Friday, February 23, 2018

Rally Fails As Bear Market Chart Patterns Emerge

One of the clearest chart indicators of bear markets is the "higher open, lower close" condition, which has been showing up in the daily charts on a regular basis of late.

Thursday was another in a steady stream of such charts, with the Dow higher by nearly 360 points by midday, only to lose more than half of the gains by the closing bell.

Another pattern - more often indicating broken or tired markets - is split decisions, wherein the major averages diverge as discretion becomes more prevalent. The NASDAQ, which extended its losing streak to four days on Thursday, ended the session in the red while the other indices were up.

These recurring patterns are worth noting at this juncture, though not entirely indicative of overall market direction. In general, however, the decline which began at the beginning of February has not been surmounted and continues to hold stocks below recent highs, a condition which will resolve itself at some point in the near term.

Timing markets such as this one would be a heady task, and probably result in more pain than necessary. It is likely that investors are already taking positions and executing them prior to any definitive directional signal, making the case that bearishness may already hold a winning position over the long-standing bull market proponents.

Time will tell.

Dow Jones Industrial Average February Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
2/1/18 26,186.71 +37.32 +37.32
2/2/18 25,520.96 -665.75 -628.43
2/5/18 24,345.75 -1,175.21 -1,803.64
2/6/18 24,912.77 +567.02 -1,236.62
2/7/18 24,893.35 -19.42 -1,256.04
2/8/18 23,860.46 -1,032.89 -2288.93
2/9/18 24,190.90 +330.44 -1958.49
2/12/18 24,601.27 +410.37 -1548.12
2/13/18 24,640.45 +39.18 -1508.94
2/14/18 24,893.49 +253.04 -1255.90
2/15/18 25,200.37 +306.88 -949.02
2/16/18 25,219.38 +19.01 -930.01
2/20/18 24,964.75 -254.63 -1184.64
2/21/18 24,797.78 -166.97 -1351.61
2/22/18 24,962.48 +164.70 -1186.91

At the Close, Thursday, February 22, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,962.48, +164.70 (+0.66%)
NASDAQ: 7,210.09, -8.14 (-0.11%)
S&P 500: 2,703.96, +2.63 (+0.10%)
NYSE Composite: 12,711.75, +16.22 (+0.13%)
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