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Possible Head and Shoulders Developing

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The head and shoulders pattern is frequently how a price index puts in a top, and, while it may be a bit early to start talking about it, it is one possible scenario that we can anticipate.

A few weeks ago we identified a rising wedge pattern, which believed would resolve downward because that is what that pattern usually does. The expected breakdown happened today, and now we look for signs of what may happen next.

There is a line of support drawn from the May 2013 top that has a lot of credibility because it engages three tops and two bottoms. That line is the most obvious place for prices to find at least temporary support, even if prices are destined to move lower. We can see that a left shoulder and head have already been formed, and if prices bounce off that support line (which is also the neckline), there is a good chance that a right shoulder will be formed.

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For the formation to be somewhat symmetrical the bounce would have to be fairly shallow and with a duration of several weeks. If the head and shoulders breaks down after the right shoulder has formed, the minimum downside target would be about 1700. As I said, this is only one possible scenario, but things are pretty well aligned for that outcome. But first things first. Let's see if there is a bounce next week.

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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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