Technical Analysis

The Return of the Dreaded (and Dreadful) Stock Pickers

Market turbulence and economic uncertainty create fear and anxiety among investors. Unfortunately, many turn to advice freely dispensed by self-styled investment gurus -- who claim they can predict the direction of the markets or pick outperforming stocks.

Is the Market Rally Over, or Is It Just Taking a Breather?

Markets hate uncertainty more than bad news, which is one reason they've swooned: No one can predict the long-term economic effects of Japan's earthquake or Middle Eastern upheaval. But technical analysis looks at the patterns deeper than the daily news, and the charts suggest a real bear ahead.

Yes, Stocks Are Extremely Volatile. But Don't Panic!

Investors are running scared after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan and left it with an ongoing nuclear crisis. Pain for Japan could easily infect the global economy. But when there's gloom in the air, there's also opportunity to buy on the dip and gain from the rebound.

Market Snapshot: What's Thriving in Battered Economy

The economy has had more than its share of trouble lately: Japan's earthquake comes on top of rising oil and food prices, political turmoil in the Middle East and a crop of government austerity measures. But investor opportunities lie hidden among the bad news.

A Stock Market Breakout Is Likely -- but in Which Direction?

The technical signals suggest we're at a crucial decision point for the stock market: Either a decisive rise or a dramatic fall is coming. And if you're the type to dismiss technical analysis as unscientific voodoo, you're missing the point: It's not about pattern matching, it's about human psychology.

Two Years After the Bottom: What's Ahead for Stocks?

Two years after the markets hit bottom on March 9, 2009, stock prices have rebounded significantly. But will the bull market keep rolling, or is a bear around the corner? Truth is, there's just as much uncertainty now as there was then.

Libya Isn't the Only Force Working Against Stocks

With Mideast turmoil chasing oil higher and stocks lower, it's a good time to check the charts and see what price levels seem to be key "lines in the sand." Some indicators have been warning for months that the steep rally was preparing to reverse.

How High (or Low) Could the Stock Market Go?

The U.S. stock market has piled on way-above-average returns in the last five months. But what can investors expect over the next few years? The charts show some clear patterns, and they hint that returns could revert to a longer-term, lower average -- but what might that be?

Is Gold a Bubble About to Pop? These Charts Say No

Some say the precious metal will keep rising, others that it's tracing out a classic speculative bubble soon to burst. Nobody has a crystal ball, but an "agnostic" technical analysis of the charts provides some good clues about gold's future.

What to Watch for in the Dollar's Moves

The stock market is often coy about announcing when its trend is about to change direction, but DailyFinance's technical analysis guru, Charles Hugh Smith, sees a downward shift coming. His basis for bearishness is a relationship that has applied often in the markets -- the dollar-stocks see-saw.

Technical Market Analysis Warns: Mind the Gaps

Financial markets are becoming increasingly schizophrenic, ruled by erratic ups and downs. It's at times like these when technical analysis can help investors manage the emotional roller coaster, which is why for chart watchers, the catchphrase of the next few months could be "mind the gaps."

Warning Flags in the Stock Charts: Reversal Ahead?

Technical analysis is indicating that last week's indecision will be decisively broken shortly by either the bulls or the bears. But which move is more likely? That's where the charts seems to be flashing a very clear alert that bulls should be aware of.

Large-Cap Tech Stocks May Be Running Too Fast

Large-cap technology shares have been among the market's best performers. Will the recent momentum feed on itself, or has this breathtaking bull run set the stage for a corrrection of some sort? Here's the case for the latter.

Safe Haven No More: Swiss Franc Headed for Trouble

The Swiss franc has been the second-best performing major currency over the past six months, outpacing the dollar by 8.9% and the euro by 7.8%, thanks to shaky conditions elsewhere in Europe. But a broad range of signs suggest the Swiss currency is due for at least a short-term correction.

With Stocks at Key Technical Level, What's Next?

Having hit 1,150 on Friday, the S&P 500 is now at a crossroad: Will it fall back, or continue marching up to the next technical target around 1,200? No one chart can say for sure, but here are some points to be aware of -- and to watch in coming days.

What the Stock Market's 'Breakout' Is Missing: Volume

Since the S&P finally rose past the key 1,130 level on Monday, stocks have languished rather than rapidly advance. That's because volume is anemic. And without volume, the market is said to lack the conviction needed to actually create a definitive trend.

Why the Hindenburg Omen Is Hooey

Investors might be atwitter over the so-called Hindenburg Omen, a technical indicator flashing a red alert for an imminent market crash, but the odds of it being right are long to non-existent, experts say.

A Message from Middle East Stock Markets?

Should it matter to U.S. investors that Middle East stock markets are among the worst-performers this year, with many trading at or near 52-week lows? Hard to know for sure, but this is a development that bears watching.

Does Dot Com Bubble Still Hurt the Market?

For investors seeking guidance on what lies ahead for the market, a look at past bubbles and their post-bust trends is revealing. Find out why the chart overlay suggests investors should be wary.

Reading the Charts for Clues to the Market's Direction

Rather than try to forecast whether corporate profits will exceed heightened expectations or disappoint in the second half, let's turn to a few basic technical charts for a (possibly) more objective view of where the U.S. market might be heading.

In Bank and Brokerage Stocks, Red Flags for the Market?

The drooping stocks of investment banks and brokerages have been diverging from the wider market in the last few months. Back in 2007, a similar trend preceded the market crash. Now, the sector's pattern could hold a wider warning for investors.

Has the Market Peaked? It's a Tricky Call

After the market's recent roller-coaster ride, many wonder if the year-long stock rally has come to an end. But recognizing market tops is a tricky business -- here are some charts to show why.

Does Heightened Volatility Mean the End of the Stock Rally?

Gains in the VIX Volatility Index are an expression of investor unease. Two weeks ago, its movements suggested stocks had peaked, and the Dow followed with sharp losses. The VIX also holds clues to whether stocks have now entered a long-term downtrend.

Water Utilities Are Ready to Rise with the Tide

Water utilities are the only companies on the Standard & Poor's 1500 that haven't seen double-digit percentage growth in the last year. Are they ready to start catching up with the rest of the economy at last?