By now most investors know about Joseph Granville. He has been on the nightly newscasts, on the morning news shows, and probably the noon news programs.
He is the "technical analyst" who has called the tops and bottoms on the stock market correctly for the past year.
Mr. Granville is not the only technical analyst on Wall Street, however, and not all of them have agreed with him.
Take, for example, David Bostian. Mr. Bostian runs Bostian Research Associates, a division of Jesup & Lamont Securities Company, and he issues a newsletter, just as Mr. Granville does. (The newsletter sells for $125 a year, which is half the price of the Granville Market Letter.) In some of his recent newsletters, called The Boswell Report, he has become involved in a slugfest with Mr. Granville. It seems that Granville got upset over some Wall Street Journal stories on Nov. 19 and July 25 which quoted Bostian.
Thus, on Nov. 22, Mr. Granville devoted the first page and a half of his market letter to what Mr. Bostian calls "an attack" on him.
Mr. Bostian counterattacked on Dec. 5. He warned his subscribers to "BEWARE THE PIED PIPER," or Mr. Granville. Mr. Bostian said the market had very weak technical underpinnings and investors who were following Mr. Granville could be badly burned, facing a market road sign reading "NO EXIT." Only on Jan. 3 Mr. Granville was advising his readers to aggressively buy stocks. On Dec. 5, Mr. Bostian had been warning his readers to stay out of the market.
Despite their differences, Mr. Bostian says that Mr. Granville, or "Smokin' Joe," as he calls him, really does some good work. Mr. Bostian gives him credit for doing some landmark work several decades ago and notes that some of his current theories have been effective in recent years. But they do have some disagreements.
For example, Mr. Bostian believes that his own computer studies give a better lead time in finding market turning points. Mr. Granville's methods, he says, don't give his clients time to take cover when he sees a major move in the market.