Anyone who has followed my blogging knows that I’ve been bearish for a long time. I remain psychologically bearish. But I trust the pictures painted by market participants more than my own analysis of underlying fundamentals. As technical analysis goes, just two current pictures suggest a fairly clear (and bullish) reading of the market environment.
The S&P (SPY) appears to be breaking out. We’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks, but given that there has been strong resistance for 18 months now, a break-out seems likely to suggest significant upside in my view.
Here is a shorter term look at the S&P.
Alongside the breakout in U.S. equity markets is an apparent topping in long term U.S. Treasuries (TLT).
All of this appears to portend a very equity-friendly environment going forward. It may be the commodities will be along for this upside ride after missing out entirely in the most recent equity rally.
Headfakes do happen, so that’s something be wary of. Treasuries seem to confirm equity upside, as I see it, but time will tell. Happy trading.
Brexit has made for some market excitement, so perhaps it’s time to review some charts. The major breakdown that that I anticipated (and still seems inevitable to me) has not transpired yet. Instead, the markets have settled into a sideways pattern over the last couple years. Today’s bloodbath doesn’t really change anything. American markets are near highs with plenty of room to fall before encountering meaningful support.
Here is what the S&P SPY looks like:
Here is what the Nasdaq QQQ looks like. It may be forming a head & shoulder pattern:
International markets are in much worse shape, but the VEU ETF (global equity) is still well above channel support.
The gold miner breakout that I’ve been tracking for awhile continues unabated. I have no sense for where a top might be. I have expected a pullback on a few different occasions, but so far no shakeout has lasted more than a few days. Gold looks to have broken out solidly from a bullish wedge.
GDX and GDXJ were beaten much more savagely in recent years, and the breakout has reflected that oversold condition. Neither GDX nor GDXJ has even reached the 23% Fibonacci retracement from 2010 highs! Despite a 100%+ gain from this year’s lows, there still appears to be plenty of upside in the longer term.
Though I seldom consider fundamentals in my trading analysis, I do think the continued ZIRP and push towards NIRP provides continued support for gold prices. The punishment for holding gold (no interest return) is a nonfactor, and gold feels like a much ‘safer’ holding to me than the digital or paper cash offered by banks. NIRP is, imho, a very real potential driver for gold prices.
That’s a rough overview of the way I see things right now. Gold or gold miners remain a hold or buy in my view. I would prefer to buy on a big pullback, but I don’t have a sense for when that might occur. I think markets will trend down, but I don’t think Brexit is any kind of singular catalyst for collapse. I will sit up and take notice when this sideways channel that dominates (American) markets is broken – either to the upside or downside.
So the miners have indeed rallied. The rally has been so violent that it feels due for a pullback. So if I assume that gold miners have broken out decisively from a long term falling wedge (as I do), what pattern might we expect that both a) shakes out some momentum chasers, and b) suggests even larger long term gains? A reverse head-and-shoulders would seem to do the trick. If that winds up being how this plays out, I imagine we should expect a reversal to the downside sometime soon. Here is what I imagine it might look like for GDX:
This scenario would suggest taking some profit here and loading up after a pullback. It is of course quite possible that these miners continue churning higher. I would certainly rather just hold long term than be caught empty-handed because I do think this breakout is for real and has much higher to go. But for the swing traders (and I have a bit of that in my blood), this looks like a fun gamble .
Gold miners (both GDXJ and GDX) appear to breaking out of a multi-year falling wedges in very convincing fashion. Should there be a pullback to test the breakout, I imagine I will add to holdings by loading up.
Also (at the bottom), Conoco-Phillips (COP) is hitting multi-decade support as oil is putting in a huge intra-week reversal.
The initial S&P reversal failed (my previous post), but it looks like the S&P is trying to put another intra-week reversal on the chart this week. I still suspect the market gets a multi-week rally, but am even more convinced that a longish term top is in place. I think the downside risk far outweighs the upside potential here over the mid/long term in the broad market.
Good luck trading!
Yeah, this definitely looks like a reversal. I still think the ‘top’ is in, but this intra-week reversal on the weekly chart looks an awful lot like a candlestick bottom.
I suppose only time will tell whether a rally follows and how far it can go. Good luck trading!
To my way of thinking, the U.S. (and global) markets have put a technical ‘top’ in place. The question that remains open in my present paradigm is whether the new trend is sideways or down. Either way, I imagine we should see a bounce in equities here. The U.S. is testing what should be solid support if the market is to continue trending sideways.
The global ETF (VEU) has shown greater weakness, but I have placed the sideways channel support a bit lower, using support from 2010, 2011 and 2012 for a bottom. That level is not yet being tested.
One asset that is looking strong amid equity weakness is U.S. Treasuries, as usual. TLT appears to have broken to the upside of a recent pennant pattern.
My suspicion is that the equity downtrend resumes after a brief rally here. In my search for new short candidates, cousin housing stocks look like appealing short targets: LOW and HD. Both have broken down from multi-year (steep) rising channels. But LOWE’s appears to be the weaker as it has broken under its 200 day MA in addition to breaking its trendline.
One little philosophical note. To me, technical analysis is just a tool for analyzing the collective behavioral patterns of human psychology (I would suggest algorithms also reflect human consciousness in that they are guided by human logical constructions). In contradiction to standard economic theory, I would contend that we are clearly not rational animals and so, not surprisingly, the market is not a rational reflection of pricing. Good luck trading.
For over a year now I have believed the U.S. stock market is going through a significant topping process. If this is indeed the case, we should start to get additional confirmation in the coming months.
One of the most bearish charts is QQQ, which formed a multi-year rising wedge and is currently retreating from resistance around the old 2000 highs. After breaking support last summer, it rallied back to support only to be rebuffed once again in classic bearish fashion.
The S&P chart can be read as either a rising wedge (bearish) or a rising channel (bullish). I have consistently viewed it as a wedge, which it broke down from last summer. In all of the (many) rallies, the 2100 area has provided consistent resistance. On the downside, 1850-ish provided support for two sharp pullbacks (one in 2014, and another in 2015), making for a sideways channel over the last year or two. Support from the rising channel comes into play around 1950. It will be interesting to see if the S&P breaks out of this range in the coming months.
There are a couple of individual stocks which I have targeted as showing particularly bearish patterns. I noted QCOM some time ago. I have since covered my short, but continue to watch with interest as it is down nearly 50% from its 2014 high.
I also recently noted MMM, which is also breaking down from a long term rising wedge and appears to have been rebuffed after rallying to its old support
Another company that I strongly dislike for largely fundamental reasons is HLF. It may be putting the right shoulder in place for a multi-year head-and-shoulders pattern. It looks like it may fall to $30 from here, and would likely go much lower if the strong support at $30 fails to hold.
A stock that I have not shorted but am watching closely is HD. It has been a great couple of years for Home Depot, but they are dependent upon the housing market and enthusiastic DIYers. If the market takes a hit as I suspect it may, HD could be hit particularly hard. HD certainly has a chart that looks primed for a major selloff once support breaks.
Happy New Year and happy trading.
U.S. markets have rallied massively in the last month and have returned to previous highs. Resistance is at hand, and we should soon discover whether the late summer breakdown is re-confirmed by failure here, or another leg higher is in store.
Here is the S&P chart, with strong resistance around 2100. I am view this most recent rally as another small rising wedge.
Here is the longer term view of that same S&P pattern.
The Nasdaq QQQ also broke down from a multi-year rising wedge. It is now testing the underside of previous support.
One stock that may be a useful companion to that trade idea is MMM. Like the S&P, MMM broke down from a rising wedge, and has returned to the underside of old support.
I remain of the view that we are witnessing a topping process. As such, I see the current action as perhaps a final re-visitation of this price area. Naturally, it is a belief I hold loosely as recent years have made all such bearish wagers dangerous business on which profits needed to be taken pretty quickly. We’ll see if this plays out any differently.
The major indexes appear to have pretty conclusively ‘broken down.’ There was a large bullish wick put in place at the bottom of the initial breakdown, but upon returning to the old support, major indexes have since retreated. Here is the long term Nasdaq (weekly) chart that shows a (7 year old!) rising wedge failing at the old 2000 high, forming a double top, and now breaking down. Just based on the time and percentage moves involved in this chart, I’d imagine we have a good ways to fall.
Same ugly story in the S&P.
At this point I am settled into my short and have taken most long exposure off the table. Bear markets are typically incredibly volatile (much moreso than bull markets), so I am viewing big rallies as opportunities to add shorts and trim longs.
It seems like I am always on the road when life gets interesting in the market. This is a post I had started a few weeks ago. I felt no urgency to get the post up because the time frames involves are a decade-plus, and the market topping process seemed to be playing out in slow motion. Last week slow motion turned to a rapid decline. But these charts have played out as indeed very meaningful (perhaps played out too quickly to be very useful now). Remember these charts were produced BEFORE last week’s meltdown (so last week’s drop is not included in these images), but it shows the resistance that the high-flying market leaders were up against. As you can, they could have a long, long way to fall yet.
Three of the biggest names in tech faced serious multi-year resistance: Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG).
Obviously, the resistance proved meaningful for each of these stocks. The S&P and QQQ have broken down from bearish patterns. I think we have a good bit further to fall, though I have no idea how far or how fast. Fundamentally, I think there is still far too much liquidity stuck in markets with very small doors.
The treasuries (TLT) breakout that I noted weeks ago continues to look very healthy. It looks like it may remain a good place to find peace in the current market turbulence.