Breaking Good News Bad News Bulletin: News Is NOT the Main Driver of Stock Market Trends
Conventional economic wisdom is founded on one core concept: namely, that events that exist outside the market (part of "market fundamentals") trigger trend changes in the financial markets.
Because of this belief, you have the mainstream experts of finance watching everything from weather patterns to crop conditions, political exploits to the subtlest changes in punctuation in the Fed's minutes -- all in the hopes of anticipating the next big move in commodities, stocks, gold, the dollar, etc. In a nutshell, "positive" news and events cause a rise in prices, while "negative" news pushes prices down.
In reality, however, things are not as clear-cut. Markets regularly "ignore" the news, shrug it off -- and move in the opposite direction of their "fundamental" cues. OR, worse waver in two different directions after the same event.
Take, for instance, the recent slew of news items following Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's March 1 testimony before the Senate Banking Committee:
* "US Stocks Advance Ahead of Bernanke's Testimony" (International Business Times)
* -- VERSUS -- "US Stocks Turn Lower As Bernanke Testifies To Congress" (NASDAQ)
* -- VERSUS -- "US Stocks Rise With Bernanke In Focus" (MarketWatch)
* -- VERSUS -- "Stocks Decline As Bernanke Comments Fall Flat." (Wall Street Journal)
What often ends up happening is this: Because the original event fails to predict the movement in stocks, commentators then sift through the day's news feed in search of a different "trigger" -- one that fits price action AFTER the fact.
The fallacy of a news-driven market is the first misconception exposed in Elliott Wave International's Club EWI free resource "The Independent Investor" eBook. Here's a short preview of this eye-opening report.
Chapter 1 opens with the question "What Really Moves the Market?" You then get the answer via riveting excerpts and charts from EWI president Bob Prechter's monthly Elliott Wave Theorist publications, such as this one below:
"Suppose the devil were to offer you historic news days in advance. He doesn't even ask you for your soul in exchange. He explains, 'What's more, you can hold a position for as little as a single trading day after the event or as long as you like.' It sounds foolproof, so you accept. His first offer: 'The President will be assassinated tomorrow.' You can't believe it. You and only you know what's going to happen. The devil transports you back to November 22, 1963. You short the market. Do you make money?
The first arrow in Figure 6 shows the timing of the assassination. The market initially fell, but by the close of the next trading day, it was above where it was at the moment of the event. You can't cover your short sales until the following day's opening because the devil said you could hold as briefly as one trading day after the event, but no less. You lose money."
Independent Investor eBook further exposes 10 other commonly held economic beliefs for what they truly are: Wall Street myths disguised as reality.
Click here to review much more Elliott Wave commentary and market forecasts.