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Sol Palha

Sol Palha

Sol Palha is a market analyst and educator who uses Mass Psychology, Technical Analysis and Esoteric Cycles to keep you on the right side of…

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Market Outlook

"If a man's fortune does not fit him, it is like the shoe in the story; if too large it trips him up, if too small it pinches him." - Horace BC 65-8, Italian Poet

Extracted from the July 31st market update; new updated comments added at the end of the article.

Moving averages of New Highs and New Lows
Moving average New Highs New lows
20day 310 1360
100 day 140 780
I year (365 days) 105 485

There has been a noticeable drop in the number of new lows in all the moving averages this week. Ideally we should get one more massive spike in the number of new lows as was the case last week to signify that the majority are starting to panic. When the majority panic a bottom is usually very close at hand.

Standard Deviation Analysis

The premise here is simple. When either the +3sd band or negative -3Sd bands are hit; it suggests that an oversold or overbought condition is in the works. Example if the market is topping and the +3SD band has been hit each time then it would indicate that there is a pretty good chance of rather sharp downward move occurring and vice versa. If we are in an up trend, meaning that the +3Sd band was hit and the markets have pulled back. A test and the ability to hold above the 18 or 30 day moving average would indicate that the markets will most likely rally to test the +3Sd bands again. This tool should be used in conjunction with 2-3 other TA tools or simple trend analysis. One should never make a judgement based on this tool alone or any other individual tool; always use 2-3 tools. The more TA tools use familiarize yourself with the better. However one should not exceed 6 tools as you will most likely overwhelm yourself. Ideally 3-5 tools should suffice

Standard Deviation Dow NASDAQ
+3Sd 14493 2826
+2Sd 14221 2768
18 day SD moving average 13679 2650
-2Sd 13136 2532
-3Sd 12896 2473


Difference between -3Sd and +3Sd bands
(15 weeks worth of data provided below; updated on a weekly basis)
Index 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Dow 1597 1222 645 636 796 738 655 661 902 1163 1424 1214 774 779 800
Nasdaq 353 214 172 154 157 178 178 110 115 139 178 212 185 175 198
Highest value between the -3Sd and +3Sd band for Dow = 1619 (March 13, 2007)
Highest value between the -3Sd and +3Sd for NASDAQ = 397 (March, 13, 2007)

This is what we had to say last week and to some degree it has come true.

Okay the markets surged as expected and the bands snapped wide open now the markets still need to mount some sort of correction and we expect them to mount a mediocre correction to the -3Sd bands which now sit roughly in the 13109 ranges. Market update July 24th, 2007

The SD bands have expanded yet another 300 points on the Dow and roughly over 140 points on the NASDAQ; the bands are now just walking distance from the all time high put in March 13, 2007 (1619 on the Dow and 397 on the NASDAQ).

Market Commentary

The SD bands are now just a few points away from taking out the high put in March of this year. When the band expand so rapidly it usually leads to a strong upward move; this move can take anywhere from 3 weeks to as long as 21 weeks to materialize. Based on the many bullish factors we have listed in the last few weeks we feel that this move up will take place sooner then later. In addition we stated that the markets would experience a mediocre pull back that would take them to -3Sd level of 13109 (last week's value); we are almost there as the Dow has so far traded down to 13134.

The moving average of new lows also continues to lead all the moving averages of new highs and ideally we should get one more washout day where at least the 20 day moving average of new lows surpasses the 2550 mark.

NYSE short interest has put in yet a new record high and it's almost impossible to witness a bear market with such a high short interest ratio; if it were to happen it would be one for the history books.

Note the main culprits driving the market down are not new factors; in fact this news is old news. Thus it surprises us that the jackasses or experts as most people fondly refer to them are all clamouring taking about the massive fall out from the sub prime sector, higher energy prices, inflation and so on. If this was something new we would agree but these problems were around before the Dow put in a new high and despite all these problems the market still rose to new highs. Not one of these chaps can come out and state that this market was in sore need of a correction and that the current correction is something good for the markets as it going to cleanse out all the excess garbage and allow it to build force for the next leg up. We suspect something so simple is beyond such brain surgeons; on second thoughts if they were to come out and state this we would have to be more cautious as the masses are always wrong. Perhaps we should be happy with their observations and deductions. Though as of late a few individuals have come out and stated that its time to buy; thus it will probably take a bit more sideways action before the markets are ready to move up again.

Incredibly we had two selling climaxes last week on Tuesday and Thursday, where the Down volume was over 90% ( 93% and 94%) and we came very close to having a third one but the Down volume just missed by 2 percentage points. All in all we have had 3 selling climaxes in less then 3 weeks and we view this as a rather bullish development from the intermediate time frames (6-15 months).

The Dow experienced its worst week in over 5 years last week when it lost close to 600 points; again this was long over due so at least for now there is no reason to panic. On Thursday when the market was down over 300 points some experts started talking about a repeat of black Monday and normally coupled with the 3 selling climaxes this market has gone through we would have said that the time to buy was very close at hand. However as stated earlier some individuals actually started coming out and stating that it was a very good time to start buying. Thus we feel that the markets will trade sideways for sometime or drop a bit further before putting in a base. We feel that most likely the next leg up will begin towards the end of summer and that during this base building stage individuals should be looking to add to or open up new positions in many of the plays in our portfolios. Advanced traders can also look for stocks that are holding up the best or putting in base formations earlier as these chaps will rally the strongest when the markets begin to move up.

Here are several reasons why believe that a bear market is unlikely at this point in the game

  1. Short Sales by NYSE specialists have once again reached record low levels
  2. NYSE short interest at record levels
  3. No Major sell signals on any of our indicators; psychological and technical
  4. Program traders who now accounts for over 50% of the trading volume have opened up massive short positions and they will need to cover these positions eventually which will generate a surge in buying power. Remember the only way to make money from a short position is to actually close it out and eventually every short position has to be closed out if the individual wants to bank a profit.
  5. Institutional investors unloaded billions of dollars worth of stock; they were selling into strength; we mentioned this in the last few updates. For them a 10% gain is a big deal as they are dealing in billions of dollars. Now that the markets have pulled back they are going to be looking for sectors to redeploy this money.
  6. If you look at the number of odd lot shares being purchased it shows that the small investor is still sitting on the sidelines. The small investor for the most part has missed this entire leg up and sooner or later they are going to feel that the markets are the only place to make some money now that the housing sector is dead. These small investors collectively have a huge amount of money that has been sitting down and doing nothing now for quite sometime. When they decide to commit this money it's going to provide quite an upward thrust to these markets.
  7. Short selling on the NASDAQ has also reached record levels and now stands at 1.8%; it would now take over 4.9 days to close out all these short positions.
  8. The ULPIX to URPIX ratio (ultra bull profound and Ultra bear fund) reveals some rather interesting data

Charts provided courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

This chart indicates that the dumb money is actually still shorting the markets quite aggressively and this ratio is now approaching the bullish zone. The ratio now is at the same level it was before the markets embarked on this huge move up which began around March.

As we stated last week there are several negatives but one of them stands out quite a bit and that is the huge levels of margin debt. At some point in time this is going to be a problem and will result in the markets pulling back even more but it's still not at extreme levels and such bull markets always end when everything is at an extreme point. Unless there is a major catastrophe the Dow will be trading at the 20,000 mark in the years to come.

Finally we decided to conduct a rather in-depth and tiresome analysis of the Dow 30 stocks. Let's see what they reveal.

Analysis of the components of the Dow 30

Stock Oversold/Overbought Divergence (Daily Chart) Divergence (hourly Chart)
MMM Overbought none None
MO Oversold None Yes
AA Neutral None Yes
AXP Oversold None Yes
AIG Oversold None Yes
T Neutral None Yes
BA Overbought None None
CAT Neutral None None
C Oversold Possible as one could
potentially show up this week.
KO Neutral None None
DD Oversold None None but one could develop
in the next 3 weeks.
XOM Neutral None None
GE Neutral None None
GM Oversold Yes YES
HPQ Overbought None None
HD Oversold None Yes
HON Overbought None None
INTC Neutral None None
IBM Overbought None None
JPM Oversold None Yes
JNJ Oversold Double positive divergence Yes, Double positive
MCD Overbought None None
MRK Neutral None None
MSFT Neutral None None
PFE Oversold None None
PG Neutral None None
UTX Overbought None None
VZ Overbought None None
WMT Neutral None None
DIS Oversold None Very close to flashing one

11 stocks are in the oversold regions, another 11 are in the neutral area (they have pulled back but are still not in the oversold area but they appear to be moving in this direction) and only 9 stocks are overbought. In addition we have one stock that has flashed a major double positive divergence both on the daily and hourly charts; in total we have 9 stocks that have flashed positive divergences on the hourly charts and two that are close to flashing positive divergences. Thus it appears that this market right now is far from overbought based both on the number of actual stocks that are overbought and the number of positive divergence signals that have been generated. Risk takers and once again note that we are suggesting this play only to those willing to take a risk could consider buying leap options or buying shares in PFE as a contrarian play.


While this correction appears to be brutal, it is only brutal to those who jumped in too late and who sit and think that the markets trade in one direction only. Nothing goes up forever just as nothing goes down forever; though things tend to trend upwards much longer then they do downwards. As stated risk takers can start looking at all the positions and identify the strongest plays out there and slowly nibble at these positions. We will also be analysing the markets for new plays and looking at our stocks to see if new strong buy signals are flashed. Yesterday one of our stocks flashed a pulse signal; this is usually a very bullish development.

As stated before we did not short the markets simply because our daily sells signal was invalidated and based on that we felt it would be more prudent to wait for new long entry points. Many of the uranium stocks are starting to enter the mouth watering ranges as they have taken an usually heavy beating; thus when they move up the move up is going to be twice as powerful as the move down. As always patience will be needed. In addition there are several plays in the natural gas, oil exploration, drilling, Palladium and shipping sectors that have also pulled back rather severely; many of these chaps are in our portfolio.

Finally a bear market has never begun with such a record high short position on the NYSE, such record low short positions by the NYSE specialists, more oversold then overbought stocks in the Dow 30, no major sell signals from any of our indicators and with program traders holding such massive short positions.

We stated way before this correction even began that those subscribers with low thresholds for risk should start locking in profits and sitting on the sidelines waiting for a new buy signal. We also put out a new rule stating that from now as a result of some subscribers not taking the time to find out their own profit targets (this info is listed in the pass coded section of our website) that we would be implementing a new rule where half of all positions will be closed out as soon as they are 100% in profit. The reason we have come up with these rules is because no two traders are alike and we do not want our subscribers to trade based on our risk threshold only (which for the record is very high). It's okay to mix and match; sell half your positions based on your profit targets and then the other half based on when we issue a general sell signal. The problem with most other services is that they force you to trade based on the level of their risk threshold and as we stated before no two people are alike. Our goal has always been to educate our subscribers for this information once learned can be applied to all aspects of one's life and not only in the trading arena. Remember that life is nothing but one huge market place. We are always buying and selling or sitting on the sidelines waiting for a new opportunity. Think about your current relationships and see how they could actually be classified as trades where either you bought (joined forces), Sold (ended the relationship) or are waiting for a new one (sitting on the sidelines). Think about this carefully and slowly and you will realise just how very true it really is.

New Additional notes August 12, 2007

A lot of the recent market volatility is due to quant funds which supposedly can benefit from either an upward trending market or downward trending market. However these chaps were using models that for the most part were outdated and did not factor in the potential increase in volatility. According to one of the founders of these models the recent volatility in the markets was something these models envisioned as possibly occurring once in 10,000 years. This is the problem with using models that they cannot account for everything. As a result these funds have been buying and then suddenly shorting, as a result they are losing on both ends. Many of the fund managers have become so desperate that they have temporarily shut down the models and taken over themselves and in doing so have caused even more chaos. Longer term this should provide some rather juicy entry points for key stocks.

We do not believe the markets will rally forever; in the not too distant future the markets will have to mount a rather severe correction but based on the number of new participants entering the markets, the new booming and ever increasing middle class emerging from Asia (their appetite for stocks will continue to increase) and the huge surpluses many of these nations have which will sooner o later find their way into the US markets will ensure that the markets will be trading significantly higher a few years from now. Yes in between the Dow could pull back say even 30% but unless something catastrophic happens there is a higher likely hood that the Dow will be trading at 20,000 in the years to come then 2,000. Note that China has already created a 200 billion monster hedge fund which basically takes this worthless paper and invests into tangible assets. Many other nations with huge massive dollar surpluses will follow suit; there is simply no way to dump all their dollar holdings. If they were to do so it would cause a massive crash in the dollar and they would end up destroying themselves to in the process.

Final note remember that markets do not turn around immediately after pulling back so violently. We suspect there is a lot more volatility ahead and the sea saw ride will get a lot wilder before things calm down. As they say before the calm there is usually a violent storm.

"There is no one, says another, whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door, and flies out at the window." - Charles De Montesquieu 1689-1755, French Jurist, Political Philosopher


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