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Stocks have entered bear market territory, and any rallies from here are just opportunities to sell — not buy, analysts have told CNBC.
Wall Street closed sharply higher Friday, following a boost in European and American bank stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 300 points Friday, snapping a five-day losing streak but it had still lost about 1.4 percent for the week.
"I think people are finally seeing lots of things worth buying," Adrian Day,chairman and CEO of Adrian Day Asset Management, said Friday.
The bounceback was also seen across Europe and Asia Monday, with markets ignoring poor data out of China and celebrating European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledging that the bank will "not hesitate to act" to help bolster the euro zone.
However,several analysts told CNBC Monday that the rallies, including the 7.2 percent surge on the Nikkei and a two-day rally across European stocks, are only temporary moves in a prolonged downward, were only temporary.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , for example, will hit its peak on Wednesday, March 23rd, Robin Griffiths, the chief technical strategist at the ECU Group told CNBC. To be more specific Griffiths light-heartedly added that the peak will be reached "just after lunch."
He says hedge funds, bargain-seeking traders, and investors who want to prove we're still in bull market territory, have helped drive up Dow stock valuations in recent sessions. But once the stock reaches overhead resistance levels — the price level which asset prices find difficulty breaking through — hedge funds will renew their short positions as the global economy continues to cool.
"The final low of the bear market isn't even this year, it's next year. But this is a damn good rally and I think it will surprise people how good it is," Griffiths said.
"What you should be doing is using it as a selling opportunity to go defensive," he explained pointing out that it'd be wise to hold onto utilities, consumer staples, telecoms and even Google — that is, companies with services that stay essential, despite a downturn.
Not everyone believes markets are turning in though, with those like BMO Capital Markets' chief investment strategist Brian Belski telling CNBC just weeks ago that downward moves are just a healthy correction in a bull market set to last 15 to 20 years.
Nonetheless, Charles Newsome, a divisional director at Investec Wealth and Investment, told CNBC Monday that rising equity prices are only temporary moves in a prolonged downward cycle that should be carefully considered.
He says the bear market — defined as a market condition where prices fall and negative sentiment causes the drop to become self-sustaining — was already in motion as of May 2015, after a seven-year upward trend. And if historical moves are any indication, Newsome said, investors have up to four months left where "any rallies are an opportunity to sell not buy," he wrote in a note to CNBC.
Others, like Newsome suggest optimists just aren't facing the facts. He said investors have gone "overboard" with the recent market rally, forgetting too quickly that quantitative easing efforts by central banks have pushed asset prices too high, while global growth has stayed far too low.
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