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Double Bottom Thesis
One of the technical patterns everyone has been watching for during the recent market action is one of the most common and well known ones: double bottoms.
Thanks to yesterday’s rocket ride, it looks like this pattern now has a chance. What we need to look for next is that the low isn’t violated (obviously!) and two, that we can successfully take out the resistance levels just underneath 1400 on the S&P 500 index.
Lowry’s 90-90 Day
Everybody is emailing me asking if Tuesday was one of those famous Lowry’s 90-90 up days. I don’t have confirmation from the keeper of this measure but I’m 90% (no pun intended) sure that it was indeed a 90-90 day. It certainly looks like the market is getting ready for a running of the bulls.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the nomenclature, a 90-90 day is when we have such a lopsided day in the markets that 90% of the volume and 90% of the points are on the same side (either up or down). Research by Lowry’s has shown that historically, important market inflection points are preceded by extreme crowding to one side, then the other. If you’d like to read the original version (and save $10) download the research paper from my free trading resource section.
The best scenario for the bulls would be another extremely strong day which would be as or even more lopsided than yesterday’s. If we get that within a reasonable time, like a week or two, the chances of a solid bottom increases exponentially.
Yes, I know I’ve been harping on this for a while now but until recently we hadn’t really seen any truly extreme readings in the usual sentiment measures. Sure, they were gloomy but now we’re finally seeing some bearishness of epic proportions. This is a vital element, as the market approached the January 2008 lows, to determine if we are going to simply cascade lower or carve out a double bottom.
I’ll write up a full report covering the various sentiment measures in detail for the weekly sentiment overview on Friday.
Put Call Ratio
We had a historic reading in the commonly followed CBOE equity only put call ratio - the highest in years. As I mentioned then, for some strange reason, it seems that an inflection point doesn’t coincide with such panics in the option markets but instead follows a few days after. Well, it is a few days later.
Percentage Above Long Term Averages
This market is oversold. Is that too simple? Here’s a weekly chart of the small caps, Russell 2000 Index (RUT) showing the percentage above their 150 day moving average:
And here’s a daily chart of the large caps, Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU), showing the percentage of stocks above their 200 day moving average:
The last time we had 10% of Dow Jones components trading below their long term moving average was when we were just finishing up the bear market of 2002-2003.
“Dumb Money Confidence”
One of the most important proprietary indicators that I watch from SentimenTrader.com is the “Dumb Money Confidence” index. It is an aggregate of many indicators and along with the “Smart Money Confidence” it shows where we are along the market cycle.
The most recent reading is 13 (the indicator runs from 0 to 100) which is extremely low. This is a result of the abysmal sentiment out there but it also reflects how extremely oversold we are now. The previous times we’ve had such a low reading has been in August 1998, October 1998, September 2001, July 2001 and February 2003.
Since a huge portion of this market decline is related to financial stocks (through the mortgage credit crisis), it is vital that they be the ones to lead any rallies. We’ve seen this sector jump around on the rumor du jour but what we really needed was something substantial.
Which we got on early Tuesday. While the general market rallied 3%, financial stocks were up 7%. This was an obvious reaction to the Federal Reserve’s new $200 billion intervention. The number is puny compared to the nominal amounts at stake in the financial markets. But what is important is that for the first time during this crisis, the Fed is using a scalpel rather than a sledgehammer.
Stock and Bond Dislocation
I’ve already mentioned that these two important markets were becoming more and more dislocated: stocks were cheap and bonds expensive When the two markets become disjointed it usually flags an important inflection point.
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