Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stocks in U.S. Poised for 10 Percent Drop, Options Bets Show

Bets in the options market against the Standard & Poor's 500 Index have exceeded wagers it will rise by a 2-to-1 margin for a month, the longest since Bloomberg began compiling the data in 1995.

That's seen as a warning sign the market is due for a decline of 5 to 10 percent after the S&P 500 rose to two records last week, say managers of almost $1 trillion at Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management, National City Private Client Group and Russell Investment Group. The Leuthold Group, whose flagship fund has beaten 99 percent of similar funds over the last five years, expects the S&P 500 to slide as much as 19 percent by the end of the year.

The options market is ``a bell ringer,'' said David Darst, who oversees $728 billion as chief investment strategist at New York-based Morgan Stanley's private banking unit. ``On a short- term basis, the market's ahead of itself and could have a pullback.'' Darst, who cashed in some stocks in the past 12 months, said the market could drop as much as 10 percent.

The increase in so-called put options coincides with analysts' outlook for the worst corporate earnings since 2002. Retail sales slid in June by the most in almost two years, a signal that near-record gasoline prices and falling home values are taking a bigger toll on consumers than economists had forecast.

Hence, it is predicted there will be a sharp fall correction coming to the town before continue our journey to 1442 .... Becarefull......!!!

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