Nobody can predict the markets but it is useful to look at a number of different possible scenarios to make sure you are prepared when/if it happens. This recent decline in the market has brought about a possible scenario involving an abbreviated bear market. We have had three bear markets in history that haven’t really lasted that long:
1. 1957 3 Months -20.7%
2. 1962 6 Months -28%
3. 1966 8 Months -22.2%
The sharp decline the market has had since December 2 increases the possibility that we are in another short term bear market. If this is the case then the lower price target on the S&P 500 would be around 1630-1730 (1737 is the February 2014 low which would be the next major support area if we break the October 2014 lows). If this scenario actually plays out the market could actually reach new highs by year end. The Fed will have a lot to say about this, they are probably one and done for now until things stabilize, but things get really interesting if they reverse the December rate hike.
Another possibility if this is a short term bear market is that we don’t reach new highs but we bop around between the new lows and old highs. For anyone who likes turbulence on a plane this scenario would be lots of fun.
There is still the disaster scenario if the oil continues to decline and China implodes.