I'm still bearish long term but one new indicator I've been following is signalling a market bottom and a buying opportunity. It is a new proprietary indicator, the Bloomberg Cliche Indicator.
The print media has been a contrary indicator since Business Week's "Death of Equities" 1979. The new BC indicator is grounded in the broadcast media. It is a coincident,and perhaps, a leading, indicator.
Bloomberg Radio has savvy reporters who interview and report on many top fund managers, central bankers and influential political figures. Live reporting and interviewing gets reactions and gives a fresh immediacy to any ideas presented.
The BCI is derived by listening for cliche usage on Bloomberg Radio and using it as an indicator of investment sentiment. You don't need a professor for the BCI, just a few sets of batteries. I am tuned in, say 18-20 hours a day.
When a phrase gets overused live and on the air enough to be annoying, it achieves BCI status. Its an indicator many people are beginning to think in the same way and can signal a change of investment direction. Call it applied crowd psychology in the spirit of Gustav LeBon's "The Crowd" or Malcolm Gladwell's "Tippng Point."
During the past month, Bloomberg reporters and interviewees have been using the cheerfully optimistic term "green shoots" about once every 15 minutes to refer to the economy, companies or industries.
Mentions of "green shoots" on Bloomberg Radio have far exceeded the use of the term "perfect storm" in the last month. This appearance of this upbeat phrase on the air has been accompanied a strong performance by the market, a 9.4% jump in April, highest since March 2000.
I haven't even heard the term "perfect storm" mentioned in the last week, even though the following have occurred: 33% of major US banks don't have enough capital even under a weak test; a major manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy and another may follow; US GDP has plunged at an unprecedented rates; houses are down in value; unemployment is up; and a new flu threatens death and disruption across the globe. Don't worry. Be happy.
Pundits like Anthony Bolton of Fidelity Investments, Ken Fisher and Abby Joseph Cohen are back making wildly bullish calls on Bloomberg every day. On May 1, Cohen predicted a 20% pop in the S&P 500 to 1,050 in 6 to 12 months. Fisher sees a 70% jump ahead.
The loyal opposition is fading quicker than a Red State majority. Nouriel Roubini seems to be in hiding. Only David Tice is getting quoted for the bearish case.
Future file: Bloomberg's reporters coined a new cliche mid-day May 1: they're seeing "the daffodils of spring."
Investment sentiment: Riding the bull-in-the-bear. Reducing cash. Looking to add punch by exposure to emerging markets via EEM and NASDAQ via ETFs like QQQQ and CEFs like QQQX. Overweight and rotating out of financials, insurance, and real estate on continued weak fundamentals.
Disclosure: net long in equities. No positions in EEM and QQQQ. Long QQQX.