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  • Skepticism's Been Reason for Optimism

    By Rev Shark
    RealMoney.com Contributor
    4/6/2006 9:17 AM EDT

    "Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy."

    -- Aristotle
    Over much of the past several months there has been a constant and steady buzz about how macroeconomic conditions are sure to doom this market. Inflation, interest rates, high energy prices, global unrest, the age of this rally and a dozen other things have provided plenty to worry about. But despite some terrific reasons why this market should not continue to go up, it has done so. Progress has been slow and choppy at times but if you have been bearish you have been left behind.

    Yesterday was the first time in a while that some of the reticence to embrace the market seemed to fall away. It wasn't that the internal action was that good (it wasn't), but as semiconductors took the lead the sentiment suddenly seemed more positive.

    The main thing that has kept me bullish about this market for a while now has been the skepticism under the surface. Market participants have not been particularly anxious to embrace the market although it has been acting well and is at multiyear highs. It is the doubt and lack of confidence that has helped us climb the old wall of worry.

    Yesterday my sense was that there was a fairly significant change in the mood. Perhaps it's the reemergence of technology stocks recently that is making market participants feel better or maybe it's hope that the Fed really is starting to see the end of the line as far as interest rate hikes. Regardless of the reasons, the mood does feel like it is becoming more positive and that means we better be a little more careful.

    As I've often said, market trends have a way of lasting much longer than you think is possible, but that doesn't mean you stay completely oblivious to events as they unfold. That is especially so when you have profits to protect. Respect the trend but when you have big gains don't neglect the need for some defense.

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