Technical Analysis Of Financial Markets: Dangerous Signals

Dangerous Signals

Technical Analysis Of The Financial Markets

Updated March 2023

Should investors worry that the markets are generating several dangerous signals 

Money continues to move into defensive stocks, usually when the market is uncertain.  Also, it is the energy sector that carries the market up during its last leg, and that’s precisely what took place; the energy sector was the driving force behind the highs the Dow set this year, and it is what could potentially push the Dow to test its highs one more time.

A healthy financial sector is one of the necessary ingredients for a bull market.  In 2009 shortly after our smart money indicator generated a buy, financials exploded upwards. In 2010 their rate of ascension was mediocre to non-existent compared to 2009; coincidentally, this was around the same time we turned neutral on the market. At present, this sector is underperforming.    This under-performance can clearly be seen in the 1 and three-year charts of XLF (the Financial ETF).

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Dangerous Stock Market signals indicating markets could crash again or not

In the one-year chart of XLF, the uptrend has been violated, and it is now testing crucial short-term support at 14.75.  XLF topped out in Feb, while the Dow rallied until May before putting in a top.  If the financial sector was healthy, it should have rallied in Unison with the Dow.  Historically for a market to move higher, the financial industry or the housing sector has to be in good shape. The housing sector is in the doldrums, and the financial industry is far from healthy.

Dow Jones industrial average and Stock Market Crashes

The three-year chart reveals how bad things are. XLF topped roughly when the smart money indicator’s buy signal turned neutral.  As of April 2010, XLF has done nothing but trend sideways. A weekly break below 13 will be a strong warning signal that the market is close to breaking down.

Mass Psychology clearly calls stock market crashes buying opportunities

Technical Analysis Of The Financial Markets: A closer look at JPM

If you look at the chart of JPM, the pattern is worse. It topped out towards the end of 2009, and since then, it has been trading in a very tight range. This is telling because JPM is the nation’s second-largest bank, and this chart clearly illustrates that the market does not think JPM is out of the woods yet.  The graph of Bank of America, the largest bank in the nation, looks even worse.

Last week we had a 9-1 down volume day; the down volume was nine times that of the up volume.  If the market has experienced a strong correction, this is a bullish development as it is a sign that the last players are panicking.  As the market is far from oversold and trading relatively close to 2-year highs, this has to be viewed as a bearish development.  The only way it can be neutralised is if we have a 9-1 up volume day; here, the up volume leads the down volume by a factor of 9. However, remember that one should never fear stock market corrections or crashes, and this article clearly explains Why market crashes are buying opportunities

Finally, for the first time in many months, our V Index has experienced a slight drop; V readings dropped from 2140 to 2135.  It is too early to tell if this is a trend change, but the markets will remain very volatile until they drop to or below 2000.

Technical Analysis Of The Financial Markets; The Intermediate Outlook

The Dow is at a precarious point; it must turn around shortly or risk breaking down.  A few factors indicate the Dow is getting ready to mount a rally from these levels.  If the SP 500 and the Dow cannot stabilise at current levels, then they could test their March lows, 1250 and 11500. If this occurs, it will confirm that the market has already topped and that any rally from these levels will lead to a lower high.

Dumb money has started to become increasingly negative, the premiums of puts are rising, and the market has still not closed down on a very high volume day.  For example, the market closed in the red on a volume of only 4.02 billion shares.  Volume continues to rise slowly on down days, but there has been no spectacular surge in volume yet.   Finally, the dollar could potentially test its lows, and if this takes place, it will provide the fuel the Dow needs to rally.

Traders who open up long positions and are getting nervous can close all the positions showing a profit.

Tasty Treat: Fragile Foundations: Central Banks Assault on Strong Currency


From a long-term perspective, the Dow has hit all its targets, and long-term traders should be out of the markets; they should only get into Strangle plays, short positions, and maybe sell put options.

Until a full sell signal is generated, we believe the best strategy is to open up a strangle position. When the markets issue a sell signal, we can start to scale into put options only.  So far, we have five strangle positions and are actively scouring the markets for more plays.  Remember that these plays will bear fruit after the market experiences a big move; the direction is not essential.  We have over one year on these options, so the market seems unlikely to trend sideways for over 12 months.  With such high V readings, a strong move is bound to occur sooner or later.

This article, originally published in  May 2015, is continuously updated, with the most recent update completed in March 2023.

Random stock market reflections

When viewed from a different angle/perspective, life resembles the art of investing. Therefore, applying the same strategies employed to enhance one’s prospects in the market to one’s overall life journey is prudent. However, as we strive for financial stability, devoting attention to self-improvement can become increasingly challenging. Thus, let us explore several measures that can be taken to elevate our economic prospects in the forthcoming years.

A successful investment strategy involves a powerful blend of mass psychology and technical analysis when investing. By understanding the crowd behaviour of market participants, one gains valuable insights into the market’s pulse. Market psychology plays a pivotal role in identifying trends; the rest becomes relatively straightforward once these trends are identified. Additionally, incorporating the fundamental principles of contrarian investing can elevate your trading skills, especially when combined with the crowd’s wisdom and technical analysis.

Lastly, maintaining a comprehensive trading journal is invaluable in gaining insights into your mindset and crafting a robust battle plan to confront any challenges.



Q: What is the current state of the financial markets according to the provided analysis?
A: The analysis indicates that the financial sector is unhealthy, with the housing sector in a slump and indicators showing a potential market breakdown.

Q: What can be observed from the chart of XLF in the one-year timeframe?
A: The uptrend in XLF has been violated, and it is currently testing crucial short-term support at 14.75.

Q: How does the three-year chart of XLF reflect market conditions?
A: The three-year chart shows that XLF has been trending sideways since April 2010, with a potential strong warning signal if it breaks below 13.

Q: What does the chart of JPM (JPMorgan Chase) indicate?
A: The chart suggests that JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s second-largest bank, has been trading within a tight range since the end of 2009, indicating market uncertainty.

Q: What is the significance of a 9-1 down volume day in the market?
A: In the context of a strong correction, a 9-1 down volume day can be considered a bullish development. However, as the market is not oversold and is close to 2-year highs, it is viewed as a bearish signal.

Q: What is the current status of the V Index?

A: The V Index has experienced a slight drop but remains volatile until it drops to or below 2000.

Q: What is the intermediate outlook for the Dow?
A: The Dow is at a critical point and must turn around soon to avoid a breakdown. Failure to stabilize could lead to testing March lows and confirm a market top.

Q: What are the signs that the market may be ready for a rally?
A: Increasingly negative sentiment, rising put premiums, and the absence of a high-volume down day closing are potential signs that the market could rally. A potential dollar test of lows could provide additional fuel.

Q: What is the suggested trading strategy based on the analysis?
A: Opening strangle positions is recommended until a full sell signal is generated. Long-term traders should consider being out of the markets, focusing on strangle plays, short positions, and selling put options.

Q: How long is the expected time frame for the options plays?
A: The options have over one year, and it is unlikely that the market will trend sideways for more than 12 months.


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