Slope of Hope Blog Posts
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You can see on the 4-Hour charts below that, from their March high to April low, the YM, ES, NQ & TF are still trading within their Fibonacci retracement zone. All of them are below the 50% level, with YM as the strongest, followed by ES, NQ, and TF, respectively.
The YM and ES have formed an uptrending channel from the low, and price is still trading within it after Thursday's close, although the YM pierced briefly below in Thursday's trading.
The NQ and TF are still trading within a downtrending channel from high to low, although the NQ pierced briefly above in Thursday's action, and the TF is attempting to form an uptrending channel.
I mentioned in my post of April 17th that I'd be looking for a continuation of Tuesday's advance and a hold above its high on any retest before I would assign a "bullish" rating to all four in the short term. Since that hasn't happened, we'll have to see whether we get more choppy sideways movement, or a resumption of the pullback below the low of the Fibonacci retracement, or whether we see price stair-step upwards to break and hold above Tuesday's high, before a new trend is eventually established on a Daily timeframe. I'd re-iterate that should this third scenario play out, I'd like to see high volumes support such a move, particularly on any breakout and hold above April's high, especially with respect to the NQ (for the reasons I explained on April 17th).
Both the Dollar Index (DXY) and the Commodity Index (CRB) are approaching critical technical inflection points. However, it is the position of the CRB (lower chart) that is of most concern.
Let's notice that the CRB has been under pressure for the last three weeks and appears to have decisively violated its 3-year support line en route to a retest of its Q4, 2011 Double Bottom at 292-293. This level must contain forthcoming weakness to avert downside follow-through towards the 250-247 target area, a 15% decline that could reflect a global economic slowdown with deflationary implications.
I keep hearing talk of improving economic conditions in the U.S., but Thursday's data shows a decline in Existing Home Sales, Philly Fed Manufacturing, and the CB Leading Index, as shown on the graphs below. Add to these, Monday's data release showing a further decline in the NAHB Housing Market Index, as shown on the graph below.
Show me evidence, other than the unabated rise in the stock markets since last October, that conditions are actually improving. As I mentioned in my post of April 16th, I'll be keeping a close watch on the U.S., European, and Chinese Financials over the next weeks.
Additionally, Thursday's data release shows a decline, once again, in Europe's Consumer Confidence, as shown on the last graph.
Data released on Thursday showed that Japan's Trade Balance has now slipped to its lowest reading since 2000, as shown on the graph below. This balance has been slipping since its most recent high in early 2011.