‘Abundantly wrong’ to expect correction: Gartman

Leslie Shaffer | Writer for
'I was wrong in expecting a correction': Gartman

Bears' call for a market correction after the relentless rally has been wrong for years and it's likely to remain wrong, Dennis Gartman, publisher of the closely watched Gartman Letter, told CNBC.

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"Having called for a correction, I have been abundantly wrong," Gartman said. A correction is typically defined as a market downturn of 10 percent or more. "I am probably going to be wrong continuing to expect one. It's best to err on the side of remaining quietly bullish," he said.

Last week, Gartman said the stock market is in the middle of a correction and that there is "more selling to come."

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"People have been calling for corrections for the past five years and the corrections don't seem to occur," said Gartman, who makes the Forbes list of 'five investors who move the market.'

"Every time you think you're about to have a correction, you get a one or two or three percent lower and then you move to new highs," he said.

Gartman, who only trades his own account, said that he has gone to a neutral position on equities using derivatives, adding he's thankful he didn't go short.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images

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Both bonds and equities "seem to want to go higher and to fight that trend is a very ill-advised decision," he said.

The S&P 500 is up 3.7 percent so far this year, finishing Friday at a record close of 1900.53, after rallying over 30 percent in 2013. U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

Bond markets have frustrated wide-spread expectations for rising rates, with the 10-year Treasury yield hovering around 2.5 percent, down from around 3.0 percent in January. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

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Others say the possibility of a correction ahead can't be discounted.

"The 'sell in May and go away' did not pan out, but you can't discount the possibility of a correction even in June," said Vasu Menon, vice president of group wealth management at OCBC Bank.

"The corporate earnings season is over, you've got the World Cup coming up, which is going to last for about a month, so attention is going to be focused away from markets," with trading volumes likely to slip further, Menon told CNBC. "We see a lot of volatility in the next few months."

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But Menon doesn't believe investors should pull out of equities.

"The valuations for equities still aren't expensive. There's still a lot of liquidity sitting on the sidelines. We think growth will pan out in a modest way, so equities are still the way to go," Menon said.

He advises "drip feeding" into the markets.

"Buy gradually," he said. "At least you have some participation, but you don't fire your bullets at a go."

—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1