In the weekend report you said mutual funds were in the process of unloading high P/E tech stocks from the prior bull market rally. Who is buying them? (June 4, 2002)

  There has been selling all the way down punctuated by periods of buying. In each case the selling has overcome the buying ultimately and pushed the stocks lower. There are mutual funds still dumping shares as we saw with WCOM and ORCL on very high volume, and other tech stocks as well as they continue their downtrends. You are correct in pointing out that for every seller to make a sell there has to be a buyer. Mutual funds that want to get rid of these stocks tend to sell into rallies or sell when bad news hits or they break support levels. When the stocks are rallying, hope springs eternal for retail investors and even for the institutional investors. They try to pick some of the stocks up on rallies, looking down the road 5 and 10 years. On the selling they pick up some more shares, averaging in at different levels. While there are as many buyers as sellers, the pressure is down on price because buyers are only willing to pay so much for the shares; the market maker or specialist must lower the bid to get buyers to take on the shares. There is simply less demand for the stock than there is willing supply, and the price thus drops. As long as the willing supply is there to sell even as the stock price falls, the share price will fall and that is the selling or dumping of shares by mutual funds. That it happens on high volume is a certain sign of institutional selling.


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