Dennis Gartman: ‘I was wrong’

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 | 6:32 PM ET
Gartman: Still neutral on equities
Monday, 10 Feb 2014 | 5:00 PM ET
The "Fast Money traders" dissect the day's major business news including solid gains for Apple and Tesla. And after calling for a 15 percent correction, Dennis Gartman of the Gartman Letter weighs in on how the S&P 500 trend line has held up since his last visit on "Fast Money."

A prediction that stocks would see a 15 percent correction was off, Dennis Gartman said Monday.

"Vociferously, I'd say I was wrong," he said. "We got to a trend line that really did hold. I didn't think it would hold. It did, in fact, hold."

Last week on CNBC's "Fast Money," Gartman said that the S&P 500 could see a 15 percent pullback from its earlier high, testing the 1,475 level on the downside. But he also said that the market was still in a bull trend.

Gartman: Trend line held, didn't think it would
The Gartman Letter's Dennis Gartman discusses the markets and what happened after his call for a 15 percent correction. The market trend line held, I didn't think it would, he says.

"I just think you're going to have a very severe, very substantive and really quite ugly correction that will probably make a lot of people wail and gnash their teeth before it's done," he said last week.

(Read more: 'Ugly correction' coming: Dennis Gartman)

All three major U.S. indices closed higher Monday, with the S&P 500, climbing 2.8 percent to end the day at 1,799.84.

"I have been neutral, honestly, of stocks. When I talked about that, I thought we would have a 15 percent correction," Gartman said. "But I also said it's still a bull market, and in a bull market you can only have one of three positions: Really long, nicely long or neutral."

Gartman, editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, said that his call for a correction came from an expectation that trend lines would break.

"I looked at a lot of the indices," he said. "The Nasdaq did, in fact, break its trend line. The Dow began to diverge. You started to get less-than-exciting earnings coming out in various stocks. You had the currency markets, I think, in difficulty a couple of weeks ago. …"

"You had copper breaking trend lines. You had an awful lot of things happening, all in a five- or six-day period of time that certainly did look terrifying for a couple of days. And then, all of a sudden, it's as if the cover had been lifted off. The amount of selling that needed to be done was done — was done at higher levels than I thought it would be accomplished at."

Gartman also said that he was holding positions in aluminum, shipping and fracking plays, as well as bank shares, but had hedged them with derivatives.

Still, Gartman said he would remain neutral for now.

"Yes, I'm still neutral on equities, but if we can go sideways for a couple of days, if we don't backtrack, if the volume subsides on a sideways movement, I'll come back in and say the trend is still up," he said. "The one thing I will tell you is: You can't be short. It's still a bull market. That's what's really important. It's one thing to lose money. It's another thing not to make money. And if you're short, you're losing money."

Brian Kelly of Brian Kelly Capital took an opposing position.

"Unlike the Godfather, Dennis Gartman, I am still short. And I think you can be short this market," he said. "I think there's a real risk that (Federal Reserve Chair) Janet Yellen comes out a lot more hawkish than people have priced in here, and I don't think the emerging-market currency issues are over. I think we're just in the eye of the storm."

By CNBC's Bruno J. Navarro. Follow him on Twitter @Bruno_J_Navarro.

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