What Starts a Bull Market?

(Published by TradeGuider Systems)

To start the bull market process, an Index (or the stocks it represents) starts to fall in price day after day, week after week, punctuated with small up-moves with lower tops, as seen in a bear market. There will be a level reached at some time where weak holders will start to panic (known as ‘the herd’) and will tend to sell their stock holdings all at the same time. These weak holders will not be able to stand any more losses, and will be fearful of even further losses (the news will be bad). As these traders sell, professional money will step in and start buying, because in their view, the stock can now be sold at a higher price at some point in the future. The panic selling has also given professional money the opportunity to buy without putting the price up against their own buying (accumulation).

This process is going on all the time, creating either a small move or a large move. Any move that does start is in direct proportion to the amount of shares which have changed hands.

To create a major bull market you need to see the extremes of this process at work, which is known as a selling climax. This phenomenon occurs when there is a major transfer of stock from weak holders. Weak holders are traders who have been locked-in at higher prices, suffering the fear and pressure of losses, which cannot be tolerated any longer. These weak holders gladly sell to the strong holders. This then gives the strong holders, who are on the right side of the market, the opportunity to buy and to cover their short positions without putting the price up against their own buying.

Accumulation is the term used to show that large interests are actively buying stock(s). The traders in most accumulation campaigns are usually not interested in the company or its directors. They will have already done all their homework on the targeted company. Their only interest is in making a profit from a price difference.

A very good way to absorb a large capital base is to target a fundamentally good quality company stock that has seen a substantial drop in price. Buying takes place, but the trick is to keep your buying as quiet as possible and never allow your buying to raise the price of the stock very far. These buy orders will vary under different market conditions. As time passes, larger and larger amounts of stock are transferred to the buyers (strong holders). As this transfer takes place, the imbalance of the supply and demand becomes greater. Once the buyers have removed the restraints, a bull move will occur.

Many professionals operate in so-called 'rings' for group strength. Huge amounts of money are invested in the accumulation (buying) of targeted stocks by large concerns, and even individual traders acting for their own, or unknown accounts. Many outside traders may have noticed the buying and will start buying on the principle "if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me". This secondary buying is liable to create resistance at higher prices, as these outsiders take profits before the bull market has had time to run its full course.

Professional traders understand human psychology (so do you, but you may have failed to link it with the stock market). They know that most stockholders who take an active interest in the price of their stock can be shaken out of their holdings one way or another. Even the passage of time will tend to shake traders out of the market, as they wait month after month in anticipation of a recovery. Even if these holders have a potential 'winner', they start to think this stock is never going to recover now. Every time any up-move does start, it appears to drop sharply again. The syndicate operators will be hitting the stock hard and fast with sell orders to knock the price back down again to enable even more buying – this frantic selling of large blocks of stock is what causes the price to drop. They might appear to be selling, but the process results in more buying than selling at the end of the day. If weak holders stick this phase out, they still have to face the shake-out on bad news, usually seen just before the actual bull move.

The base cause for any up-move is the accumulation of the underlying stock by large money interests. Frequently these money interests act in groups or syndicates, sometimes known as ‘The Crowd’. The market-makers or specialists must also be fully aware of what is going on! Market-makers and specialists trade their own accounts and very actively too, so they can be expected to be looking very closely at these trading syndicates.

Chart 30: A Bull Market (chart courtesy of TradeGuider)