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Monday, January 30, 2012

Stock Index Chart Patterns – S&P 500 and FTSE 100 – Jan 27, ‘12

S&P 500 Index Chart


The S&P 500 index chart touched an intra-day high of 1333 on Jan 26 ‘12 but closed lower than the previous day’s close – forming a bearish ‘reversal day’ pattern. Reversal day patterns, when formed at the end of an intermediate rally or decline, can signal a change of the intermediate trend. The index had moved up too fast, and a correction will restore the health of the bull market.

The technical indicators are signalling that a correction may be on its way – though the weekly close was flat. The slow stochastic is still inside the overbought zone, but has started to fall. The MACD is positive and above its signal line, but has also started to fall. The RSI formed a small head-and-shoulders pattern before dropping from its overbought zone. The ROC is positive, but heading down.

The US economy reminds me of a badly tuned automobile that is knocking and backfiring but still moving forward. Initial jobless claims rose to 377,000. New home sales dropped in Dec ‘11. But durable goods orders rose in Dec ‘11. AAII’s sentiment survey indicated bullishness at 48.4% was higher than its historical average of 39%; bearishness at 18.9% was much below the historical average of 30%. Q4 GDP came in at an annualised 2.8%, of which inventory build-up accounted for 1.9%. Q1 ‘12 GDP may suffer as a consequence.

FTSE 100 Index Chart


The FTSE 100 index chart has followed the S&P 500 index into a bull market by rising to an intra-day high above the 5800 level and making a bullish pattern of higher tops and higher bottoms, but closed flat on a weekly basis. Volumes dropped off during the week, which doesn’t auger well for a sustained rally.

The technical indicators are signalling a correction. The slow stochastic has made a head-and-shoulders pattern and slipped down from its overbought zone. The MACD is positive and touching its signal line on the way down. The RSI is above the 50% level but moving down. The ROC is falling towards the ‘0’ line.

Britain moved closer to its second recession in three years after official figures showed the UK economy contracted by more than expected in the last three months of 2011. Eurozone problems are not going away, and are affecting UK’s growth prospects.

Bottomline? Chart patterns of the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 indices are technically back in bull markets, even as the US and UK economies continue on their painful roads to recovery. The rallies appear to be on their last legs. Corrections are around the corner - use them to add selectively.

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