Well, maybe not 17K reasons, but how about 17 reasons the stock market might be near a top.
And yes, I get it that you can’t really call a stock market top. And yeah, I get it that when you have bloggers, websites or financial pundits saying there’s a stock market top then the top’s probably not in yet.
Still though, it’s interesting to look at some of the crazy things that are starting to happen in the stock market. Is this irrational exuberance? Of course not. Is this the dot com bubble? Of course not. But the stock market is at or near all time highs and only a few years ago it seemed like the whole financial world or at least Greece and maybe Europe along with it, was going to fall apart. And yeah, it’s like all those bailouts of the banks and TARP and down 500 days are long forgotten. Simply put: It certainly doesn’t hurt to sell some stocks if you’ve been in the market the past few years. If the market tops not in, it’s at least not far away.
1) The rise of margin debt might pose a risk to this bull market.
2) Everyone wants to take Quaaludes and be The Wolf of Wall Street.
3) Book deals are being given to fictitious elevator Twitter accounts, where conversations may or may not have take place on a Goldman Sachs lift.
4) Carl Icahn wants every company in the world to spin off some aspect of their company and do an IPO.
5) Brothers are calling their brother broker for stock market tips.
UH OH: My brother called me in office today to ask "What's Hot in the market." Haven't experienced much anecdotal bullishness this cycle yet
— Barry Ritholtz (@ritholtz) March 18, 2014
6) Luxury car ads are everywhere you look on TV – the economy might be improving but not everyone can own a Lexus, BMW, or Land Rover.
7) FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is getting people to chase stock market gains. That’s usually a bad sign.
8) WhatsApp, an app, sold for $19 billion. While it has something like 500,000 users, who’s to say those users won’t switch to another chat app?
9) Bitcoin. You have thousands of stocks to choose from and you want to place your bet on an electronic currency?
10) People are telling you to tap home equity to buy stocks.
11) Companies can’t buy back shares of their own company forever.
Total S&P 500 buybacks for 2013 reached $477 billion, a 25% jump over 2012. Fueled a huge rally. Do not expect that tailwind in 2014.
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) March 28, 2014
12) No Benny Bernanke anymore. Yes, at some point QE has to end. Can the fed and Janet Yellen thread the needle so perfectly to keep the stock market happy? I don’t think so, not without at least a pull back in the market.
13) You don’t see those cash for gold ads anymore – the fear is gone.
14) All that money on the “sidelines” is trying to join the party. Yeah, usually the Mom and Pop stock investor is late to the party.
15) Warren Buffet’s not buying any companies. During the financial melt down, Buffet was throwing money to Goldman Sachs and Bank of America and scooping up other companies too. No more bathtub inspired bank purchases of late.
16) More and more IPOs – heck, even CandyCrush is talking IPO. Some of these are IPOs are for companies that rely on a mass adoption, but it’s a fleeting love affair that could easily go from love to hate.
— Fortune Magazine (@FortuneMagazine) March 26, 2014
17) The Chinese economy is slowing. And the stock market is up on “hopes” of Chinese stimulus…thought you weren’t supposed to trade on hope.