By Robert W. Colby, Senior Analyst

Buckle Up for a Selling Climax

News of the collapse of Bear Stearns is no surprise, since the stock has been on my list, Bearish Stocks: Falling Price and Rising Volume (below). Someone obviously knew of big problems in advance.

Major trends, such as the Bearish trend of the Financial Stock Sector, often have a way of running further and longer than most people can imagine.

The U.S. dollar has been falling to new all-time lows.

Gold has been rising to new all-time highs.

U.S. Treasury Bond prices benefit from financial crisis.

The main technical trend is still down for the broad-based stock price indexes. There are still a lot of fundamental problems, such as financial crisis, soaring commodity price inflation, and economic contraction. But some days those problems are pushed aside by hope for some kind of a rescue, from the government or big investors. Day to day, the stock market has been quite reactive to the news, rumors, and “reports” of the day, which have been plentiful but not always accurate. These “reports” strike at any unpredictable moment, like a bolt out of the blue, disrupting trends and making short-term trading risky. In such a shifty market, be nimble, be quick, and control your risk.

Spotlight on event stocks: Here is a stock screen I designed to pick out potential “event” stocks, both Bullish and Bearish. Sometimes, stocks with large changes in price and volume are revealed to be deal stocks, sooner or later, or are the subject of some other extraordinary events, positive or negative.

Bullish Stocks: Rising Price and Rising Volume
% Price Change, Symbol , Name

2.22% , QLGC , QLOGIC
2.78% , MZZ , Short 200% MidCap 400 PS, MZZ
2.86% , PSQ , Short 100% QQQ, PSQ
1.41% , PCAR , PACCAR
2.26% , SH , Short 100% S&P 500, SH
1.94% , DOG , Short 100% Dow 30, DOG
3.74% , QID , Short 200% QQQ PS, QID
1.44% , MYY , Short 100% MidCap 400, MYY
2.76% , BA , BOEING
0.94% , UST , UST
3.25% , SDS , Short 200% S&P 500 PS, SDS
3.55% , MYL , MYLAN LABS
1.41% , IP , INTL PAPER
2.16% , DXD , Short 200% Dow 30 PS, DXD
0.64% , IAU , Gold COMEX iS, IAU
1.25% , SYK , STRYKER
1.24% , TLT , Bond, 20+ Years Treasury, TLT
0.42% , AGG , Bond, Aggregate, AGG
0.38% , GLD , Gold Shares S.T., GLD
0.30% , SHY , Bond, 1-3 Year Treasury, SHY
0.27% , X , US STEEL CORP
0.12% , FAST , Fastenal Company

Bearish Stocks: Falling Price and Rising Volume
% Price Change, Symbol , Name

-2.10% , NY , Value LargeCap NYSE 100 iS, NY
-47.37% , BSC , BEAR STEARNS
-1.27% , IIH , Internet Infrastructure H, IIH
-2.25% , VXF , Extended Mkt VIPERs, VXF
-2.64% , PHW , Hardware & Electronics, PHW
-2.01% , NYC , LargeCap Blend NYSE Composite iS, NYC
-2.84% , RZV , Value SmallCap S&P 600, RZV
-1.40% , BHH , Internet B2B H, BHH
-1.76% , JKI , Value MidCap iS M, JKI
-1.99% , HHH , Internet H, HHH
-2.47% , JKF , Value LargeCap iS M, JKF
-1.67% , ELG , Growth Large Cap, ELG
-1.72% , IYY , LargeCap Blend Total Market DJ, IYY
-1.70% , IWZ , Growth LargeCap Russell 3000, IWZ
-1.55% , IYH , Healthcare DJ, IYH
-1.84% , ELV , Value Large Cap DJ, ELV
-2.79% , BDH , Broadband H, BDH
-5.27% , BK , BANK OF NEW YORK
-1.49% , JKD , LargeCap Blend Core iS M, JKD
-2.61% , SDY , Dividend SPDR, SDY
-1.56% , PBJ , Food & Beverage, PBJ
-12.47% , CIT , CIT GROUP
-1.54% , PEJ , Leisure & Entertainment, PEJ
-2.86% , IGW , Semiconductor iS GS, IGW
-1.65% , ISI , LargeCap Blend S&P 1500 iS, ISI
-1.88% , XBI , Biotech SPDR, XBI
-1.60% , EWK , Belgium Index, EWK
-4.95% , CTSH , Cognizant Technology Solutions
-3.95% , RYAAY , Ryanair Holdings plc
-1.66% , JKE , Growth LargeCap iS M, JKE
-5.14% , GCI , GANNETT
-2.36% , ADRD , Developed 100 BLDRS, ADRD
-3.78% , EWH , Hong Kong Index, EWH
-1.56% , EWP , Spain Index, EWP
-4.36% , PGJ , China LargeCap Growth G D H USX PS, PGJ
-1.35% , EWO , Austria Index, EWO
-5.14% , KEY , KEYCORP
-2.19% , EWD , Sweden Index, EWD

Sectors: among the 9 major U.S. sectors, all 9 fell.
Major Sectors Ranked for the Day
% Price Change Sector

-0.73% Utilities SPDR, XLU
-1.26% Technology SPDR, XLK
-1.44% Consumer Discretionary SPDR, XLY
-1.58% Industrial SPDR, XLI
-1.71% Consumer Staples SPDR, XLP
-1.76% Materials SPDR, XLB
-1.83% Energy SPDR, XLE
-1.86% Health Care SPDR, XLV
-2.83% Financial SPDR, XLF

Looking beyond the daily fluctuation to the major trends (listed in order of long-term relative strength):

Energy (XLE) Neutral, Market Weight. On 3/6/08, the XLE/SPY Relative Strength Ratio rose to new all-time high, confirming a major uptrend.

Materials (XLB) Neutral, Market Weight. On 3/6/08, the XLB/SPY Relative Strength Ratio rose to a new all-time high, confirming a major uptrend.

Consumer Staples (XLP) Neutral, Market Weight. On 3/10/08, the XLP/SPY Relative Strength Ratio rose to new 4-year high.

Industrial (XLI) Neutral, Market Weight. On 3/13/08, the XLI/SPY Relative Strength Ratio made a new all-time high.

Utilities (XLU) Neutral, Market Weight. The XLU/SPY Relative Strength Ratio has eroded significantly since its all-time high on 1/9/08, and so Utilities have been slipping in these rankings.

Health Care (XLV) Bearish, Underweight. On 3/11/08, the XLV/SPY Relative Strength Ratio made a new 4-month low.

Technology (XLK) Bearish, Underweight. On 2/25/08, the XLK/SPY Relative Strength Ratio fell to a new 10-month low, confirming a significant downtrend.

Consumer Discretionary (XLY) Bearish, Underweight. On 2/21/08, the XLY/SPY Relative Strength Ratio fell to a new 3-week low, suggesting short-term weakness. On 1/11/08, the XLY/SPY Relative Strength Ratio fell to a new 6-year low, confirming a major downtrend.

Financial (XLF) Bearish, Underweight. On 3/10/08, the XLF/SPY Relative Strength Ratio fell to a new 7-year low, and price fell to a new 5-year low.

Foreign stock indexes have been relatively strong for the short term since 2/11/08. Intermediate term, however, the EFA (the EAFE, international developed country stock markets,(ex the U.S. and Canada) has underperformed since 11/27/07.

NASDAQ Composite price remains Bearish. On 3/3/08, Relative Strength fell to a new 9-month low, confirming a significant downtrend.

Growth Stock/Value Stock Relative Strength Ratio has recovered significantly from a low on 2/1/08 but still has underperformed since the peak on 11/7/07. The Growth/Value ratio (IWF/IWD) appears to be in an intermediate-term uncertain phase.

The Small Cap/Large Cap Relative Strength Ratio broke down to a new 2.5-year low on 1/11/07. It has been trending down since 4/19/06. The main long-term trend is Relatively Bearish for Small Caps.

Crude Oil (April futures contract) eased slightly lower, consolidating mildly, following a new high. All trends are Bullish. The U.S. OIL FUND ETF (AMEX: USO) is not a pure play on Crude Oil, although it generally moves in the same direction.

The Energy stock sector has underperformed Crude Oil since 12/10/07.

Gold (April futures contract) moved up to another new high, and all trends are Bullish.

Silver outperformed Gold since 12/14/07. Although Silver has been strong over this intermediate term, iShares Silver Trust (AMEX: SLV) has been relatively weak compared to Gold longer term, since 12/7/06. In addition, for the past 28 years, since 1/2/80, Silver has underperformed Gold.

The Gold Miners ETF (GDX) followed the metal higher. Longer-term, GDX significantly underperformed Gold since 10/31/07. Therefore, GDX trends have been Bearish relative to Gold itself.

U.S. Treasury Bond prices rose to a new 6-week price high. Bonds benefit from financial crisis. U.S. governments have been strong ,while corporate have been weak. U.S. Treasury Bond prices generally have been reactive to news about the credit crisis: the worse the credit crisis, the higher the Bond prices; the better the credit crisis, the lower the Bond prices.

The U.S. dollar plunged steeply to another new all-time low.

The Art of Contrary Thinking: Traders need to be extremely nimble to keep up with rapid changes in the mass mood of late. Beyond the day-to-day swings, sentiment never really reached levels associated with extreme pessimism. So, crowd psychology could get more Bearish before it is over. The business and financial news has flipped from fear to hope and back again every few days. Investors’ moods and stock volatility have jumped up and down abruptly with the latest “reports”. When mass psychology shifts so dramatically and unpredictably from hope to fear from one day to the next, risk control becomes more important than aggressive profit seeking. Stay flexible.

Sentiment/Contrary Opinion: There are more Bears than Bulls for the first time in years. According to the weekly Investors Intelligence newsletter survey as of 3/12/08, there were 31.1% Bulls and 43.6% Bears. The ratio of Bullish advisors to Bearish advisors fell to 0.71, the lowest level in more than 5 years, and down from 1.14 the previous week. The ratio’s 38-year range is 0.28 to 17.51, and the median is 1.47.

VIX “Fear Index”, now at 31.16, is relatively normal by Bear Market standards (around 20 to 40) but relatively high by Bull Market standards (around 10 to 20). Longer term, VIX has been in a rising trend since it hit a 13-year low of 9.89 on 1/24/07. The all-time high was 45.74 on 10/8/98. VIX is a market estimate of expected constant 30-day volatility, calculated by weighting S&P 500 Index CBOE option bid/ask quotes spanning a wide range of strike prices for the two nearest expiration dates.

VXN “Fear Index”, now at 32.01, is relatively low by Bear Market standards (around 35 to 80) but relatively high by Bull Market standards (around 12 to 26). Longer term, VXN has been in a rising trend since it hit its all-time low of 12.61 on 7/29/05. The all-time high was 114.23 on 10/8/98. VXN measures Nasdaq Volatility using a method comparable to that used for VIX.

CBOE Put/Call Ratio is 1.16, which indicates Bearish sentiment. Its 4-year simple moving average and median are 0.62, and its 4- year range is 0.35 to 1.28.

ISEE Call/Put Ratio is 0.75, which indicates Bearish sentiment. It is below its 4-year simple moving average at 1.50 and its 4-year median at 1.47. That means customers opened fewer long call options and more long put options than normal. Its 4-year range is 0.51 to 3.04.

Fundamentals: The 2003-2007 Bull Market was fed by abundant global liquidly, M&A, leveraged buyouts, corporate stock buybacks, and the net balance of positive earnings surprises. The unfolding fallout from the subprime credit market crisis has derailed that engine. Economic statistics and corporate earnings have been weakening.

The Primary Tide Major Trend turned Bearish, and that is a strong force. The Dow Theory confirmed a Primary Bear Market on 11/21/07 when both the Dow-Jones Industrial Average and the Dow-Jones Transportation Average closed below their respective closing price lows of August, 2007. On 11/7/07, the Transports closed below their 8/16/07 closing price low of 4,671.88. Then on 11/21/07, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average closed below its 8/16/07 closing price low of 12,845.78, thereby turning the Primary Tide Bearish.

Daily Rankings of Major Global Markets, Ranked from Strongest to Weakest of the Day:

1.40% Sydney All Ords
1.27% Paper
1.10% 30Y T-Bond
0.48% Gold
-0.29% Hang Seng
-0.69% Hospitals
-0.73% Utilities
-0.75% German DAX
-0.82% French CAC
-0.87% Oil Services
-0.88% Dow Utilities
-0.88% Commodities
-1.07% London FTSE
-1.18% Euro Top 100
-1.26% Technology
-1.41% Dow World Index
-1.42% Toronto 300
-1.44% Consumer Discretionary
-1.44% CDNX Composite
-1.45% Chemicals
-1.47% Dow Composite
-1.54% Tokyo Nikkei
-1.56% Spain
-1.57% Health Care Products
-1.58% Industrial
-1.60% Dow Industrial
-1.60% Biotechs
-1.60% Singapore
-1.63% Dow Transports
-1.71% Consumer Staples
-1.71% REITs
-1.74% Natural Gas
-1.76% Materials
-1.80% Switzerland
-1.83% Energy
-1.86% S&P Mid Caps
-1.86% Health Care
-1.88% Disk Drives
-1.90% Health Care
-1.97% Oil
-2.03% Comp. Tech
-2.05% Russell 1000
-2.06% Wilshire 5000
-2.08% S&P 500
-2.09% Nasdaq 100
-2.09% S&P 100
-2.09% Russell 3000
-2.11% Malaysia
-2.17% NYSE Composite
-2.19% Sweden
-2.21% Hardware
-2.21% Insurance
-2.26% Nasdaq Composite
-2.26% Value Line
-2.27% S&P Small Caps
-2.29% AMEX Composite
-2.29% Drugs
-2.35% Netherlands
-2.43% Internet
-2.47% Russell 2000
-2.83% Financial
-2.91% Mexico
-2.99% United Kingdom
-3.06% Taiwan
-3.41% Network
-4.23% Banks
-4.30% South Korea
-4.59% Airlines

To discover the next Resistance, traders probably will be watching how the market acts at the following levels for the Standard & Poor’s 500 cash index (1,288.14):

Potential Resistance
1,576.09, high of 10/11/2007
1,552.76, high of 10/31/2007
1,523.57, high of 12/11/2007
1,498.85, high of 12/26/2007
1,403.45, low of 1/7/2008
1,396.02, high of 2/1/2008
1,388.34, high of 2/27/2008

To discover the next Support, traders probably will be watching how the market acts at the following levels for the S&P 500 cash index (1,288.14):

Potential Support
1,272.66, low of 3/10/2008
1,270.05, low of 1/23/2008
1,261.30, low of 8/10/2006
1,224.54, low of 7/18/2006
1,219.29, low of 6/14/2006
1,214.45, low of 11/4/2005
1,201.07, low of 11/2/2005
1,168.20, low of 10/13/2005
1,163.23, high of 3/5/2004
1,159.86, low of 5/17/2005
1,153.64, low of 5/16/2005
1,146.18, low of 5/13/2005
1,139.14, low of 4/29/2005
1,136.37, low of 4/20/2005