One of the things that make financial markets so fun is their sheer unpredictability. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
There would be some deliciously karmic justice in the “dumb money” driving a rally that forced the “smart money” to cover their shorts and chase the rally that shouldn’t even be happening.
Being cursed with contrarianism, as soon as a trade gets crowded and the consensus is one way, I start looking for whatever is considered so unlikely that it’s essentially “impossible.” Sorry, I can’t help myself.
The crowded trades are 1) long the Commodity Super-Cycle and 2) long hurricane-force recession for all the persuasive reasons we all know: global scarcities, geopolitical tensions, soaring US dollar and interest rates, de-risking, crazy-stupid levels of debt and speculation, etc.
The consensus holds that “Smart Money” rotated out of tech stocks and other over-valued equities into oil and commodities. That was a smart move, indeed, and the earlier one rotated out of equities and into commodities, the smarter the trade.
In this scenario, retail owners of equities are the “Bagholders,” those who continue owning the losers all the way to the bottom (Been there and done that). It’s a market truism that Bull cycles only end when retail drinks the speculative Kool-Aid of the moment and buys into the final gasp of the rally, allowing “Smart Money” to distribute their shares to the retail chumps, who go down with the ship when the market finally rolls over.