Saturday, September 21, 2013

Putting a number on the sign of the Bear

Randall Ashbourne, an associate of Astrological Investing, posts a weekly market report on his web site, theidiotandthemoon.com The following is this weekend's Eye of RA report: Week beginning Sept, 22, 2013
once the line is broken
..once that line is broken....
For months, various Fed heads have seized almost every opportunity to talk about tapering.

Until last week, when Benny the Benificent did his best Huck Finn impression: Aww, shucks. We wuz just pulling yuh leg.

In plain-speak the message was clear: The American economy is still so deeply in the mire, Ben can't pull the plug on his bubble bath without sending Wall Street down the gurgler.

But Benny is winding-up his term and his blow-up Bull run may well expire with him. The truth is the long-range technical conditions are finally starting to sag.

They are not yet at the stage where the warning sirens are so loud and dangerous that the inevitable collapse seems imminent. And, probably, few of us doubt that Ben will do whatever it takes to prop-up the markets so it doesn't all fall to pieces while his reputation is on the line.

We'll spend this weekend having another look at the big picture position of the SP500 ... and of gold.

Both markets enjoyed a sudden and stellar jump last week, only for it to fade almost as fast as it arrived. In fact, gold finished the week with absolutely no change from the previous week.

And now that the tapering talk seems to have been dismissed as all a big misunderstanding, the street talk has moved on to the next potential crisis ... the official US debt ceiling.

Enough of all that ...

Let's just ignore the constant chatter and look at the state of the charts ... and maybe even try putting a number on the return of the Bear.

Since the last Bear Low in early 2009, Miss Pollyanna has been rising in a clearly-defined channel. In fact, it's really quite remarkable how steady, sane and well-behaved it has been ... something we totally miss when we're caught up in the news cycle and the daily jerks and squiggles.

What is the single most important thing about the chart below? Simple. Every High has been higher than the previous one; every Low has been higher than the previous one.

That's the classical definition of a Bull market. And it stays a Bull until ... a lower Low is made, followed by a lower High.

For the moment, the line-in-the-sand on the SP500 is 1560. Once that line is broken, the odds will have increased dramatically that Wall Street is back in the grip of a Bear market.

Last year, I had expected that the statistical tendency of markets to top out with Jupiter in Taurus was in play. But, I also kept talking about the "elephant in the room" which threatened to poop on my Bear rug ... the lack of any negative divergence signal from the Big Bird oscillator, the 50CCI.

I marked the two key areas with yellow ovals. While there was negative divergence at the 2007 top, there was none last year. Now, however, we are starting to see the first signs of faltering.

But, the final peak for this Bull run might still be months away. We appear to have had an inversion in the Bradley Model. Purely from an eyeball glance.

I have stressed in the past that it is the dates which are paramount with the Bradley; not the size nor the direction of the change. The model for the year suggested a major change of direction around June 22. And, with the benefit of hindsight, it appears to have marked a clear Low, not a High.

 As we can see, market prices had been tending to follow the direction of the plotted Bradley line. Yet, the "peak" of June 22-24 ... which predicted a major trend change lasting all the way through to late December ... seems to have timed, virtually perfectly, the last major low.

I've marked the major trend change dates for the rest of the year on the chart. Let me stress again: IGNORE the direction of the plotted line and pay attention to the dates. We cannot guarantee there won't be another inversion. An ongoing rally ... with weakness in October ... seems to "fit" the expectations. Let's just not get married to the idea.

We may also have had a short-term inversion last week ... a relatively rare Full Moon high. Statistically, Full Moons tend to bring in a near-term Low.

In the chart below, Full Moons are the thick blue bars with a dot; New Moons are the dotted red bars. There was really only one previous Full Moon high ... and price went into a sideways shuffle until the next New Moon started a decline.

Another point of interest shown by the NM-FM chart is the obvious deceleration starting to occur - something which is not at all obvious on the monthly channel chart at the start of this weekend's edition.

We can see how, for the first half of this year, Miss Polly rose steadily within a climbing channel. And then it started to breakdown. So, we added a red parallel below the original channel.

And the next breakdown dropped below that red line ... and last week's jump stalled short of climbing back inside the original channel.

Warning signs.

The direction of the next major move in gold is still unclear. Last week's shenanigans had the EW labellers going nuts. No-one seems absolutely certain whether the big correction is over.

In the most basic terms, greenback gold remains locked within the confines of a downtrend channel. There is definite improvement in all three of the Canaries, including Big Bird who has at least reclaimed the "normalcy" zone between the upper and lower red lines which tend to mark oversold and overbought territory.

For a brief period after the Fed's backflip, gold regained the primary Pluto line at 1360 and looked as if might hold it. Until Friday's slump wiped out the gains and left things exactly where they were at the end of the previous week.

Even Goldman Sachs doesn't know what's happening with gold. Last week caused its two most bearish analysists to have a change of heart. They had been warning of a slump down to around $1000. Now they're back talking about the 1400s again.

Looks like even the great GS believed all the taper talk.


Finally, below, the Weekly Planets chart for my home index, the ASX 200. Again, it's had a strong two-week run north, in contravention of the statistical tendency of the NM-FM phase.

After spending a few weeks trapped by the overhead Neptune in the 5130s, the index broke free and hit the Uranus barrier at 5290. Big Bird grows increasingly sick as the price climbs.

Safe trading - RA

Randall Ashbourne
Astrological Investing's associate, Randall Ashbourne, author of the eBook, The Idiot and The Moon, and The Idiot and the Moon, Forecast 2013, writes a free weekly column titled, The Eye of Ra on his web site in  which he explains the potential impact of astrological aspects and the current state of technical conditions. Ashbourne's charts are revealing illustrations of exactly what has occurred in the market and the probability of what to expect.
Important reading:  Randall Ashbourne's The Idiot and The Moon, Forecast 2013
(Disclaimer: This article is not advice or a recommendation to trade stocks; it is merely educational material.)
Copyright: Randall Ashbourne - 2011-2013

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