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The Nikkei 225, the Japanese stock market key index, has risen almost 40% since its low of 2003 compared with the Australian market which has risen over 20% - a somewhat more cautious increase. The Nikkei started its run up over a month later - in April when it sat at its all time low of 7670 – compared to a high of almost 40,000 in the late 80’s!
For a while there it looked like “all our Christmases had come at once” with many thinking making money this way is just too easy. Apart from the fact I have laboured the point about retracements over the last several weeks there is in fact seasonality to retracements in many markets.
Some investors picked this stock market run up as early as March, some have picked it up over the last few weeks, some have just got in recently and are now wondering whether they should bail out and lastly there is the group that have remained on the sidelines. And I guess there are probably many investors that fit into almost all categories.
The last week again showed continuing momentum but despite the good news on the US reporting front, stocks did not match that with a surge of buying as much of the good news has been factored in. This could be a case of "buy the news sell the reality.” Indices volume is now starting to lag and this can also be seen in individual stocks both here in OZ and in the US. It’s called taking a breather – which is good to see. With the market having achieved such gains the propensity for further upside for the medium term, is abating as investors become more cautious.
So you might ask what is the Caviar Index – it is simply a measure of the good times. When times are good – or we perceive them to be - then we start to live like lords again. We dine out more – at better restaurants – luxury car showrooms become busier and so and so on. Based on Australian economic data we supposedly have been living off a green paddock with rich pickings over the last few years – better than most in the western world at least. But yet few people would proclaim that these have been years of milk and honey and in fact on the contrary it has sort of been hard going some would say.