E Whatever Happened To Optimism ?

It's been years since I've been in a classroom,  but Labor Day always reminds me of the first day of school and the giddy youthful optimism that accompanied it. The ritual of methodically preparing for the event because everything had to be perfect.  Breaking in that squeaky pair of leather loafers, a shiny fresh pencil box, a new Shaeffer fountain pen. Agonizing over what to wear that first day. You only had one shot. Blow it and you'd pay for it the rest of the year. 

Today the stock market is my "classroom" where for the past 27 years I have been paying tuition, learning and unlearning some very valuable lessons. Like learning that what the market is saying far outweighs the gurus, the gods, the pundits, the media, the bloggers. And in the 27 years I have been a student of the market, I have never seen so little optimism as right now. This could well be the most hated market I have ever seen. If you want to really get noticed today, just try saying something nice about it. You'll be written off as a clueless permabull who flunked out of chart school.

This is a market where any good news is either questioned or ignored. It's like it's already a forgone conclusion that there can't be anything good or positive to celebrate. The zeitgeist is to be zero happy. If there was a pure "negativity" index and the VIX, which is a measurement of PUT CALL activity, was at 40 (very high or bearish), the negativity index would be around 80!

But being the unapologetic contrarian that I am, I say bah to the naysayers and the dark embracers of doom. My DNA predestined me to a much more optimistic outlook on life. Given the choice, I will always err on the side of the sunny. So without further ado, I hereby present you with what I was able to find right now that should make all of the pessimists out there a little less paranoid about the future.

Think about this: 2013 was one of the best years ever for the S&P 500, up nearly 30%. 

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Disclosure: This writing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation ...

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Wall Street Jack 1 year ago Member's comment

I saw here: http://www.talkmarkets.com/ipad-contest that you were a previous winner of the iPad contest. Is it legit? Did you really receive an iPad?

Carol Wydra 2 years ago Author's comment

I have had a lot of questions regarding the illustration. it is by Andy Virgil, a famous advertising illustrator in the 1950's. Represented in major galleries Highly respected.

Carol Wydra 2 years ago Author's comment

I'd like to thank you all for reading the article. TO those of you returning to school, enjoy your first day!

Dr. Duru 2 years ago Contributor's comment

Thanks for the sunshine. :) I will quibble just a bit with the fund flow info. At the recent lows, Pisani on CNBC reported a massive surge in redemption orders at the close. THAT could have been the purge of sellers. But time will tell. I also keep seeing headlines about big fund flows OUT of ETFs and mutual funds. But I think outflows supports your contrarian thesis better than inflows. I think it is just human nature to want to chase stocks higher rather than buy them at a discount.

Carol Wydra 2 years ago Author's comment

good points my dear.thanks for the comments.

Carol Wydra 2 years ago Author's comment

thanks for leaving the comments..appreciate it..Carol

HedgeFundOfOne 2 years ago Member's comment

Appreciate your optimism, Carol! I'm on the optimistic side, too, but in a different way. I don't listen to the hype either way. Indifferent to market direction - I'm optimistic about my ability to take positions and adjust to market conditions. Look to grow capital whether market is moving up, down, or sideways.

Carol Wydra 2 years ago Author's comment

great insight -I love it. and yes I do the same thing where optimism meets intuition at the intersection of experience. kudos my man.see you back on the stream..Carol

Marvin R Clark 2 years ago Contributor's comment

If you are right Janet Yellen will have no problem raising interest rates this month.

Carol Wydra 2 years ago Author's comment

not necessarily. I don't see the correlation. cheers

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Contributor's comment

I read it. I guess it depends on the meltdown of commodities and China. China uses copper as collateral in derivatives contracts. Zombie banks in China freezing up should be watched. China bailed out the Fed for years by stockpiling assets, driving up the cost of living for Americans.

Now, if you are of the opinion that a lower cost of living and stronger dollar could cause Americans to spend more, with more spending power, then you could see a rally. I just happen to think the American consumer has been deeply wounded, and that he is less resilient than in the past. And multinational corporations have staked so much on China and everyone but the US consumer, you have to wonder what their earnings will look like.

And one more issue, Carol, what about the fact that the recovery has created poor paying jobs and the millennials are conservative? In this environment, how can the American consumer be that golden goose of world prosperity again?

I hope you are right, though.

Carol Wydra 2 years ago Author's comment

thanks for your POV always good to hear both sides..Carol