This week's Chart of the Week video looks at the S&P Depository Receipts (symbol: SPY) and the i-Shares 20 + Year Treasury Bond ETF (symbol: TLT).
So let's get technical.
This week we are going to dispense with our basic set up and I am just going to show our weekly price charts with several simple trend lines.
Our first chart is a weekly price chart of the SPY. Our simple trend lines are shown, and drawn from the March, 2009 bottom. Prices have been well contained within this 4.5 year trend channel. Selling has taken place where you would expect - at the top of the trend channel.
Shortening up our look back period a bit, we note the trend channel drawn from the October, 2011 lows. Once again, the trend channel has contained the price action.
Shortening up the look back period even more, this trend channel is now drawn from the November, 2012 lows and encompasses the current rally. The breakout in early May is noted, but this was a failed breakout as prices could not accelerate on a different higher arc than when in the trend channel. Prices have fallen back into the trend channel, and caution is warranted as failed breakouts are never good.
Turning our attention to the TLT, we note this downward trend channel drawn on this weekly chart from the July, 2012 top. Prices are falling out of the trend channel, and in my experience this is not a good sign. Buyers, who were buying the dip because the issue was much oversold, will suddenly be confronted with lower prices and having their positions underwater. Those buyers will quickly turn into sellers as oversold becomes more oversold. This is how new trends in asset prices start. I would watch for prices to accelerate lower.
In summary, a simple trend line approach may be the best option for navigating a market that has lots of cross currents. Failed breakouts, like those seen in the SPY, suggest uncertainty regarding the trend. Breakdowns or when prices roll out of a downward sloping trend channel, like seen in TLT, are often met with an acceleration lower in prices. This would also be consistent with last week's analysis of Treasury yields where we suggested (based upon our data) that yields would accelerate higher, and this was not being discounted by the equity markets. As stated in the video: "A move higher looks possible, and if it occurs, it will be a doozy. This is what investors should be afraid of!"
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