If the rally continues (BIG IF), the next leg is going to be characterized by mind-blowing moves higher from some of the ugliest stocks on earth.

You have to look at a bear market rally like you look at a drug addict.The first phase is just intoxication, like the feeling one gets after a few beers down at the Regal Beagle Bar & Grill.  The market equivalent of this is a move higher in the blue chips and mega-cap stocks.

Next, the rally extends to the rest of the large caps, some mid-caps and the growth indexes in general get their upswing.  This is like the addict switching from beers to tequila and then smoking a little weed out behind the bar with his cousin and the busboy.

Once the large and mid-cap stocks have had their moves, the junkie looks to the smaller cap names and even some of the more distressed S&P stocks that sat out the beginning of the rally.  The euphoria kicks in here, as this would be right around the time he ducks into the men’s room to crush up a few pain pills and snort them off the sink.

Now, the addict is flying high, and the search begins for lower quality, damaged stocks and tertiary names in a given sector, as he thinks these could play catch up to their better-managed and bigger brethren companies.  At this point, he is sitting in his car outside his ex-girlfriend’s house doing lines of cocaine off of CD cases.

Movement of the DJIA between January 2017 and March 2020, showing the all-time high on 12 February, and the subsequent crash during the COVID-19 pandemic

The final stage of this junkie odyssey is when you start to see the bankruptcy candidates putting on 40 and 50% moves, you are looking at the equivalent of a drug addict sucking the nitrous gas out of a whipped cream canister, so desperate for that final high that he’ll pretty much try anything at the end of the night.