Welcome to EV's point and figures. This blog is dedicated to the use of point and figure charts in technical analysis.

Although P&F first appeared in charts in the 1930's, it is an often overlooked techique for analysing stocks and charts. A poor relation compared to line and bar charts and their range of momentum indicators. Yet few charts provide a clearer picture of the daily battle between bulls and bears for market control.

Like most methods, it should not be used in isolation. It should form part of an analysts 'tool box' and be used with other techniques to help form an overall view.

The charts that appear on this blog and any accompanying comments are purely for information purposes only - my own personal take on where the prices may be heading. They do not constitute investment advice.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DJI - crunch time

There has been plenty of comment over the last 12 months as to how QE is playing havoc with TA, and I'd say point and figure charts are not immune from this either. What P&F does show, quite graphically is the degree to which the 'influence' of QE has pushed markets up over relatively short periods of time. P&F charts are unique because they do not plot time on the y axis but the numbers in the columns denote months in the year, so it is possible to see how quickly some of these indices have moved over given periods.

The chart above is the Dow Jones Industrial (50x3) high low chart, which plots prices based on the (intraday) high/low level rather than the closing price. I'm finding these quite useful in these momentum driven markets. The column of X's which gave rise to that 12,500 price target coincided with the announcement of QE2 and while its was possible to trade the noise, what this column is saying is that the Dow rose (50 points x 17) 850 points before reversing - a rampant bullish move! Then there was another one over Dec/Jan of (50x21) 1,050 and on most recently on the bounce back post Japan of (17x50) 850.

It can be seen that these two most recent up colums have given price targets in the 14,000s; the 14,100 target was activated when the market moved back above the top of the column of 21 x's (12,050): the more recent target is INACTIVE but will be activated if the Dow fills that 12,500 box. You can see the Index is testing that previous high level.

This is also a 50x3 chart of the Dow but is plotted using the closing level of the index only. See how the market was rolling over 'perfectly' last summer after QE1 ended and before QE2 was announced. There was distribution, then the reversal and (although not plotted) active targets to the downside of 8,900 and 8,300. Then QE2 was announced allowing the bulls to come back in and run riot.

Look at that 28 box column of X's which gave the target of 14,200 - that's (28x50) 1,400 points to the upside before a 150 point reversal - wow! This was followed by a 26 box 1,300 move higher over Jan/Feb without a three box reversal. And the post Japan bounce took that previous high out, activating that 14,950 price target.

It can be seen from this chart that all those targets to the upside are now active. The market is trading way above its long term bullish support line (the thick blue line) but there are three other minor bullish support lines in place.

In summary, that both the high/low and closing charts are pointing towards the 14,000 level suggests to me that until the market reverses and gives some new targets to the downside (active or inactive), this is where we are currently heading. But beyond that, the ending of QE2 in June (or anticipation of through May) could very well prompt a sharp reversal. If and when that, or something else gives rise to a reversal, i'll review the chart accordingly. For now though, it all points higher.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FTSE 100 - possible inverse H&S?

This warrants close attention. It's not supported by the P&F but the RSI and Slo Sto lend support to what could be a forming inverse head and shoulders pattern, one which would take the FTSE up towards 6,500-6,700 in some sort of 'euphoric-last-40-days-of-Fed-QE2-ramp-job'.

Could it happen? Well, the P&F charts clearly show that we have had three short term c500 point moves in the FTSE in the last 8 months, so why not?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SPX: twin peaks, but....

It certainly 'looks' like a double top, does this 2.5x3 high/low chart, and there is an activated target to the downside of 1,255 (the 1,240 is not active). And the 'less noisy' 5x3 H/L chart (not shown) also has an active target to the downside of 1,245. However, the 1,400 and 1,382.5 targets to the upside are still active (as is that 1,355 target) and the closing 2x5 p&f chart looks totally different. All in all rather inconclusive.

We will know soon enough if there is a double top pattern in play as the symmetary of this chart pattern will have to hold, which means looking for the market to trend lower over the coming days/week. If we see the market move higher (through 1,327), i'd be of the view that this pattern is redundant and a move through 1,337 would confirm that, as the price will have moved above those two columns of 0's from which those downside targets are based.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oil - up!

These 1x3 charts are currently very supportative for the oil price. The recent price action on the high/low 1x3 shows a clear pattern of the oil price trending higher, pushing through previous levels of resistance. See how those price targets of $104 and $114 were triggered by triple top buy signals, particularly the $114 -in many respects this was a 'quadruple top', as the resistance at $92 is clear for all to see. The price reversed on 3 occasions, got support at $86 twice then finally pushed above that previous resistance at $92. And note also the strong support at $97 recently - three times the market tested this level and on all three occasions the bulls came back in and pushed the price higher. All the targets given are now active and clearly, at this point in time, there are no targets to the downside, active or otherwise. The 1x3 closing chart (which is based solely on the end of day closing level) is similarly supportative to the bullish case. The previously activated price targets of $105 and $104 have been met and we currently have active targets of $114 and $141 in play, the former activated by a triple top buy signal that is clear for all to see. Long term bullish support is in place and until there is a decisive three box reversal and some new (clear) targets to the downside, there is nothing to suggest that the oil price will not continue to grind higher. ''Can't go higher? The hell it can't'', as Jock Ewing used to say..!!