Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Index Outlook: The long-awaited correction

Sensex (15,896.3)

The breezy roller-coaster ride that we had expected turned in to a scary hurtle downward as the Sensex plunged 914 points last week recording the largest weekly decline in the last three months. The cut was much deeper in mid and small stocks especially those reporting adverse earnings as tolerance to negative news nosedived. The truncated week ahead is likely to be influenced by the Federal Open Market Committee meeting scheduled next week and the signals that are flashed from there.

Sudden reversal in stock prices made volumes soar sky-high, especially in derivative segment. Volumes in futures and options segment reached record levels mid-week close to the expiry of October contracts. The vicious side of the market was amply demonstrated in the way it waited for the belief in the current rally’s invincibility to get all-pervasive before reversing lower: waiting for the last bear to turn in to a bull. Sensex’ close below the 50-day moving average is a negative as is the close below the previous peak of 16,002. 10-day rate of change indicator declined in to the negative zone for the first time since August and the 14-day relative strength index has declined to 32. The weekly oscillators are however still in the positive zone implying that though the short-term trend is very weak, the medium term trend is not overtly so yet.

Though we had anticipated a correction last week, the magnitude was far greater than envisaged. We had expected a terminal corrective wave that moved sideways for a few weeks before the move from July lows ended. But the decline last week throws up a zigzag formation from July lows that could mark the completion of the C wave from March lows.

But we will wait for a confirmation of one more week to see if this decline prolongs and leads the index to a firm close below 16,000. Another fight-back by the bulls from these levels can result in a sideways move between 16,000 and 18000 for the rest of this year, indicated in our previous columns.

If the Sensex records a strong close below 16,000 next week, it would mean that an intermediate term correction is in progress that has the minimum targets of 14659 and 13885 – the opportunity that those who have missed the rally so far, are waiting for.

A rebound next week can take the Sensex higher to 16,450, 16,650 or 16,848. Failure to move above the first resistance would imply that weakness will persist to drag the index down to 14917 or 14740.

Source: thehindubusinessline


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