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March 2019 Issue customercare@elliottwave.

com
© March 15, 2019 770-536-0309 • 800-336-1618

LET’S GET TECHNICAL

Time’s Up for the December 1968-May 1969 Analogy


Six weeks ago, the February 1, 2019 issue of The Elliott As published February 1, 2019 in EWFF
Wave Financial Forecast introduced an analogy:
The decline from the stock market tops in August
(NASDAQ), September (S&P 500) and October (DJIA),
is progressing but has yet to display a clear, five-wave
structure, which we need to confirm the bear market. Not
all bear markets start with the clearest subwaves, instead
taking time to develop the pattern as the market continues
lower. The decline from the high in 1968 is a case in point.
As this chart shows, it was several months before the initial
decline from the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s December
2, 1968 top developed a structure that made it crystal clear
that a bearish trend was underway. The index ultimately
declined 37% from December 1968 to May 1970, which
was part of Cycle wave IV. The lack of clear confirmation
in the current wave structure of the market’s decline is,
as EWT put it, “the most bothersome non-event of 2018-
2019,” but we are patient. [Figure 1]
Figure 2 focuses on the topping portion of this analogy, although in the current case our labels are (1), (2), not
A, B. The recent period began on October 3, 2018, the date of the all-time high in the DJIA. Figure 2 uses a daily
chart of S&P for the current period, because the S&P, along with the NASDAQ indexes, has just reached new highs
for 2019.
In the previous process (see bottom graph), waves A and B lasted 163 days. In the current version, 163 days
from the October 3 high carries to March 15 (today). If this timing analogy holds, the S&P should top now and start
a larger decline than it experienced in November-December.
No analogy is perfect, and seasonal influences suggest a peak next week, so let’s give it a few days’ leeway. If
the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ make new closing highs for 2019 after next week, the timing analogy will have failed.

The S&P Composite Reaches a Resistance Line


Figure 3 shows a chart of the S&P Composite Index that EWT published on October 23, 2017. Figure 4 updates
the picture and shows the wave labeling that best fits the long term picture, despite the lack of five waves down for
wave (1), as noted above and discussed further below.
The most interesting feature of Figure 4 is the S&P’s return to the upper line of its Primary-degree channel.
Prices exceeded this line back in November 2017, gyrated around it for a year and then plunged decisively through it
in December 2018. The rally since December has brought prices back to that line. The market seems to have ignored
this line over the past year and a half but is positioned now to stop and reverse at it.
The Elliott Wave Theorist—March 15, 2019

Figure 2

Only Two Indexes Have Made a New High in 2019


Only two U.S. stock market indexes have managed to make a new all-time high in 2019: the Dow Jones Utility
Average, a defensive stock group, and the Major Market Index. In Q1 2016, the MMI was one of the few indexes to
hold above its 2015 low, so the new high this year fits into a five-wave structure, as shown in Figure 5. Observe that
wave 5 in the MMI went straight up for three months until it met the upper line of its Intermediate-degree channel,
which dates back to 2015. Now look at Figure 6 and observe that the MMI simultaneously met the upper line of its
channel at Primary degree, which dates back to 2011. This is the same line the S&P just met, as shown in Figure 4.
The MMI has performed this feat at the end of a fifth wave, which is exactly when it should occur.
The wave structure in the MMI might account for why other stock indexes failed to trace out five waves down
from their 2018 highs: The action since January 2018 has constituted waves four and five in a handful of blue-chip
stocks. In other words, the MMI has been in fourth and fifth waves up while most other measures have been trying
to trace out waves one and two down.
The MMI is the thinnest of all market indexes, comprising only 20 stocks. Recent articles have reported that
a large percentage of institutional holdings are in an exceptionally narrow list of issues. The MMI’s lone new high

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As published October 23, 2017 in EWT Interim Bulletin

Figure 3

Figure 4

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Figure 5

Figure 6

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(excepting only the Utilities) testifies to the validity of that


observation. The fact that no other blue-chip or secondary-stock
index has made a new high has produced a striking, multi-month,
bearish non-confirmation.
The duration between the MMI’s all-time high on March
4, 2019 and the earliest index to top (the NYSE Composite on
January 26, 2018) is just over a Fibonacci 13 months, and the
duration from the date of the last significant index to top (the
DJIA on October 3, 2018) is 5 months. We might have seen
the last gasp of a 13-month-long (+ 9 days) topping process,
in which all-time highs among the various indexes occurred in
January, August, September and October of 2018 (see Figure 7
in the October 2018 issue) and March 2019.
There are non-confirmations on the short run, too. Although
the MMI led all the indexes upward by climbing to an all-time
high on March 4, it has lost ground since that time even as the
S&P and NASDAQ indexes made new highs this week within
their post-December recoveries. Meanwhile, the DJIA has held
below its high of February 25, and the Dow Transportation
Average has held below its high of February 19. Figure 7 displays
these rolling peaks.
To sum up the situation, we have a terminating time
analogy, a potentially completed bull market in the MMI, at
least two major indexes right at upper-channel-line resistance, a
major bearish non-confirmation between the MMI and all other
significant stock indexes, and a series of successive peaks among
indexes starting a month ago and extending right up to today.
This setup constitutes an argument that the market is about to
reverse from up to down in a big way.

Optimism and More Rationales for Optimism


Over the past month, three trading days have recorded 88%
bulls among S&P futures traders on the Daily Sentiment Index
(courtesy trade-futures.com), the latest such number occurring
on March 13. The last time the DSI was higher was the 89%
reading on January 26, 2018, the day of the all-time high in
the NYSE Composite Index. We have chronicled numerous
long term sentiment measures revealing historically extreme
optimism, and now optimism has returned to elevated heights
on the short term as well. Figure 7
The January issue discussed two rationales for optimism
that we found suspect. Two more have recently made the rounds in the media.
First is the notion that the President has browbeaten the Fed into dovish submission, so stocks can only go up.
The argument is false on two fronts: that the Fed has changed its policy, and that it would matter if it did. When
setting its own rates, the Fed has always simply followed the T-bill rate set by the market, with an average lag of
five months. So does every other central bank. For proof, see Chapter 3 of The Socionomic Theory of Finance. Rates
have flattened recently, so the Fed hasn’t acted. That’s normal. It is unlikely that the Fed has suddenly changed a
century-long policy and decided to set its rates significantly below market rates. Until such a day arrives, the T-bill
market will continue to dictate the Fed’s rates. Even if the Fed were to change its interest-rate policy, it wouldn’t
matter, because it cannot force people to borrow.

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Second is the observation that since 1946 stock prices have risen during the twelve months after the midterm
election. The current such period is only four months along, implying another eight months of rise. Yet this statistic
has been teased out of the data. There have been three net-down calendar years following midterm elections since 1946
and five since 1930. So, there are plenty of exceptions, and the stock market rarely accommodates widely adopted
scenarios. The psychology of today’s investors is better poised for a surprising plunge than it is for a continuation
of the past three months’ rise.

Precious Metals
On November 16, 2018, as silver was hitting its lowest level in three years, Elliott Wave International sent out
an Interim Bulletin to all EWT and EWFF subscribers calling for an upturn in the precious metals. That day marked
the low for silver and the last low in gold’s late-2018 bottoming process.
What have we done for you lately? On February 20, Steve Hochberg posted this chart and commentary on our
Short Term Update:
Gold is at or very near a high. Our discussions with respect to gold’s rally have consistently cited a target
range at $1300-$1350, with the progressing wave structure indicating the high probability of pushing toward
the upper end. This has now occurred. As we’ve noted, a barrier triangle in a rising trend has a top trendline
that defines the structure, which is horizontal or near-horizontal. The rally to $1347.11 basis spot has fulfilled
this guideline of wave formation and has been attended by a Daily Sentiment Index (trade-futures.com) of 90%
gold bulls. As shown on the bottom of the graph, the current level of trader optimism exceeds all others save for
the bullishness that occurred with the Minor wave B of (B) high at $1366.38 on January 25, 2018. There may
be a few more short-term upward price stabs in the coming hours prior to the end of wave D, but they are not
required. Minor wave E, when it begins, will be a multi-week decline that retraces a portion of wave D from
the August 16, 2018 low.—EWFF, February 20, 2019

As published February 20, 2019 in STU

[Figure 8]

That was the exact day of the recent high in gold and the completion of a double top in silver. Over the next
two weeks, gold fell $69/oz. and silver $1.20.

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The triangle that EWFF recognized in gold over a year ago has been tracing out textbook waves. Steve and Pete
are tracking wave E now. If the stock market had been this clear recently, we would have no worries.
Market analysis isn’t perfect, but it’s uniquely useful. Economists can’t make calls like this. Fundamental
analysts can’t, either. These are the kinds of calls one can make using market (“technical”) analysis, a craft almost
no one practices anymore.

Technical Analysis is Way Out of Fashion


When bear markets mature, technical analysis is all the rage. When bull markets mature, it is not even on
investors’ radar.
Today technical analysis is virtually nowhere to be seen. Most financial news outlets interview economists,
fundamentalists, bankers, money managers and brokers. These people know their professions well, but they rely on
lagging stock-market indicators and therefore have no reliable tools to suggest where the market might be headed.
Neil Cavuto of Fox Business News was original enough, or perhaps brave enough, to feature a couple of (bearish)
technicians back in November 2017, in the heat of stock investors’ bullish fever. The average stock, as evidenced
by the NYSE Composite index, topped two months later and remains at a loss.
The reason for the present dearth of interest in technical analysis—that is, analyzing market conditions as
opposed to events and conditions outside the market—is historic financial optimism. When investors feel optimistic,
they believe in external, mechanical causes of stock market movements. When they are pessimistic, they search for
internal, organic causes. Chapter 40 of STF offers a century-long overview of these tendencies.
Today’s business environment for market analysis is tough, too. Some sites offer free newsletters to attract
money to manage. There are dozens of market blogs, most of which are awful. There are very few financially
successful technical-analysis newsletters. No technicians are stars, and few are quoted in the media. Most of my
long-time friends in the business are gone, struggling or retired. Finding subscribers in the days when everyone who
cared about markets subscribed to Barron’s was relatively easy. Today, negotiating cyberspace and social media is
a complex, costly challenge.
The modern heyday of technical analysis was the two-decade period of the 1970s and 1980s. During that time,
there was a cornucopia of distinct analytical approaches, each with its own bases and implications. There were
specialists in Dow Theory (Richard Russell), on-balance volume (Joseph Granville), stage analysis (Stan Weinstein),
cycles (Walter Bressert, Peter Eliades, Jim Tillman, P.Q. Wall), Edwards & Magee-type chart patterns (James
Dines, Peter Brandt), Elliott waves (Prechter), Astro-Economics (Arch Crawford, Bill Sarubbi, Paul Montgomery),
seasonalities (Yale Hirsch, Norman Fosback), market sentiment (Jake Bernstein, Arthur Merrill, John McGinley),
technical and fundamental indicators (Bert Dohmen, Ned Davis), Gann analysis (various) and the Kondratieff cycle
(various). Specialists in specific sets of fundamentals, such as swings in bank credit (Tony Boeckh) and Graham-
and-Dodd stock valuations (Charles Allmon), had big followings, too. These people did not just muse about things.
They did careful, detailed, historically supported work. Today I see no new ideas and little deep thought. Everyone
is a generalist.
When Financial News Network (FNN) debuted in 1981, its anchors interviewed as many technicians as they did
all other types of analysts combined. Near the end of that era, in 1989, I happened to head the conference committee
of the Market Technicians Association and was charged with putting together a program for our annual conference.
I called in all my chips and put together a weekend the likes of which, as far as I know, hasn’t been seen since. We
had Edwards & Magee experts, market-sentiment experts, cycles analysts, wave analysts, trading psychologists,
famous traders, an interest-rate expert, the architect of the U.S. Trading Championship and even analysts who link
solar, lunar and planetary cycles to the shifting moods of investors.
Whatever you may think of that lineup, the presentations were interesting. When Paul Jones arrived by helicopter
on the grounds four minutes before he was due to speak (I kept telling the organizers, “Don’t worry; he’ll be here”),
the atmosphere was electric. He was not someone who had a degree in yammering but someone who had proved he
knows more than most others about how markets behave and had the additional acumen to profit from it. None of the
speakers rambled on about the economy, politics, Fed policy or unpredictable future “shocks.” It was a conference
by technicians for technicians.
One wonders whether we will ever see the like again. I think we will, sometime during and for a time after the
coming bear market.

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What kind of person has a chance of succeeding at this business? Only someone who has a unique approach
and sticks to it. Just posting market commentary isn’t going to make anyone a living. Success requires specializing
in an area that no one else is covering. For example, Tim Wood of Cycles News & Views combines Dow Theory
and cyclic analysis based on a century of historical market behavior. Todd Gordon, with whom we have partnered,
applies Elliott wave analysis to do live options trading on camera over the web. That’s unique.

Recommended Books for Your Market Analysis Library


I have hundreds of books on market analysis. My favorite books on the subject were written decades ago.
Among the many books focusing on market psychology, the bulk of them present variations on the essential but
widely observed fact that the market rises and falls somewhat coincidentally with investors’ degree of optimism. A
few books go beyond that truism to elucidate nuances and to entertain readers in the process. I thought you might
be interested in a list of my personal recommendations.

Anonymous, Wiped Out – How I Lost a Fortune in the Stock Market While the Averages Were Making New Highs
(Simon & Schuster, 1966)
This is one of my favorite books, because rather than observing the follies of others, this author details his own.
Reading it is like watching a tragedy when you already know the well-meaning protagonist is going to die.
Nearly everyone who is wrong on a market’s direction loses money. But how many people lose money when
they are right on the trend? The answer is: many more people than you might think. Wiped Out is the story of an
investor who continually bought stocks and sold them during a bull market and decimated his account. Thankfully
for us, he committed his story to print. The author chose to remain anonymous for obvious reasons: He thought he
was a rare fool. But it happens all the time, to many people. If you want to experience vicariously a dangerous thrill
ride that you may or may not already have taken, this is your ticket.
Wiped Out was not a best-seller and has long been out of print. Sellers tend to ask ridiculous prices. If you act
fast, you can get a copy of this book for a somewhat reasonable price on Amazon, which currently lists 30 offers
ranging from $6 to $800 a copy. If you are too late to get a good price, wait awhile.

Guyon, Don, One-Way Pockets (1917)


Chapter 17 of The Socionomic Theory of Finance offers striking evidence that speculators lose money at every
degree of trend. From day trading to long term investing, losses are the norm. Profits may accrue to many investors in
one-way trends, but over a complete cycle from low to high to low, nearly everyone loses money. Why does it happen?
Written over 100 years ago, One-Way Pockets offers the first researched study of financial-market psychology.
A stock broker wondered why his clients lost money over a full cycle in the stock market. After all, he reasoned, if
stocks were back near the same level they started, shouldn’t his clients have broken even? The pseudonymous Guyon
studied his clients’ activity statements and found a consistent psychological change among them that explained the
losses: At bottoms, they were short term buyers, whereas at tops, they were long term buyers.
The reason for this reliable change in orientation is simple: Financial-market pricing is a fractal, yet people’s
mental default makes them think it is a line. Figure 2 in Chapter 21 of The Socionomic Theory of Finance depicts
the full range of aggregate speculators’ changes in expectations for the future as market trends progress.
This little booklet is in print and available for $6-$13 on Amazon. A Kindle version is $4.

Le Bon, Gustave, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895)


Some academics dismiss this book because it offers observations absent statistical support. They have a point,
but it’s still a great book. It’s also over a hundred years old, so what do you expect?
Gustave Le Bon was a medical doctor who became Professor of Psychology and Allied Sciences at the University
of Paris. Knowing something about crowds, he observed that both socialism and democracy are fraught with problems.
Le Bon was roundly denounced, as woe be to him who challenges people’s political mythologies.
Le Bon’s key proposal is that crowds are not the sum of individuals’ minds but a single psychological entity.
Socionomics more specifically postulates that crowd thinking is the result of cooperation among certain unconscious
portions of people’s minds, which is why crowds appear to have “a mind of their own.” This view explains why

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the so-called “wisdom of crowds” works only when contributing individuals are in fact apart from a crowd; when a
crowd convenes, errors among its members soar, because they cue off one another instead of thinking rationally, a
minimum requirement of which is thinking independently. Chapter 20 in The Socionomic Theory of Finance presents
studies that elucidate this difference.
The Crowd is a short book and perennially in print. Amazon offers copies for $8.50.

Hadady, Earl, Contrary Opinion (Key Books, 1983; reprinted 2000 by John Wiley & Sons)
The late Earl Hadady put this book together to explain why his Bullish Consensus numbers were reliable as a
market-timing tool. It is not exactly a classic, but it offers one nugget of exceptional wisdom: If 90% of speculators
are betting one way on the price of a futures contract while only 10% are betting the other way, it means that the
average speculator on the unpopular side of the bet has put up nine times as much money as the average speculator
on the popular side of the bet. People with more money at risk tend to be better at the game. One can assume, in
general, that in such cases the “smart money” is on the unpopular side of the bet. This formula works for futures and
options markets, because for every long there is a short. It is not applicable to individual stocks, where shorts are
rare and an unnecessary aspect of the market. Used copies of this book are available on Amazon for as little as $6.

Janis, Irving, Victims of Groupthink (1972)


When I was at Yale, Professor Irving Janis became aware of my interest in mass psychology and asked if I
would be interested in seeing a manuscript he was working on. I jumped at the chance and soon was reading Victims
of Groupthink. I thought the book was terrific, especially since the topic of mass psychology had been woefully
overlooked for decades. I made a few suggestions (I have no idea whether he adopted them), and two years later,
the book came out.
The book tells some histories of bureaucratic decision-making that went wrong. Janis postulated that the reason
for the failures is that in a group setting, people defer the hard work of reasoning to others, whom they assume must
be working on the problem. As a result, no one works on the problem, and whatever decision emerges derives from
unrigorous thought shaped by the dynamics of group psychology.
Socionomic theory proposes that in a context of uncertainty the mood of the group is important in determining
the character of such decisions. In financial markets, where uncertainty is pervasive, speculators’ shared moods
regulate their investing and trading decisions, which in turn determine prices.
I have an original copy of this book. Unfortunately, the work is out of print, and sellers want $85 and up for a
copy. It’s not worth that much, so wait for lower prices or for someone to reprint it.

Mackay, Charles, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1852)
Many market analysts have extolled this book, and for good reason. It details activities related to the South
Sea Bubble, a stock frenzy that captured the imaginations of Britons in 1711-1720, John Law’s demonically clever
Mississippi scheme of 1719–1720 in France, and the Dutch tulip mania of the early 1600s. Mackay’s most quotable
conclusion is, “Men…go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.” Here is another
favorite:
We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions
of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by
some new folly more captivating than the first.
Someday a book will be written about the financial madness of our generation, whose ravenous pursuits of markets
have shifted focus from stocks to real estate to commodities to precious metals to cryptocurrencies.
Mackay observed that delusions also abound when times are tough:
Credulity is always greatest in times of calamity. Prophecies of all sorts are rife on such occasions, and are
readily believed, whether for good or evil. During the great plague, which ravaged all Europe, between the years
1345 and 1350, it was generally considered that the end of the world was at hand. Pretended prophets were to
be found in all the principal cities of Germany, France, and Italy, predicting that within ten years the trump of
the Archangel would sound, and the Saviour appear in the clouds to call the earth to judgment.

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In the hard times of the 1910s, 1930s and 1940s, the most virulent delusions were the purported glories of communism
and national socialism. That 120 million deaths attributable to these philosophies have not fully dissolved these
delusions speaks to their tenacity. When global social mood again turns decisively negative, the current century will
see its share of destructive philosophies in action, too.
Mackay also offers numerous entertaining histories of beliefs in such things as witchcraft and alchemy, showing
that the potential range of people’s delusions is boundless. One could write the same book today, focusing only on
the delusions that shape a vast number of people’s passionately held political opinions.
This book is available on Amazon, but beware: Complaints abound that some recent versions are seriously
clipped. Scour the comments from reviewers to find out which edition to buy.

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