February 11th, 2016
For those of you who aren’t subscribers, I’m sorry for you. I’ve been warning my subscribers since last summer about the major correction we’re now suffering through.
You’re skeptical? Here’s the post sent to members on Sunday, August 16, 2015. The market closed at 2091.54 the previous Friday and within 7 trading days, on Tuesday, August 25, it closed at 1867.61, or 10.7% lower.
The question now is “Are we close to the bottom?” and “Is this a opportunity to pick up stocks at a discount?” For my answers to whether the correction has bottomed and other questions, why don’t you join the other lucky investors who subscriber to Stock Chartist.
Next Chapter In Saga About to Begin
The longest novel, according to Wikipedia, was something called “Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus” written by Georges and/or Madeleine de Scudéry in 1649–53. It was in 10 volumes, had 13,095 pages and 1,954,300 words. Reading any long book takes patience and perseverance, about the same patience and perseverance demanded by the flat market we’ve had to work with over the last six month’s.
Even though the market is up 1.59% YTD, almost half of which resulted from last week’s 0.57% increase, I believe it’s the prelude of a “market reversal” that will begin soon after the Labor Day break and after everyone has returned from their summer vacations. We’re about to open the next chapter in this correction saga (click image to enlarge).
I know this is beginning to sound like a broken record but there’s clearly been an erosion of bullish momentum. We’ve can’t predict but what we are seeing is that the market is losing its bouyancy:
- the lower boundary of the grand channel since the 2009 Crash bottom was broken in May,
- pivoting channels emerged as the slope (small dashed lines) switched from ascending to horizontal (and looks now to on the verge of pivoting again to fully descending),
- the 50- and 100-dma’s reversed their direction and are now descending,
- the 50-dma has reversed alignment crossing under the 100-dma (average of past 50 days is now less than average of past 100 days).
- Finally, adding to the weight of evidence, the 50- and 100-dma’s last week appeared to be acting as resistance obstacles preventing the market from checking its downward trend.
It seems to be so obvious to the naked eye that the market is losing steam that I can’t imaging anyone not seeing it and acting. I can’t believe that every day that the market bounces on recovery, the CNBC or CNN Talking Heads are trotted out to give their “stock up on discounted stocks” spiel. As quoted in a recent CNN Money article, for example:
- “The U.S. is exhibiting tremendous resiliency and a lot of independence from the rest of the world,” said Seth Masters, chief investment officer at AllianceBernstein, and
- “It leaves the U.S. looking attractive in relative terms. There’s a valuation premium on U.S. equities but perhaps that valuation is justified,” said David Lebovitz, head of the global market insights strategy team at JPMorgan Funds, and
- “There’s every reason to believe this bull market continues. Unless you think we’re going to have a bear market soon — which we think is highly improbable — almost by definition the next move is higher” said Troy Gayeski, senior portfolio manager at SkyBridge Capital
We all know that charts reading is subjective but it’s incredible how there can be two so diametrically different interpretations of the same chart. On the one hand there’s the my view of the chart we’ve been looking at for the past several months shown above. Then there’s the following comment and chart from StockCharts.com:
“an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern could be taking shape since late May [in the SPY etf whose value is 1/10th of the S&P 500 Index]. With an overall uptrend, the inverse head-and-shoulders represents a consolidation within an uptrend and a bullish continuation pattern. A break above neckline resistance would confirm the pattern and target further gains. Typically, the height of the pattern (213 – 204 = 9) is added to the breakout for an upside target (213 + 9 = 222) [translated into a target of 2220 for the S&P 500 Index]…. The right shoulder looks like a falling wedge, which is typical for corrections after sharp advances. SPY surged from 204.5 to 213 in mid-July and then pulled back with a falling wedge the last few weeks. ”
An “inverted head-and-shoulders consolidation”? A wedge after a sharp advance from 204.5 to 213? Give me a break! Both interpretations (the short-term StockCharts.com or the longer-term Stock-Chartist.com) can’t be right; one is going to be wrong. “But that’s what makes a market.” Obviously, we’re hoping we’re right.
The world economic fundamentals continue to deteriorate. Oil and other commodities are falling stocking renewed fears of deflation. And the Fed apparently may be “out of bullets” to fight it. The Chinese currency revaluation put a scare in many central banks, the most significant of which are their neighbors in the Asian emerging economies, causing new fears of a currency war. There are also rumblings again about Greece and its negative impact on the Euro and European economies. Rather than their being a possible silver lining in these clouds, the next shoe to drop will more likely be a negative surprise.
We believe to be fortunate in having embarked on a conservative plan, taking “risk off” by liquidating positions to add to cash reserves and, selectively as conditions confirm our longer-term view, adding to our index short position. When the “Death Cross” finally arrives [50-dma crossing under 200-dma], we’ll probably have wiped the Portfolio clean and add to the speculative Index short positions.
Only a few more trading days to suffer through and then, when the page is turned to a new chapter, the story could get really exciting. At least I hope so because this has been an awfully boring book that I’m just about ready to give up on.