S&P 500, Inverse “Head and Shoulders” Pattern Continues to Play Out as Heavy Week of Economic Data Begins

The first week of the month is always the most interesting, with global purchasing managers indexes, U.S. ISM’s, and employment data released.  Overnight we see continued weakness in Europe’s economic data and perhaps some more “green shoots” in China.   Europe is sporting “beige shoots” at it is reaching the stage where things are so bad it is difficult to go down further.

 

  • Euro-zone manufacturing activity contracted for the ninth consecutive month in November, albeit at a slower pace than in October.  Markit’s Eurozone manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 46.2 in November from October’s 45.4, though it stayed below the 50 mark dividing growth from contraction for the 16th straight month.
  • The new export orders index was revised up to 46.4 from the preliminary reading of 45.9 two weeks ago, and it now reads more than a full point higher than the October reading.
  • Manufacturing accounts for around a quarter of the euro zone’s private economy and is dwarfed by a services sector that fared badly in November, the data two weeks ago showed.

 

China seems to be “recovering” not due to the private sector, but government led:

  • The final reading for the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Survey (PMI) rose to 50.5 in November from 49.5 in October, in line with a preliminary survey published late last month. It was the first time since October 2011 that the survey crossed above 50 points, the line that demarcates accelerating from slowing growth.
  • An official PMI survey of China’s non-manufacturing sectors also ticked up, to 55.6 in November from 55.5 in October, led by expanded activity in constructionservices. But growth in air and rail transport and food and beverages both slowed.
  • Growth accelerated for large firms for the third month in a row, but medium and smaller companies saw a retrenchment, with the decline more pronounced for the smaller firms, the NBS said in a not accompanying its official manufacturing PMI survey.  “The improving numbers are mostly because of government investment,” said Dong Xian’an, economist with Peking First Advisory, referring to the official PMI.

 

As for the U.S. we have ISM Manufacturing this morning at 10 AM; consensus for 51.7 – flat with last month.  Construction spending also hits at 10 AM – expectation 0.4% growth.

Wednesday ADP employment which hopefully with some recent changes is “somewhat” closer to government data on a month to month data (before revisions) – expectations of 125K versus 158K.  Sandy should be an issue.  ISM Non Manufacturing, expectations of a drop to 53.6 versus 54.2.

Friday is the much watched (Jack Welch) employment report – expectations of only 80K versus last month’s 171K, again Sandy impacts here.  Unemployment rate expected up to 8.0% versus 7.9%.

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As for the technical picture, we have a gap up this morning on any myriad of “positive” news items – China PMI (despite China stock market falling yet again), European PMI not getting worse (European markets acting WELL), or Spain asking for bailout funds for its banks (no surprise, but algos read the headline and futures popped).  Evidence continues to mount for a continuation of an inverse “head and shoulders” bottom move; if this continues there should be a move to the mid 143os to upper 1440s (depending on what you use for the head and neckline – up for some interpretation).   Now if that happens this would create the first “higher high” in the S&P 500 since the correction began in mid September, but if that is all the move has in it would be a particularly nasty spot to reverse since everyone would say “a new high” and the trend is changed.   But we’ll see – this market has become famous since 2009 for “V shaped” moves that continue in one direction (not the boy band) without relent so the talk of “performance chasing” and “underinvested longs” and “repeatedly scarred shorts” should be relentless over S&P 1435.

At the time I write this the S&P 500 is gapping up to the 61.8% retrace of the entire two month correction.  As posted Friday the ability for the market to move sideways to consolidate gains was a positive – so the corrections in this move up have come mostly via time rather than price.

sp-500-Head-and-Shoulders

S&P 500, Dow Jones and EURO

Yesterday SPX fulfilled the script of a narrow range body, it’s the common candlestick (in this case a bearish Hanging Man) that usually follows a white Marubozu. It means consolidation of the previous gains and hesitation.

This pattern could evolve into a bearish reversal pattern ” Evening Doji Star” if today we get a gap down and go. But this is not my preferred scenario.

Regarding the overall count from the September 14 high, I don’t even change a comma, since I remain firmly confident that the current “countertrend” rebound will top in the target box that I have been highlighting in the last few days. Critical overhead resistance is now not far away, either 1397 or a kiss back at the previous trend line support off the October 2011 now converted into resistance.

Once/if price confirms my preferred scenario the last wave (C) down, which could match the length (89.1 points) of the previous down leg; wave (A), is expected to complete the EWP off the September 14 high, hopefully with positive divergences.

For the short term the 10 d mas = 1375.17 could be the demarcation between a mild pullback and something more bearish.

sp-500-price

Regarding the labelling of the current rebound so far we have a 3-wave up leg or a corrective variant (DZZ) therefore we have 3 options:

  • The “oversold” bounce is over ==> the wave (B) is done.
  • Price has established the wave (Y) of a larger Double ZZ.
  • Price has established the wave (A) of a larger Zig Zag.

So we need to see the internal structure of a pullback in order to increase the confidence on a count.

For the immediate time frame yesterday’s down leg after completing an Ending Diagonal suggests that there should be at least one more down leg.

sp index

As I mentioned yesterday I am watching:

1. EUR: “Since in my opinion the internal structure of the rebound off the November 13 lod is clearly suggesting that in the near future price has more business to the down side. So far bulls here are struggling to reclaim the 200 d ma, which coincides also with a strong horizontal resistance, while slightly above there is the steep declining 20 d ma. Barring “good news”, with the current weak structure, which could be shaping a bearish Flag, price should reverse in the range of the Trend line resistance in force since the October 17 high and the next horizontal resistance at 1.2876″.

So far price is maintaining the sequence of higher lows hence if price breaks above 1.2840 (trend line resistance off the October 17 high) then within the corrective pattern in progress price could extend the move towards the next resistance located at 1.2876.

euro

2. VIX: we now have to watch the trend line support and the possible “sell equity signal” that would be issued with en eod print above the Bollinger Band of the Envelope > 15.50.

Yesterday’s doji + oversold Stochastic are favouring at least a bounce attempt, although ahead of Thanksgiving holiday it may not be a reliable indicator.

sp-500-vix

I wish a wonderful Thanksgiving to US readers.

Fiscal Cliff Navigation Tactics

Nov 20, 2012

  1. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs’ Peter Oppenheimer said that compared to bonds, US stocks were the cheapest in 50 years.
  2. If Peter is correct, that could be good news for your gold stocks, because there is an ongoing correlation between the Dow and most gold equities.
  3. Unfortunately, Goldman also believes that the fiscal cliff situation could drive stock markets 8% lower by year-end.
  4. You are looking at the daily chart for the Dow, and you can see that it made a small top in mid-September. It has declined about 8% from the high.
  5. Gold stocks are more volatile than the Dow. GDX declined about 18%, during the period in which the Dow fell 8%. There is a lot of symmetry between these two charts.
  6. If the Dow is set to fall another 8% from the lows of last week, GDX could fall another 18% from its recent lows. That would put GDX at about $37, and below the May-July lows.
  7. Some of the largest gold companies are already trading near their summer lows, which is somewhat alarming.
  8. If you own a home, it is wise to purchase home insurance. If you own gold stocks, carrying some cash and short positions is a form of insurance. That’s the daily chart of DUST, which is effectively a triple-leveraged bet against GDX. The performance is calculated on a daily basis. I’m a buyer, moderately, in the $28 and $22 areas.
  9. What would happen to gold stocks, if Goldman Sachs is correct about the Dow falling another 8%, and then they called for an even harder fall, instead of a rally?
  10. The situation could get quite ugly. A small position in DUST may help gold stocks investors to professionally manage fiscal cliff fear.
  11. Gold recently sold off along with the other so-called “risk on” markets, but it bottomed quickly. The daily chart shows a nice head and shoulders bottom pattern in play.
  12. The daily gold chart looks superb. The H & S pattern sits near the demand line of a beautiful rising channel.
  13. HSR (horizontal support & resistance) at $1758 is the initial upside target, and then $1800. A “price pop” to the $1825 price zone could be a game changer for gold stocks.
  14. Silver looks even better than gold. Yesterday’s price action was important, because it took silver above the neckline of a head and shoulders bottom.
  15. At this point in time, gold has yet to rise above its neckline, so silver is clearly the leader.
  16. Silver seems eager to race to $35.50, and if gold can rise above $1800, that could catapult silver into the $40 range.
  17. There’s more good news. Ben Bernanke makes a speech in New York today, and he may give more hints about ramping up QE3. Currently, QE3 is being “diluted”, because the Fed is selling short term Treasuries.
  18. There are rumours that the Fed may cut back on that practice, or even halt it, before the end of the year. If “Big Ben” speaks boldly about ending the dilution of QE3, gold and silver could spike higher, very quickly.
  19. Most investors in the gold community like speculative resource stocks. If you are looking for action, my favourite play right now is the “Global X Gold Explorers” fund.
  20. At about $8 a share, the GLDX ETF is something that is probably priced “just right”, for action-oriented investors. In contrast, GDXJ is trading at about $22.
  21. It’s a lot easier to look down from $8, than it is from $22. Aggressive investors should considering accumulating GLDX on every 25 cent decline, inside the highlighted $7-$9.75 “price box”.
  22. I like both GDXJ and GLDX, but there’s no question that GLDX is a lot easier to handle, emotionally.
  23. A move above $1800 in gold could be the catalyst that takes GLDX above $10. From there, the target would be $13, which is about 50% higher than today’s price!

Indian Gold Demand Picks Up

Indian Gold Demand Picks Up

The love for gold has been reignited in India, according to the World Gold Council (WGC) in its Gold Demand Trends for the third quarter of 2012. India regained its title as the strongest performing market, overtaking the greater China area, as the country experienced a bounceback in demand due to improved sentiment during the festival season.

Compared to the third quarter of last year, Indian gold jewelry demand grew by 7 percent while gold bar and coin demand rose 12 percent. Total consumer demand was 223 tons, compared to 205 tons this time last year. The second largest market was Greater China, which consumed 185 tons in the third quarter of 2012. This was less than the 201 tons consumed in the third quarter of last year.

Together these markets in the east made up 55 percent of the world’s jewelry and investment demand, according to the WGC. indian-gold

Although India experienced a setback earlier this year when gold shops boycotted a proposed tax on the yellow metal, imports recovered by July “as inventory levels were bolstered (aided by a well-timed dip in the local price) and the market adjusted to the customs duty,” says the WGC.

The third quarter has historically been a strong seasonal time for the Love Trade to come alive in the east. Monsoon rains and the festival season in the fall are generally associated with the buying and giving of gold. Still, for the year, don’t expect the Love Trade in India to be as strong as it was in 2011, as gold demand remains subdued with the ongoing weakness of the rupee.

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ETF (GOLD & US Dollar)

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On its way down from 168, GLD broke its first support level and came to rest on the second (200-DMA) from which it had a bounce. Last week, I suggested that it might find some resistance on the small horizontal red trend line, which it has, and which caused it to pull back three points. It’s difficult to see how it could have much more of a decline right away if the market is going to have a mid-correction rally, so we can probably expect the near-term trend to turn up again, perhaps reaching the top channel line (blue) before rolling over again.

Gold-Etf

If GLD does not have much of a rally from here – especially if the market does rally – it will be an indication that some decent weakness can be expected into the cycle low. In any case, subsequent action should form a P&F pattern which will help us determine the extent of the decline into the 25-wk cycle low.

UUP (dollar ETF)

UUP normally goes against equities and gold. The index appears to be extended short-term and eady to pull-back. This can be seen in the indicators, one of which is very overbought and the other beginning to show some negative divergence. If a short-term top is forming, this should help the market to find a short-term low.

 

US-Dollar-ETC

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S&P 500 Weekly Update

Last Friday I suggested that price was involved in unfolding a terminal pattern: “Maybe price is unfolding a Triangle that should establish a bottom with the last thrust down, who knows if at the 0.618 retracement the PPT will step in.”

Instead of a Triangle price traced an Ending Diagonal, some good news came form Washington and price after testing the 0.618 retracement reversed to the upside, leaving in the daily chart a bullish hammer.

Therefore the wave structure off the November 6 peak is most likely over. This down leg, if my preferred count is correct, is the wave (A) of the last Zig Zag from the September 14 high. Therefore I am expecting a multi-day bounce followed by a lower low that should complete the corrective EWP (Recall that I am working with a Triple Zig Zag) from the September 14 high with positive divergences.

The internal structure of this bounce at the moment suggests that price may unfold a Double Zig Zag, in which case the common extension targets are:

1 x 1= 1369
1 x 1.618= 1380

A counter trend bounce always entails risks since the EWP can easily morph into something else, so next Monday I would like to see follow through to the upside or at least price should not breach the initial higher low at 1351.06.

In order to keep the ball running to the upside, bulls need price above the 50 wma = 1366.85 by next Friday, theoretically it looks like an easy task.

sp-500-chart

Therefore the extreme oversold readings of breadth & momentum Indicators + logical level for a short-term bottom (0.618 Retracement) + reversal pattern are the “ingredients” that should allow a multi-day rebound.

sp-500-weekend

In the daily chart below I highlight the target box for the assumed wave (B) countertrend bounce with a range 1382 – 1402.

A weak bounce should fail at the 200 dma while a strong one will go deeper inside the box and two trend lines resistance could come into play.

sp-500-weekly-update

So the good news for the short-term bullish case is that there are enough technical reasons that auspicate a larger rebound.

But the negatives are still more overwhelming, since in addition to an incomplete EWP there is no sign of a major bottom from breadth-momentum indicator, VIX and sentiment.

Bulls also have the bullish seasonality of a shorter Thanksgiving week, while volume is expected to shrink.

In any case we know the two potential catalyst that are needed for the resumption of the intermediate up trend:

  • US political agreement of the “Fiscal Cliff”
  • Spanish Bailout

In addition since the Operation Twist ends in December, the next FOMC meeting on December 12 will be a major risk event and could be another detonator for a Major Bottom of the equity market.