Only in the stock market game can players ignore the scoreboard entirely by using arguments and statistics to create their own reality. For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) is just 114 points (or 0.86%) from its high-water mark for the current bull market cycle. The S&P 500 (SPY) is also less than 1% away from a new bull market high. And for those of you keeping score at home, the S&P is up +107% from its March 2009 low. Yet, the bulls still can't get any respect these days as the weapons of fear and uncertainty (as well as a little HFT-induced volatility) are employed on a daily basis by the bear camp in order to keep investors worrying about the next big whoosh down.
In all fairness, it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for the bulls during the majority of this bull market. If you will recall, each of the last three summers has seen double digit declines as well as enough volatility to make even the most ardent bull's head spin. As such, I will agree that the game most certainly hasn't been easy.
However, a quick glance at the scoreboard should remind investors that things aren't all that bad right now either. The S&P 500 is up +11.76% on the year and the NASDAQ (QQQ) - thanks in no small part to Apple (AAPL) - currently sports a gain of +16.76%. So, while the ride has certainly been a bit bumpy, I'm not sure I understand why the bears continue to pound the table about how terrible things are.
Our furry friends are quick to counter my statistics with arguments such as the market is only up on "hopium" and thus, has no business advancing. The glass-is-half-empty crowd also points to the idea that uncertainty reigns supreme at the present time in the areas of the Fed's next move, the ECB's plans, Germany's (EWG) ruling on the constitutionality of the EU's (EZU) bailout fund (the ESM) and the "Fiscal Compact," the U.S. election, the "fiscal cliff," the economy, China (FXI), and an oldie but a goodie - the European debt mess.