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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why did the stock market fall despite a good IIP number?

India’s Nov 2011 IIP (Index of Industrial Production) came in at 5.9% – higher than the consensus estimate – raising hopes of a quick return to the growth path. Considering the Oct 2011 IIP of –5.1%, there was a huge 11% swing month-on-month.

The stock market should have celebrated by spiking higher – specially since both the Sensex and Nifty are in the midst of rallies from their recent bottoms. Instead of doing the obvious by rising, both indices lost ground. Not much, but enough to cause consternation among small investors.

What is going on? Is this just the way Mr Market behaves to separate investors from their hard-earned money?

There can be a few logical explanations, which are mentioned below:

1. Both the Sensex and Nifty are in the midst of prolonged bear markets. Good news tend to get ‘discounted’ quickly and bad news causes renewed selling during bear markets.

2. Infosys – which is generally considered to be one of the bellwethers of the Indian stock market – announced better than expected Q3 results, but disappointing Q4 guidance and got hammered. Its high weightage in both indices caused the fall.

3. Oct 2011 IIP number was unusually low – but one must remember that it was a festival month (Navratri and Diwali), which meant lower production days due to the holidays. Nov 2011 IIP was comparatively much better, but some of the new orders may be due to inventory replenishment. Lower growth usually leads to inventory draw-downs (companies tend to let their existing inventory get depleted almost completely before placing new orders).

4. Technically, both indices retreated after facing twin resistances from their 50 day EMAs and DTLs (refer last Sunday’s post on Sensex and Nifty chart patterns).

5. All of the above.

Stock markets don’t necessarily move according to logic. In the short-term, sentiments can, and often do, overrule the fundamentals. So can a rush of buying or selling by the FIIs. What should small investors do?

Remember an old saying: “Buy the rumour; sell on news.” There is no better example of that maxim than today’s price action in the TTK Prestige counter. The company announced impressive Q3 results, but the stock lost more than 7% after the ‘good news’!

The stock market is in a state of flux. After 14 months of down trend, small investors are becoming impatient to buy in the hope of a trend reversal soon. Please be aware that interest rate is still high. So is inflation – though food inflation has turned negative. Stock markets don’t reverse trend till the first few interest rate cuts happen.

There is a clamour for a CRR rate cut from all corners. If the Nov 2011 IIP figure is the reality, i.e. economic growth is back on track instead of what has been mentioned in point 3 above, then there is no reason for the RBI to cut the CRR – let alone cut the interest rate. A rate cut may stoke the inflation fire.

In other words, there is no need to turn bullish yet. Await Q3 results of the big guns and RBI’s policy announcement on Jan 24. You may miss the absolute bottom by being conservative, but in a bear market it is better to be safe than sorry.


Stock Market News today said...

why indian nifty futures down january 12 2012

Bhaskar Jain said...

Subhankar da,

Are the IIP numbers revised like they revise the inflation numbers for the past?? If so, then we cannot take these numbers at face value.

Subhankar said...

@SMNt: For the same reasons that the Nifty was down!

@Bhaskar: Yes, they are. In fact, the Oct '11 IIP figure was changed from -5.1% to -4.7%.

Ram Kumar said...

Hi Subhankar, what would you make of Adani Enterprises. It has jumped more than Rs. 100 in the last 5 trading sessions.

Subhankar said...

Adani Ent reversed sharply from a double-top, correcting 65% from its peak. The past few days' rally hasn't pulled the stock out of its bear market. The stock is at a strong resistance level and looking overbought.

I don't track this stock, so can't comment on the fundamentals.