Was Friday's Price Action in Gold Signaling a Top in the SP 500?

By: Chris Vermeulen & JW Jones | Mon, Feb 6, 2012
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"You can't feel the heat until you hold your hand over the flame.

You have to cross the line just to remember where it lays."

~ Rise Against. "Satellite" Lyrics ~

Friday morning traders and market participants awaited the key January employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The reaction to the supposedly wonderful report was a surge in the S&P 500 E-Mini futures contracts as well as several other key equity index futures.

The overall tenor among the financial punditry was predictable as wildly bullish predictions permeated the morning session on CNBC and in the financial blogosphere. However, after the report had been out for several hours notable independent voices such as Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner came out with information that suggested the numbers were an apparition of manipulated statistics.

I am not going to spend a great deal of time discussing the report, but the reaction to the news was decisively bullish on Friday. The question I want to know is whether Friday was a blow off top? In the recent past the S&P 500 has seen several key inflection points and intermediate-term tops form on non-farm payroll monthly announcements.

I follow a variety of indicators to help me decipher more accurately when the market is getting overbought or oversold. For nearly two weeks the market has been extremely overbought, but now we are reaching truly astonishing levels. The following charts represent just a few signals that the market is due for a pullback and a top is likely approaching.

Percentage of NYSE Stocks Trading Above Their 50 Period Moving Average
$NYA50R (NYSE Percent of Stocks Above 50 Day Moving Average (EOD)) INDX

The chart above clearly illustrates that as of Friday's closing bell (02/03) over 89% of stocks were trading above their 50 period moving averages. Consequently that reading is one of the highest levels that we have seen in the past 3 years. In addition, over 73% of stocks that trade on the NYSE are currently priced above their longer-term 200 period moving averages. Another extremely overbought signal.

S&P 500 Bullish Percent Index Weekly Chart
$BPSPX (S&P 500 Bullish Percent Index (EOD)) INDX

The S&P 500 Bullish Percent Index is another great tool for measuring the overall position of the S&P 500. It is without question that the longer term time frame is reaching the highest level of overbought conditions in the past 3 years.

McClellan Oscillator Divergence with S&P 500 Price Action
$NYMO (NYSE McClellan Oscillator (Ratio Adjusted) (EOD)) INDX

$SPX (S&P 500 Large Cap Index) INDX

The two charts shown above present an interesting situation regarding the divergence in the McClellan Oscillator and the price action in the S&P 500. The most recent example of this type of divergence occurred in October of 2011 and prices immediately reversed to the upside after several months of selling pressure. In fact, this correlation between reversals in the S&P 500 and divergences in the McClellan Oscillator works relatively well historically.

Clearly there are bullish voices arguing for the 2011 S&P 500 Index high of 1,370.58 to be taken out to the upside in the near future. Additionally, several market technicians in the blogospere have been pointing to the key resistance range between 1,350 and 1,370 on the S&P 500 as a likely price target. Obviously if those price levels are met strong resistance is likely to present itself. However, as a contrarian trader I have found that the more obvious price levels are the more likely it is that they either will not be tested or they will not offer significant resistance.

It is obvious that Chairman Bernanke and the Federal Reserve have embarked on a massive fiat currency printing campaign which has helped buoy risk assets to the upside. Through a combination of reducing interest rates on safety haven investments like Treasury's and CD's, the Federal Reserve has forced conservative investors and those living on a fixed income into riskier assets in search of yield.

This process helps elevate stock prices and creates the desired outcome for the Federal Reserve which involves the perception by average individuals that they are wealthier. The Fed calls this the "wealth effect" and they seem poised to insure that U.S. financial markets continue to ride upon a see of cheap money and liquidity.

Ultimately the Federal Reserve's most recent announcements have served to help flatten the short end of the yield curve further while providing a launching pad for equities and precious metals. However, issues persisting in Europe could have an adverse impact on the short to intermediate term price action of the U.S. Dollar.

Right now everywhere I look I hear market prognosticators commenting on how hated the U.S. Dollar is and how Chairman Bernanke will not allow the Dollar to appreciate markedly in order to protect U.S. exports and financial markets. I think that the Dollar has the potential to rally in the short to intermediate term. Right now the U.S. Dollar Index appears to be trying to form a bottom.

U.S. Dollar Index Daily Chart
$USD (US Dollar Index - Cash Settle (EOD)) ICE

Obviously there is good reason to believe that the U.S. Dollar Index could reverse to the upside here. Whether it would have the strength to take out recent highs is unclear, but a correction to the upside not only seems unexpected by most market participants, but it seems plausible based on the weekend news coming out of Greece.

Monday morning the Greek government is set to determine if they will agree to the demands of the Troika in exchange for the next tranche of bailout funds. If the Greek government and the Troika do not come to an agreement, the Euro could sell-off violently.

Additionally there are already concerns about the next LTRO offering from the European Central Bank. The measure is to help provide European banks with additional liquidity, but there are growing concerns that the size and scope of the LTRO could have a dramatic impact on the Euro's valuation against other currencies. Time will tell, but there are certainly catalysts which could help drive the U.S. Dollar higher.

Another potential indicator that the Dollar could see higher prices in coming days was the largely unnoticed bearish price action on Friday of precious metals. Both gold and silver have been on a tear higher over the past several weeks. Both precious metals have surged since the Federal Reserve announced that interest rates would remain near zero on the short end of the curve through 2014.

However, on Friday gold and silver were both under extreme selling pressure. The move did not get much attention by the financial media. The price action in gold and silver on Friday could be another indication that the U.S. Dollar is set to rally. The daily chart of gold is shown below.

Gold Futures Daily Chart
$GOLD (Gold - Spot Price (EOD)) CME

Obviously the reversal on Friday in gold futures was sharp. The move represented nearly a 2% decline for the session on the price of gold. However, as long term readers know I am a gold bull. I just do not see how gold and silver do not rally in the intermediate to longer term based on the insane levels of fiat currency printing going on at all of the major central banks around the world. The macro case for gold is very strong, but the short term time frame could reveal a brief pullback.

At this point, I suspect a pullback will present a good buying opportunity for those that are patient. However, I think it is critical to point out that this move in gold on Friday could be a signal that the U.S. Dollar is going to find some short to intermediate term strength. If the Dollar does start to push higher, it will likely put downward pressure on risk assets like equities and oil

While Friday's price action may not mark a top, nearly every indicator that I follow is screaming that stocks are overbought across all time frames. Pair that with the Greece uncertainty and LTRO considerations and suddenly the Dollar starts to look a bit more attractive. Ultimately I am not going to try to pick a top, but the evidence suggests that it might not be too many days/weeks away.

 


 

Chris Vermeulen

Author: Chris Vermeulen

Chris Vermeulen
President of AlgoTrades Systems
www.TheGoldAndOilGuy.com

10126 Hwy 126 East, RR#2
Collingwood, ON, L9Y 3Z1

Chris Vermeulen

Chris Vermeulen, founder of AlgoTrades Systems., is an internationally recognized market technical analyst and trader. Involved in the markets since 1997.

Chris' mission is to help his clients boost their investment performance while reducing market exposure and portfolio volatility.

Chris is also the founder of TheGoldAndOilGuy.com, a financial education and investment newsletter service. Chris is responsible for market research and trade alerts for of its newsletter publication.

Through years of research, trading and helping thousands of individual investors around the world. He designed an automated algorithmic trading system for the S&P 500 index which solves his client's biggest problem related to investing in the stock market: the ability to profit in both a rising and falling market.

AlgoTrades' automated trading systems allows individuals to investing using either exchange traded funds or the ES mini futures contracts. It is supported by many leading brokerage firms including:

- Interactive Brokers
- Trade MONSTER
- MB Trading
- OEC OpenECry
- The Fox Group
- Dorman Trading
- Vision Financial

He is the author of the popular book "Technical Trading Mastery - 7 Steps To Win With Logic." He has also been featured on the cover of AmalgaTrader Magazine, Futures Magazine, Gold-Eagle, Safe Haven,The Street, Kitco, Financial Sense, Dick Davis Investment Digest and dozens of other financial websites. His list of personal and professional relationships approaches 25,000, people with whom he connects and shares is market insight with out of his passion for trading.

Chris is a graduate of Seneca College where he specialized in business operations management.

Chris enjoys boating, kiteboarding, mountain biking, fishing and has his ultralight pilots license. He resides in the Toronto area with his wife Kristen and two children.

Copyright © 2008-2014 Chris Vermeulen

JW Jones

Author: JW Jones

JW Jones
www.Optionnacci.com

JW Jones

J.W. Jones is an independent options trader using multiple forms of analysis to guide his option trading strategies. Jones has an extensive background in portfolio analysis and analytics as well as risk analysis. J.W. strives to help traders that are missing opportunities trading options. He also commits to writing content which is not only educational, but entertaining as well. Regular readers will develop the knowledge and skills to trade options competently over time. Jones focuses on writing spreads in situations where risk is clearly defined and high potential returns can be realized.

This material should not be considered investment advice. J.W. Jones is not a registered investment advisor. Under no circumstances should any content from this article or the OptionsTradingSignals.com website be used or interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any type of security or commodity contract. This material is not a solicitation for a trading approach to financial markets. Any investment decisions must in all cases be made by the reader or by his or her registered investment advisor. This information is for educational purposes only.

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austrian-money-supply/