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Stock analyst Joseph Granville dies at 90

Joseph Granville, a newsletter writer and technical analyst who moved stock markets with bearish calls in the 1970s and '80s, has died. He was 90.

Granville died in Saint Luke's Hospice House in Kansas City, Mo., said Laurel Gifford, a spokeswoman for Saint Luke's Health System. He died on Sept. 7, his wife, Karen Granville, said. The publisher of the Granville Market Letter since 1963, Granville predicted the Dow Jones industrial average's slide in 1977 to 1978 and the end to the surge in computer-related shares in 2000. He was wrong in 1982 and 1995 when he called for losses before stocks rallied.

Granville was hired by what was then E.F. Hutton & Co., a New York-based brokerage, in 1957 to write its daily stock-market letter and worked there until 1963, when he started the Granville Market Letter, a newsletter with a subscription price of $250.

Granville's main stock indicator was called on-balance volume, or OBV, which he developed.

"Everyone is following the economy. I'm following the market," Granville said in an October 2006 interview. "I'm the exact opposite of Wall Street."

In his forecasts, Granville used criteria such as trading and price patterns rather than more commonly analyzed economic data and earnings growth.

By 1981, Granville was influential enough to spur a market slump. That January, he sparked a 2.4 percent one-day decline in the Dow average by advising his subscribers, "Sell Everything!" His stock-pundit fame brought invitations to play in the Bob Hope Desert Classic golf tournament, perform with a chimpanzee at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, and play the piano at Carnegie Hall.

"Joe was extremely powerful a generation ago," said Robert Stovall, a global strategist at Wood Asset Management Inc. in Sarasota, Fla., who worked with Granville at E.F. Hutton. "If he gave the thumbs down to a market, it was like the emperor in the coliseum. The market would go down."


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