The largest rallies happen with short squeezes

While the Canadian markets were closed due to Thanksgiving, the US equity markets skyrocketed up 3.4% on the S&P 500. There was no particular news other than nothing catastrophic happening over the weekend, but it has been my experience that sharp rallies up tend to be due to traders caught on the short side that suddenly buy into the markets.

I also remain fascinated with the history of the markets from 2008 to 2009 – about how most of the actual crisis was over in October of 2008, but the reverberations and pessimism came to a crescendo in February and early March. This was despite the fact that TARP and practically every liquidity measure conceived had been implemented and all that was left was for that excess liquidity to end up shoring credit across the entire marketplace.

The whole world knows about Greece, but calculating the after-effects of a default or restructuring is the tricky part – if credit goes into a deep freeze once again, we will likely see a miniature version of that crescendo. It could also be the case that we have seen it – if that is the case then the time to buy is now – but you’ll never know it until after the fact. This is indeed gives markets such an impression to outsiders that it is all luck. I remain pessimistic, however, mainly because the underlying cause of the problem – profligate spending by governments – has not been resolved. Any recovery is likely to be temporary at best until economic foundations can actually heal.