The Phaserl


Why Bear Markets Are So Hard to Short

by Rick Ackerman, Rick

Recall that a little more than a week ago, in a headline atop one of these commentaries, we invited you to “Join Us as We Short Every Stupid Rally.” And why not? Stocks are probably in a bear market now, and making money on the short side should be as easy as stringing beads, right? Well, not exactly. In the several years that have passed since we last experienced a full-blown bear, we’d forgotten how devious he can be. Expecting the worst, we somehow still put out advice to Rick’s Picks subscribers Wednesday night that had them looking for a last-gasp rally to get short. We even gave them a go-ahead to get long cautiously, based on a buy signal in the E-Mini S&Ps that had been triggered a day earlier. When stocks opened Thursday morning, however, what we saw instead was a 170-point collapse in the Dow on news that the Supreme Court had upheld Obamacare. The funny thing is, even bears who stuck to their guns could have lost money, since stocks came roaring back in the final hour.

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