Tag Archive for: ZM_F

Stock market remains in very bearish mode

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Soybean Meal — One of this year’s most bullish charts

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Flags flying at half-mast – a sign of death!

 Risk On – Numerous charts show signs of a pending decline 

In the markets, as in real life, flags flying at half mast symbolize death. A number of half-mast flags and pennants in the raw material markets indicate that the steep decline in early May was just Act 1 in a two-act play. The flags are symbolic of the intermission between the Act 1 (the first decline) and Act 2 (the next phase of the bear trend). 

Bear flags or pennants are present in the following markets

  • Crude Oil
  • Heating Oil
  • Gold
  • Sugar
  • Soybean Oil 

Crude Oil and Heating Oil display classic pennants. Rallies toward the May 11 high (while not necessary) would be an excellent shorting opportunity. The target of the pennant is Crude Oil is 84.80.  

The target in Heating Oil is 2.5060.

The Gold displays chart construction similar to the energy products with two exceptions. First, there is potentially enormous support under the Gold market in the form of a previously completed 4-month continuation inverted H&S pattern. However, old support sometimes has a way of disappearing. Second, the huge volume on May 5 could indicate accumulation buying by strong hands. However, if the energy pennants lead to a strong decline it will be difficult for Gold to hold up in a Risk On/Risk Off market environment. 

Sugar also displays a classic bear pennant. This market is in a well-established bear trend and has been since early February. Notice that the pennant in the October contract is forming just below the neckline of a 5-month H&S top. The target in October Sugar is 17.83. 

If my analysis is correct in Soybean Oil, the current pause in the form of a flag should be the last support before a sustained markdown in price. Once this flag gives way, prices should trend to 45.60. (Caveat: The pattern in Bean Oil could prove to be an extremely bullish continuation H&S pattern. Traders need to be flexible on this one.) 

Additionally, a number of other markets present technically bearish potential. These markets include:

  • Russell 2000
  • S&P 500
  • Silver
  • Corn
  • Soybean Meal

The Russell 2000 is hovering right at the major 8+ month trendline. A violation of this trendline would indicate that the bull trend since March 2009 is seriously aging. The initial target would be 770 as part of the transition from bull market to bear market. 


A confluence of technical developments can add to the legitimacy of a breakout. There are four factors that could trigger a sell signal in the S&Ps simultaneously by a decline below the May 6 low. First, the 2-month cup and handle bottom would fail; second, the 2-month trendline would be violated; third, the May 2 Ben Laden blow-off would be confirmed;

and, finally, the hourly chart symmetrical triangle would be completed. 

I touched the third rail in late April when I announced that Silver was in the bubble phase. I was tarred and feathered on May 1 when I pronounced the previous week’s volume (7.5 years of global supply) was a strong sign that Silver had topped. The market has found support in the low 30s and a bounce into the low 40s is possible as Silver develops its own half-mast bear pattern.

New crop December Corn has traced out a H&S top. It would not be unusual for Corn to top now.

The seasonal chart shown indicates a strong tendency for new crop Corn to top in May or June.

Finally, the daily chart of August Soybean Meal displays a very clear possible descending triangle. A close below the recent lows would complete this pattern and establish a target of 300.

Adding all things up, the period just ahead could be a tough life for raw materials (and stocks).


Soybean Meal — building a 2011 top

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Turning a chart on its head

Sometimes a possible top gains clarity if one can flip the chart over and view it as a possible bottom. The easiest way to do this is to print a chart and flip it 180 degrees. But since I cannot do this with a blog post, I did the next best thing — convert a chart into its reciprocal value. Those of you familiar with spot forex know exactly what this means and how to do it. Forex trades can trade many currency pairs in the reciprocal.

The possible top I am referring to is in Soybean Oil. First, let us look at the chart straight away.

My initial response to this chart is that a contiuation congestion is occurring and that a breakout into new highs would lead to another strong advance.

But when I “flip” the chart, my initial reaction is different. Shown below is the reciprocal value chart of July Soybean Oil. What can be seen very clearly is a possible bottom pattern known to point and figure chartists as the “compound fulcrum.” The compound fulcrum is a bottom pattern about 80% of the time, a top pattern the other 20%, and is a powerful chart formation.

A compound fulcrum bottom can best be described as a H&S top pattern that serves as a bottom. Keep in mind that a bottom in the reciprocal chart equals a top in the actual commodity.

This pattern in the July Soybean Oil would have a target of 205 which is equivalent to 47.60 in the price of July Bean Oil (compared to a current price of 58.00). There are two problems with this trade. First, more price action is needed to develop symmetry in the pattern — another two to three weeks of sideways movement followed up a gradual uptrend in the reciprocal chart would do the trick.

The second problem is fundamental in nature. Soybeans are VERY cheap compared to Corn, and Soybean Oil is likely to remain strong compared to Meal, because Meal is now competing in the feed market with the residual mash from the Corn ethanol process. While these factors do not seemingly bode well for a bear trend in Bean Oil, conventional wisdom is often wrong. Some of my best trades over the years have been trades flying in the face of conventional wisdom. The public is a major long in grains. The public is subject to shake outs.

The Soybean Meal chart is also potentially bearish. The August contract daily chart displays a possible top in place followed by a H&S pattern.

If these patterns develop more fully they would set up as trades for me. Remember, I am looking for patterns that will stand the test of historical scrutiny as among the best 10 to 20 classical patterns of the year. I think both of these charts are candidates. But the price action has not yet confirmed the signals.