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Banking Index: Inverse Head & Shoulder Pattern at Trader’s Narrative

You’ve probably already noticed this since the pattern completed in late July and early August. In case you haven’t, the Philadelphia Banking index (BKX) has carved out a fairly decent reverse head and shoulder formation:
BKX head shoulder Sept 2009

Of course, the technical pattern in the above chart mirrors the one visible in other sectors as well as the general S&P 500 index itself. No surprise there since most stocks take their cue from the major index, rising and falling like the tide.

The one fly in the ointment is the left shoulder (see red exclamation mark on chart). Although the left shoulder is fully formed, I’d prefer to see a more symmetrical one to the right shoulder. That would have only been possible if the year end rally would have taken the Banking index a bit higher to reach the neckline. So it isn’t a picture perfect inverse head and shoulder pattern.

Back in June I mentioned that the financial sector was losing relative strength and the baton had been passed to the Semiconductor Index (SOX). Since then the banks have continued to lag the S&P 500 and the tech sector has been the engine of the stock market.

We’ve got considerable resistance ahead at the 50 level (on the BKX). But the measured move target is 74 - which takes us to the next significant support/resistance level. Needless to say, the reverse head and shoulder formation is the quintessential reversal pattern in technical analysis.

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