The Hindenburg Omen — Omen-ous or Not?
Elliott Wave International Chief Market Analyst Steve Hochberg Sheds Light on a Feared Technical Indicator
August 31, 2010
By Elliott Wave International
On Aug. 12, volatile market action coincided with a technical signal called the Hindenburg Omen, whereby a relatively high number of new highs and lows in individual stocks occur at the same time.
This indicator instantly gained an enormous amount of media attention. So we sat down with Steve Hochberg, EWI’s chief market analyst and close colleague of Robert Prechter, to ask him about the now-infamous Hindenburg Omen.
EWI: Steve, recently a market indicator called the Hindenburg Omen has been in the news, what is going on?
Steve Hochberg: Discussion of this indicator certainly has been everywhere. Someone emailed us and said they even saw it mentioned on the front page of the Drudge Report! Look, headline-grabbing names grab headlines. Essentially it measures the fractured nature of market action. Over the years, we’ve discussed numerous times in our publications how a fractured market is oftentimes an unhealthy market. The multiple non-confirmations registered at the recent August 9 stock high, which we talked about in the Short Term Update, are another manifestation of this bearish behavior. The message is consistent with how we view the Elliott wave structure.
EWI: Why are people interested in this particular indicator?
SH: That’s a good question, and it speaks to a broader issue, viz., the “re-emergence” of technical analysis into the mainstream consciousness of market participants. In Prechter’s Perspective, Robert Prechter discusses the timing of the popularity of technical analysis, of which Elliott waves, or pattern recognition, is the highest form:
“In long term bull markets, no one really needs market timing because the market is always going up. This was true during the 1950s and 1960s, a period of market strength. And it has been mostly true since 1982. From 1966 to 1982, though, the market was very cyclic, so investors couldn’t sleep like babies with a buy-and-hold blanket like they do today.”
The S&P 500 has a negative return over at least the past 12 years, so investors are naturally questioning the “broadly diversified, buy and hold” stance advocated by 90%+ of investment advisors. EWI subscribers are way ahead of the mass of investors because as the bear market progresses, the media should show increased focus on technical analysis, including patterns such as head-and-shoulders as well as trendlines, moving averages and, yes, even Elliott waves, just as they did during the last great bear market from 1966 to 1982. It will be an exciting time for those with even a cursory knowledge of the technicals.
EWI: So, what are you seeing now?
SH: Obviously we cannot give away our analysis, but the wave structure is clear, the myriad indicators we keep offer compelling confirmation and the market is accommodating our forecast. If readers have any interest in what this means for not only the stock market, but also all other markets, please give us a read to see if our work might be useful in helping to formulate your investment portfolio. We think it will be a worthwhile endeavor.
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This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline The Hindenburg Omen — Omen-ous or Not?. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.
Ed. note: I am an EWI subscriber and affiliate.