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Beware The Hindenburg Omen: A Well-known Indicator At Market Tops Registers Bearish Sign For S&P 500

The S&P 500 shall heretofore be often known as an index that has damaged the unbelievable 5,000 stage. That alone is a reasonably superb milestone for a benchmark that was down round 3500 simply over a yr in the past!  However one other vital sign could also be creating as properly, the dreaded Hindenburg Omen.

What’s the Hindenburg Omen, and what does it truly symbolize?

It is a broad market indicator created years in the past by strategist Jim Miekka, and it primarily seems for circumstances which are quite common at main market tops. Does a legitimate sign assure a significant market prime? In fact not.  However going again by way of market historical past, only a few main peaks have occurred with out the Hindenburg Omen dropping a bearish sign simply beforehand.

You may break the Hindenburg Omen down into three elements: a bullish market development, an growth in new highs AND new lows, and a bearish rotation in breadth. Let’s overview every of those elements in flip.

First, we have to affirm that the market is in a longtime uptrend, as that is an indicator designed to determine market tops. To make this evaluation, we take a chart of the NYSE Composite index and look to be sure that the 50-day charge of change (ROC) is optimistic. So principally, the market is greater than it was ten weeks in the past. If that’s the case, then the primary situation is met.

Subsequent, Miekka seen that at main market tops, there weren’t solely loads of shares making new 52-week highs, but in addition a bunch of shares making new 52-week lows. This implied a interval of indecision, as shares had been each breaking out and breaking down across the similar time.  Technically, we’re searching for no less than 2.8% of NYSE listings making a brand new excessive and a couple of.8% making a brand new low on the identical day. This supplies the second situation of the three.

Lastly, we’re searching for a bearish rotation in market breadth, suggesting that the energy that pushed the benchmarks greater within the bullish section at the moment are beginning to dissipate. Right here we use the McClellan Oscillator on NYSE information, and when the indicator breaks under the zero stage it constitutes a adverse breadth studying.

Once we put all three indicators collectively, you get a brilliant busy chart like this! 

The collection on the backside is a composite indicator that checks for the three circumstances above. When all three circumstances have been met, the indicator reveals a worth of +3. It’s vital to notice that only one sign shouldn’t be sufficient. You want a number of triggers inside a one-month interval to finish a legitimate Hindenburg Omen sign.

In latest market historical past, we’ve seen three legitimate alerts: August 2019, February 2020, and December 2021. Two of these alerts occurred earlier than vital drawdowns, which is why the preliminary sign we famous this week has us a bit skeptical of additional market upside as we speak. If we do see a confirmed Hindenburg Omen sign with one other confluence of triggers over the subsequent couple weeks, then we could also be simply peering over the precipice of a significant market decline.

Indicators just like the Hindenburg Omen don’t sign usually, and they’re definitely not 100% correct at calling main market tops. However conscious buyers know to concentrate when circumstances look much like earlier market tops. Keep in mind, all giant losses start as small losses!

RR#6, Dave

PS- Able to improve your funding course of?  Try my free behavioral investing course!

David Keller, CMT Chief Market Strategist

David Keller, CMT is Chief Market Strategist at and President of Sierra Alpha Analysis LLC, the place he helps buyers make higher choices utilizing behavioral finance and technical evaluation. Dave is a CNBC Professional Contributor, and he recaps market exercise and interviews main consultants on his present “The Last Bar” on StockCharts TV.  Dave is a Previous President of the CMT Affiliation, a world nonprofit group of technical analysts, and was previously a Managing Director of Analysis at Constancy Investments. David is a classically educated musician and scholar pilot, and resides in Duvall, WA along with his spouse and two kids. You may comply with his pondering at, the place he explores the connection between behavioral psychology and the monetary markets.  

Disclaimer: This weblog is for instructional functions solely and shouldn’t be construed as monetary recommendation. The concepts and techniques ought to by no means be used with out first assessing your individual private and monetary state of affairs, or with out consulting a monetary skilled. 

The creator doesn’t have a place in talked about securities on the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely these of the creator and don’t in any approach symbolize the views or opinions of some other individual or entity

This text is from an unpaid exterior contributor. It doesn’t symbolize Benzinga’s reporting and has not been edited for content material or accuracy.



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