Posts filed under “Technical Analysis”
That didn’t take very long, did it?
Last week, we discussed Citibank’s Panic/Euphoria chart in A Full Year of Panic ? (I don’t think so). In this week’s Barron’s, Mike Santoli gives Citigroup’s Tobias Lefkovich an opportunity to defend the indicator from a barrage of criticism.
(Incidentally, Barron’s is free this week, so you can read the entire discussion there).
As we mentioned last week, Panic is a momentary phenomenon — it is transitory. But as the chart at right shows, we have been at Panic levels for about a year. That makes little sense.
Second, the basic concept reflects a flawed understanding of sentiment and contrarianism. Markets go up when the crowd is Bullish; Markets go down when the crowd is Bearish. Merely leaning against the crowd is a sure fire path to the poor house. That concept is the basis of cliches such as "Don’t fight the tape" and The Trend is your friend."
If you want to use any tool as a contrary indicator, then you are looking for specific extremes – not a year’s worth of sentiment reading. We detailed dozens of examples in the Contrary Indicators piece here.
Next, I must take issue with this statement: "negative sentiment is the condition that tends to precede higher markets by six to 12 months." That’s simply incorrect, and for several reasons:
- For the most part, markets tend to go up over time. Saying markets will be higher in a year because of XYZ is disengenuous; They statistically are likely to have been higher anyway;
- How much higher? Most U.S. markets are flat to up moderately over the past 12 months; The prior panic indicators don’t seemt o be working (Dow up 1% is hardly a victory)
- The data mining issue is ever present in these backtested models. This tool needs to be tested in the real world — prospectively not form fitted to a past that will not repeat precisely.
There is an easy solution to turning this marketing tool into a potentially useful technical indicator
The two peaks — under the 0.6 level I referenced last week — were decent lows: Early May 05, and mid October 05. Tobias needs to adjust his scale, and move the Panic zone down to 0.6.
Here, I did a quick mock up of what that would look like:
May 2005 was a good low, as was mid October 2005. Lower the panic thresh hold, and maybe you got something. (Must I do everything around here? Sheesh)
I understand the difference between marketing and analysis, and this is as fine a piece of marketing as any. With a few tweaks, maybe it could becoem a decent analytical tool . . .
The Bull Peters Out
Kopin Tan and Michael Santoli, THE TRADER
BARRON’S MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2006
I got involved in a debate earlier at RealMoney – Columnist
Conversation, and wanted to pass it along here.
Pre-GDP (1/27/2006 7:31 AM EST), I wrote :
1) Technicals remain strong, and continue to be the driving force short
term. But economics look weak, and continue to be source of concern
2) Last Friday’s market actions was the market’s early warning sign.
Very heavy volume to the downside on a big selloff is never a good
thing. I interpret that day as a foundational crack of the cyclical
Bull market. Again, we are not looking for a 1987 situation, but rather
a Q1 topping out, and an ugly rest of the year.
3) Gold also looks toppy — it’s well overdue for a 10% correction. We
are short here, but would re-establish a long position in the 480-510
4) A 500 point day in Japan is too exuberant — it’s a sign of very
emotional trading. Historically, these sort of buying frenzies tend to
end badly. As such, we are lowering our multiyear price target on the
Nikkei down from 21,000 to 18,000. I would not be surprised to see this
lowered again before year’s end. And the Korean Topix, which I have
liked for some time, is geting crazed. Still plenty of upside, but
Norm Conley raised a legitimate question about this:
"It seems as if you are taking two outlier one-day moves in markets (one "up"
move, and one "down" move), and extrapolating that although they are
contradirectional, they both carry ominous portents."
My response was: