicators to watch that seemed to precede the stock market declines in 2010 and 2011 and may warn of another spring slide.
In both 2010 and 2011 an early run-up in the stock market, similar to this year's, pushed stocks up about 10% for the year by mid-April.
On April 23, 2010 and April 29, 2011, the S&P 500 made peaks that were followed by 16%-19% losses that were not recouped for more than five months, a phenomenon often referred to by the old adage "Sell in May and go away."
Now we're at the time of year that the 2010 and 2011 slides began, so it's time to revisit our indicators.
So far, about half of the 10 indicators are waving a red flag, while four are yellow for caution, and only one is green. On balance the indicators point to a significant risk of a repeat of the spring slide. We will continue to monitor these closely in the coming weeks.
1. Fed stimulus (red) -- In each of the past two years, Federal Reserve stimulus programs known as QE1 & QE2 came to an end in the spring or summer, and stocks began to slide until the next program was announced.
The current program known as Operation Twist was announced on Sept. 12, 2011 and is coming to an end. It is scheduled to conclude at the end of June 2012. The Fed's communications in April appeared no closer to announcing QE3, raising the risk of a repeat of the spring slide.