The US Stock Market as represented by the S&P 500 index went down 78.5 points to 909.92 for a loss of about 7.9%.
We Are Near Record Levels
By almost any metric, we are extremely oversold and near historic levels.
Even before today's big drop, by many technical (related to looking at charts, and price and volume movements and other patterns) standards, we were in extreme oversold conditions.
We could also look at how overextended the S&P 500 Market is from the 52 Week High (and minimize the extension from the 52 Week Low), and we find that we are 42.30% below the 52 week high. In a previous study looking at the S&P 500 in relation to the 52 week high and low, from 1950 to March 2008, we are at the lowest levels since the great bottom of October 3, 1974 with the record of 44.11% HOLU value (mainly how overextended the market is from the 52 week high).
The previous study found that of the 59 trading days from 1950 to March 2008 with the HOLU value greater than 30%, the average one year forward annual return was a market beating 22.13%.
Previously, we thought that the S&P 500 could hold at 1077, but if the stock market breaks this level, the Stock Market would truly be in trouble. This is the case today as the market sliced easily through 1077 and is now at 909 in a very short time.
We are nearing the congestion around the S&P 500 level 768 (the great bottom from 2002-2003 after the dot com bubble crash) to 936. We might have other support areas such as S&P 840, before we could reach the dot com crash bubble low of 768.63.
Perhaps we are headed towards a re-test of the dot-com crash bottom, and maybe we may form a bullish double bottom around 768.63.
Have we Capitulated and Surrendered Yet?
Common Wisdom States that Stock Market Bottoms often occur after we have Capitulation, where everyone gives up and surrenders on the market often with a crescendo massive sell off.
Today, you could really sense great concern. After visiting a bank, I heard someone say that it is official after looking at the business news program. I hear others talk about losing much of their money.
On common business programs on CNBC, shows such as Mad Money, and Fast Money, were replaced by world wide market news.
The word "crash" is heard all over the news programs. The word "Depression" and "Recession" is thrown around by many people.
The New York Times Internet Front Page talks about the "Markets in Europe and Asia Plunge" and "Nations weighing Global Approach as Chaos Spreads" and "Afternoon Turns Dark as Stocks Plunge."
Photos of traders in shock appear over all the newspapers.
News from around the world shows that many of the world markets are losing around 5% to 10% overnight.
Business programs keep talking about more problems in the future, hedge fund redemptions and record amount of mutual funds being sold as investors show real fear.
The Dow Jones Futures are down big, around 300 points.
There's a good chance that the market could open with a big gap down and continue to sell off. The Big Gap down is good, as this could often be an initial sign of capitulation.
Typically, massive buying comes in, shorts have to cover, and we establish an intermediate bottom and a tradable rally can continue.
But with all the problems all around the world, with all future redemptions still to come, and with traders not wanting to stay long before the weekend (October 10, 2008 is Friday), will we really have the capitulation bottom on Friday October 10, 2008?
But if one is truly a long term investor, this could be a great buying opportunity, or at least a good opportunity to continue accumulating index funds or ETFs for the long term.
Many times near market tops, we often hear that this time, it's different (to justify the market continuing to go up at a fast rate). We could apply this logic near market bottoms, where people proclaim, this time, it's different (to justify a much larger stock market fall).
One day, the stock market will stop falling. And for the patient, disciplined investor, now might be a good time to start or continuing accumulating.