Sunday, January 24, 2010

Will Three Black Crows End the Rally?

What often kills a market rally is not financial in nature. It's political.

There lies the limit of TA (technical analysis), I think. Many TA enthusiasts say "It is all in the charts", but how could a chart predict, for example, the president's (seemingly) sudden declaration of war against "evil bankers", targeting proprietary trading and investment strategy? The news was leaked on Wednesday, with his press conference on Thursday, and was followed up by his townhall meeting speech (does he think he is still a candidate running for presidency?). For all these three days, the stock market in the U.S. tanked, taking the global markets along with it.

Obama's newly-found populist stance has cost the investors around the world billions of dollars in a very short time.

What comes to my mind, though, is a chatter on financial TV programs on Friday last week that Tuesday (Jan 19) would be a bloodbath. It seems, in retrospect, some traders had had some information beforehand. To the extend that these traders may have acted accordingly and thus altered the patterns of squiggles or candlesticks on the stock charts, then you could say "it's all in the chart". But that's nothing but traders trading on insider information.

Three heavy down days created an extremely bearish candlestick pattern called "Three Black Crows", which is best formed on Dow Jones Industrial Average daily. The daily chart also shows negative divergence that has been developing on RSI and CCI (at 133 for longer term trend). CCI dipped sharply below 100, almost for the first time since July 2009.

If the fourth day, Monday, is another down day, the likelihood of the market going even lower is high.

To me, the market has started to feel like a repeat of October 2008. Back then, the heavy sell-off was triggered by the passage of bank bailout bill (a political event). It was ironic, because up to that point the sales pitch for the bill to the masses had been "If we don't pass it, the market will tank, the credit will be frozen, it will be a disaster!" That disaster happened after the bill was passed.

The market was sold off for 7 trading days, shedding over 20%.

Back then, the first three trading days resulted in over 8% loss. This week, from Wednesday to Friday, the market lost 4.6%. The loss is milder this time, but September 2008 was not an uneventful month - Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy, Fannie and Freddie and AIG practically nationalized, run on the money market funds.

This is a Dow weekly chart with Fibonacci retracement lines between several tops and bottoms. Where it is at, Dow doesn't have much support until it comes down to 9,700 area. 10,000 is a support in a psychological sense, and if that breaks, it could go down very rapidly. More solid support is around 9,100, and that's July 2009 level. To be sure, negative divergence has been developing on technical indicators, as clearly seen in MACD Histogram.

For now, Dow futures are up 44 points.

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