Is the stock market suffering another "taper tantrum," in the "dollar doldrums," or "losing energy?"
All of these things are being used to describe the current selloff in stocks: They are effectively worries about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates sooner rather than later, the dollar cutting into exports and corporate profits, or falling oil prices hurting energy stocks.
In addition, there has been some technical deterioration in the underlying market technical indicators, like the NYSE Advance/Decline line.
Now, does this all mean that stocks are bound to fall farther, as the wall of worry becomes a little too steep to climb? Instead of selling in May and going away, should we beware the Ides of March, instead?
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It is hard to say, at this specific point in time. But certainly, there may be a few yellow flags being raised about the current condition of the market.
First, the market has been tired of late, with some non-confirmations emerging as the major averages hit new, all-time highs. Besides declines exceeding advances on the New York Stock Exchange, the number of 52-week highs has dwindled as the number of new 52-week lows has expanded.
That is a sign of underlying weakness in the broader market and sometimes presages a more pronounced decline in equities.
Now, we have seen this movie several times in the last few years, without the market suffering a full 10 percent correction.
Certainly, that could be the case again.