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05 December 2009

Stocks: The "Loss" Decade

If You Think the Past Decade Was Bad For Stocks, Wait Till You See This
The major stock indexes are the wrong place to look
December 4, 2009

By Robert Folsom

A well-known business magazine recently published a story with this headline:
Stocks: The "Loss" Decade
A disastrous ten years for the stock market ends in just a month. Will the turning of a new decade change investors' luck?
One sentence from the story itself tells you most of what you need to know: "The ten years since Y2K are on track to produce the worst total returns for investors since the 1930s."
Of course, no one should really be surprised by a story that says the stock indexes did poorly over the past decade. That's not news. The facts in the article more or less repeat what our own Elliott Wave Financial Forecast reported last March, complete with this chart:
The proof of the market is in its charts. Professional market technicians know something you don't. A solid grasp of the most successful technical analysis methods can help you cut through the hype and give you the big-picture, unbiased perspective you need now more than ever. You can now download a FREE 50-page Technical Analysis Handbook from the largest independent technical analysis provider in the world. Learn more about technical analysis, and download your free 50-page ebook here.
S&P Chart
It's safe to say that this business magazine article is the first of many the media will run before the year's end, as part of their "decade wrap-up" stories. And like this story, most or all those like will share the same basic assumption: stock investors did poorly because the stock indexes did poorly.
And that assumption, dear reader, is erroneous. The truth is far uglier.
Here's what I mean. If you want to know how real stock investors really behave, the major stock indexes are the wrong place to look. Published results from firms like Dalbar and Vanguard consistently show that, over the past 25 years, individual investors and mutual fund shareholders have had average returns that are half (at best) of the annual returns of the broader stock market.
So, for example, in 20 years from Jan. 1, 1989 through Dec. 31, 2008, the S&P 500 showed a 8.35% gain (Dalbar). Over that same period, equity investors showed a 1.87% gain. And if you include the 2.89% inflation rate in those years, investors show a 1.02% loss.
You can shift to a timeframe which excludes the bear market that started in 2007, but it doesn't change the basic story. From January 1984 though December 2002, the Dalbar data shows that equity investors earned an annual average of 2.6%, vs. the S&P 500's 12.2% annual average. The annual inflation rate for period was 3.14%.
What's more, similar studies and surveys also show that most investors are overconfident in the decisions they make. Put another way, they don't even know that they are their own worst enemy.
It can be different for you. Market prices move in recognizable patterns: Those patterns can also reveal specific price levels that help confirm the direction of the trend, or identify the time to step aside. Respecting the price, pattern and trend is the first step toward discipline, instead of yielding to emotions.
The proof of the market is in its charts. Professional market technicians know something you don't. A solid grasp of the most successful technical analysis methods can help you cut through the hype and give you the big-picture, unbiased perspective you need now more than ever. You can now download a FREE 50-page Technical Analysis Handbook from the largest independent technical analysis provider in the world. Learn more about technical analysis, and download your free 50-page ebook here.

Robert Folsom is a financial writer and editor for Elliott Wave International. He has covered politics, popular culture, economics and the financial markets for two decades, via print, radio and the Internet. Robert earned his degree in political science from Columbia University in 1985.

29 November 2009

Elliott Wave Articles


25 November 2009

Prechter 200% Short recommendation

As the Dow did its mini Moon Shot up this morning on news of an increase in new home sales, Prechter took this snapshot of the market and sent out a recommendation to go 200% short. All in. This chart (below) came in his interim EWT today. He also has another chart for those who wish to know why he is timing it now, but I will leave that for subscribers to consider. This gap could be a continuation gap of a strong 3 of 3 wave up, but he bet the opposite, an exhaustion gap.
What influenced him was looking inside the housing report: much of this upside surprise was due to aggressive foreclosures. The growth was almost all in cheap condos, the low end of the market. Also, last month's sales were adjusted DOWN, not a good sign.
So far today he is winning this bet. You have to give him enormous credit for sticking with his analysis despite the slings and arrows of outraged unfortunates.


19 November 2009

Is Your Bank Safe?

More than 130 banks will have failed by the end of 2009.
November 18, 2009

By Gary Grimes

Please understand that this article is about more than safeguarding your money; it's about saving you headache and heartache. It's about giving you peace of mind.
Before I explain, please allow me to ask a few questions:
  • Have you given much thought about the money in your banking accounts lately? Do you know if it's safe?
  • Have you thought about what might happen if your bank fails?
  • Did you know you could be left in the lurch for days, weeks, even months before you get your money back from the FDIC?
  • What happens if the FDIC can't cover your funds?
  • How do you find a safe bank to protect your deposits right now?
I hope you've given these questions some serious thought.
I have to be honest: These questions were about the farthest things from my mind until about a year ago, when I downloaded the free "Safe Banks" report from my colleagues at Elliott Wave International. At first, the report scared me: I thought, "Oh My Gosh! I could lose all of my money if my bank fails. What would I do?"
But as I read on, I figured out that the report was not only about making my money safe; it was about giving me peace of mind.
If you've read any of the following news items, perhaps you understand the fear of learning your money might not be safe. Here's a recent story from Bloomberg:
Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- In May, the FDIC said it was projecting $70 billion of losses during the next five years due to bank failures. The agency said it expects most of those collapses to occur in 2009 and 2010.
The FDIC’s problem is that it didn’t collect enough revenue over the years to cover today’s losses. The blame lies partly with Congress. Until the law was changed in 2006, the FDIC was barred from charging premiums to banks that it classified as well-capitalized and well-managed. Consequently, the vast majority of banks weren’t paying anything for deposit insurance.
Of course, we now know it means nothing when the FDIC or any other regulator labels a bank “well-capitalized.” Most banks that failed during this crisis were considered well-capitalized just before their failure.
By the end of 2009, more than 130 banks will have failed. Most depositors will have little clue their bank was even at risk. Worse yet, the string-pullers in Washington are doing everything in their power to hide information about the safety of your bank from you.
So far, the FDIC has had enough money to cover insured depositors. But that money is quickly running out.
Just last week, the FDIC voted to mandate early payment of insurance premiums to help cover at-risk banks. But only time will tell if this move will provide the funds needed in the years ahead. Here's what the Associated Press reported on Thursday, Nov. 12:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. banks will prepay about $45 billion in premiums to replenish a federal deposit insurance fund now in the red, under a plan adopted Thursday by federal regulators.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board voted to mandate the early payments of premiums for 2010 through 2012. Amid the struggling economy and rising loan defaults, 120 banks have failed so far this year, costing the insurance fund more than $28 billion.
Worse yet, three more banks failed the very next day, Friday, Nov. 13.
This is a very real problem and a direct threat to your money. It's more important now than ever to personally ensure the safety of your bank. The free 10-page "Safe Banks" report can help. It includes the very latest bank safety ratings from the third quarter of 2009 to help you prepare for what's still to come this year and next.
Inside the revealing free report, you'll discover:
  • The 100 Safest U.S. Banks (2 for each state)
  • Where your money goes after you make a deposit
  • How your fractional-reserve bank works
  • What risks you might be taking by relying on the FDIC's guarantee
Please protect your money. Download the free 10-page "Safe Banks" report now.
Learn more about the "Safe Banks" report, and download it for free here.

Gary Grimes focuses on mass psychology, U.S. stocks and the U.S. economy. Gary has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Auburn University in Auburn, AL, where he was first turned on to the Austrian School of economics by way of the world-famous Mises Institute. His study of classical liberalism eventually led him to discover the Elliott Wave Principle and Robert Prechter’s theory of socionomics.

17 November 2009

Spot a Pattern you Recognize

One Simple Tip for Becoming a Better Trader
July 15, 2009

By Gary Grimes
The following article is adapted from market analysis by Elliott Wave International Chief Commodity Analyst Jeffrey Kennedy. Learn more here.
Wave patterns are like beautiful women, classic cars and great art – you know them when you see them.
EWI analyst Jeffrey Kennedy drives this point home during his live Elliott wave trading tutorial. It's my favorite of his tips for trading with Elliott waves.
"Trade the pattern not the count," Jeffrey says.
If you don't recognize a pattern at a glance, don't trade it – plain and simple. After all, your wave count can be wrong; the pattern cannot.
Does that mean you must know the exact wave count at a glance, as well? No. Simply spotting a pattern you recognize is where you should start.
Jeffrey scans hundreds of charts, clicking through them one by one, spending mere seconds with each. If he doesn't spot a pattern he recognizes, a click of his mouse takes him to another potential opportunity.
Does price action look extended or choppy? Is it trading in a channel? Is it forming a wedge or triangle shape? These are some of the signals Jeffrey's looking for. Each could help him identify – at the quickest of glances – whether price action is impulsive or corrective. This is the first critical step, Jeffrey says, to spotting high-confidence, Elliott wave trade setups.
That brings us to the following chart. Do you see a pattern you recognize? I do.

Look at the downward price action; the moves look decisive, almost in straight lines like impulse waves. Now look at the upward moves; they look indecisive and choppy like corrections. There's also one down move that is clearly longer than the others – that's almost certainly a third wave of some degree.
At just a glance, here are a few things we can determine:
  • This is a bearish market pattern, because downward impulses are interrupted by upward corrections.
  • The price action from September to November seems to be a pretty clear wave 3 down, followed by waves 4 up then 5 down, completing what appears to be a larger degree wave 1 in early March.
  • Wave 2 follows wave 1, so the upward move starting in early March is most likely a larger degree wave 2.
  • Wave 3 follows wave 2, so that's what we can expect next.
  • Wave 3 is never the shortest and often the longest of all five waves, so we can expect the next impulse move to take prices to new lows.
You see, with just a quick glance, we've put a finger on the pulse of the market. Negative psychology pulls prices down, and brief reversals of mood result in upward corrections – this appears to be a long-term bear market.
If you can gain this much insight simply by glancing at a chart, just think of what else you can glean by spending more time with it. Look at this pattern within a longer time frame, and you can determine the degree of trend (this one appears to be primary). Formulate Fibonacci price and time targets, and you can be confident about when and where prices will most likely turn.
There are literally hundreds of things you can do with a good chart, but none of them mean much unless you can first identify a pattern you recognize.
---------
For more information on trading successfully, visit Elliott Wave International to download Jeffrey Kennedy’s free report How to Use Bar Patterns to Spot Trade Setups.

Gary Grimes focuses on mass psychology, U.S. stocks and the U.S. economy. Gary has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Auburn University in Auburn, AL, where he was first turned onto the Austrian School of economics by way of the world-famous Mises Institute. His study of classical liberalism eventually led him to discover the Elliott Wave Principle and Robert Prechter’s theory of socionomics.

14 November 2009

Hyperinflation Worries Laid to Rest . . . Part I

Hyperinflation Worries Laid to Rest, Part I  11/12/2009   The situation in the U.S. is different from bouts with hyperinflation in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil. It also seems reasonable to examine hyperinflation in another nation -- Zimbabwe -- in order to answer a few important questions...Read More

09 November 2009

What Record High Dollar Volume of Trading Says About Confidence

Finance's Euphoria: The Epilogue -- What Record High Dollar Volume of Trading Says About Confidence
November 6, 2009

The following article was adapted from the November 2009 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast and reprinted with permission here. Until Nov. 11, you can read the rest of this brand-new report for free, during Elliott Wave International's FreeWeek of U.S. forecasts. Learn more about FreeWeek, and download the rest of this report and others for free here.
By Steve Hochberg and Pete Kendall
When Wall Street’s total value of assets rose to a “mind-boggling 36.6 percent of GDP” in late 2006, The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast published a chart of U.S. financial assets literally rising off the page.

The Financial Forecast observed that financial engineers had “found a new object of investor affections—themselves” and asserted that “the financial industry’s position so close to the center of the mania can mean only one thing; it is only a matter of time” before a massive reversal grabbed hold. Financial indexes hit their all-time peak within a matter of weeks, in February. The major stock indexes joined the topping process in October 2007 and in December 2007 the economy followed. Subscribers will recall that one of the most important clues to the unfolding disaster was the level of financial exuberance relative to the fundamental economic performance.
This chart of the value of U.S. trading volume (courtesy of Alan Newman at www.cross-currents.net) reveals that the imbalance is far from corrected.

Incredibly, total dollar trading volume is even higher now than it was in 2007 when the economy was humming along. In June 2008, dollar trading volume also defied an initial thrust lower in stocks and the economy, eliciting this comment from the Financial Forecast:
The chart of dollar trading relative to GDP shows how much more willing investors are to trade shares in companies that operate in an economic environment that is anemic compared to that of the mid-1960s. A basic implication of the Wave Principle is that the public will always show up at the end of a rally, just in time to get clobbered. This chart shows that it is happening in a big, big way now because the market is at the precipice of the biggest decline in a long, long time.
Total dollar volume continues to rise despite further fundamental financial deterioration. Yes, GDP experienced a one-quarter, clunker-aided uptick of 3.5 percent in the third quarter. But the economy is in far worse shape than it was when we made the above statement. In fact, its recent performance on top of the decades-long economic underperformance (which is discussed extensively in Chapter 1 and Appendix E of the new edition of Robert Prechter's Conquer the Crash) means that industrial production just experienced its worst decade since 1930-1939. Total manufacturing employment slipped to 11.7 million people, its lowest level since May 1941 when it was 33 percent of all jobs. According to Bianco Research, manufacturing now accounts for only about 9 percent of the workforce. Finance anchors the economy now, which makes it far more susceptible to non-rational dynamics.
As Prechter and Parker explain in “The Financial/Economic Dichotomy” (May 2007, Journal of Behavioral Finance), a financial system is not bound by the laws of supply and demand in the same way that an industrial economy is. In finance, confidence and fear rule decisions. “In the financial context,” say Prechter and Parker, “knowing what you think is not enough; you have to try to guess what everyone else will think.”
We do know one thing: When everyone is thinking the same, the opposite will happen.
Right now, record high dollar volume of trading shows that confidence, at least on this basis, has reached a new historic extreme.

Read the rest of the 10-page November 2009 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast now, when you signup for Elliott Wave International's FreeWeek of U.S. forecasts. FreeWeek ends Nov. 11, so please act now to get an enormous wealth of current market analysis and forecasts -- for free. Learn more about FreeWeek, and download the rest of this report and others for free here.

Steve Hochberg and Pete Kendall are co-editors of the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast.

04 November 2009

This S&P 500 Chart Tells the Two-Part Truth

See for Yourself: This S&P 500 Chart Tells the Two-Part Truth
Have you seen or read ANYTHING like this in the past two weeks?
November 4, 2009

By Robert Folsom
The following text is courtesy of Elliott Wave International. Until Nov. 11, EWI is allowing non-subscribers to download their latest market analysis and forecasts for free, including Robert Prechter's latest Elliott Wave Theorist and Steve Hochberg's and Pete Kendall's latest Elliott Wave Financial Forecast. Learn more about FreeWeek, and download your free reports here.

By Robert Folsom, Senior Writer for Elliott Wave International
As you read and look at this page, please know that the chart is the star of the show. My description will add only a few details.
Two Months of Euphoria Produces only 57S&P Points
The chart published less than two weeks ago in Bob Prechter's Elliott Wave Theorist. The rectangular box is plain to see: It envelopes the huge S&P 500 rally that began last March -- a gain of 61.5% and 430 points, as of Oct. 18.
But there's a two-part truth to the rally -- and that is what the box really shows.
Part one shows the "wall of worry" -- basically March through August. That's when the media and experts were overwhelmingly negative about stocks. They were surprised by the rally. Remember?
Part two shows the more recent time of "euphoria" -- basically September and October. The media and experts turned positive. The market was all about "green shoots" and "recovery."
You see when most of the rally unfolded. Six months of serious worry produces a 373-point climb, whereas "two months of euphoria produces only 57 S&P points."
Now, the two-part truth about this rally is an easy story to tell. It's literally a few lines and notations on a price chart. Yet have you seen or read ANYTHING like this in the past two weeks? Has anyone else pointed out that over the past two months, the stock market "rally" has in fact slowed to a crawl?
As you looked at the chart, perhaps you noticed that the decline, which began in 2007, and in turn the recent rally, are both on a similarly large scale. The full version of this chart shows how important that "similarity of scale" really is (Elliott labels were excluded in consideration of Theorist subscribers).
Price action in the stock market this week has only strengthened the analysis in Bob Prechter's October Theorist issue.
What's more, you can read the very latest forecasts in the just-published November issue of the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast -- both publications (plus the tri-weekly Short Term Update) are yours for free -- only during FreeWeek (now through Nov. 11).
Learn more about FreeWeek, and download the November Theorist for more about the above chart.

Robert Folsom is a financial writer and editor for Elliott Wave International. He has covered politics, popular culture, economics and the financial markets for two decades, via print, radio and the Internet. Robert earned his degree in political science from Columbia University in 1985.

29 October 2009

Black Monday: Ancient History Or Imminent Future?


October 29, 2009

By Nico Isaac

The following article includes analysis from Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist. For more insights from Robert Prechter, download the 75-page eBook Independent Investor eBook. It’s a compilation of some of the New York Times bestselling author’s writings that challenge conventional financial market assumptions. Visit Elliott Wave International to download the eBook, free.
Once upon a time, the term "Black Monday" was to Wall Street what the name "Lord Voldemort" was to Hogwarts. It turned the air freezing cold and sent traders flinching around every corner in fear of a repeat of the October 19, 1987 or October 28, 1929 meltdown.
Case in point: The 2008 "Black Monday" anniversary. At the time, the U.S. stock market was locked in a ferocious downtrend that included regular, triple-digit daily declines of 400 points and more. Needless to say, when the final two Mondays of October arrived, the least superstitious investors surrounded their portfolios with more good-luck talismans than a Bingo player. See October 19, 2008 AP headline below:
"Black Monday: Stocks Sink As Gloom Seizes Wall Street. Prolonged Economic Turmoil" is seen.
That was then. Today, the usual dread surrounding the back-to-back string of "Black Mondays" is nowhere to be found. In its place, media reports abound of a new, global bull market "shrugging off," "ignoring," and "making a distant memory" of the event.
For one, "gloom" hasn't "seized" the U.S. stock market in quite a while; from its March 2009 low, the Dow has risen more than 50% to above the psychologically important 10,000 level. For another, the mainstream experts insist that today's financial animal is unrecognizable to that of 1987, and especially 1929. In their eyes, it's a completely different -- i.e. safer, smarter, and sounder system.
We beg to differ.
See, while the usual experts want to put as much mental distance between today's market and those that facilitated the 1987 recession and 1929-1932 Great Depression -- the physical similarities are impossible to ignore; more so, in fact, to the latter scenario.
Here, the October 2009 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast presents the following news clip from the October 25, 1929 New York Daily Investment News.

Now, take a look at these headlines from the week of October 12-17, 2009:
"The Great Recession Is Over." (Reuters) --- "80% of Economists Say The Worst Is Behind Us." (CNN Money) --- "The Bull Is Back" (AP) --- "The Economic Recovery Is Well Underway" (Wall Street Journal)
They're interchangeable -- Eighty years later.
Along with a similar extreme in bullish sentiment, the performance of stocks between now and the 1929 situation is cut from the same cloth. After an initial plunge from August 1929 through late October 1929, the US stock market enjoyed a powerful rally well into the following year. NOW: After a steep freefall from its October 2007 peak, the US stock market is once again enjoying the fruits of a powerful rally back to new highs for the year.
Also, on closer examination, the October 19 Elliott Wave Theorist (EWT, for short) uncovers an even deeper parallel between the 2009 rally and the 1929-30 one. Here, EWT presents the following snapshot of the Dow during the Depression-era advance:

As Bob Prechter points out -- in 1930, stocks rallied to the level of the preceding year's gap. Bob then reveals that the same level has been reached now.
So, we all know how the 1930 rally ended. The question is whether the 2009 advance will experience the same fate. As Bob explains in the Theorist, the only way to know for certain is to "look at the reality of the situation."
For more information, download Robert Prechter’s free Independent Investor eBook. The 75-page resource teaches investors to think independently by challenging conventional financial market assumptions.

Robert Prechter, Chartered Market Technician, is the world’s foremost expert on and proponent of the deflationary scenario. Prechter is the founder and CEO of Elliott Wave International, author of Wall Street best-sellers Conquer the Crash and Elliott Wave Principle and editor of The Elliott Wave Theorist monthly market letter since 1979.

27 October 2009

Earnings: Is That REALLY What's Driving The DJIA Higher?


The idea of earnings driving the broad stock market is a myth.
October 22, 2009

By Vadim Pokhlebkin
It's corporate earnings season again, and everywhere you turn, analysts talk about the influence of earnings on the broad stock market:
  • US Stocks Surge On Data, 3Q Earnings From JPMorgan, Intel (Wall Street Journal)
  • Stocks Open Down on J&J Earnings (Washington Post)
  • European Stocks Surge; US Earnings Lift Mood (Wall Street Journal)
With so much emphasis on earnings, this may come as a shock: The idea of earnings driving the broad stock market is a myth.
When making a statement like that, you'd better have proof. Robert Prechter, EWI's founder and CEO, presented some of it in his 1999 Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior (excerpt; italics added):
Are stocks driven by corporate earnings? In June 1991, The Wall Street Journal reported on a study by Goldman Sachs’s Barrie Wigmore, who found that “only 35% of stock price growth [in the 1980s] can be attributed to earnings and interest rates.” Wigmore concludes that all the rest is due simply to changing social attitudes toward holding stocks. Says the Journal, “[This] may have just blown a hole through this most cherished of Wall Street convictions.”
What about simply the trend of earnings vs. the stock market? Well, since 1932, corporate profits have been down in 19 years. The Dow rose in 14 of those years. In 1973-74, the Dow fell 46% while earnings rose 47%. 12-month earnings peaked at the bear market low. Earnings do not drive stocks.
And in 2004, EWI's monthly Elliott Wave Financial Forecast added this chart and comment:

Earnings don’t drive stock prices. We’ve said it a thousand times and showed the history that proves the point time and again. But that’s not to say earnings don’t matter. When earnings give investors a rising sense of confidence, they can be a powerful backdrop for a downturn in stock prices. This was certainly true in 2000, as the chart shows. Peak earnings coincided with the stock market’s all-time high and stayed strong right through the third quarter before finally succumbing to the bear market in stock prices. Investors who bought stocks based on strong earnings (and the trend of higher earnings) got killed
So if earnings don't drive the stock market's broad trend, what does? The Elliott Wave Principle says that what shapes stock market trends is how investors collectively feel about the future. Investors' mood -- or social mood -- changes before "the fundamentals" reflect that change, which is why trying to predict the markets by following the earnings reports and other "fundamentals" will often leave you puzzled. The chart above makes that clear.
Get Your FREE 8-Lesson "Conquer the Crash Collection" Now! You'll get valuable lessons on what to do with your pension plan, what to do if you run a business, how to handle calling in loans and paying off debt and so much more. Learn more and get your free 8 lessons here.

Robert Prechter, Chartered Market Technician, is the world’s foremost expert on and proponent of the deflationary scenario. Prechter is the founder and CEO of Elliott Wave International, author of Wall Street best-sellers Conquer the Crash and Elliott Wave Principle and editor of The Elliott Wave Theorist monthly market letter since 1979.

21 October 2009

Get Your 8-Lesson 'Conquer the Crash Collection' Now!

My contact over at Robert Prechter's financial analysis firm, Elliott Wave International, just told me about a free "Conquer the Crash Collection" from Prechter's New York Times best-selling book. This valuable resource includes 8 lessons on topics critical to your financial survival, including: what you should do with your pension plan, what you should do if you own a business, calling in loans and paying off debt, whether you should trust the government to protect you -- and much more. Learn more about this exciting resource, and get your free access here.

Greetings,
In every disaster, only a very few people prepare themselves beforehand. Think about investor enthusiasm in 2005-2007, and you'll realize it's true.
Financial analyst Robert Prechter warns that the doors to financial safety are closing all over the world. He believes prudent people need to act while they still can.
To coincide with the release of the second edition of Prechter's New York Times best-selling book, Conquer the Crash, these 8 free lessons share some of the most valuable, still-prescient knowledge from the original text.
I encourage you to learn more about Prechter's Conquer the Crash. EWI's free "Conquer the Crash Collection" is the perfect place to start.
Learn more, and get immediate access to the 8-lesson "Conquer the Crash Collection" here.
Regards,
 StocksDoc



About the Publisher, Elliott Wave International
Founded in 1979 by Robert R. Prechter Jr., Elliott Wave International (EWI) is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private around the world.

17 October 2009

10 October 2009

Death of the Dollar, Again: Before You Mourn, See This Chart

October 9, 2009

The following article is based on analysis from Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist. For more insights from Robert Prechter, download the 75-page eBook Independent Investor eBook. It’s a compilation of some of the New York Times bestselling author’s writings that challenge conventional financial market assumptions. Visit Elliott Wave International to download the eBook, free.
By Nico Isaac
If you want the latest news on the U.S. Dollar Index, try a search under its new ticker symbol, RIP. -- as in, "rest in peace." Let the record show: In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 6, the mainstream financial community officially declared "The Demise of the Dollar" (The Independent).
The "coroner's report" cites these details as the causes of death:
  • An alleged (and later denied) secret meeting among leaders of certain Arab States, China, Russia, and France which aimed for the immediate discontinuation of oil trading in U.S. dollars.
  • And, an open statement from one senior United Nations official that proposed the dollar be replaced as the world's reserve currency.
In the words of a recent Washington Post story: "The growing international chorus wants the dollar replaced... a move that would end the greenback's six-decades of global dominance."
And with that, the line between negative sentiment -- AND -- "EXTREME" negative sentiment was crossed. It occurs when the beliefs about a market lean so far over in one direction, that the boat investors are sitting in is about to tip over... Just like the last time.
Case in point: Spring 2008. The U.S. dollar stood at an all-time record low against the euro after plunging more than 40% in value. And, according to the usual experts, the greenback was "dead"-set to meet its maker. On this, these news items from early 2008 say plenty:
  • "The dollar is a terribly flawed currency and its days are numbered." (Wall Street Journal quote)
  • "It's basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the world's reserve currency." (George Soros at the World Economic Forum)
  • "Greenback is losing Global Appeal... the 'Almighty' Dollar is Gone." (Associated Press)
YET -- from its March 2008 bottom, the U.S. dollar came back to life with a vengeance, soaring in a one-year long winning streak to multi-year highs. In the most current Elliott Wave Theorist (published September 15, 2009), Bob Prechter presents the following close-up of the Dollar Index since that trend-turning bottom. (some Elliott wave labels have been removed for this publication)

At a measly 6% bulls, the bearish dollar boat tipped over. The situation today is even more remarkable: The percentage of bulls is lower, at 3-4%, while the dollar's value is higher than the March 2008 level.
It's crucial to understand that markets don't necessarily respond to sentiment extremes immediately. But, such extremes do indicate exhaustion of the trend -- which is usually the opposite of what the mainstream expects.
For more information, download Robert Prechter’s free Independent Investor eBook. The 75-page resource teaches investors to think independently by challenging conventional financial market assumptions.

Robert Prechter, Chartered Market Technician, is the world’s foremost expert on and proponent of the deflationary scenario. Prechter is the founder and CEO of Elliott Wave International, author of Wall Street best-sellers Conquer the Crash and Elliott Wave Principle and editor of The Elliott Wave Theorist monthly market letter since 1979.

04 October 2009

The Elliott Wave Principle

 The Elliott Wave Principle
In the 1930s, Ralph Nelson Elliott, a corporate accountant by profession, studied price movements in the financial markets and observed that certain patterns repeat themselves. He offered proof of his discovery by making astonishingly accurate stock market forecasts. What appears random and unrelated, Elliott said, will actually trace out a recognizable pattern once you learn what to look for. Elliott called his discovery "The Elliott Wave Principle," and its implications were huge. He had identified the common link that drives the trends in human affairs, from financial markets to fashion, from politics to popular culture.
Robert Prechter, Jr., president of Elliott Wave International, resurrected the Wave Principle from near obscurity in 1976 when he discovered the complete body of R.N. Elliott's work in the New York Library. Robert Prechter, Jr. and A.J. Frost published Elliott Wave Principle in 1978. The book received enthusiastic reviews and became a Wall Street bestseller. In Elliott Wave Principle, Prechter and Frost's forecast called for a roaring bull market in the 1980s, to be followed by a record bear market. Needless to say, knowledge of the Wave Principle among private and professional investors grew dramatically in the 1980s.
When investors and traders first discover the Elliott Wave Principle, there are several reactions:
  • Disbelief – that markets are patterned and largely predictable by technical analysis alone
  • Joyous “irrational exuberance” – at having found a “crystal ball” to foretell the future
  • And finally the correct, and useful response – “Wow, here is a valuable new tool I should learn to use.”
Just like any system or structure found in nature, the closer you look at wave patterns, the more structured complexity you see. It is structured, because nature’s patterns build on themselves, creating similar forms at progressively larger sizes. You can see these fractal patterns in botany, geography, physiology, and the things humans create, like roads, residential subdivisions… and – as recent discoveries have confirmed – in market prices. 
Natural systems, including Elliott wave patterns in market charts, “grow” through time, and their forms are defined by interruptions to that growth.
Here's what is meant by that. When your hands formed in the womb, they first looked like round paddles growing equally in all directions. Then, in the places between your fingers, cells ceased growing or died, and growth was directed to the five digits. This structured progress and regress is essential to all forms of growth. That this “punctuated growth” appears in market data is only natural – as Robert Prechter, Jr., the world's foremost Elliott wave expert and president of Elliott Wave International, says, “Everything that thrives must have setbacks.”
Basic Elliott Wave PatternThe first step in Elliott wave analysis is identifying patterns in market prices. At their core, wave patterns are simple; there are only two of them: “impulse waves,” and “corrective waves.”
Impulse waves are composed of five sub-waves and move in the same direction as the trend of the next larger size (labeled as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Impulse waves are called so because they powerfully impel the market.
A corrective wave follows, composed of three sub-waves, and it moves against the trend of the next larger size (labeled as a, b, c). Corrective waves accomplish only a partial retracement, or "correction," of the progress achieved by any preceding impulse wave.
As the figure to the right shows, one complete Elliott wave consists of eight waves and two phases: five-wave impulse phase, whose sub-waves are denoted by numbers, and the three-wave corrective phase, whose sub-waves are denoted by letters.
What R.N. Elliott set out to describe using the Elliott Wave Principle was how the market actually behaves. There are a number of specific variations on the underlying theme, which Elliott meticulously described and illustrated. He also noted the important fact that each pattern has identifiable requirements as well as tendencies. From these observations, he was able to formulate numerous rules and guidelines for proper wave identification. A thorough knowledge of such details is necessary to understand what the markets can do, and at least as important, what it does not do.
You have only just begun to learn the power and complexity of the Elliott Wave Principle. So, don't let your Elliott wave education end here. Join Elliott Wave International's free Club EWI and access the Basic Tutorial: 10 lessons on The Elliott Wave Principle and learn how to use this valuable tool in your own trading and investing.

24 September 2009

How a Kid With a Ruler Can Make a Million

A Lesson in Drawing and Using Trendlines
September 24, 2009

The following article is adapted from a brand-new 50-page ebook from Elliott Wave International. Learn more about The Ultimate Technical Analysis Handbook, and download your free copy here.

By Jeffrey Kennedy

When I began my career as an analyst, I was lucky enough to have some time with a few old pros.

One in particular that I will always remember told me that a kid with a ruler could make a million dollars in the markets. He was talking about trendlines. I was sold.

I spent nearly three years drawing trendlines and all sorts of geometric shapes on price charts. And you know, that grizzled old trader was only half right.

Trendlines are one the most simple and dynamic tools an analyst can employ... but I have yet to make my million dollars, so he was wrong -- or at least early -- on that point.

Despite being extremely useful, trendlines are often overlooked. I guess it’s just human nature to discard the simple in favor of the complicated.

(Heaven knows, if they don’t understand it, it must work, right?)
Soybeans May Contract

In the chart above, I have drawn a trendline using two lows that occurred in early August and September of 2003.

As you can see, each time prices approached this line, they reversed course and advanced.

Sometimes, soybeans only fell to near this line before turning up.

Other times, prices broke through momentarily before resuming the larger uptrend.

What still amazes me is that two seemingly insignificant lows in 2002 pointed the direction of soybeans -- and identified several potential buying opportunities -- for the next six months!

Get more lessons like the one above in the free 50-page Ultimate Technical Analysis Handbook. Learn more and download your free copy here.


Jeffrey Kennedy is the Chief Commodity Analyst at Elliott Wave International (EWI). With more than 15 years of experience as a technical analyst, he writes and edits Futures Junctures, EWI's premier commodity forecasting service.

18 September 2009

Independent Investor/Trader eBook from StocksDoc

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An excellent, FREE Resource for Stock Traders.
Elliott Wave Principles plus other Trading Techniques and Tips.

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