The Nasdaq composite enters this week’s trading down over 10% in the month of October. For what it’s worth, market technicians consider a 10% pullback an official “correction.”
So far it’s just that – a correction. It may therefore be a bit premature to carve the stock market’s tombstone.
But investors should be prepared for further downside in share prices… and a possible longer-term (and long overdue) bear market after several years of relentless Fed-fueled price appreciation.
Widely followed market analyst Greg Weldon warned last week that a crash may be coming. “You have the setup for kind of like a crack, a big crack,” Weldon told listeners of the Money Metals Weekly Market Wrap podcast. “There are correlations to 2007 and ’08, and that’s more macro in setup, but when you look at the market structure and some of the more overlaid type of correlations, there’s a lot of 1987 here.”
The October 1987 stock market crash caught most investors completely by surprise. But then, as now, there were warning signs.
Weldon is eyeing monetary policy. He thinks the Federal Reserve’s last rate hike may have been one too far: “We said at the end of August if the Fed moves in September you’d see a selloff in October. That’s exactly what’s happened, and I think it’s just beginning.”
What will happen if the Fed goes again in December? Well, it could be a very unhappy New Year for stock market bulls.
Fed chairman Jerome Powell appears intent on continuing to hike interest rates until he buries the bull market. Perhaps President Donald Trump, who continues to express frustration over the Fed’s tightening campaign, will take to calling the Fed chair “Grim Reaper Powell” in a Halloween tweet.
The President’s main priority right now is helping more Republicans get elected to the Senate and preventing Democrats from taking over the House of Representatives. If Democrats do well on Election Day, you can bet Trump will amp up his rhetoric against the central bank.
A Democrat win would also dash investor hopes of more tax cuts, likely triggering another round of stock market selling. That, in turn, could catalyze a “fear trade” of flows into precious metals markets.
Gold and silver have been seen as “dead money” since the 2016 election swung the GOP’s way. They may finally be ready to come back to life.