Ritholtz Cautious, But Sees No Sign of Market Top

Barry Ritholtz of FusionIQ and The Big Picture blog has had an excellent track record in recent years — bearish before the ’08 plunge, bullish as the market surged in 2009, and, most recently, going 100% to cash two days before the recent May 7 plunge.

Ritholtz tells Yahoo! TechTicker that he expected a 10% to 15% correction in the market before last week’s big drop. The problem now, he says, is that the May 7 decline was so swift and steep that the market hit that range incredibly quickly. As a result, he’s now trying to determine whether “that was it” — i.e., the correction has come and gone — or whether more declines are coming.

While more short-term declines may occur, Ritholtz doesn’t see evidence that we’ll soon see an end to what he says is a broader cyclical bull run.

Right now, he says, the data that typically accompanies “real tops” in the market is “just not there yet”. He says equities are somewhat pricey, but adds that that is typical coming off of an earnings trough. He is, however, looking for another leg down in the housing market.

As for what he’s buying or selling now, Ritholtz says he hasn’t been that active, and is just “trading around a bit”. He said it’s important to remember a piece of advice from Warren Buffett in an uncertain market like this one:  “You don’t have to swing at every pitch.”

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