Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stuff that that pickles my gherkin

I have decided that I have been in this business long enough to write stuff here only when I have something to say (vs every day to try to coax you all to love me and buy my newsletter). And as an old timer (not really) what I usually write will be something that ticks me off.

Today, in a well read financial media site, I read something that makes technical analysts look not just bad but plain stupid. We have a hard time plying our trade with the masses let alone trying to prove a point with charts to people who actually know what they are talking about.

To wit:
Starting with technical indicators, a chart of the S&P 500 dating back to 1998 demonstrates how the index has established a triple-top over the period from 1998 through the present.
 No my friend, the market has established a resistance area. 

A triple top is not a triple top until the bottom of the pattern is broken to the downside. Otherwise, it is just a trading range. And in this case, how do we know the market is not going to break out to the upside making it a failed potential double top?

A second chart that gets little attention is the chart depicting the percentage of S&P 100 stocks above their 200-day moving average. This chart presents a fascinating study of buying habits in the S&P 500, and it's easy to see that we're now also at a quadruple-top level in this data series.
This chart gets little attention because more people look at the percent S&P 500 stocks and almost everyone else looks at the NYSE. But I digress.

The author is disingenuous because he used a log scale to accentuate what he calls a quadruple top. And I see a hell of a lot more "tops" than just four. What happens when the data breaks out? Don't forget, this data cannot get larger than 100%.  Putting patterns on this sort of data is pure crap.

If you are going to use charts, use them correctly. If not, please use a disclaimer saying you are making it all up.

Calling multiple tops before they are actually developed is one of my pet peeves. So is somebody writing a caption on a photo saying, "Here is Joey and I at the circus." It's "Joey and me."  Or, writing, "your right about that." It's "you're right."

How about football coach Jimmy Johnson asking in his charting commercial about the 50 moving day average? eyeroll.

Stop trying to look smart with skills you are lacking.

OK, I feel better now. Time for a cocktail.


Mikey said...

Glad you feel better after that blast, Mike - let me know if you start a Supporters' Club ....

Xatta said...

Probably the "quadruple top" on that delightful logarithmic chart was meant to be 4 tops since the financial crisis. I just put my order in at 101.

Michael Kahn said...

Xatta - lol!
Mikey - Jack Daniels runs my group

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