Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stocks End Q2 Giving Another Sell Signal

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.

After Tuesday's sharp drop, it would be reasonable to have assumed that U.S stocks could have at least had a dead cat bounce. Not only didn't the cat bounce, but prices fell even further confirming a head and shoulders top on the S&P 500. Even worse, a more important sell signal will be given by Friday when the S&P's simple 50-day moving average falls below its 200-day. This is a classic bear market confirmation. The first of the month indicator already confirmed a bear market in early June.

While it looks like there's much worse to come for stocks, the second quarter was bad enough as is. The U.S. stock market was in a correction no matter how you measure it. For the quarter, the Dow was down 10% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both down 12%.  From their highs on April 26th to their lows on June 30th, the Dow, the S&P 500, the Nasdaq and the small cap Russell 2000 were down 13.9%, 15.7%, 17.0% and 18.4% respectively. A market is in correction when it has dropped between 10% and 20% from its high.

A market has entered bear territory once it is down 20%. There is more than enough reason to think that this will be happening soon. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit their 2010 lows on June 30th. The Dow was only slightly above its low on June 8th. The S&P 500's head and shoulders topping formation indicates a possible additional drop of 20% (based on the work of market technician Thomas Bulkowski). This pattern was confirmed when the S&P 500 fell below 1040.78. Its low on the last day of the quarter was 1028.33. In an article on May 28th, I pointed out that this chart pattern was in formation. Well, now it has been confirmed and is providing one more piece of evidence of a market prone to selling.

U.S. stocks already started a bear trading pattern when the major indices sold off during the first four trading days of the month in both May and June. An article I wrote on June 6th detailed the specifics. The next confirmation will be the simple 50-day moving average crossing below the simple 200-day moving average. This will take place for the S&P 500 this Friday, if not today. The ultimate and final confirmation will be given when the 200-day moving averages for the major indices start heading down.  They have been flattening out and trending sideways lately, so this too will be happening soon.

The technical picture for the major U.S. stock indices is not only negative, but is getting worse. The market is dropping just ahead of the sharp and sudden deterioration of the economy that is beginning to show up in a number of places. The upcoming bear market though is likely to move faster than the previous one that lasted 18 months from peak to trough. Traders will love the volatility. Investors should wait for the signs of a bottom, which will offer them many opportunities for major profits.

Disclosure: None

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer, New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. Like all other postings for this blog, there is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

No comments: