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Bear Market Rules Apply

Bear Market Rules Apply
by Carl Swenlin

It is a concept that we stress on a periodic basis, and we got another illustration this week. Technical indicators must be interpreted within the context of the overall market trend.

(This is an excerpt from August 26, 2011 issue of the blog for Decision Point

On August 17 the S&P 500 Index 50-EMA crossed down through the 200-EMA, declairing by our definition that the long-term trend was down and that we were in a bear market. When this happens, we remind ourselves that “bear market rules apply,” and that we should expect negative outcomes more often than positive ones.

As of yesterday many of our short-term indicators were overbought and topping — the chart below shows what the STO-B and STO-V looked like yesterday. And even though prices had broken above the previous August top, we expressed doubts about the viability of the rally in our daily blog because internals were negative.

While we just recently had technical confirmation that we are in a bear market, the bear has actually been around since the May 2 top, and the coincidence of price and indicator tops was an early clue that the up trend had stalled and may have been in trouble. Since the price break in August we need to consider overbought indicator tops as being cracks in thin ice.

See link for graphs


Skating on Thin Ice, Keep Life Preservers Handy

We may be skating on very thin ice here, but the weight of the evidence still supports a weak bull case for the near to intermediate term. So I’m adding buy picks on the chart pick list and adjusting trailing stops to account for the risk.

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These reports are not investment advice. They are for informational purposes, for a broad audience of investment and trading professionals, and other experienced investors and traders. Chart pick performance changes week to week and past performance may not indicate future results, as you know. Trading involves risk, and these reports assume that you understand those risks and manage them according to your tolerance. 

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