DecisionPoint

Carl Swenlin
About the authors: is a veteran technical analyst who has been actively engaged in market analysis since 1981. He was the founder of DecisionPoint, one of the web's premier market timing and technical signal services, which was acquired by StockCharts.com in 2013. Carl has contributed his market commentary and expert analysis to StockCharts since then. He is a Member of the CMT Association.

Erin Swenlin
Carl's daughter, helped him create and manage the DecisionPoint.com website and launched the DecisionPoint daily blog with Carl in 2009. Erin hosts the MarketWatchers LIVE web show at StockCharts.com, and is also a Member of the CMT Association.

Latest Posts

DecisionPoint

DP Weekly Wrap: The Market Eats the Shorts Again, but Context Helps Preserve Sanity

by Carl Swenlin

With another short-covering rally, I am reminded that the primary benefit of using price charts is that they provide context. For example, I look at the TV and see that the Dow is up 800+ points, and I think holy cow what is going on? Do I need to completely reformulate my concept of the market? Then I look at the chart and I see that the current price bar resides in a neighborhood of price bars that are so similar that it doesn't even stand out. Peace and serenity restored!  I have bracketed two price groups: the four months leading up to the bull Read More 

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DP Alert: Signal Changes Galore! Dow, UUP, USO, TLT

by Erin Swenlin

**Special Announcement** Don't miss this Friday's DecisionPoint show at 4:30pm EST on StockCharts TV, where Carl will be joining me to discuss our outlook for 2019! During today's MarketWatchers LIVE show, I showed viewers what the DP Scoreboards looked like at the beginning of 2018 and how they finished. As of 12/31/2018, the DP Scoreboards became 100% bearish, with no BUY signals to be found. Here's a peek at what they looked like on 1/5/2018: What a difference a year makes. Below is the monthly chart for the Read More 

DecisionPoint

DP Weekly/Monthly Wrap: Unanimously Not Bullish

by Carl Swenlin

On Friday the signal for the Utilities sector changed from BUY to NEUTRAL, making it the last of the 11 S&P 500 sectors to lose its bullish stance. NEUTRAL sounds kind of, well, neutral, but it is really a 'soft' SELL signal because the position changes from long to cash or fully hedged. Seven of those 11 sectors now have Long-Term Trend Model SELL signals (50EMA is below the 200EMA). The DecisionPoint Weekly Wrap presents an end-of-week assessment of the trend and condition of the stock market (S&P 500), the U.S. Dollar, Gold, Crude Oil, and Bonds Read More 

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DP Alert: Market Whiplash - Possible Island Reversal for Bonds

by Erin Swenlin

It's been a pretty interesting Christmas week so far. On Christmas Eve, Santa definitely stayed away as the market tumbled into deep lows. Today, however, it would appear that Santa finally arrived. Yes, Virginia, apparently there is a Santa Claus - for the market. So enjoy some holiday champagne as the market continues to rally and clear oversold conditions. Be careful, though; oversold conditions in a bear market are dangerous. The hangover could be bad after the new year.  Read More 

DecisionPoint

DP Weekly Wrap: Are Things As Bad As They're Going To Get?

by Carl Swenlin

Less than three months ago there was a great lament about how employers couldn’t fill job positions because of a shortage of job seekers. This week FedEx announced voluntary employee buyouts, presumably to reduce payroll. In view of this, I offer you the Swenlin Basic Economic Theory: Things get better and better, until they are as good as they’re going to get. Then they get worse and worse, until they are as bad as they’re going to get. Repeat cycle. If you have a kid headed for college to study economics, think how much money I just saved you. Seriously though, the BPI (Bullish Percent Read More 

DecisionPoint

DP Bulletin: One Lone BUY Signal Remains on the Scoreboards

by Erin Swenlin

Today, the Dow finally logged its Long-Term Trend Model SELL signal. This signal was triggered when the 50-EMA crossed below the 200-EMA. The Scoreboards below are ugly. The remaining BUY signal will be gone on the final trading day of the month - I highly doubt the PMO will be able to find its way back above the signal in time to prevent it. Below are the new Scoreboards, along with the daily and weekly charts of $INDU. It's highly doubtful that Santa will get here in time Christmas. Read More 

DecisionPoint

DP Alert: A Year Without a Santa Claus?

by Erin Swenlin

You might be chuckling at the title which pays homage to the Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated classic A Year Without a Santa Claus. In the show, it takes two elves, a little boy and a young reindeer to prove to a despondent Santa that everyone does indeed misses him and believe. Santa, of course, hopped right into his sleigh and took off. I thought maybe the FOMC would try to coax "Santa" out of hiding, but in a "humbug" move, it affirmed to the market that it was not planning on slowing down its rate hikes in the near future. Thus it appears that the market will Read More 

DecisionPoint

DP Weekly Wrap: Bear Market? Never Seen One.

by Carl Swenlin

The chart below shows the entire period during which I have been involved in stock market analysis, and, as you can see, the title of this article definitely does not apply to me. If a decline of -20% or more qualifies as a bear market, then I have experienced seven of them. Additionally, there were three periods which, while not qualifying as bear markets, were sufficiently unpleasant to qualify them for 'honorable mention.' I have identified the current decline with a question mark, because we won't know if it qualifies as a bear market until the the benchmark -20% decline is in Read More 

DecisionPoint

Two EMA "Death Crosses" on NDX and SPX = LT Trend Model SELLs

by Erin Swenlin

I've always thought the moniker "death cross" was terribly dramatic (and I still do). However, this time around, it does seem ominous. The SPX lost its Long-Term Trend Model BUY signal, a signal that had been in place since early 2016. These signals don't come very often, so we should always take heed when they do arrive. Not only did we see those LTTM BUY signals disappear, we lost 3 out of 4 Short-Term PMO BUY signals. The Scoreboards are looking ugly.  Below are the daily charts of all four Scoreboard indexes. Today's turnaround was Read More 

DecisionPoint

DP Weekly Wrap: Still In Trading Range Despite Fireworks

by Carl Swenlin

There will probably be a lot of people mentioning that today there was a "Death Cross" on the S&P 500 chart, and this is important because a Death Cross means that the price index has entered a bear market. Specifically, on the $SPX chart (not shown) the 50-day simple moving average crossed down through the 200-day simple moving average (SMA). I don't use SMAs because I believe exponential moving averages (EMAs) behave more rationally. And for signal generation and trading decisions I track SPY instead of $SPX, which can actually be traded. Also, like stocks, SPY is adjusted for Read More 

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