Joseph Granville, whose “sell everything” call in 1981 sparked a decline in U.S. stocks, said the Dow Jones Industrial Average will drop toward 8,000 this year because of waning momentum and volume.
“Volume precedes prices,” Granville, 88, a technical analyst who has been publishing the Granville Market Letter from Kansas City, Missouri for about 50 years, said in an interview on “Street Smart” on Bloomberg Television. “You are seeing much lower volume. That tells you that prices are going to go much lower, much lower than most people think possible and very few people have projected.”
The Dow average has gained 4 percent this year to 12,708.82 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has climbed 4.6 percent this month, its best start to a year since 1997, as economic data on housing, manufacturing, and employment bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.
Trading in U.S. stocks fell to the lowest level since at least 2008 amid mutual fund withdrawals and Wall Street job cuts. An average of 6.69 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges in the 50 days ended Jan. 18, the fewest on record in Bloomberg data starting three years ago that excludes over-the-counter venues. On the New York Stock Exchange, volume has tumbled to the lowest level since 1999, the data show.
Granville told newsletter readers to “Sell Everything” on Jan. 6, 1981. The Dow fell 2.4 percent the next day. He correctly forecast the bear market of 1977-78 and the burst of the Internet bubble that began in 2000. In March 2008, Granville said the Dow would end the year near 9,000, more than 27 percent below its level of 12,392.66 at the time. The gauge finished the year at 8,776.39.
His predictions proved less prescient during some of the previous bull markets. He failed to foresee the rally that started in 1982 and lasted for five years. He also called for losses in 1995 while the S&P 500 rose every year till 2000.