Financial Markets Forecast and Analysis
Summary of Index Daily Closings for Week Ending October 8, 2004
Jun 30 Yr Treas
|SHORT TERM FORECAST
(Next Two Weeks)
|Market Rise||Medium||Very High||80%|
|Very Low Under||20%|
|INTERMEDIATE TERM FORECAST
(Next 12 Weeks)
|TREND||PROBABILITY||Substantial||800 points+ (DJIA)|
|Substantial Rise||Low||Market Move||200 to 800 points (DJIA)|
|Market Rise||Medium||Sideways||Up or Down 200 (DJIA)|
This week the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 137.45. After seeing the mild rally we were calling for last Friday earlier this week with a Short-term TII reading of 25.50, in Wednesday's Midweek Market Update we raised our probability warning of a Market Decline from Medium to High. What followed was a 184.72 two-day drop. Volume and breadth were strong on Thursday's decline, but not so on Friday's. We may be nearing a minor bottom inside a larger, powerful decline.
Trannies hit a new high on Wednesday, but in our Midweek Market Update we warned they were completing a textbook Rising Bearish Wedge, Ending Diagonal pattern, complete with a "throwover." We felt this placed the odds of a sharp decline quite high. In fact, the Trannies dropped 1.5 percent the next two days.
We remain under a series of Dow Theory non-confirmations, with the Industrials falling and the Trannies rising since early this year. That is one of the longest running divergences these two indices have ever had and warns that something is seriously wrong with this market.
|Equities Markets Technical Indicator Index (TII) ™|
|Week Ended||Short Term Index||Intermediate Term Index|
|June 11, 2004||(77.75)||(25.92)||Scale|
|June 18, 2004||(40.25)||(31.17)|
|June 25, 2004||(34.00)||(26.10)||(100) to +100|
|July 2, 2004||(41.50)||(27.64)|
|July 9, 2004||(32.50)||(30.21)||(Negative) Bearish|
|July 16, 2004||(33.75)||(41.99)||Positive Bullish|
|July 23, 2004||(59.00)||(49.98)|
|July 30, 2004||46.25||(52.18)|
|Aug 6, 2004||(38.00)||(50.40)|
|Aug 13, 2004||(15.75)||(49.03)|
|Aug 20, 2004||9.25||(43.82)|
|Aug 27, 2004||9.25||(39.81)|
|Sep 3, 2004||(39.25)||(40.06)|
|Sep 10, 2004||(49.25)||(45.78)|
|Sep 17, 2004||(69.00)||(44.73)|
|Sep 24, 2004||(52.25)||(42.02)|
|Oct 1, 2004||25.50||(37.23)|
|Oct 8, 2004||(58.50)||(35.56)|
This week the Short-term Technical Indicator Index comes in at negative (58.50), indicating a market decline is probable. This indicator is a useful predictor of equity market moves over the next two weeks, both as to direction and to a lesser extent strength of move. For example, readings near zero indicate narrow sideways moves are probable. Readings closer to +/-100 indicate with a higher degree of confidence that an impulsive move up or down is likely over the short run. Market conditions can change on a dime, or the Plunge Protection Team can come in and temporarily stop market slides, so it may be unwise to trade off this weekly measured indicator.
The Intermediate-term Technical Indicator Index is useful for monitoring what's over the horizon - over the next twelve weeks. It serves as an early warning system for unforeseen trend changes of considerable magnitude. This week the Intermediate-term TII comes in at negative (35.56).
The chart on the next page updates an Analog of the price action in the Dow Industrials during 2004 as compared with 1987. Except for a few weeks of minor divergence in the summer of both years, the waves and trends are remarkably similar. For this Analog to remain valid, the equity market must soon crash. Back then we did not have the Plunge Protection Team to buoy markets. Today, of course we do. There are an impressive array of technical indicators that are warning of an imminent stock market crash. There is a Three Peaks and a Domed House pattern (go to www.cyclesman.com) where Tim Wood does an excellent job covering this pattern). There is also the major divergence in the Trannies vs. the Industrials. Last week we showed a chart demonstrating that since 2000, such divergences led to sharp equity market sell-offs.
In past issues (see archives at www.technicalindicatorindex.com) we have shown other Analogs with this year's price action, that also portend an imminent stock market crash. Analogs are fun, but they can breakdown, so one should be careful about relying too much upon them.
Markets tend to seek order, both in terms of price and time. They especially like to hit tops and bottoms on Fibonacci numbers of days or weeks, or on Fibonacci ratios of prior moves. Leonardo Fibonacci was a 13th century Italian mathematician who focused upon a unique sequence of numbers that continuously appeared throughout nature. The sequence goes like this: It starts with the number 1 and then adds that number to itself to get the next number. It then takes those two numbers and adds them together to get the next number in sequence. Each number next in sequence is the sum of the prior two numbers in the sequence, ad infinitum. Thus the sequence looks like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, etc... The ratios between these numbers are unique in that each addend is either .382 or .618 of the sum. For example, 13 plus 21 equals 34. 21 is .618 of 34. 13 is .382 of 34. .618 plus .382 equals a complete 1.00. This holds true for all pairs. These pairs are known as phi mates. The world around us is filled with these ratios and relationships. What is so amazing is that market price and time movements are also dominated by Fibonacci numbers and ratios.
Take note that the Dow Industrials ended their two decade Bull Market on 1/14/2000. They topped there and ever since have been in a secular Bear market. Since this dramatic date, every single market top or bottom of significance has occurred at a Fibonacci .618 to .382 ratio of trading days from either the starting date 1/14/00, or another top or bottom, based upon closing balances. Since this golden ratio has been consistent so far during this Bear market in the DJIA, it is therefore logical to extrapolate this phi ratio into the future in order to determine high probability bifurcation points - future tops or bottoms. Based upon this relationship, the next major turn date is October 22, 2004. Around then, there is also a cluster of days from 10/25 to 11/1/04 that are a Fibonacci number of trading days from other tops and bottoms. We cannot be sure if we will see a top or a bottom here. Or, we might see a top/bottom on the 22nd (+/- 1 day) and another top/bottom between the 25th and 1st +/-.
|* 3/7/2000's low is 38.0% of the total #
of trading days from 1/14/2000's High to 5/26/2000's
* 5/26/2000's Low is 38.0% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 12/20/00's Low
* 9/6/2000's High is 38.3% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 9/21/01's Low
* 10/18/2000's Low is 38.8% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 1/4/02's High
* 11/6/2000's High is 37.6% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 3/19/02's High
* 11/22/2000's Low is 37.9% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 4/29/02's Low
* 12/5/2000's High is 38.7% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 5/14/02's High
* 1/3/2001's High is 37.6% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 8/22/02's High
* 3/22/2001's High is 37.9% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 3/11/03's Low
* 5/21/2001's High is 62.6% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 3/19/02's High
* 9/5/2001's High is 38.0% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 5/17/04's Low
* 9/21/2001's Low is 61.6% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 10/9/02's Low
* 1/4/2002's High is 61.5% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 3/31/03's Low
* 3/19/2002's High is 63.4% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 6/17/03's High
* 7/23/2002's Low is 61.7% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 2/11/04's High
* 8/22/2002's High is 62.1% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 3/24/04's Low
* 10/9/2002's Low is 61.6% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 6/23/04's Low
* 11/27/02's High is 61.8% of the total # of trading days from 1/14/00's High to 9/7/04's High
After hitting just below 90.00 last Friday, and 86.00 again this week, the above indicator - the SPX to VIX ratio - fell to a still crash-warning high level of 74.41 on October 8th. While this ratio has been terrific at pointing out short-term tops and bottoms, with readings above 70.00 suggesting tops and below 35.00 signaling bottoms, something else on a primary-trend scale may be happening at this time. A pattern has developed that is nearly identical to what we saw at the top of the Grand Bull, when a two year slide followed, shaving prices by 48 percent. An upside down "V" shaped top, occurring above 70.00, is forming precisely as it did in the Spring of 2000. The VIX has risen sharply the past two days, a notable change in sentiment from what we saw in prior short-term declines this summer. There is fear once again. Options writers have been right for a long time. Should we continue to see the VIX rise, watch out.
The next chart is not giving a crash-warning indication. The 10 Day Average Call/Put Ratio sits at a neutral 1.13 reading on October 8th, 2004. Since the Bear market began in 2000, this contrary sentiment indicator has been terrific at signaling short and intermediate term tops and bottoms. Whenever the indicator fell to 1.00, it signaled a rally trend was about to begin. Whenever it rose to 1.40, a trend decline was imminent. Lately, the quantity of puts have been close to calls, thus this ratio has had trouble rising. Sentiment is fearful of a decline in equities, despite rally days. It could be we are in another rare aberration period due to excessive fears of a pre-election terrorist attack, or due to the seasonally poor time of the year we find ourselves in.
Semiconductors Ready to Resume Their Decline After
Losing 3.43 Percent Friday
The above chart of the Dow Industrials (courtesy of www.stockcharts.com) shows prices are on the path we've been blueprinting for the past several weeks. Minuette degree wave ii up of minor degree 3 down in Elliott Wave parlance topped at 10,270, just 10 points shy of a Fibonacci .786 retracement of minuette degree wave i down pointed out on Wednesday. To over simplify, Elliott Wave Theory believes that Market prices move in waves. Impulsive moves are five-wave affairs. If the move is down, then the five-wave sequence would be 1-down, 2-up, 3-down, 4-up, 5-down. Rising impulsive moves would sequence in the opposite direction. Following each impulsive wave is a corrective wave. Corrective waves retrace impulsive waves in a three-wave sequence. For example, a five-wave impulsive wave down would be followed by a three-wave corrective retracement up (an a-up, b-down, c-up sequence). Waves are of differing degrees, with smaller waves sequencing inside larger ones - containing in themselves five-wave and three wave sequences as described above - fractals.
Back to the chart. The DJIA's 200 day moving average acted as formidable resistance, and prices turned down from there on Thursday. The RSI indicator did not reach oversold levels seen at prior major bottoms when the DJIA hit 9977.92 on 9/27/04, the end of minuette degree wave i down. And, the RSI did not reach overbought levels at the top of wave ii on Wednesday. That implies these are minor, smaller degree waves inside larger, more significant waves. The MACD is now negative and falling, and turned down from the deceptive Bear Hook we identified last week. We believe what is transpiring is a surprise sell-off of considerable magnitude, one that is only beginning.
The S&P 500 has traced out a Broadening Top, a Megaphone pattern. Usually this pattern occurs with rising tops and declining bottoms, however what we see here is a pattern of slightly declining tops and solidly declining bottoms. Regardless, the pattern is Bearish.
The Elliott Wave count is similar as the Dow Industrials, however the S&P 500 is slightly behind, working on minuette degree i down, whereas the DJIA has already completed that move. Minor degree wave 2 up corrected nearly - but less than - 100% of minor degree wave 1 down. Under Elliott Wave rules, wave 2s cannot retrace more than wave 1 moves. While highly unusual, the Elliott Wave count above is acceptable. Like the Dow Industrials, The S&P 500 is poised to head south.
The RSI is declining from overbought levels. The MACD is turning over. Prices hit their 200 day moving average Friday and likely will bounce off that level for a micro degree wave 2 rebound early next week, before falling sharply.
Should prices unexpectedly rise above March 5th, 2004's 1,163.23 level, then we would have to adjust the Elliott Wave count per the alternate listed above. In that case, we are still making a top, but should be quite close. In our opinion, this is a low probability scenario.
According to a report from Redbook Research, Retail Sales rose 2.2 percent the past 12 months, as of October 2nd. This is down from 2.9 percent the week before. However, Consumer Credit (nonmortgage debt) - an indicator of consumer spending - declined in August by $2.4 billion. Credit Card debt fell by $3.4 billion. This is the first decline since November 2003, according to the Federal Reserve. Could the world's economic engine - the American Consumer - be cutting back?
The Institute for Supply Management's Non-manufacturing Index fell 1.5 to 56.7 in September from 58.2 in August, according to Reuters as reported on www.cnnmoney.com. The Commerce Department reported that Factory Orders fell 0.1 percent in August, the first decline in four months. Commerce also announced that August Wholesale Inventories rose 0.9 percent in August. July's figure was revised up to 1.5 percent. The problem was across the board - autos, computers, durable goods. And a business survey of CEOs by the Business Council was Bearish according to Reuters as reported on www.cnnmoney.com.
We learned this week that the long-term solvency of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the U.S. fund that insures traditional pension funds is at risk, according to Bradley Belt, Director of the PBGC, in a written testimony prepared for the Senate Commerce Committee.
Oil hit $53 a barrel this week. Transports hit new highs. I guess corn fuel is a lot closer than we realize.
The Labor Department reported Friday that Non-farm Payroll Jobs rose 96,000 in September. This came twelve hours before Dubya defended his domestic policies at a town meeting. We know that the numbers are jerry-rigged, as Labor adjusts these numbers for their estimates of how many new jobs - unreported - are being created by new entrepreneurs. Right off the BLS's website, it says, "Another major source of non-sampling error in the establishment survey is the inability to capture, on a timely basis, employment generated by new firms. To correct for this systematic underestimation of employment growth, an estimation procedure with two components is used to account for business births."
Here's how it shakes out for 2004: Since February 2004, the Labor Department reported 1.3 million new jobs were created, however 954,000 - 70 percent - were the result of estimates of net new jobs from startup and shut-down businesses. Actual survey-responding new jobs were only 407,000. Now when you consider that Population growth adds 150,000 more people seeking work each month, September's figure is a losing proposition - including the estimates. Excluding the "let's pretend" jobs, population demands required 1.2 million new jobs since February, but only 405,000 jobs were actually created. Dubya is the first U.S. President since Herbert Hoover in the 1930s to oversee a decline in jobs. That includes Pearl Harbor, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Oil Crisis in the 70's, the recessions of 1937, 1945, 1948, 1953, 1957, 1960, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1982, and 1990, and the stock market crash of 1987.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that U.S. businesses announced 107,863 Jobs Cuts in September, a 45.5 percent increase from August and the highest monthly figure since January 2004. So far in October, CNNMoney reported this week that Bank of America is cutting 4,500 jobs and AT&T is cutting 7,000 jobs. Locally, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that Unisys is laying off 1,400 workers. And the beat goes on.
Is it any surprise that Consumer Confidence fell to minus (-12) for the week ended October 3rd, 2004 according to ABC/Money magazine?
Money Supply, the Dollar, and Gold:
M-3, seasonally adjusted, was reported up another 15.2 billion this past week. That's a whopping 59.7 billion over the past two weeks. Our research shows that whenever M-3 rises for two months or more, equities rise. Conversely, when M-3 plateaus or falls for two months, equities decline. This is the first sign of rising M-3 in months. However, the unadjusted figures are about the same as they were in early July. So call this a tossup.
Not much new to report on the U.S. Dollar. The trade-weighted U.S. Dollar looks like it is ready to fall. Prices finally broke from the vertex of a Symmetrical Triangle this week - as expected to the south. Symmetrical Triangles are continuation patterns and are considered Bullish in uptrends and Bearish in downtrends. The probability is high that breakouts will be in the same direction as the prior trend - in the current case down. Often what follows is an even stronger move in the same direction as the prior trend. What is happening here is buyers are not able to push prices into a new trend. As sellers see this weakness, they gain confidence that the past trend will resume, forcing a breakout to the downside.
The Dollar sits at the top boundary of its long-term falling trend-channel, and declined this week to the neckline of its potential Head & Shoulders Top pattern identified in prior weeks' issues (see archives at www.technicalindicatorindex.com).
Once prices break below 87, the small Head & Shoulders Top will be confirmed with a decline to the low 80s expected. Should price action defy the odds, a decisive break above 91 would be Bullish.
But the Elliott Wave count we believe to be most accurate at this time for the Dollar shows that prices have further to fall. Intermediate degree waves (1) down, (2) up, (3) down, and (4) up of a fivewave primary trend decline are complete. Where we are now is the start of minor degree wave 3 down of intermediate degree wave (5) down of primary degree wave 1 down. The trend-channel and this count suggests prices could fall even further than the Head & Shoulders pattern targets, possibly as low as the mid to high 70s. But it could take a while. The MACD is negative as momentum is to the downside. The RSI is not oversold.
Gold has retraced more-than-a-normal Fibonacci .786 of the move down from April through May 2004. A push above 433 would negate the Bearish Double Top pattern. Momentum remains strong. The RSI is at levels seen time and time again at tops, however prices can remain overbought for long periods of time in Bull Markets. A breakout above resistance at 425 would also be Bullish. The long-term trend remains up.
Here's the deal with the HUI. It is in a long-term Bullish trend. The question is, where does it stand in the intermediate trend? The Elliott Wave count is ambiguous and can be interpreted three different ways. I've presented the one I believe to be most accurate at this time. However, this count requires that prices decline immediately as they have retraced .786 of the move down from December 2003. Any decisive move above here would mean one of the two other counts are in play. If the above count is correct, wave C down of corrective wave 2 down would likely take prices to a .786 retrace of Intermediate degree wave 1 up - to 138ish.
Should prices move decisively higher, a second possibility is that where we have labeled Minor degree wave A would in reality be Minor degree wave 4 of the rally from October 2002. That would mean we are rallying inside Minor degree wave 5 up, completing Intermediate 1 up. That would likely complete over the next two months, to be followed by a huge decline - corrective Intermediate degree wave 2 down, lasting half of 2005.
A third possibility is that should prices rise decisively from here, corrective Intermediate degree wave 2 completed where we labeled wave A down, and we are off to the races for a wondrous Intermediate degree wave 3 up to the stratosphere. Given the extreme oversold conditions present, this is the least likely scenario in our view.
Bonds and Interest Rates:
Prices reversed at the .786 retrace point for the rally from July 2003 through September 2004, as mentioned in last week's newsletter. Since then prices have traced out a minuette degree decline and correction, waves i down and ii up within minor degree wave 1 down of intermediate degree wave 3 down. The RSI shows prices are on their way lower from overbought conditions, and the MACD shows momentum is down hard, confirming the Elliott Wave count.
The pattern in view is a long-term Bearish Head & Shoulders Top, with double-boned shoulders. The Head is far above the neckline, meaning once prices confirm this pattern with a drop below 101, the minimum downside target is to the low 80s.
Interestingly, the past few days have seen a return to the inverse price relationship between equities and bonds. Should equities decline, bonds may rally - in the short run - however, liquidity pumping to buoy equities would no doubt send the dollar lower, with bonds fast on the greenback's heels.
The economic numbers continue to deteriorate, making further short-term interest rate increases less than certain. The European Central Bank "passed" on a rate increase this week. The Fed could do the same the next time they meet.
Texas based Exxon Mobil Corporation is happy. Oil on the left and XOM on the right. No, you are not seeing double. There is nothing wrong with your screen. Any takers on which hits $70 first? Or, perhaps you believe they will both hit $70 on the very same day. So you believe there is an oil crisis? Now would that be from a lack of natural resources, a lack of reserves, or price gouging? Hmmm.
There is just simply enormous risk in this market. Everywhere you turn, technical indicators warn of a huge equity sell-off. The Election is holding this market up, the massive infusions of M-3 by the Federal Reserve, the artful presence of the Plunge Protection Team, and investors' "wait and see" eye toward the future governing the urge to sell. Before they dump, they want to know what happens in November. But the structure of this market is so fragile, that it wouldn't take much to spook it and bring about panic supply orders. The U.S. Dollar looks weak, ready to decline, the VIX rose 20 percent in two days this week, Index valuations are at levels seen at tops or manias, and one by one, every day we hear of another stock that "unexpectedly" crashed over 20 percent for some bad news reason or another - earnings warnings, product recalls (Merck), accounting scams (FNMA). Oil is parabolic, but questions of manipulation don't allow us to follow the charts - it could go much higher, or plummet. At what point does the price of oil throw the economy into recession? Iraq as we all know is a mess, and we have the ever-present threat of terror and more war. Gold and the Mining shares recognize these risks and are rising in response - just in case. Extreme Caution is warranted.
"The proud look of man will be abased,
And the loftiness of man will be humbled,
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against everyone who is proud and lofty."
Isaiah 2:11, 12
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|Key Economic Statistics|
|Date||VIX||Mar. U.S. $||Euro||CRB||Gold||Silver||Crude Oil||1 Week Avg.
Note:VIX shows fear; Dollar weakens; Euro, CRB, Metals, & Oil rise.