It's time for one of those posts where I take a very lofty view of the stock market and a minute view at the same time and explain to my readers how I look at the market from day to day when trading. To do this I have put up many charts staring as long as a 30 year chart of the Dow to as small as an Intraday of yesterday's trading. I hope this helps you at least see what I see. Let me start with the broad view using the Dow 30 year chart.
As usual, I will look at each chart observing "W" pattern formation. As I have noted here before, these "W" patterns are often referred to as Head and Shoulder patterns. I suggest you read up on on these patterns somewhere like Investopedia,
which has a significant wealth of facts and lessons for any investor. Getting back to those "W" patterns, I will underline in red each "W" pattern I want you to be looking at and we will be looking for which way the slant of the line appears to be heading. If the line heads down, it implies the market will follow by going down below the bottom right leg of the "W"
. If the slant points upward, the market should go up.
Looking now at the Dow 30 year chart above, you will notice the "W" pattern of the stock price and the fact that it is slanted down. To me this means that although we have made highs of 11,000 recently and 14,000 before that, we are headed lower and should go lower than the previous low, which was at 6,400 on the Dow. That seems to contradict conventional wisdom by the "experts" on CNBC and others who have said any correction will go to Dow 8,000. If that were so, then the previous low would not have gone below 8,000 and there would be no slant of the "W" pattern. So that is one thing I wanted you to see along with me. But there is another interesting point to be made on this chart, but it doesn't involve the stock price, but rather, the Volume in the bottom section of the chart.
As you can plainly see, there has been 3 distinct periods where the Volume made a significant step up. I have drawn Blue lines to define each step. The first step was from 1980 to about 1988, the second step up from 1988 to 1998, and the last step up from 1998 to now. But in this last step, it looks to me that the Volume is increasing steadily over this 12 year period .Just think, the Volume was significantly lower just 10-15 years ago in the buildup to the year 2000 Dot.com bubble bursting. I don't know many investors who have increased their purchases of shares over these past 10 years and yet the Volume is over double the previous period. Part of the explanation could be that the bank shares like Citigroup, symbol C, have dropped in value so much that there are Billions of shares traded now compared to previous times, but that doesn't entirely explain it.
To me the only explanation is that the Government has been using its reserves to keep this market sustainable at these levels through firms like Goldman Sachs and others these past 2 years investing with nearly free money from the government. It's a way fro the government to make money too since the wealthy don't want to be taxed.
Anyway, I think this Volume will eventually drop as people get more scared and leave the market as their gambling table of choice. Any major market drop will scare a generation of investors away, as may have happened in the recent drop to 6,400 on the Dow. Ok, now let's move on to another chart.
This next chart above is off the Dow for the past 10 years. I have underlined several "W" patterns to show you again the predictability of this pattern at determining the market direction immediately after the "W" pattern is formed. Several of these in this chart show this to be true. You will notice the last "W" pattern I drew in red to the right of the chart appears to slant down. This will be clearer in shorter time period Dow charts to come. The other thing to look at on this 10 year chart is the volume spike near the low of 6,400, when Volume increases and price is dropping it is very bearish for the market. Same is true when the market is going up on high volume. However, if price rises on low volume, that too is bearish.
This 3rd chart above, shows the Dow for the last 1 year period. I have underlined a number of "W" patterns here as well. As you can see in this last period, the "W" pattern was flat. This implies the Dow moving sideways, not up and not down. It implies a tight range until the next "W" pattern emerges.
And lastly, the final 1 month chart of the Dow. I have drawn 2 red lines. Let's focus on the last one which points up. We can't tell much form this except that the market should go up from this latest rally the past few days, correct? However, the previous red line under the "W" pattern is slanted down and it has not yet been fulfilled. It may be a fluke. Remember I have said these aren't 100% accurate predictors, but rather about 90%. However, I conclude 2 things from this. First, is that while it might be a fluke, the Dow will not go too high from here. It possibly could go as high as Dow 10,500-10,600 range, as I have mentioned a few weeks ago. However, it may just fizzle out and return to another major drop on any negative trigger. I would be cautious trading here. And Volume is barely hanging in this past week at 200 Million shares where if you look at the 30 year chart it looks like the average for this period should be more than the 200 million shares.
So what do you do when the signals are mixed? I can't tell you what you should do, but I can tell you how I am thinking about it. Because the short term is so murky, I pull back to what I do know. That takes me to look at the 30 year chart. So while I mark time, I keep in mind that the overall trend will be down, so if I am going to buy any stock Puts, I can wait a bit and if the market rises, I should be able to get them cheaper. I most likely won't risk buying any stock Call Options either. And lastly, waiting until there is clarity is just fine as well.
I am sitting on a number of TZA Call Options. My latest purchase was for $1.55 each for a Strike Price of $9.00 for October. I also purchased some Puts on a Dow index stock I will keep nameless.
I hope this isn't boring and has been informative. Good luck out there. Next week the key Leading Economic Indicators I will be watching will be these:
Wednesday PPI, Core PPI, Housing starts, Industrial Production (expect PPI to be negative)
Thursday Jobless Claims, Consumer Price Index, Core CPI (Watch for Deflation in Core CPI numbers)
That's it from here. have a nice weekend. And remember, there is nothing wrong with taking profits and being in cash right now. It is the only safe place to be contrary to the hype out there in my view. To make this point further, click here
on a video clip of Maria Bartiromo of CNBC's Closing Bell interviewing Bob Prechter of Elliott Wave International.
Labels: "W" pattern, bearish sign, charts of Dow, CPI, Dow, Housing starts, leading economic indicators, market predictions, PPI, Volume