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Stock market turning points - are we there yet?

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Here are the Dow charts for good measure.  Here I do see the Dow as making the Fib 62% more clearly BUT the rally phase is much more complex and indicative of a retrace rather than a motive on this index vs the others.  While it is possible that the Dow could peak a bit earlier than the Tech heavy SP500 and especially the Nasdaq, it does give more credence to the final high being already in.  If this is the case the we could see a lower high retrace on this market after a further drop than the SP500 and Nasdaq as the final rally phases resolve.  That's all too far down the line yet but, for me, worth keeping in mind as price action evolves.


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And the FTSE100.  My take big picture is that this index has already topped out and the July high was a wave 2 retrace so I do not expect a further ATH, that is for US large caps only (if at all).

After that wave 2 (purple) high, occurring on NMD, on a clear A-B-C profile, and at the Fib 88% off the ATH, we saw a very strong bearish move to the wave 1 (blue).  This carried on down after the US large caps turned and rallied earlier, which I think is significant (hold this thought).  There was a gap on the move so we could anticipate a retrace rally to close it at a minimum and in fact the rally carried on to put an exact hit on the Fib 62% line, which coincided with a strong area of horizontal support/resistance.  There is strong NMD at this turning point on the daily and shorter time frame charts.  In addition the Death Cross has triggered again.  It triggered before, was reversed and now is triggered again.  This profile is typical for this indicator, the second trigger being the relevant one to signal a significant bearish phase (in this case a possible strong wave 3).

My only doubt is that the rally up tot he recent turn is not in a classic A-B-C, although one can be ascribed to the price action, which, if correct would confirm to one of the golden ratio relationships for Fibonacci retraces (Wave C = 0.618 Wave A) but that is only corroboratory for me, such that the wave 2 (blue) scenario is definitely on the cards from a technical perspective but not conclusive at this stage.

For those of you who place a lot more store behind MAs than I do it is noteworthy perhaps that while the MA200 provided great support up until June of this year that is breaking down now.  For anyone who uses Bollinger bands you can see that the recent turn spiked through the upper band briefly and is now heading towards the lower one.  A significant break of the lower band could be interesting...

In big picture terms I can see a scenario where the FTSE once again turns later than the US large caps and potentially even breaks past the wave 1 (blue) low or retraces very close to it, before making any relief rally.  Such a scenario would be very bearish in my view but this is something to track for now not prejudge.  The next few days and weeks could be very instructive in determining which scenario is more likely.

To summarise then my lead scenario is for a wave B (green) bearish move followed by a higher high but not an ATH to complete the wave 2 (blue).  However if we see a lower low that the wave 1 (blue) or a close test of that support zone then I might revert to a scenario where the wave 2 (blue) is already posted.


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Interesting week on stocks.  We got proof positive that the US has joined other nations in a manufacturing recession with a second months ISM PMI reading below 50 (and a significant drop vs the previous month as well).  Analysts consensus of a 50.1 (really?  Just above 50?) demonstrates the bias endemic within the FS industry.  Some people say "this time it's different", it's all about services and the consumer and anyway the jobs data is good.  But what do these services serve?  Retail has shown clear signs of being under pressure, which the perma-bulls ascribe to online vs high street (it just isn't that simple!).  In the end when people stop buying stuff the economy suffers; stop buying long enough and widespread enough and that's a recession.  In many countries people have stopped buying houses (bang goes all the house buying related goods and services); and we have seen mainstream retail players suffer and take cost cutting action and plenty of administrations over the past years or such that no one can say the warnings signs weren't there.  And jobs data has been deteriorating with restatements to the downside, actual slow down and consensus misses month after month, and anyway a lot of the jobs created are gig economy, not exactly robust and stable.  And now on Thursday the ISM PMI services reading missed consensus by some way (not yet below 50 but trending down) and US NFP missed on all major data points (but it's ok because the unemployment rate improved, hmm...).

Bad news is good news for stocks again as the stock markets rallied on the signs of immanent recession.  I can see no other reasoning other than the perma-bulls are once again placing their hopes (and their clients wealth) on Fed dovish policy.  But the Fed seem determined not to be seen to be browbeaten by Trump, who undoubtedly will bombard the tweetosphere.  Will they cut just a bit, will they overreact, will they do nothing?  I suspect nothing short of the nuclear option will satisfy the perma-bulls, and even that may only provide impetus for an almighty Bull ending exhaustion spike and crash down, which would be on the Fed, I wonder if they sense this?

I do not see this lasting much longer, and nor do many big name traders and money managers with far greater credentials than I who have none (check out the interview with Jim Rodgers on Real Vision if you have access).  I see 3 scenarios for US large caps as follows:

  1. That almighty exhaustion spike and crash down, which in itself would be a clear indicator of the top out.
  2. An ending wave 5 to a fresh ATH around about the very long term resistance trend line from the 1980s and ending channel breakdown.
  3. The end is already posted and we will see a lower low turn.

At present I favour either 1 or 2.  I think this time next month could be a very pivotal moment if ISM data continues to deteriorate and if the Fed does not act as the perma-bulls desire.  Imagine what would happen in ISM Services PSI slips below 50..!

On the technicals front I see it as follows (S&P500):

  • The bearish move was stopped at the Fib 78% with a strong pin bar on Thursday with RSI and Stochastic oversold and backed up by a bullish candle on Friday
  • On the 4H chart it looks like a possible small 1-2 on a strong rally.  From here we could see a period of consolidation before the market takes off again or alternative a turn and drop
  • On the Nasdaq price hit the lower channel line and bounced, both this channel and the one on the SP500 are very sound with many touches.  A break of these lines will be a very strong indication of a trend change.

Net, I expect a final rally on stocks fueled by Fed hopes that will either be dashed and/or lead economic data will come in very badly over the coming month or so, add to that a poor earnings season and that's the ball game.




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Has the Russell 2000 signaled the turn back into rally mode?  The US small caps are often a bit leading for the large caps, the Russell went green earlier than the others just now.  If any bearish trend push back down is halted short of the low and ideally pushed back into the green there is a good chance the retrace is done and he rally can resume.  Obviously need to break the 1510 resistance zone to be sure.


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  • 3 weeks later...

So the never ending story of the US stocks bull continues with new ATHs on the S&P500 and Nasdaq on more tech momentum led surges despite earnings trending down, global economic data worsening (heading into recession territory), huge geopolitical risk environment and the infamous China trade deal (a deal some people believe will never happen but is twanging the heartstrings of news hounds).

Previously I have suggested a melt up scenario to end the bull; I am not the only one with this thinking, far from it.  The long term charts depict a major long term resistance trend line which must be broken and not returned to for another leg of the never ending bull to stick.  Non US large caps remain below their ATHs, posted some time ago.

As I outlined in my recession warnings thread, there are some data releases in the coming days, through to early next week, that could fuel either a strong drop from here and perhaps a Santa Clause rally to cap off the Bull OR a melt up from here that capitulates quickly, thus ending the Bull.  It is worth noting that for the past couple of years (since the Jan 2018 top) every time we get an ATH we get a significant drop shortly thereafter.  Will this time be different?  Feels like it has to be if the perma bulls are to be right.  Previously commentators were talking about a recession in a few years, 2022 or thereabouts, but economist consensus is always wrong on this kind of call and we only realise we are in a recession in hindsight (similar with market tops).  Now there are more and more people targeting 2020...  Who knows, maybe we are already in recession and don't know it, although there are no shortage of signs.

I quite like the melt up scenario as it fits with my Gold/Silver retrace scenario, these markets being in negative correlation at present.  Of course we could get a mini melt up this week followed by that drop that seems typical of ATHs now and then a final melt up Santa rally to end it all.  Speculation at present of course but what I am really suggesting is that if the perma bulls cannot drive price up and over the top and keep it there across the stocks board then the recent history suggest a sharp bearish drop post the ATHs.  My EWT set up is looking for just such a drop to set up a final wave rally to end it (hence the Santa Claus rally scenario).

But don't take it from me, there are many serious players who think similarly.  Check out one I saw on Real Vision yesterday (attached is a link to his website and an article on exactly this topic).






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1 hour ago, Mercury said:

So the never ending story of the US stocks bull continues with new ATHs on the S&P500 and Nasdaq on more tech momentum led surges despite earnings trending down, global economic data worsening (heading into recession territory), huge geopolitical risk environment and the infamous China trade deal (a deal some people believe will never happen but is twanging the heartstrings of news hounds).


Go with the flow, Obi Wan.  Be one with the Force.  Or as Jesu said to Paul on the road to Damascus, don't kick against the thorns.

Edited by dmedin
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4 minutes ago, dmedin said:

Go with the flow, Obi Wan.  Be one with the Force.  Or as Jesu said to Paul on the road to Damascus, don't kick against the thorns.

For the Jedi worked out well it did not

As one lemming said to the other, lets go with the flow man, I'm sure there is a bridge to the other side or everyone wouldn't be running off the cliff!

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While the lemmings are cheering the rate cut and heading for the imaginary bridge again, while sneering at anyone who is thinking of turning back, it might be worth looking at what happened when the Fed made the past 2 cuts, these in the face of an original policy of "normalisation", whatever that really means but in this context rate raising and QE reversal.  Markets rally on rate cuts right?  Isn't that the whole point of the Fed, to keep the markets up 🎅

The Charts tell a clear story, in each of the last two rate cut events the markets fell at of a few days after the cut was announced.  The first at the end of July was at a newly minted ATH, the second was near ATH but not quite.  In July the NFP met consensus a day or two later but the market continued to plunge before a mysterious about face buy the dip action ensued to save the day again.  In September the NFP was a week and a half later and was a miss. By then the drop was well under way and after another days bearishness, and despite the NFP miss, the buy the dip action reemerged.

You might also be interested in the Vix action.  At all of the recent bearish drops the Vix spiked.  No surprise there BUT it spiked from a consolidation zone and each one since 2017 has been at a higher low and we are at another one now.  Hmm...!

So when the majority of retail trade on IG, yes that's all of us by the way, are Short, it might just be that they have looked at the form on this and anyway the exposure is tiny so why not?  The consensus view is rally forever.  the contrarian view is Short every ATH, soon enough, unless there is a major breakout that is sustained with volume, it will drop and never come back.  In the meantime there are great, and swift, profits to be made in catching the dips on the way down.


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So far so unremarkable on stocks.  Yes we have had a rally but given the decent beat on NFP and the Fed rate cut I would describe this as weak.  We have fresh ATHs on S&P500 and Nasdaq (not, it must be noted, the Dow, yet!).  The perma bulls have been talking up the next coming as these markets have broken to fresh ATHs and the Fed has produced the juice to goose the market so why so shy all of a sudden?

I wont repeat my macro case for the Bearish side but one thing I did note in my weekly review of commitment of trader (COT) data is that the net long levels on all the major US large caps are positively anemic.  Check this out:

                                                                                SP500                  Dow                      Nasdaq

Net COT long max since 2007:                         393k                       92k                          164k

Net COT long last Tuesday:                                  42k                       40k                         41k  

Of course there is another way of looking at this, that there is loads of head room for a massive rally but at present I would say this doesn't look encouraging.  At the start of the 2009 bull market (March) the SP500 posted its most bullish COT ever, that 393k net long position, now it is merely 43k net long.  Hmm, doesn't exactly instill confidence does it..?

Looking at volume the trend is quite eye opening on the SP500 and Dow, the Nasdaq is also down but more choppy, perhaps to be expected as this is supposed to be a tech/momentum led bull.  I wont comment on the volume, just look at the charts...

So maybe not tomorrow, maybe not until after a Santa rally but surely some day soon...


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Possible turning point just now.  No particular signals but both S&P500 and Nasdaq have hit resistance trendlines on low volume.  You would have thought that all the "good news" from last week would be a much bigger spur for that mega rally the perma bulls have been banging on about...  Maybe markets are worried about tomorrow's ISM data release, or just the fact than GDP and earnings continue on a downward trajectory?

What is interesting me above all of that is that the Vix may be getting twitchy and right in the turn zone I highlighted in my last post.


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35 minutes ago, dmedin said:

what makes you think there will be such drastic swings?

What makes you think that is a drastic swing?  Do you really think stocks just slowly grind up forever?  Look what happened after the last few ATH's, I think I posted a chart on that right?

Anyway the arrow is directional only.  Here is a chart with a possible route map that would be consistent with an ending channel and a Santa Claus rally that is also consistent with recent ATHs history.  Note also that there is NMD.



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There was no Santa Claus rally last year, it was the subject of much discussion, and not a little ill humour, at the time.  From memory someone posted a stat that the pre Christmas period produces a rally 65%ish of the time but it has become a regular thing in the trading zeitgeist such that everyone just believes it.  Not sure what the stats are on having a bearish pre Christmas period 2 years in a row are but I would imagine it is low, if not non existent.  Therefore the chances are good for a pre Christmas rally this year.  However the Santa Claus phase is typically read as the few weeks in the run up to Christmas.  A credible scenario therefore is the one I just outlined: a bearish drop shortly after the ATH (just happened on the Dow) that leads into a Santa Clause rally recovery and then either that fabled perma bull breakthrough rally to infinity fueled by the Fed and the Fed alone OR the perma Bear fabled mega collapse.  I am less concerned about which it is now so much as seeing whether the markets follow my road map as that in itself will be instructive.


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Something interesting occurred yesterday on US large caps (S&P500 and Tech), the drivers of the current Bull in my opinion and as such if they capitulate so will others.  One of my lead scenario rally end signals is an exhaustion spike after a melt up.  I am not sure that is what we are seeing yet but more on that another time perhaps.  For now I am interested in two 4 hours candles from 12.00 to 20.00 yesterday.  The first was up, the second was down and went below the start of the bullish one immediately preceding it.  On it's own this doesn't mean much and the spike up wasn't that impressive so I don't think of it as an exhaustion spike as such but because this occurred at a resistance trend line, breaking through the line and then returning within it, and because there was also strong NMD (waning enthusiasm for the rally), and because volume continues to be on a declining path it seems, and because the Vix is at a potential breakout to the upside the sum of all these parts points to a potential turning point.

Currently I favour a scenario where the US large caps drop and rally again in a Santa rally but that's a ways off yet, so I am not suggesting this is the end quite yet, it could be but more likely it may be a precursor.  There is also another longer term channel line above so we could see a test of that yet before that bearish drop that precipitates a Santa rally.

The Nasdaq posted an even more bearish move but the Dow didn't, so this seems to be a tech led issue, which is also telling as the whole Bull is tech led, although more latterly also defensives, which is also telling in my opinion.

Add to this the Nikkei ending the week on a downers and the FTSE100 breaking a short term trend line and the overall picture does not add up to a full "Bullbirds are go" situation to me.  So I will be watching for any potential breakout to the downside for some fast and large profits while continuing to trade elsewhere.



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Interesting!  I assume you are saying that because these 2 indices (Dax and Dow) are correlating in an upward trajectory that this confirms the bullish trend is intact.  That is all well and good but it does not preclude bearish phases, which is what I was talking about in my post.  Indeed I suggested that a turn here may not be the final turn (at least on US large caps).  The key to the end of a trend is a clear signal that it has turned irrevocably, which we do not as yet have.  However there is plenty of evidence that the bull may be running out of steam.

Dow theory is a bit arcane in my view, other than the point about correlated global stock indices, which we have in spades these days.  This is principally due to 2 major factors in my opinion as follows:

  1. The highly integrated nature of world economies due to the impact of globalisation, which, while it has many benefits, also creates an environment where "a rising tide lifts all boats", even rotten ones.  This can be seen in microcosm when people talk about zombie companies being kept afloat due to excessively low interest rates and easy money when in reality they ought to fail.
  2. Easy money, money printing, QE, ZIRP/NIRP, government bank bailouts, "too big to fail", whatever your poison all of this is artificially propping up markets.  This is most notably reflected in ideas like: "this time it's different"; "the new normal" and "value investing is dead".  All of this is a signal of the kind of euphoria present at the end of a long bull market and will, I believe, be proven incorrect just as similar thoughts have been at the end of every past cycle high.  In fact this is what contrarians look for.

If you look at Dow theory specifically you will note that the original correlation in question was between industrial (DJIA) and transport (DJTA).  I am not sure how relevant transport is to, say, tech stocks, which are the main driver of the current bull from an individual company/sector perspective, although in recent times it seems that defensives are the sectors propping up the indices, which isn't particularly bullish overall in my view and perhaps a warning sign?

The main idea within Dow Theory states that the correlating index (say transport) should follow the lead index, industrial, to new highs within a reasonable time period.  It doesn't say what is reasonable of course...  If you look at the DJTA you will see that it has not yet made new highs (last one ws around June/July 2019 I think) plus some analysts are watching sectors like transport and reporting that they are showing recessionary signals.  The idea being if manufacturing goes into recession then fewer goods are shipped then retail sales slow then job losses arise pretty much in that order.  Note the job losses are the last signal, very lagging, yet everyone hangs onto US NFP like it the only thing.  Also note that you can have a recession and an associated market fall without GDP growth going negative.  GDP is specifically NOT a measure of recession.  Even if you look at US GDP you will see that the rate of change is down not up.

But let's look at the correlation between the Dax and the Dow, as this is your thesis.  If the above main "rule" holds true then we can surely conclude that the Dax is not correlated with the Dow.  The Dax put in its current ATH in Jan 2018.  The Dow has put in 3 separate new ATHs since then but the Dax has not followed yet and may never do so.  I don't know what the definition of "a reasonable time period" is but almost 2 years doesn't appear to qualify to me...

Other factors that need to be consider within Dow Theory include:

  1.  The fact that the theory is predicated on the notion that "the market discounts everything in a way consistent with the efficient markets hypothesis".  The markets are anything but efficient, if they were there would be no price discovery, and therefore no opportunity, so this fact alone renders the theory arcane for me.
  2. "Volume should increase if the price is moving in the direction of the primary trend and decrease if it is moving against it".  Looks to me like volume is actually decreasing, if the IG volume indicator is to be believed.  Maybe we will get a burst of volume in time to come but at present it is not looking like a strong breakout rally so at least a bearish phase to "prime the pump" is necessary.
  3. "One difficult aspect of implementing Dow theory is the accurate identification of trend reversals".  For me this means it is not useful to identify turning points.  The main method in the theory is peaks and troughs, which is lagging.  I use lower lows and key support breaks as confirmatory signals not trading signals.

So net, there is no clear signal that the trend is over yet and I do align to the Dow theory in that I would need to see a lower high and lower low on a daily chart basis to conclude this but this is also EWT so I will just stick with that.  However if we consider the main element of Dow Theory, correlation of averages, there is no correlation in terms of higher highs outwith the US large caps.  As I have cited previously, all the other main indices have stubbornly refused to post higher highs.  So from that perspective the Dow theory might we telling us that the game is up...

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So looks my concerns about Gold/Silver turning back up and indicating a potential stocks bearish phase may be coming true.  The FTSE has stubbornly refused to put in a higher high so they set up (as outlined in my Recession thread) remains bearish.  The Dax has turned at the Fib 88% in what may turn out to be a wave 2 completion that triggers a strong move down before a probably Santa rally in a smaller 1-2 retrace.  US large caps may or may not have a final ATH in them or do the same as the Dax with a lower low Santa rally top.

For now I am simply focused on maintaining my Shorts off the breakouts.  With Gold/Silver rallying and USDJPY falling the stage seems to be set for a period of Stocks bearishness.  Bitcoin might be set to breakout into a rally too...



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Gold/Silver still rallying, still signaling a potential stocks drop.  Dax is the most interesting this morning.  Germany managed to stave off recession (We saved!) by putting in a 0.1% GDP growth figure (ah! maybe not!).  Dax is falling after a potential wave 2 turn and followed up a short term 1-2 (light blue on my chart).  A break of short term resistance could cement the obvious 4H channel breakout, which occurred on NMD around the Fib 88% off the ATH.

Russell 2000 and Nikkei have broken short term support levels and are now hovering around these and US large caps are currently in potential ending channel formation with the Dow putting in a new ATH overnight to join the other two, was kinda expecting/needing that to happen to get more confidence we were done with this rally phase.

It is early yet and I wonder whether the Dax and FTSE will lead everything down now or **** about waiting for the US open...


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Could be there now on the Dax and FTSE.  Well the top was some time ago but the recent top out, current in the case of the Dax, looks like it could be a big picture wave 2 (purple) turn.  As such this would suggest a short term 1-2 drop and rally to lower high (this appears to have occurred on the FTSE already with the current turn) and then the full wave 3 Bear moves would get going.  US large caps are at ATHs as we all know and may yet even put in another via a Santa rally perhaps, or could fail with this attempt and put in a lower high.  All to play out in due course.

Looking at the Dax and FTSE though a bearish phase seems to be crystalising as we progressed through the week.  Despite US large caps putting in higher highs no other index is following and indeed, in the case of the FTSE in particular, have been stubbornly putting in lower lows.  Looks like the markets are not doing what the Perma bulls want them to do...  But even some with more bullish bias longer term are seeing at least another bearish retrace before any major breakout.  I see it as an ending pattern but in this we are aligned and that a bearish retrace does appear to be on.

On the technicals side, in addition to the big picture previous post supporting my wave 2 (purple) turn scenario on the Dax, I have a short term A-B-C (1-2) retrace that has broken down at key resistance this morning and put in a fast downward move, typical of a break into a wave 3 down.  We have had a lot of whipsaw of late, which is indicative of a key bull/bear struggle so some care is required until we get new lower lows but for those that went short at the turns and are now stop protected will ultra low exposure the outlook is bright for a a sustained bearish move.

Similar picture on the FTSE100 but this time it is a channel breakout set up and the 1-2 has already been posted.  Overnight we saw a smaller 1-2 retrace rally with little conviction that also turned and dropped this morning with a lower high.

SP500 and Nasdaq are in potential ending channels with an A-E pattern traced out.  SP500 is turning at the top, with a small overshoot from the overnight out of hours trading and Nasdaq is a little short of its top.  IF the US large caps do not follow the European indices down in out of hours trading then we could see a small rally to new highs to trigger their drops but there is no technical reason they cannot follow.  However given the buoyancy of US stocks I would imagine the European bearish move would have to be very strong to drag the US into capitulation before the open.  US retail data may be important as a short term driver today and we also have Eurozone CPIs at 10.00.

Could be an interesting end to the week...


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