Requiem for the Bears

 | Feb 28, 2014 | 1:55 PM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

gme

,

bby

,

ibm

They nailed the bears big-time. That's the obvious conclusion as we venture through this last day of the trading month, one of the best in ages. I think we came into 2014 too hot and we had profit-takers all over the place. Then we had that emerging-markets nastiness and the specter of yet another potential government shutdown over the debt ceiling.

Things got so negative in the market that we saw the return of a species that seemed to have gone extinct: the bear. Yes, we saw a surge of short-sellers come into the market when it was about to break technical support of all kinds and the S&P 500 had fallen a little more than 6%.

Plus, you know what I think played a role? The overlay -- of 1929 over 2014. Yeah, that shameless claptrap entered the discourse and seemed to be irresistible to a sizable cohort. This, like the Hindenburg Omen, has cost people fortunes. But charts can be simple, fun and, well, easily charted. They make for fabulous graphics, and they spread like wildfire.

So you had a deadly combination of shorts who figured the bulls were, at last, dead after a big run, and those who decided that the stock market was about to have another black Friday.

Amazingly, they didn't debate the notion that perhaps we already had a crash five or six years ago that was unlike anything we have ever seen. It was the prospect of a Great Crash that brought out the bears.

Of course, there were weak earnings during the period that added fuel to the wildfire -- none other than stalwarts GameStop (GME) and Best Buy (BBY), as well as IBM (IBM). They didn't seem all that isolated at the time.

Now the market doesn't want to hear any negatives. It is ignoring the Ukraine story, with its big power implications and lawlessness, even as I think that Ukraine certainly has more potential to lead to something bigger than Turkey's Treasury or an Argentinian default.

To me, that's a sure sign that the shorts have frantically been trying to bring in their positions. However, they put so many on. I just don't think that they are done.

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