The Russell 2000 chart is the first of the major index charts to experience a death cross. This is when the 50 day moving average crosses below the 200 day moving average. It can signal a major shift in the momentum of a stock from uptrend to downtrend. The NASDAQ Composite Index is close to a D-cross of its own.
The last time these closely watched moving averages crossed on the daily Russell chart was in May 2016, two and a half years ago. Then it wasn’t a death cross, it was the reverse crossover or a gold cross, and it did signal the start of a major uptrend in the index.
Death or gold crosses are not always reliable indications of trend change. They initially reflect losses or gains already booked, and require longer periods of follow-through for confirmation.