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Transportation Sector About To Snap Back at Trader’s Narrative

The Dow Jones Transportation sector is acting really wonky. At first glance, it might seem to be getting tarred with the same brush as the general market. The wonky part is that it has completely decoupled from the crude oil market.

For example, on October 29th, 2008, West Texas crude oil futures went into free fall, closing the day almost down 10%. On the same day, the Dow Jones Transports went down 5.2%. Huh?

Other than the plausible explanation that people are selling everything, is that the market is starting to discount an economic slowdown which will damage the transport sector more than a decrease in fuel costs.

But in any case, the transport sector has goetten clobbered out of proportion. Take a look at the bullish percent index for the sector to see what I mean:

bullish percent transportation sector oct 2008

The index closed last week at 5% - meaning that only 5% of the components of the Dow Jones Transportation index are trading with a point and figure buy signal. Five percent.

To find a time when the number was this low we’d have to go back to the beginning of the year and then the summer of 2002. The advantage is that such an extreme oversold is occurring right at support (~4100 on the Transports index) where it has found support two other times - summer of 2006 and early 2008.

I don’t know if the market is signaling an economic shift with the way this sector is melting down, but I am willing to wager that it won’t be straight down. We’re about to see a bounce or snap back rally.

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