Date: July 3, 2024

Another Bear Bites The Dust

Coming into 2024 there were at least four big bears among Wall Street strategists, Mike Wilson, Julian Emmanuel, Tony Dwyer and Marko Kolanovic. All four had been very negative since at least August 2022 with Wilson being bearish since April 2021. All four strategists had forecast a down year for the stock market in 2023 which turned in one of the best years this century. Coming into 2024, they didn’t pivot to the bullish side.

Wall Street is in the business of selling anything and everything they can, regardless of whether it’s properly suited for investors. The public learned that the hard way in the years leading up to 2008. It is very difficult for strategists to be bearish in the first place. It is extremely difficult for strategists to remain wrongly bearish for years as the markets rip higher in their faces.

Recently, we saw Morgan Stanley remove the longest running bear, Mike Wilson, from its investment committee. Then, after being negative for three years and repeatedly doubling and tripling down, Wilson very quietly and suddenly abandoned his position. The firm also stopped parading him all over the media.

Julian Emmanuel was looking for a down year in 2023 and then another one in 2024. Just last month he went from the lowest target among strategists to the most bullish. You can Google his rationale, but it’s really just momentum driven. Tony Dwyer who is among the nicest and most genuinely humble guys you will ever meet, turned negative in August 2022 and just recently closed down his research website and left his firm, Canaccord Genuity.

Finally, we learned this morning that JP Morgan high profile strategist, Marko Kolanovic, is leaving the firm. He had been negative on the stock market since August 2022.

Long-term bears are endangered species on Wall Street as the Street has trouble reconciling selling bullish products when their top strategists are negative. From a sentiment standpoint, this is what happens as bull markets mature. Strategist after strategist convert to bulls and then chase targets higher until there are essentially no bears left. Losing three high profile bears in a few short months doesn’t engender feelings of an accelerating stock market over the coming few months which fits in with my forecast for an uninspiring few months.

On Monday we bought FBND. On Tuesday we bought more NVDA. We sold levered S&P 500.


Paul Schatz, President, Heritage Capital