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HOPING FOR A PULLBACK

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Since the price lows of early-July, the market has moved relentlessly higher, penetrating the important resistance posed by the 200-EMA. When this rally began, a narrow window of fairly low-risk opportunity was presented. Those who missed it are now hoping that prices will pull back far enough to provide another good entry point.

The most obvious and promising pullback target would be a move down to the 200-EMA, but would such a move fuel confidence, or would it only serve to crank up the level of anxiety? As you can see, another ascending wedge has formed, and, if you have been following our commentary for a while, you know that an ascending wedge is a bearish formation with a high probability of a breakdown. If we do get a pullback, the next obvious fear will be that the pullback will not end, and that prices will break down from the wedge and continue on down to test the July lows.

Cww20090801c-1 

Adding to the evidence supporting a possible breakdown are medium-term indicators, like those below, showing that the market is quite overbought, a condition that will need to be cleared. In bull market conditions, which I would ascribe to our current situation, it is possible for overbought conditions to be worked off even as prices move higher. That is to say that prices may not pull back at all, but simply break up and out of the wedge. To the other extreme, a healthy price decline can do the trick.

Cww20090801c-2

Bottom Line: For those who acted on our March 17 buy signal, contemplating the outcome of the ascending wedge and/or the possible pullback does not create much, if any, stress. But for those who are still out of the market and looking for a chance to participate in another up leg that has the potential to move prices up another 20%, the next few weeks will probably not be much fun.

One of these days, the market mood is going to switch back to bearish for an extended period, but, based upon price action to date, I must assume that the current setup will resolve in favor of the bulls, meaning that I don't think the wedge will be broken to the downside.

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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