Hulbert: Data Shows Correction Should Be Mild

MarketWatch’s Mark Hulbert says he doesn’t think the market is headed for another 10%+ April correction.

“Might the stock market be embarking on a 10% or more correction, just as it did in April of each of the last two years?” Hulbert asks in a new column. “I doubt it. The sentiment data suggest that the correction that began earlier this month is going to be more modest.”

Hulbert points to the Hulbert Stock Newsletter Sentiment Index (HSNSI), which tracks the average recommended stock market exposure among a subset of short-term stock market timers tracked by his Hulbert Financial Digest. The index, which often acts as a contrarian indicator, was at 65.5% when the market peaked two Aprils ago, and 67.2% when the market peaked last year. At the recent market peak on April 2, it was only at 42.1%. This time around, the bullishness also dropped much more quickly after the market peak, falling to just 28.3% just five days later.

“This contrast is significant, according to contrarian analysis, as it suggests that the recent bull market peak was not accompanied by the excessive levels of enthusiasm and euphoria that were seen as the market began its major corrections in each of the two previous Aprils,” Hulbert concludes. He says he still thinks the correction has further to go, but he doesn’t think it will be as steep as the corrections of the past two Aprils.