New Year’s pundit parade: Oil bottoms, stocks bubble, gold beckons

New York (Dec 31)  If you’re reading this, there’s only one question to ask: Why? Shouldn’t you be icing the bubbly or sticking toothpicks through miniature sausages? Two questions, but who’s counting? Three.

Anyway, the stock market might be about to open, but it’s already got that ghost-town vibe to it. There is, however, one slight sliver of drama left to this year’s bull market, and that’s whether the blue chips have enough gas to end the year above the 18,000 mark.

Prediction: Yes, they do.

Of course, it’s that crunch time of the year when punditry is in overdrive with forecasts. Financial bloggers, reporters and analysts feel compelled to toss around their guesses. A year from now, we’ll forget all about most of them. Unless they hit their targets, and then we’ll be hearing all about them when 2016 rolls around.

Out of respect and pity for those of you without better things to do than spend the last day of 2014 glued to what could be one of the least-interesting sessions of the year, I will refrain from any more prognostications. Except this one: Oil may have just hit bottom (see our chart of the day).

OK, one more. From Michael O’Rourke at Jones Trading: “We still think the Goldilocks trade is set to reverse and U.S. equities remain a bubble risk.” He also believes “the dollar has entered a multiyear bull market.”

Last one. Promise. Dennis Gartman is big on the gold trade in 2015. In fact, he told CNBC that he’s all for owning gold “aggressively, in yen and euro terms.” Heed at your own peril. Gartman won a “worst streak” award for his forecasting record (more on that below).

With that, a Happy New Year and start enjoying the day. Equities already are.

Key market gauges

Futures on the Dow YMH5, +0.08%  and the S&P ESH5, +0.16%  are rising after Tuesday’s rough go. Asia ADOW, +0.44%  finished higher, with Shanghai SHCOMP, +2.18% likely the world’s top-performing major index in 2014, surging 2.2%. Europe SXXP, +0.35%  is looking to end on a positive note, as well. Crude CLG5, -2.05%  is sliding toward its worst year since 2008, as investors fret over the possibility that U.S. stockpiles data will fan fears of a global glut. Gold GCH5, -0.10%  is barely moving and could finish right where it started the year.

The quote of the day

“The West has maintained the dominant narrative of ‘Russia in Crimea’, whereas the true narrative is ‘USA in Ukraine’. The truth is not being aired in the West. It’s a surreal perversion of history that’s going on once again, as in Bush pre-Iraq ‘WMD’ campaign.” — Oliver Stone, in a Facebook rant calling the Ukrainian revolution a “coup.”

The economy

A trio of reports begins with initial weekly unemployment claims at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. At 9:45 a.m., we’ll get the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for December. Fifteen minutes later, pending home sales for November will be released.

Source: MarketWatch