Financial Markets and the Descending Triangle of Doom
By: Barry M Ferguson
Aug 20, 2011
The Dow has been trending lower since July 22, 2011. Other than a fabulous 600-point rally from 3PM to 4PM following the Fed meeting of August 9, 2011, the trend downward has been brutal and abrupt. There was also a 400-point rally two days later that was followed with two more rally days on falling volume. That may have been a warning sign. The Dow then turned lower oddly enough at just about the 38% Fibonacci retracement line of the descent. The Dow now sits at 10817. What will happen when the markets open on Monday?
Of course, no one knows for sure but there is a very interesting chart that might give us some insight. The chart below is a picture of the FXE (the euro) in gold and the USD (the dollar) in green over the past 8 years. Why should we pay such close attention to currency right now? Clearly over the last few years especially, the Dow has risen with a declining dollar and fallen with a strengthening dollar. The Dow is now lost in a current of inflation. If this relationship continues, the currency charts might be our best reference for equity trends. We must respect three messages from the chart.
One, the dollar and the euro have been undulating over the term. They grow apart. They close back together. Right now, the two lines are far apart. History would indicate the two lines must move back together. The euro must weaken and the dollar must strengthen.
Two, notice the point labelled ‘A’. The blue line is the intersection of the FXE and the USD. For both currencies to close back together and touch, the euro needs to lose about 10% and the dollar must gain about 10%.
Three, notice the point labelled ‘B’. The euro looks to be in a bearish formation known as a descending triangle. This could be interpreted as a bullish pennant but pennants should only extend for a period of less than 8 weeks. This formation is now more than 3 months in duration (the chart is period weekly). Descending triangles are nasty bearish patterns. When the pattern is broken below the lower horizontal line, the down trend accelerates.