Bearish Rising Wedges for Technology and Utility Sectors


At I maintain daily charts of the eleven S&P 500 sectors for our subscribers, and I can't help noticing two of the charts have bearish rising wedge formations, which developed after the market's March low. Rising wedges are bearish because they resolve downward more often than not, the reason being simply that the rising trend line forming the bottom of the wedge is the steepest part of the structure, and is more likely to fail.

On Monday's StockCharts TV Erin and I discussed the rising wedge on the Technology Sector (XLK) chart. Since then, XLK moved higher within the wedge, once again testing the rising tops line, which forms the top of the wedge. In doing so, it created a smaller, even more confining wedge. The fact that two of the short-term indicators are quite overbought adds weight to the expectation of a breakdown.

The Utilities Sector (XLU) also has a rising wedge, along with two overbought short-term indicators.

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Yes, rising wedges are fairly reliable in resolving downward . . . except when they don't. Apple (AAPL) had a nice, tight rising wedge that . . oops! . . . resolved with a gap upward on Tuesday. At present, an island reversal may be setting up, but that's another story. Most interesting is the fact that AAPL is a component of the Technology Sector, which remains within the confines of its own wedge.

While we normally expect downside resolution of a rising wedge, that doesn't mean that, say, the March low will be retested. It could happen, but sometimes the result is that new bottom quickly forms and a less accelerated rising trend line is set.

There are a number of other sectors that have developed "wedge-like" formations could resolve similarly, but making the comparison might be a bit tortured, so I'll leave it at that.

Happy Charting! - Carl

Technical Analysis is a windsock, not a crystal ball.

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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, 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 in 2013, Carl has served a consulting technical analyst and blog contributor. Learn More
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