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Stocks , Investing

Insights into This “Old Faithful” Indicator of Financial Peaks

Here’s when “supposedly informed corporate officers take the bait”

by Bob Stokes
Updated: March 07, 2023

Some stock market indicators have proven themselves market cycle after market cycle.

For example, one indicator which has stood the test of time is a jump in the level of foreign buying near or at a stock market top -- and that can be in any country. Right now, we're talking about the U.S., but looking back a few decades, it also occurred in Japan at the end of the 1980s.

Another Old Faithful indicator of financial peaks is an extreme in the zeal with which corporations buy back their own shares.

Our April 2022 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast noted:

Companies usually buy back their own shares at a record pace near major market peaks.

As historical examples, new extremes in quarterly S&P buybacks occurred around the time of the stock market peaks in the first quarter of 2000 and the third quarter of 2007. Another extreme accompanied the Dow and S&P tops in the first quarter of 2022.

Our just-published March Elliott Wave Financial Forecast provides an update with this chart and commentary:


[Here's an] Old Faithful indicator... a new monthly record of $131.5 billion of announced buybacks in January. This total is even higher than that of January 2021 and January 2022. It was also close to half of the record three-month total in the first quarter of 2022. As the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast said in April, "At the end of the greatest stock market advances, supposedly informed corporate officers take the bait."

Financial optimism is running so high that even a new tax has not slowed corporate officers from buying back shares. Here's a March 2 news item from the Wall Street Journal:

Executives largely shrugged off a new 1% tax on stock buybacks as the cost of doing business.

Keep in mind that the level of corporate buybacks is not a short-term timing tool for the stock market.

It's best to consult the market's Elliott wave pattern for insights into specific and important price junctures.

You can get those Elliott wave insights by following the link below.

Many Investors Focus on “Casino-Style” Bets

When people comment that Wall Street is just one big casino -- they're making the point that investing is risky.

Yet, a sizeable number of investors are, in effect, making bets.

Our just-published March Elliott Wave Financial Forecast describes what's been going on -- and says these bets will likely lead to a spike in stock market volatility.

Get the full story -- plus, get our Elliott wave analysis of U.S. stocks, bonds, gold, silver, the U.S. dollar and more, as you follow the link below.

The Treasury Bond: We Forecast the Turn From a 12-Year Low (plus what followed)

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Wheat Had the Ultimate Bullish Boost – War! So Why Did It Go Bust Instead?

When Russia invaded Ukraine, news stories said "no end in sight" to the spike in wheat prices. Yet prices soon went bust. Why? See the contrary chart and commentary we showed Commodity Pro Service subscribers.


PTPC: The Stock Market is Riskier Than Economists Realized

Everyone knows financial markets are risky. But just how risky are they? Economists thought they knew, but it turns out that they had underestimated market risk by several orders of magnitude. Discover why and learn about a perspective that can help you get a better grasp on risks in the markets and everyday life.