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Where are the top and the bottom?

The 10/13/22 oversold rally nears a critical phase as the bulls and bears converge toward another battle. Although the mid-October rally has been impressive, gaining 609.38 points (17.45%) and almost matching the previous mid-Jun to the mid-Aug oversold rally of 18.93%, there remain numerous questions about the sustainability of the rally.


Two pertinent questions remain unanswered. First, is the 10/13/22 low an intermediate-term bottom? Second, and most importantly, if this is not a bottom, where is the next bottom?


Oversold rallies are deceiving as they tend to be sharp and explosive. There are no definitive rules of thumb regarding the extent and the magnitude of oversold rallies. It depends on various factors, including geopolitical, macro, micro, market news, and market sentiments.


An oversold rally could last for days to a few weeks or sustain for months to several quarters. After an extensive market selloff, traders often look for signs the existing oversold rally differs from past attempts.


Most intermediate-term bottoms (except for V-type patterns) require consolidation or a backing-and-filling process to rebuild the technical base necessary to sustain the recovery.


A market bottom takes time to develop. The basing effort is a work-in-process that establishes the integrity of the bottom and the sustainability of the recovery. A pattern of a higher low and preferably a higher high can be the first signs of bottoming phase and a trend reversal.


On 10/13/22, SPX recorded another low at 3,491.58, or below the low of 3,636.87 established on 6/17/22. A higher low on 11/3/22 at 3,698.15 hints at a year-end rally. A breakout above the 50-day ma in late October 2022 and the gap-up breakout above 3,911.79 on 11/10/22 further solidify the recovery.


Unfortunately, the mid-Oct 2022 oversold rally stalled at 4,100.51 on 12/1/22 or near formidable resistance coinciding with the Jan 2022 primary downtrend (now at 4,082) and the 200-day ma (currently at 3,993). A subsequent rally that faded at 4,100.96 on 12/13/22 reaffirms a market top, triggering the December 2022 correction of 336.47 points or -8.20% to 3,764.49 (12/22/22).


Is the December 2022 low another higher low pattern or the resumption of the 1-year primary downtrend?


SPX nears another inflection as the index tests the rising 50-day ma (3,905.6), the declining 200-day ma (3,993), and the primary downtrend (4,082). Also, formidable resistance resides near the Dec/Sept 2022 highs at 4,100.5-4,101/4,119. A breakout hints at the start of a sustainable rally toward 4,307.5-4,325 (May and Aug 2022 reaction highs).


A convincing close above 4,325 would reverse the bearish pattern of lower highs and lower lows, confirming an intermediate-term market bottom and extending the October 2022 rally toward a retest of the Jan 2022 all-time high (4,818.62).


However, the dominant trend from January 2022 remains down, as depicted by the declining 200-day ma and the primary downtrend (4,365).


A decline below 3,764.49 (12/22/22 low), followed by a breakdown below 3,698-3,721.5 (Jul and Nov 2022 lows), signals a retest of the 10/13/22 reaction low (3,491.58). Below this suggests a decline to 3,392 (the extension of the bottom of the Jun/Oct 2022 downtrend channel).


Is this the next market bottom, prompting the next oversold rally?


Source: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

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