Is the Market Topping Again?


"The SP500 and markets are topping in a counter-trend rally."

Here at TMTF, I enjoy making controversial calls based on human behavioral topping and bottoming patterns, often referred to as Elliott Wave Theory. This is a difficult pattern recognition model to follow, as there can be numerous interpretations. Instead, I look for additional clues like sentiment indicators, a few traditional technical indicators, headlines in the news and covers of papers, etc. Recently, I saw an article on Bloomberg indicating that short positions were at two-year lows, with the ratio of longs to shorts at two-year highs. Those types of indicators I use to help confirm if I'm on the right or wrong track with a forecast.

Right now, I think the SP 500 and markets are topping in a counter-trend ABC-X-ABC rally that really started with the May 25th lows of 1040, to the June 21st highs of 1130, back to the Jul 1 lows of 1011, and now to 1121 so far the highs. That 1121 number is a Fibonacci 50% retracement of the 2007 to 2009 highs to lows, and just 9 points below a 61% retracement upwards of the April highs to July 1st lows. Evidence mounts now that August could prove tough for Bulls and some risk aversion here is a good trade in my opinion.

Back in late June, I saw similar sentiment and Elliott Wave topping patterns in gold as well. The headlines were bullish. The talking heads on CNBC were all saying to buy any dip in gold and stay long. A 21-month rally was topping and I went ahead and stuck my neck out and predicted a multi-month correction. Since then, gold has dropped from $1243 to $1158 at its recent low, and should be heading to $1043 eventually, if I'm right. It takes awhile to knock the sentiment down from overly optimistic levels, just like with the SP 500 top in April, which I forecasted in mid-April as well.

The SP 500 would need to clear 1130 aggressively for me to cave in and call 1011 the bottom. That was a 38% fibonacci retracement of the 13-month market rally, and it's possible that was the bottom for sure. Normally though, you would at least get a re-test of that low, and possibly a drop to the 942 area on the SP 500, which is a 50% fibonacci retracement of the 13-month rally. In addition, the pullback so far only lasted about 8 weeks relative to 13-months of rally, so I think there are another several weeks yet before we can call a bottom in 2010.

Below is an interesting chart showing recent action since late May in the SP 500 index. Investors like to act in patterns, and this seems to show a good one. Best to you and your trading!


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David Banister

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