The first week of July 2013 was the last time the Russell 2000 traded at these levels. That is 30 months of buy-and-hold for no return. Despite the constant clammer from "Small Cap fund managers" that they are the plaxce to be for protection against a soaring USD (since they are dominantly domestically focused), it seems the fact that small caps are much more sensitive to credit market conditions is the real reason and that market is carnaging.
The beaten-down Russell 2000 Small-Cap Index has reached a confluence of significant potential near-term support levels. Should this level fail to provide as much as a speed bump and the Russell 2000 slices right through it, then perhaps a more devastating market decline is already at hand.
"After suffering the worst start to a new year in history, the U.S. stock market has entered correction territory which is defined by a drop of 10% from its old high. The following "hateful eight" charts pretty much speak for themselves... This doesn't bode well for U.S. stocks which are now in the riskiest position since the bull market started seven years ago."
A lot of people were expecting some really great things to happen in 2015, but most of them did not happen. But what did happen? A global financial crisis began during the second half of 2015 threatens to greatly accelerate as we enter 2016. This is what the early stages of a financial crisis look like, and the worst is yet to come.
According to ScGen, the Fed is widely expected to start tightening policy on Wednesday and adds that "after the BoJ and ECB, we see a risk that the market will be wrong-footed for a third time, and that extreme positions built ahead of tightening will be reversed.... In particular, we are short US small cap equities vs large via being short Russell 2000 vs S&P 500.... As the Fed tightens and the market enters into a lower-liquidity environment (and higher-volatility regime), we think the premium on small caps is no longer justified."
In the end, we are just human. Despite the best of our intentions, it is nearly impossible for an individual to be devoid of the emotional biases that inevitably lead to poor investment decision making over time. This is why all great investors have strict investment disciplines that they follow to reduce the impact of human emotions. Take a step back from the media and Wall Street commentary for a moment and make an honest assessment of the financial markets today. Does the current extension of the financial markets appear to be rational? Are individuals current assessing the "possibilities" or the "probabilities" in the markets?
"... As the tide of leverage goes out, the full extent of irresponsible lending becomes apparent. The previously virtuous cycle between risk spreads and fundamentals goes into reverse, with lower prices, defaults, and downgrades forcing leveraged investors to sell, leading to even lower prices."
"The previous three times this metric fell that far into negative territory on the S&P 500 were Q1 1990, Q1 2001, and Q4 2007, coinciding with the start of each of the last three high yield default cycles"
"The dealer market has collapsed, and all that's left are investors trading the same few bonds back and forth, leaving pricing services guessing with bigger and bigger margins of error on the real value of illiquid debt. That's the real problem. And it's not one the SEC can fix by targeting 'transcendent liquidity' in ETFs."
"Clients are quick to point out similarities between the current low breadth environment and the narrow breadth regime that emerged during the tech bubble in the late 1990s. Our Breadth index currently equals 1, one of the lowest levels in the 30- year series. The typical episode lasted four months, with past episodes ranging from two months in 2007 to a high of 14 months during the tech bubble."