Stock market on a razor’s edge
The market keeps going up, unstoppable like an Energizer bunny. As you may know, I consider the New High-New Low Index to be one of the best if not the best leading indicator of the stock market. January is a good time to review what this indicator is saying right now.
Whenever I look at a chart, I like to begin at its left edge and trace market developments through time – eventually arriving at the hard right edge where we must make our trading decisions.
Looking at this weekly chart of the S&P500 with a 26-week EMA and weekly NH-NL, we can easily recognize several superb signals:
Of course, no bull market rises in a straight line. At the right edge of this chart we see a bearish divergence of weekly NH-NL. It shows that the bullish leadership of the current rally is growing weaker – a danger sign. Let us now look at the daily chart …
The daily chart of NH-NL shows several troubling developments:
In summary, the US stock market appears poised on a razor’s edge. While the trend is clearly up, both on weekly and daily charts, the NH-NL is flashing red warning signs. It reminds us that bull markets do not move in straight lines, and this uptrend is ready for a pause.
What is a trader or investor to do? The most important step in this situation is to protect your profits on long positions. Every long position you have requires a hard stop (a real order, not a mental stop). The only exception – those stocks that you plan to hold for a lifetime. More adventurous traders may begin scanning the short side of the market.
Source: Alexander Elder, elder.com, January 18, 2010.
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