Sunday, November 15, 2009

Technical Analysis

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In my last "Trading Strategy" post on November 8, 2009 I have mentioned a possibility of the indexes (Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, DJI, etc) stacking in a sideway action at their October's high levels. The next day, on Monday November 9, 2009 we still had a strong advance and since then the rest of the week we may see that the indexes have been trading mainly sideway (see the S&P 500 chart below): the S&P 500 index exactly at its October's high levels, the Nasdaq 100 index a few points higher and the DJI index has made new 13-month high.

The S&P 500 Chart with elements of technical analysis:
Selling/Buying Volume Oscillator, Advance/Decline Oscillator, MarketVolume Oscillator,
MACD, RSI, Stochastics, McClellan Oscillator, Average True Range in Percents.

S&P 500 chart technical analysis - November 2009

In technical analysis it is common to take a look at the history, and from the history you may see that in majority cases sideway trading at new high level ends with a correctional move down. As a rule during this sideway trading you may see strong bearish signals. If you take a look at the chart (S&P 500 chart above) you would see that on Thursday, November 12, 2009 all technical indicators (except volatility indicators) have generated strongly bearish signals. Yet, on the next trading day (Friday, November 13, 2009) the indexes bounced up from their lower level of the sideway corridor (see the same chart above).

Last week I mentioned: "At that time (in September and October) the indexes have been moving sideways for several trading days … we may see some sideway action at this level again ... If the market starts to move sideways the odds are high that the technical indicators will become bearish." That is what we saw on charts: sideway move and bearish signals on Thursday. However, in the same post I have brought some reasons why I would not consider these bearish indications as strong signals, and why I would rather consider waiting. There were two main reasons why I would avoid trading short at that moment: a) no high volume during the up-move and b) no increase in volatility.

Absence, of high volume during up-move indicates that this up-move was not strong enough to generate greedy buying when investors start to rush into the stock market with the hope to jump into "the last wagon of the running train" - as a rule such action leads to a misbalanced in the supply/demands and at least to the short-term correction down. Absence of increase in volatility indicates that the current sideway move did not generated any panic among traders which suggest there were no increase in the number of bearish traders as well. These two reasons kept me last week from trading short, and the same two reasons still keep me out of it.

Right now technical indicator on the major index charts (S&P 500, DJI and Nasdaq 100 charts) are mixed. You may see Bullish indicators as well as some indicators remain bearish:

 - SBV (Selling Buying Volume) Oscillator is moving sideways at this moment which is a neutral sign. Yet, the bullish volume (accumulated since November 4, 2009) still could be considered as a force which is strong enough to push the stock market down into a correction.

 - The absence of the Bullish volume surges (no green MVO) suggests the higher odds of further up move.

 - The advance/decline oscillator is almost flat, yet, it moves up from its most recent low which could be considered as modestly bullish signal.

 - The same as A/D Oscillator, MACD is almost flat, yet, it is moving up from its recent low which is bullish sign, on the other hand it is still in the negative area which could be considered as bearish sign. Overall, MACD could be considered bearish with tendency to become Bullish.

 - General RSI direction is down and this is bearish sign in technical analysis.

 - General Stochastics direction is up and this is a bullish sign in technical analysis.

-  McClellan Oscillator is still in the negative territory which is bullish, yet, it is very close to cross the center (zero) line which in technical analysis is considered as a "Buy" signal.

 - ATR remains on the same level and this is very nice indication (as already mentioned above) of bullish sentiment."

Overall, I would consider technical analysis mixed at this point of time. There is still an existence of a danger of a correction down. At the same time, some technical indicators push me to believe that even if we see a correction it should not be a very strong move down, unless I see at least changes in volatility sentiment (increase in volatility). At the same time indication of resuming of up-move are not strong enough to be strongly Bullish.

I am not stating that I am always right, and that my technical analysis is perfect. I am just trying to share my thoughts about current stock market sentiment and possible development of a future market trend. It helps me to put my thoughts in the order and I hope it may help somebody in avoiding a mistake that can become "financial suicidal". I would rather recommend doing your own technical analysis and checking all my statements by yourself before even considering to follow them.

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