Market Cycle: All You Need To Know About The Stock Market Cycle

Market Cycle: All You Need To Know About The Stock Market Cycle
Market Cycle: All You Need To Know About The Stock Market Cycle

The stock market also has patterns, often called cycles.  The natural cycle of markets is to rise and fall.

During the cycle, the company’s revenue and profitability can be characterized by high growth.  Companies operating in a certain industry may exhibit similar patterns that are cyclical in nature and are called age-related.

What Is A Market Cycle?

A new market cycle can form when a new technological innovation or change in market rules disrupts existing market trends and creates new ones. 

The changes are industry specific, meaning there are no blanket changes across all market sectors due to the introduction of new products or a new regulatory regime.

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What Causes Market Cycles?

Over time, there are more and more people in the world.  And thanks to technological improvements, companies and their employees can be more productive and produce more products and services. 

If the demand for a product or service increases, its value increases – and so does the total value of the company that produces it.  That’s what stock prices are – a reflection of the value of the companies they represent.

While the long-term trend shows that stock prices are rising, that doesn’t mean there won’t be dips in the market along the way. 

There are several reasons why stock prices fall – access to labor, changes in interest rates, geopolitical disruptions, changes in purchasing preferences or global shortages of a key commodity like oil.

Even things like investor expectations or perceptions can affect stock prices.  Investors can also misjudge the value of companies and their future profitability. 

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What Are The Phases Of A Market Cycle?

Accumulation phase

Accumulation occurs immediately after the market bottoms.  Realizing that the worst is behind them, value investors, financial managers and sophisticated traders start buying securities, and valuation becomes extremely important. 

During the period, market sentiment changes from negative to neutral.  However, the market is still bearish.

Markup phase

At the mark-up stage, investors begin to jump in en masse, and a significant increase in market volumes is observed.  Valuations are beginning to exceed historical norms, but unemployment and layoffs continue to rise.

During the markup phase, market sentiment changes from neutral to positive or even euphoric in some cases.  There is a selling climax, which is the last parabolic rise in the price due to the participation of those who are sitting still and the wavering or risk-averse investors.

Distribution phase

The distribution phase is the third phase of the market cycle in which traders begin selling securities.  Market sentiment is changing from positive to mixed.  This is the period at the end of which the market changes direction. 

The transition is gradual and may take a long time.  Prices tend to remain more or less unchanged for several months.  However, it can accelerate due to a sudden negative geopolitical shift or bad economic news such as pandemic lockdowns.

Mark-down phase

The bearish phase is the final phase of the market cycle and is terrifying for investors who are still holding positions.  Securities prices fall far below what investors originally paid for them. 

Being the last period, it also marks the beginning of the next phase of accumulation, during which new investors will buy depreciated investments.

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What Is Stock Market Cycle?

The prices of stocks and commodities rise and fall depending on various circumstances.  This causes their prices to be cyclical.  A stock’s performance is most often measured by its closing price.

Stock market cycles are economic trends that analysts observe in various business environments.  Stock market cycles vary with certain securities (stocks) or asset classes outperforming competitors at different times. 

In some cases, the economic environment may be more favorable for some companies than for others.

For example, banks may struggle when interest rates are low, when cloud businesses may take off.  These mini-cycles feed the larger stock market and create cycles in the stock market.

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How Do Stock Market Cycle Work?

In any type of cycle, there are often fluctuations – trends and patterns that can be predicted and tracked based on past performance.  With different cycles ranging from a few minutes to over 10 years, stock market cycles are no different. 

Its cycles have been extremely useful for forecasting the stock market as short and long term price patterns and are regularly used by traders for risk management as market cycles constantly move and behave in similar ways and phases.

But while stock market cycles have clear trends, the starting and ending points are often vague and hard to pin down.

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What Is The Psychology Of Market Cycle?

Market cycle psychology is the theory that the movements that occur in the market are determined by the emotional state of its participants.  Many analysts believe that investor emotions drive prices up and down.

The idea is that investor sentiment creates the psychology of the market cycle.  Obviously, no one opinion will completely dominate.  Because of this, you see a lot of swings in the asset’s price—it’s a response to average market sentiment (which is also dynamic).

When market sentiment is positive and prices are rising, it turns into a bull market.  During this time, demand for the asset increases, which leads to a decrease in supply.  This increased demand can create an even more favorable environment, driving up the price.

When market sentiment is negative, it turns into a bear market.  Demand is decreasing and supply is increasing.  This increase in supply could create a downtrend, forcing investors to be more cautious.

What Are Market Cycle Indicators?

Technical analysis has indicators for almost everything, including identifying market cycles.  These indicators include the Commodity Channel Index (CCI) and the Trend Price Oscillator (DPO). 

Both indicators are useful when trying to analyze the cyclical nature of assets.  Although the CCI was developed specifically for commodity markets, it is equally useful when used to analyze stocks and currencies. 

DPO removes the trend from price action to make it easier to identify cycle highs and lows and cycle lengths, as well as overbought and oversold levels.

How Long Are Market Cycles?

There is no simple answer.  A complete market cycle is usually defined as the period between two highs.  In other words, a bull market, then a bear market, and then a bull market again.

The exact timing of these cycles change is impossible to predict, it is difficult.  What we do know is that the historical trend shows that stock prices are constantly rising.

This means that a well-planned long-term strategy can be essential as you focus on your investment goals.  And you don’t have to do it all by yourself.  Contact an advisor to help create a strategy that fits your needs.

Market Cycles FAQs

How Do Traders Take Advantage Of Current Price Action During Market Cycle?

All experienced traders have strategies they use to take advantage of current price action.  Many traders use the Elliott wave principle when trading.

What Is The Elliott Wave Principle?

The Elliott Wave Principle is a form of technical analysis used to analyze financial market cycles.  Traders predict market trends by identifying highs and lows in asset prices, extreme investor sentiment, and other factors. 

This wave analysis concept is based on the principles that “every action produces an equal opposite reaction”.  This means that if the price of the asset moves up or down, it will be accompanied by the opposite movement.  This price action is divided into trends, which show the main direction of an asset’s price, and corrections, which usually move against that trend.

How Long Do Market Cycles Last For A Scalper Or Day Trader?

Market cycles can last from a few minutes to several decades, depending on the time frame of the trader.  For a scalper or day trader, a full cycle can be completed in a matter of minutes or hours, while position traders and long-term investors find cycles lasting several years to several decades more useful for decision making.

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