Guest Post: Storm Pennants Are Flying In Stocks And The Dollar

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Storm Pennants Are Flying In Stocks and the Dollar

If we look only at charts and ignore the "news," we see storm pennants are flying in both the stock market and the U.S. dollar.

The stock market is wearing a T-shirt that reads, "I broke a downtrend and all I got was this lousy pennant." Having just returned from nine glorious days camping in Washington State, I have no idea what "news" has effected the markets ("news" in quotes because the news is managed for its PR effect--the real news is what has been suppressed lest it undermine the Status Quo's carefully cultivated propaganda campaign), and so I have marked up the chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the U.S. dollar without the "benefit" of the news flow.

What pops out is a big fat pennant in both charts. Pennants can be continuation patterns--mere way points in a continuing up or down trend--or they can indicate points of trend reversals.

The key feature of a pennant is the compression of price into a narrowing channel, as the relative indecision of buyers and sellers alike causes price to fluctuate less and less.

At the apex of the pennant (note the triangle shape), the irresolution is resolved, usually in a big way up or down.


If we look at the indicators in the chart of the Dow Industrials (Indoos), we note that the oversold conditions have been worked off, and a very bullish divergence in the MACD indicator (and a positive cross in MACD) has yielded up a meager pennant rather than a clear breakout or trend reversal.

Even if you discount the "death cross" of the 50-day moving average (MA) dropping below the 200-day MA, a declining 50-day MA does not suggest a Bullish resolution to the pennant.

That intersection of the 50-day and 200-day MAs offers up a tempting target for market Bulls. What should worry Bulls is that these positive moves in the indicators have yielded up such modest results--a pennant that is a week or two away from a potentially major break up or down.

As for the dollar, the pennant may well be a sign of strength, as the Federal Reserve has been trying mightily to push the USD to a new low while propping up the euro at 1.44.

The basic reason is that a weakening dollar is the primary engine of U.S. corporate profits, as I explained in About Those Permanently Rising Corporate Profits... (August 12, 2011). If the Fed is unable to suppress the dollar via propping up the euro, then the entire stock market rally built on a falling dollar will collapse is a heap, shattering Wall Street's PR of permanently rising corporate profits.


As noted in that entry, the euro and the dollar (as measured by the DXY index of weighted currencies) are on a see-saw; if the euro breaks down as a result of the eurozone's irreversable structural dilemmas, then the dollar will strengthen and the Fed's master plan of pushing stocks up via a weakening dollar will have failed.

We have no idea how much treasure is being thrown into the fire to maintain the euro at 1.44 to the dollar, and that is the "news" which we must not be allowed to know, lest the extreme vulnerability of the eurozone financial Status Quo and the global rally were reflected in the foreign exchange and stock markets.

Being completely out of the news cycle is a blessing, in more ways than one: not only is one's mind untwisted by propaganda passing as "news," one is free to look at charts without the carefully designed biases implicit in the "news."