How Far Can Bear Market Rallies Extend?

Stocks rallied significantly yesterday, leading many people to wonder if this is “the bottom” in equities. Given that none of the problems in the U.S. economy have been resolved, I think that this is a bear market rally.

With that in mind, it is interesting to look at how much equities could rebound in a bear market rally. The best analog for the economy today is the Great Depression. Therefore I’ve pulled up the chart of the S&P during the Great Depression. The index fell as much as 86.5 percent before it finally bottomed. The sell-off was not without relief rallies. Between 1929 and 1932, there was 6 “bear market rallies” that ranged from 12 to 110 percent. The S&P was trading at much lower levels then but on a percentage basis, bear market rallies usually extend 25 percent. With that in mind, since the S&P 500 bottomed out on Friday, the index is up close to 8 percent. A 25 percent move would put the index at 833.

How does this relate to currencies? Further gains in U.S. equities would mean further strength for the EUR/USD. So if the S&P 500 hit 833, the EUR/USD could break 1.30.

Graph 1

Image: Bloomberg

About Kathy Lien 236 Articles

Kathy Lien is an Internationally Published Author and Chief Strategist of DailyFX.com, one of the world’s most popular online websites for currency research. Her trading books include the highly acclaimed, Day Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit form Market Swings (2005, Wiley); High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market E-Book (2006, Investopedia); and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game (2007, Wiley). As Chief Currency Strategist at FXCM, Kathy is responsible for providing research and analysis for DailyFX, the research arm of FXCM. She also co-edits the BK Forex Advisor, an Investopedia.com Premium Service with Boris Schlossberg – one of the few investment advisory letters focusing strictly on the 2 Trillion/day FX market.

Kathy is also one of the authors of Investopedia’s Forex Education section and has written for Tradingmarkets.com, the Asia Times Online, Stocks & Commodities Magazine, MarketWatch, ActiveTrader Magazine, Currency Trader, Futures Magazine and SFO. She is frequently quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS and Bloomberg Radio. She has also hosted trader chats on EliteTrader, eSignal and FXStreet, sharing her expertise in both technical and fundamental analysis.

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