Bitcoin (BTC/USD) broke out of an inverse head and shoulders pattern in June on the weekly chart this year. The neckline of the pattern at the time was intersecting with the downtrend line of a three year triangle pattern. This multi-year triangle pattern projected an upside measured move price target of around $29,000 or roughly a 190% gain. The move is calculated by taking the height of the triangle and adding it to the breakout point. It seemed an ambitious goal. I always question the reliability of such large patterns but this triangle had three data points on the support line, and three on the resistance line. They clearly defined the pattern but while a clearly defined pattern is one thing, reaching a very large price projection is another.
In the last half of 2020 Bitcoin rallied and rallied hard. It has now reached the $29,000 triangle price projection. In fact, Bitcoin is up over 300% since the start of the year. So, the question is: do you trust the pattern and its achievement and take profits, or do you see better things for Bitcoin in the new year and HODL on? There are a number of individual factors that come in to play. Traders are sometimes lumped into one category but we are all different with different trading requirements and personal goals. I always see the middle of the road as a good option. Take some profits. If you own a bunch of or just several Bitcoins then take some profits. It just seems like a logical option at a logical price level.
Since early September many of the large cap tech names have been moving basically sideways. Amazon (AMZN) shares are a perfect example. They have been headed right on the chart in an increasingly tight series of lower highs and higher lows. The price action formed a symmetrical triangle or wedge pattern on the daily chart. To be more exact the pattern is called a rising wedge because the consolidation came after the uptrend that began earlier this year.
Note that Amazon’s 50 day moving average runs right through the middle of the wedge pattern (dashed red line). On this chart, I reset the Bollinger bands indicator to use that 50 day moving average as its centerline. Normal Bollinger bands are constructed two standard deviations around the 20 day average. We have changed the centerline average. The outer bands of this 50 day average hybrid remain the usual two standard deviations above and below the average. With the 50 day average moving nearly horizontally the two standard deviation bands have marked the most volatile moves away from the average and helped to define the triangle.
These modified Bollinger band limits may help to confirm an ultimate breakout or breakdown in Amazon’s wedge pattern.
The month of November was been a positive one for the broader market, but it was also one that sent a number of mixed signals. The first week saw a sharp jump in the indices followed by a gap even higher to start the second week. But that gap-up day turned decidedly negative by the end of the trading session. We wrote this article about the negativity of the daily candles. The market dipped the following day but then continued on its upward path. One week later a bearish eveningstar top formed on the daily index charts. We highlighted that reversal formation and once again, the indices dipped briefly and then made new highs.
The point is that, as always, the market sends false signals as it does its best to prevent traders from divining its movements. That brings us to todays commentary. It is simple, we have reached an important point in the Fibonacci time sequence when measured off the 2009 low. If we begin measuring the fabled sequence off the low made in 2009 on the weekly charts, we find that we are 233 weeks from that point. That is the 13th Fibonacci time zone. (for more information on Fibonacci measurements this is just one of many resources online.)
At this point it is impossible to say what reaching this Fibonacci way-point means for the market. Like all technical trading tools it must be followed by a period of confirmation. In most cases, the more esoteric the trading tool the less likely, in our opinion, of any meaningful affect on the market. That said it is important to be aware of all the signals the market sends, and to factor them in to your trading plan.
Back on November 9th a large wick shooting star candle formed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average daily chart and the $&P 500 Index chart. A large dark engulfing candle formed on the NASDAQ Composite daily chart. These candles suggested a broader market pullback was in order. There was a brief decline, but not the short to intermediate top that might have been expected. In fact, the averages quickly returned to their November 9 levels.
Now another indication of a possible short to intermediate term top has formed on all three charts. It is the bearish eveningstar reversal pattern. This 3-day pattern consists of a large up-day candle, followed by a doji-like candle, and completed by a large down-day candle. The eveningstar represents a transition in price action and investor sentiment from bullishness to bearishness.
Today’s finishing dark candles formed because of a late session waterfall decline in all the averages. It can be seen on the ten minute DJIA chart. The eveningstars could trigger declines to the next levels of support on the individual index charts. It looks like the Dow and the S&P are likely to retest their October highs. The NASDAQ may be headed down to a retest of its 50 day moving average.
This market quickly absorbs good news and just as quickly discounts bad news. It’s a tough one to trade. Keep any eye on these index charts and keep your stops tight.
The broad market indices seemed to have absorbed and then quickly discounted (to some degree) today’s positive Covid-19 vaccination news. Within the first hour of trading the initial rally in the indices began to fade. They wound up finishing the session near their lows. The Dow was still up nearly 3% and the S&P 500 index was up a little over 1%, while the NASDAQ Composite was down 1.5% on the day. But the charts were damaged.
Today’s erratic price action transformed the look of the index charts from bullish to bearish. The great news, while initially reflected in the opening gap up on the charts, evaporated as dramatically as it appeared. Within the first ten minutes of trading the indices began pulling back. Mid-session there was an attempt to regain some of the initial positive momentum, but by 2:00 o’clock the fade returned and accelerated into the closing hour. The candles that formed on the charts look ominous. The price action now suggests a more negative scenario than positive for stocks over the near term.
Look at the Dow and the S&P daily charts. Today’s candles are called “shooting star” candles. Investopedia defines a shooting star as a candlestick that forms when a security opens, advances significantly, but then closes the day near the open. The result is a small lower real body candle with a large wick.
Shooting stars are often seen as reversal candles when they appear near old highs or other important levels of technical resistance. An interpretation of the price action suggests that buyers have lost control and sellers are taking over.
On the NASDAQ daily chart a bearish engulfing candle formed and it may be even more negative than the shooting star candles. This particular engulfing candle opened near its high of the day and closed near its low. In the process, “engulfing” with its real body range the entire range of the two previous trading sessions. This clearly negative price action is taking place right near the September and October highs. Of course, this opens up the possibility of a triple top formation.
The upshot of these candles is that it appears investor sentiment may have shifted bearish after turning bullish at the beginning of the month.
Bitcoin has been making a steady series of higher highs and higher lows since it established its March low. In the process, it has also completed the right side of an inverse head and shoulders pattern. This pattern projects a considerably higher price target. But there is another interesting technical dynamic on the weekly chart that can be seen after making a small adjustment to a Fibonacci measurement.
Normally, Fibonacci retracement levels are measured from a previous high to a recent low. But if you adjust that rule slightly and draw the Fib retracement lines on the Bitcoin weekly chart using the 2017 high and instead of the 2019 low, use the 2020 low instead, the new multiple retracement levels fit perfectly onto previous levels of support and resistance on the chart.
The 38% retracement matches the inverse head and shoulders neckline level; the 50% retracement level marks what would become this year’s August high; and the 62% retracement level mirrors the 2019 high.
Adjusting these Fibonacci measurement points might be called “form fitting” and that would be fair. Nonetheless, I will be watching the action around an advance to 62% retracement level at the 13,861 area or the action around a pullback to the 50% retracement level, near the 12,000 level. They have been relevant in the past and could be again. History doesn’t always repeat itself but it often rhymes.
Poor start to trading this week. The talking heads are out with a number of fundamental reasons for this morning’s downturn, that they didn’t see coming on Friday. What concerns technical analysts is not so much cause but effect. Simply, how information or misinformation plays out on the charts. The pictographs are where the truth resides.
This Dow Jones Industrial Average daily chart has received a lot of use over the last several months. The quality of information it represents has been excellent. Areas of support and resistance have maintained their validity on the way up and on the way down.
The DOW has been finding support in the 28,200 area this month. In September this support level was neckline resistance for a bullish inverse head and shoulders formation (highlighted in green). At this point in the Monday session the 50 day moving average is acting like support. If this level were to fail the next area of support on the chart would be 27,500. A large head and shoulders pattern formed in August and September (highlighted in blue) and the 27,500 level was neckline support for that pattern.
The triangle (highlighted in red) has been the most recent and relevant pattern. Support has broken decisively at this time in early session trading. The next area of support as suggested by the DOW chart is near 27,500. This is former August head and shoulders neckline support. It is also September shared resistance along with the 50 day moving average.
The Dow triangle pattern, like many chart patterns, projects potential price targets, when support or resistance levels are broken. In this case support has been broken. Then by taking the height of the triangle and subtracting it from the support level, we get a downside price projection that targets the 27,500 area. As we have noted this level was both support and resistance at different times in the charted period.
In conclusion, a series of price patterns have formed over the last four months on the DOW daily chart. These patterns have shared both support and resistance levels as they have developed. This occurs because of the underlying fundamental dynamic of supply and demand. Traders should understand how the process reveals itself on the technical level, as patterns on the charts. This particular DOW chart has been very helpful in representing broader market movement.
At noon on Wednesday I Tweeted out “am I the first to call double top?” I attached this weekly chart of the NASDAQ Composite chart.
The Tweet was tongue-in-cheek but as it turned out two hours later in another tweet, I noted a possible head and shoulders pattern forming on the daily NASDAQ chart.
It looked like the one that formed on the same chart in early September. That formation was followed by a 12% decline in the Composite Index. Thursday’s weak open is not validation of the this second head and shoulders top. We will have to see how the rest of the day plays out, but it requires careful monitoring.
If the NASDAQ were to experience another peak-to-trough decline like the one in early September, it would move back down to the September low in the 10,600 area.