By Ryan Detrick
“In the short term, the market is a popularity contest. In the long term, the market is a weighing machine.” — Warren Buffett
The incredible action from some of the most heavily shorted names has investors everywhere wondering what it all means? GameStop (GME) specifically has taken the country’s imagination by storm, as the stock started the year under $20 per share and exploded last week.
Please note, we aren’t allowed to discuss individual equities, and in no way are we recommending any stocks in this blog, but from a bigger perspective, what is happening here?
Basically, individual investors are using message boards like Reddit to find some of the most shorted stocks, then they all pile in at the same time, forcing large institutions to cover their shorts, and thus producing massive buying pressure.
LPL Research doesn’t think these parabolic moves reflect an overall unhealthy market, but institutions covering shorts at sizable losses may be removing capital from some big cap names.
“While these developments could be another sign of excessive optimism in certain segments of the equity markets, we do not believe they represent a sign of a broader market bubble or indicate a major correction is forthcoming,” explained LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Don’t forget, overall market breadth is extremely healthy and the credit markets are functioning just fine—we don’t see a repeat of 1999 like some are claiming.”
Lastly, as shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, after a 72% rally in the S&P 500 Index (and more in small caps and the Nasdaq), maybe it is simply time for a break. After all, the current bull market has tracked almost perfectly the start of the 1982 and 2009 bull markets thus far, and both of those took a break for a few months starting around this point in the cycle.