Dow Jones Pulls Back After Completing Bearish Wedge

On Friday the Dow Jones hit the ideal target of a rising wedge formation. The rising wedge is a bearish formation that projects about a 10% decline for the Dow if the lower wedge line (see Dow Jones chart) is broken.

The August 24 Profit Radar Report published this Dow Jones chart and stated that: “The Dow Jones sports a possible wedge formation with resistance starting at 17,250 next week (17,400 by the end of September).”

This red line has been our up side target ever since.

On Friday the Dow reached its target and pulled back as quickly as a hand accidentally touching a hot stove.

What makes a wedge a wedge?

Although prices rise within the rising wedge formation, market breadth is gradually petering out, as the advance is progressively growing weaker.

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That’s what we saw on Friday. Even though the Dow ended 0.08% higher, 60% of stocks traded on the NYSE declined. This rare breadth/price divergence occurred only 7 other times since this QE bull market started in 2009.

What are the implications of a wedge breakdown?

The Dow already touched the upper wedge side (red line). Once prices break out of the wedge down side (solid green line) they usually waste little time before declining and retracing all of the ground gained within the wedge itself.

So, a drop below the solid green line (currently around Dow 16, 700) could unlock a target around Dow 15,000.

But let’s don’t get ahead of ourselves. The stock market has steamrolled over many bearish setups before and may do so again. The pattern could also get more complicated as was the case with the LQD Corporate Bond ETF earlier in April.

If you want to take baby steps, trade below 17,160 and 16,900 (dashed green support areas) would be initial confirmation of further down side.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

Could a Bearish Corporate Bond Pattern Sink the S&P 500?

Investors have been finding plenty of reasons to turn bearish on stocks. Here could be another one: A rising wedge pattern for corporate bonds. Is there enough of a correlation between bonds and stocks to tip the scales?

Corporate bonds are carving out a potential bearish pattern (more details below). Is there enough of a correlation between corporate bonds and the S&P 500 to make this worrisome for stock investors?

Figure 1 shows the correlation between the S&P 500 and the iShares iBOXX $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD).

The relationship between S&P and LQD runs hot and cold, vacillating between taking the same path and parting ways.

Some have argued that there was a bearish divergence before the 2008 crash, similar to the bearish divergence right now.

This is true, but the interest environment prior to 2007 was different than today, and we know that interest rates affect bonds (and stocks).

Is it possible to make an apples to apples comparison between 2007 and today?

Figure 2 takes interest rates into consideration. The lower graph reflects LQD divided by the 10-year Treasury yield (TNX), which is then plotted against the S&P 500 (upper graph).

At first sight, there are no meaningful parallels between the LQD:TNX ratio and the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY).

However, the LQD:TNX ratio seems to adhere to trend line support and resistance. For example, LQD:TNX has been climbing higher based on the green support trend line and has been kept lower by two resistance trend lines.

Since the LQD:TNX ratio is butting against resistance, it may be interesting to explore what happens if the ratio breaks higher.

This may be the most valuable clue offered by the chart: Generally when the ratio spikes (green arrow), the S&P 500 slides (exception: February 2013).

An LQD:TNX ratio spike would be caused by falling interest rates and/or rising LQD prices.

But here is another caveat: Corporate bond ETFs (represented by LQD) are developing a bearish technical pattern that suggests an upcoming bull trap and fairly significant decline.

This interesting dynamic is discussed in more detail here:

Corporate Bonds Inching Towards Bull Trap Territory

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

Corporate Bonds Inching Towards Bull Trap Territory

2014 has been the year of bull traps, here’s another trap under construction: Corporate bonds, represented by the iShares iBOXX $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF, paint a fairly clear technical picture.

The iShares iBOXX $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD) is at or near an interesting inflection point.

LQD has been climbing higher in a rising wedge formation. Although there is no specific price barrier, a rising wedge typifies a scenario where buying pressure progressively weakens.

Here is where things get interesting: The wedge pattern often culminates with a throw-over top. Such a throw-over top would align well with resistance (more below).

A throw-over top is a brief spike above the upper (red) resistance line. This bull trap is designed to get investors to buy into the market just before it’s getting ready to sell off (a common down side target is the beginning of the wedge).

Here is how the wedge pattern could play out for the iShares Corporate Bond ETF (LQD):

Wedge resistance is currently at 118.30. Fibonacci resistance (61.8% from the October 2012 high) is at 118.44. The February and March 2013 lows are around 118.70. This forms a resistance cluster at 118.30 – 118.70.

If LQD adheres to the guidelines of a rising wedge pattern, a brief spike into the 118.30 – 118.70 resistance cluster could be followed by a decline back to 113. Sustained trade above the upper wedge line would warn that the pattern is a no go.

The charts for other bond ETFs like the iShares Core Total U.S. Bond ETF (NYSEArca: AGG) look similar.

If you are like me, you wonder how corporate bonds affect the S&P 500 (SNP: ^GSPC).

Here’s a detailed look at how corporate bonds affect the S&P 500 in general and what a corporate bond fund break down would mean the for the S&P 500 right now.

Could a Bearish Corporate Bond Pattern Sink the S&P 500

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.