The question is not when will the bear market begin. It's when will it end.
I tire of hearing that there has been a correction. I can't believe how badly many huge, important stocks have performed.
Let's just tick down the action in some of the former darlings.
Did you know that Nvidia's (NVDA) stock, until today's buy recommendation by Credit Suisse, was down an astounding 49%. I am hearing people calling it a reset. Others are calling it a change in the narrative after a soft quarter and weak guidance.
You know what I call it?
I call it a crash.
What do you call it when the stock of General Electric (GE) , once the biggest company in the world, is down 57%. Is that correction territory? I think it's part of the ongoing bear market because every time you have tried to call the bottom in the darned thing, it has taken your head off.
IBM's (IBM) stock traded at $171 in January. It's now at $119. Meanwhile, the company has reinvented itself by buying Red Hat (RHT) , one of my favorite companies. It doesn't matter. In a bull market, I swear, that stock would have gone up on the news. But in a bear market, as we have seen so often, it goes down no matter what.
Did you know that the stock of Goldman Sachs (GS) traded at $243 this summer? It hit $188 on Friday after a vicious Morgan Stanley downgrade. The stock trades through the tangible book value of the company, meaning the cash on hand. That's just incredible. It's quintessential bear market behavior. Does anyone say it? No, they just say that Goldman's in big trouble with Malaysia, not that anyone can explain that anyone in the top levels of Goldman even knew about the scandal. Sure, there is a failure to supervise issue and I can't believe how Goldman Sachs,, my Alma mater, can't get ahead of this story. But I also can't believe this stock could be so cheap. Yet in a bear market things just get cheaper and cheaper much to my charitable trust's chagrin.
We got an upgrade today of Celgene (CELG) , the one amazing biotech stock that now is being birddogged by those who fear that its Revlimid profits are going to run out because of a patent cliff. The upgrade's basis? Celgene trades at 6.5 times earnings. That is completely ridiculous. Preposterous.
But then again the stock of Micron (MU) traded at 4 times earnings when it was at $62. Now it trades at $36 and sells at 3 times earnings. So much for price-to-earnings multiple protection.
I could go on and on. I have dozens of these examples. But the simple fact is this: most money managers have only seen the systemic risk kind of bear market, that is 2007 to 2009. They haven't seen a Fed induced slowdown. They haven't seen an end-of-cycle bear market where stocks just keep going down and down until sellers at last exhaust themselves or the macro factors, like a deal with China or a one-and-wait strategy by Jay Powell happens. Until then, get used to it.