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There are a number of so-called “magazine-cover indicators” that purport to give investors a contrarian insight. The general thesis is that by the time a situation becomes cover-story worthy it is so well known that the only investment play is to take the opposite side.

One famous example is Business Week’s cover story “The Death of Equities” just before the great bull market began in 1982 (click chart to enlarge).

DJIA 1970-present

In order for the indicator to work, it should be a general interest magazine or newspaper. Trade journals such as Computer Reseller News reflect the point of view of industry insiders and are generally more timely. Local newspapers can also work.

So, for what it’s worth, this story in the Dallas Morning News may indicate that things are finally bottoming out for Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL).

(Dallas Morning News, Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Jun. 10–While Dell Inc. got blindsided by changes in the market, the Texas computer giant’s competitors made gains.

Hewlett-Packard Co., the current darling of Wall Street’s technology investors, has chipped away at Dell’s dominance. And others are threatening to gain ground.

Dell’s rivals positioned themselves in segments of the market that were growing. Dell, meanwhile, didn’t move quickly enough to take advantage of those surges, analysts say.

“They’re not getting their fair share of growth,” said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a research firm.

DELL 1-yr chart:

DELL 1-yr