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PULLBACK IS LIKELY, BUT NOT GUARANTEED

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The bear market rally has continued to move prices higher, and the strength is greatest in the smaller-cap stocks. For example, the S&P 500 has rallied 30% from the March lows, but the Rydex S&P Equal Weight ETF (RSP) has advanced 45%. Looking through the list of the Spider Sectors and their equal weighted counterparts, we can see that the equal weighted indexes are doing much better than the traditional cap-weighted indexes. Nevertheless, the S&P 500 has managed to move above the medium-term resistance presented by the declining tops line of the recent trading channel.

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As we have noted in recent articles, prices have been advancing in the face of overbought short-term indicators. See the CVI below. It has stayed mostly on the overbought side of the zero line, and prices have moved higher as th CVI has diverged negatively. This is bullish and is evidence that the rally is probably not over; however, medium-term indicators are now becoming overbought. Note that the S&P 500 PMO (above) is above 2.5, and the VTO below are very overbought.

Cww20090418c-2
On the chart below we can see that our intermediate-term breadth and volume indicators are very overbought by historical standards. In a bear market this can be a problem; however, a bear market rally is like a mini-bull market, so it is possible for overbought conditions to clear without much (or even any) price deterioration.

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Bottom Line: Based upon my perception of market behavior versus indicator status, I am expecting some kind of correction, possibly a short consolidation -- a week or so -- or a quick, scary couple of down days. Regardless of how the overbought conditions are cleared, I am assuming that the rally is not over and will persist for at least a few more weeks.
Carl Swenlin
About the author: is a veteran technical analyst who has been actively engaged in market analysis since 1981. A pioneer in the creation of online technical resources, he was president and founder of DecisionPoint.com, one of the premier market timing and technical analysis websites on the web. DecisionPoint specializes in stock market indicators and charting. Since DecisionPoint merged with StockCharts.com in 2013, Carl has served a consulting technical analyst and blog contributor. Learn More
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