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Carl Swenlin’s Technical Windsock

| Last Updated: November 30, 2012 | Posted in: Individual Gurus

Guru Accuracy Rating
This is above average. Current guru average is 47%

As suggested by a reader, we evaluate here forecasts for the overall U.S. stock market from the commentaries of Carl Swenlin since January 2006. Carl Swenlin “is a self-taught technical analyst, who has been involved in market analysis since 1981. A pioneer in the creation of online technical resources, he is president and founder of DecisionPoint.com, a premier technical analysis website specializing in stock market indicators, charting, and focused research reports.” The table below quotes forecast highlights from the cited source and shows the performance of the S&P 500 Index over various numbers of trading days after the publication date for each item. Grading takes into account more detailed market behavior when appropriate. Red plus (minus) signs to the right of specific forecasts indicate those graded right (wrong) based on subsequent market behavior, while red zeros denote any complex forecasts graded both right and wrong. We conclude that:

  • Carl Swenlin covers a range of financial assets in his commentaries, including stocks, gold, the dollar and oil. We focus here exclusively on his forecasts regarding the broad U.S. equity market.
  • We skip those commentaries that offer no testable forecast for the overall stock market and those in which the forecasts are especially vague or conditional.
  • Mr. Swenlin emphasizes trend-following indicators and investor sentiment in developing his market outlook. We focus on his qualitative insights rather than the mechanical outputs of his trend-following models.
  • Based on the frequency of his commentaries (weekly or biweekly), we emphasize  relatively near-term stock market behavior in grading his forecasts, unless he explicitly cites some other forecast horizon.
  • Carl Swenlin’s forecast sample is small to moderate, as is therefore confidence in the measurement of his accuracy.

See Guru Grades for a snapshot of the accuracy of various experts in predicting the U.S. stock market, including links to evaluations of the commentaries of other individual market pundits and gurus.

    S&P 500 Index  
Date Comments from:  Carl Swenlin via DecisionPoint.com 5-Day Return 21-Day Return 63-Day Return 254-Day Return  
11/30/12 This pattern plus the approach of price to long-term resistance, leads us to believe that the bull market has very little time left. 0.1% 3.3% 7.7% 26.6%
11/9/12 Friday’s miniscule bounce and the contraction of DOWN Participation implies that we can now expect a short consolidation or slight advance before prices head lower….for now let’s assume that the market will take a brief “pause to refresh”. -1.4% 3.5% 9.9% 29.1% 0
9/7/12 Climaxes…have been occurring at or near short-term tops, and I think that will prove to be the case this time as well. 1.9% 1.2% -1.4% 17.4% +
8/31/12 This spike of optimism comes as we are entering the September-October time period, the most seasonally negative two months of the year. We do not view this as a happy coincidence. 1.6% 2.8% 0.2% 18.8%
8/17/12 The percentage of stocks above their 200-EMA shows fewer stocks participating in the advance than there were at the 2011 top and the March 2012 top. This is not a healthy condition, and will probably result in a correction fairly soon… -0.5% 2.9% -4.1% 17.3%
7/6/12 …this week’s price top has set up an ascending wedge pattern, which has bearish implications… Climaxes can initiate a move to higher prices or signal that a move has been exhausted. In this instance it appears that the latter is the case. 0.2% 2.9% 7.1% 24.0%
6/29/12  At this point we have to assume that a new up leg is in progress. Our intermediate-term market posture is now bullish. -0.7% 1.3% 6.2% 20.4% +
6/15/12  It is possible that Saturday’s upcoming elections in Greece may have triggered some short-covering ahead of the weekend, resulting in a rally that may prove to have no legs. The breakout is far from decisive, and the CVI indicates a possible exhaustion climax, so I remain skeptical of the rally. -0.6% 1.6% 8.7% 18.6% +
5/18/12 … oversold conditions are approaching such extreme levels that we should anticipate that the correction will continue for several weeks before a significant low is reached. 1.7% 4.8% 2.2% 27.4% +
2/3/12  It is time to probably play conservatively.  I don’t think I want to ‘double-down’ on my bet and “invest more” money, I’ll count on the trend and that the dealer will not beat my hand;  I should see a return on the bet I already have on the table. -0.2% -0.1% 3.5% 12.9% +
10/14/11 This taken with other indicators we discussed earlier this week, we believe that the Ratio has signalled an important price low. 1.1% 2.2% 5.3% 19.3% +
10/7/11 …current price action is occuring within a context similar to that of 2008, so bullish assumptions would be premature. 6.0% 9.1% 10.6% 24.0%
8/26/11 That we have seen the final low of the bear market is unlikely because bear markets usually last longer than this. -0.2% -0.1% -1.3% 19.9%
8/19/11 …we are by our definition in a bear market. It is now time to pass our analysis through a bearish screen, to assume that most surprises will be to the downside, and to look for opportunities to sell short. 4.7% 7.0% 10.1% 25.8%
8/12/11 …I think that a continuation of the decline to much lower levels is probable. -4.7% -0.5% 4.3% 19.2% +
7/8/11 The current rally has had a strong internal initiation, strong enough to potentially rise about 300 points off the June low, unless it runs out of steam at the top of the wedge pattern around 1400. Assuming the best case, I think that 1550 will prove to be the limit of the rally, and probably the bull market. -2.1% -16.7% -14.9% -0.2%
6/10/11 …we are comfortable being on the sidelines until the weakness has been resolved. 0.0% 3.4% -6.7% 3.5%
4/29/11 …for now we are on a buy signal and the bull market prevails. -1.7% -1.4% -4.6% 2.8%
2/18/11 Corrections are inevitable, but there is no indication that the next correction will be unusually difficult. -1.2% -3.7% 2.5% 1.5% +
12/31/10 …it doesn’t seem reasonable that the current bull market is over. …A long-term rising trend line has been established. If that line remains intact, it is possible that the S&P 500 could reach the top of the long-term trading range at about 1550 in the next eight to twelve months. 1.1% 4.0% 5.4% 1.6%
12/23/10 … we have no indication from our trend-following models that there are major problems ahead. 0.1% 2.7% 4.2% 0.7% +
10/29/10 As we enter the next six months of favorable seasonality, it seems likely that it will begin with a correction. I don’t think that will set the tone for the entire six months, but it sure starts it out on the wrong foot. 3.6% -0.2% 7.9% 3.0%
9/17/10 …this new buy signal…gives the bulls a slight advantage… 2.1% 5.3% 9.7% 6.8% +
7/30/10 …we think the rally will ultimately succeed, although perhaps not necessarily in the most elegant fashion. 1.8% -4.8% 7.3% 13.8% +
7/9/10 A new long term stocks SELL signal has been generated… Nevertheless, short term indicators continue to be bullish and and there are now positive divergences on medium-term indicators. So we have a positive theme developing in a negative longer-term context… -1.2% 4.6% 7.6% 21.9%
6/25/10 …my bull market confidence level is about 60. -5.0% 3.4% 4.5% 20.4% +
6/18/10 …advance-decline volume relationships and behavior are normal, and in general support a bullish outlook. -3.6% -3.0% 0.6% 15.9%
5/14/10 …there is a good chance that a successful retest will be completed soon, and that the bull market will resume. -4.2% -1.8% -4.6% 17.0%
5/7/10 …we should get a bounce out of these conditions. After a bounce, we can look for a retest…. For now I think we have seen the worst for this correction, although it will probably take several weeks to work things through. 2.2% -4.4% 1.3% 22.2% 0
4/16/10 …a correction back to the rising trend line seems the most likely next move. 2.1% -4.6% -8.0% 9.5% +
3/5/10 …a new Thrust/Trend buy signal was generated on Monday, changing from a neutral stance.  1.0% 4.5% -3.2% 16.1% +
2/19/10 The recent breakout could reveal itself as a bull trap. -0.4% 5.1% 0.5% 18.6%
2/12/10 …more downside yet to come. 3.0% 7.8% 7.6% 23.5%
2/5/10 …the correction has a way to go.  0.9% 7.0% 5.8% 24.2%
1/29/10 More Correction Ahead …assume that the oversold condition is being cleared by a decelerated decline rather than a reaction rally. -0.7% 4.1% 12.4% 21.8%
1/22/10 I think it is the beginning of a more substantial decline, but short-term indicators are so oversold that the next thing we will probably see is a bounce. -1.6% 0.3% 10.7% 18.3%
1/15/10 …we will see some kind of downside correction… …cyclical weakness during an ongoing bull market, not a major top. -3.5% -3.2% 4.9% 12.8% +
1/8/10 …a period of high volatility is sure to follow. That will probably materialize as a medium-term correction; however, the long-term technical outlook is positive.  -0.8% -6.5% 4.3% 11.3% +
12/18/09 …the medium-term…points toward a correction of modest duration… The long-term (strongest) chart tells us that, regardless of how severe a correction we experience, the bull market will ultimately prevail.  2.3% 1.3% 5.7% 14.2%
12/4/09 …the bull market is likely to continue for at least a year and could easily challenge previous all-time highs. 0.0% 2.8% 2.9% 11.1% +
11/13/09 The market now looks as if it is topping, and internals support the idea that there will be a decline into the end of the month. -0.2% 1.3% 0.1% 7.8%
11/6/09 …I am assuming that the market is in a corrective phase that will last for several weeks… 2.3% 2.1% -1.2% 14.0%
10/30/09 …a medium-term correction has begun, and…it will continue into a price low around the end of November. 3.2% 7.0% 5.1% 15.6%
10/2/09 It is very likely that the S&P 500 will break down…soon. With luck a breakdown will be followed by a healthy correction, but we are in a bull market and I wouldn’t bet on anything worse than that.  4.5% 1.7% 8.8% 13.1%
9/18/09 …we should continue to expect bullish resolutions rather than bearish ones.  -2.2% 2.8% 3.8% 6.2% +
9/11/09 …I’m going to continue to look for a correction.  2.5% 3.2% 5.1% 7.9%
9/4/09 Is entirely possible that we have seen the top of the rally/bull market, but…the worst case we should expect for now is a correction. 3.2% 3.8% 8.2% 8.6%
8/21/09 …the market’s recent failure to mount a credible correction has set the stage for another leg up.  0.3% 4.4% 8.2% 2.8% +
8/14/09 Bull market rules apply. …A pullback is possible, but I think, if it happens, it will be quick.  2.2% 4.8% 9.4% 9.0% +
8/7/09 …it is more likely that we are at the beginning of a bull market rather than at the end of one… My next target is 1200 on the S&P 500.  -0.6% 1.5% 3.6% 7.8% +
7/31/09 …based upon price action to date, I must assume that the current setup will resolve in favor of the bulls… 2.3% 3.4% 5.6% 14.2% +
7/24/09 …I believe [the rally] will continue for a period of weeks.  0.8% 4.7% 10.4% 13.0% +
7/17/09 …my opinion is that the rally from the March lows is resuming. My upside price target is about 1200 on the S&P 500. 4.1% 4.2% 16.1% 13.7% +
7/10/09 The S&P 500 head and shoulders neckline has been penetrated, and a decline to at least 810 is projected. 7.0% 14.6% 20.3% 24.6%
6/19/09 …since we are still in a secular bear market, we should consider that perhaps prices are starting to roll over in order for the bear market to resume. …it is my opinion that medium-term correction has begun. -0.3% 3.6% 15.7% 18.5%
6/12/09 The ascending wedge formation is likely to break downward, but it is a short-term issue at this point. -2.6% -4.3% 10.3% 17.8% +
6/5/09 The chart evidence make a compelling argument that the rally is finally over, but the market’s positive behavior to date warns against getting too bearish too soon.  0.7% -6.3% 5.8% 12.3% +
5/22/09 …we still need a correction to about 800 to form a credible right shoulder. I think we could see this happen in the next several weeks. 6.3% 0.9% 13.6% 20.4%
5/15/09 …there are probably a few more weeks of correction ahead of us. 0.5% 3.3% 14.7% 26.3%
5/8/09 …a short correction is due at any time. …I don’t think the correction will last more than a few days.  -5.0% 1.4% 7.3% 26.1% +
5/1/09 …bull market rules apply at the present time. Market action has been persistently positive since the March price low, and overbought conditions are most likely to clear in a non-destructive way.  5.9% 7.7% 12.4% 32.9% +
4/24/09 …bullish influences still have the upper hand, and that the bear market will not resume yet.  1.3% 5.1% 12.7% 37.5% +
4/17/09 I am expecting some kind of correction, possibly a short consolidation — a week or so — or a quick, scary couple of down days. Regardless…, I am assuming that the rally is not over and will persist for at least a few more weeks.  -0.4% 4.6% 8.2% 38.7% +
4/9/09 …a medium-term buy signal. 1.5% 6.2% 3.0% 41.3% +
4/3/09 …I think we are experiencing a bear market rally that could move the S&P 500 up to the area of 1000. 1.9% 7.3% 6.4% 40.8% +
3/20/09 …my overall expectations remain bearish.  6.2% 10.6% 19.5% 51.9%
3/13/09 At this point, my assumption is that the advance is over, and that prices will be down next week. 1.6% 11.2% 24.9% 54.1%
3/6/09 …the most likely consequence is that prices will continue to decline, with 600 on the S&P being the most obvious level for us to see a bounce of any significance. While we could see a bounce before then, I think we should be more concerned that the decline will accelerate into a crash. …another round of panic selling could be just around the corner.  10.7% 22.3% 37.9% 67.6%
2/27/09 I remain bearish until other evidence presents.  -7.0% 7.1% 23.4%   +
2/20/09 …I expect that the support will fail.  -4.5% 6.9% 17.3% 43.5% +
2/13/09 …the bear market is far from over. Whether or not there is a substantial rally, I believe there is another 50% decline coming. That would be a downside target of about 350 on the S&P.  -10.1% -5.9% 8.0% 33.9%
2/6/09 …it is wishful thinking to believe that 2009 will be a winner. -4.8% -17.2% 4.5% 23.0%
1/30/09 I still believe that the November lows will be tested soon.  5.2% -15.7% 5.7% 32.9% +
1/23/09 …I expect that the November lows will be challenged. -0.7% -7.1% 2.4% 31.9% +
1/16/09 …we can safely assume that the bear has not retreated.  -1.6% -7.3% 2.3% 31.3% +
12/5/08 …I do not believe that the November low will be the final low for the bear market.  0.4% 3.5% -22.8% 25.1% +
11/7/08 …the technical expectation is that prices will eventually break to the downside.  -6.2% -4.5% -6.6% 18.0% +
10/3/08 Stocks are way overvalued and the economic outlook is dismal. The only long exposure that should be considered is on a short-term basis when the inevitable bear market rallies occur.  -18.2% -12.1% -15.2% -3.8% +
9/19/08 …the charts say the rally is likely to continue, albeit not at the current rate of climb. At the end of the day, we are still in a bear market, and we should expect that the rally will fail before prices can break out of the major declining trend channel.  -3.3% -23.9% -27.9% -15.5% 0
9/5/08 …I think that a continued decline is more likely than a simple retest of the July lows.  0.8% -14.9% -29.9% -16.8% +
8/15/08 While our trend-following model has us on an intermediate-term buy signal, my opinion is that we should expect a correction which, at the very least, will retest the July lows. Since we are in a bear market, there is also a strong possibility that any correction could be the start of the next leg down.  -0.5% -6.5% -34.3% -23.2% +
8/1/08 If the rally continues, more buy signals will be generated by our primary timing model, but I suspect that these will result in whipsaw. 2.9% 1.4% -26.2% -20.4% +
7/18/08 …the potential for a new medium-term rally has developed. There are plenty of reasons to believe in this rally, but be advised that important short-term evidence has not yet materialized. …If the rally does indeed continue, there will be wide-spread belief that the bear market is over. In my opinion, that conclusion will eventually be proved wrong. -0.2% 1.4% -28.0% -24.3% +
7/3/08 …it is suicide to try to take positions anticipating the next rally merely on the evidence that the market is very oversold. Conditions are such that a sharp decline could materialize at any moment. -1.9% -1.1% -8.1% -30.4% +
6/20/08 The stock market’s bullish breakout has failed and prices are headed for a retest of the March lows. -3.0% -3.1% -8.5% -31.6% +
6/6/08 …the rally from the March lows is in the process of being corrected, a process that will probably take several more weeks. 0.0% -6.4% -9.1% -31.0% +
5/16/08 …we should be looking for at least a short-term correction.  -3.5% -5.2% -9.3% -36.6% +
4/18/08 …we should expect bearish outcomes. In this case, the rally should fail before it penetrates the 1450 level. 0.5% 2.6% -9.4% -39.3% +
4/4/08 The earnings picture is abysmal, and there is a solid long-term sell signal in progress. Playing the long side looks promising, but keep a tight reign on long positions… -2.7% 3.5% -7.9% -40.5% +
3/14/08 The odds are that support levels will be violated… 4.8% 3.6% 4.0% -38.3%
2/15/08 Odds favor a downside resolution…  1.6% -1.4% 5.5% -42.3% +
2/1/08 It is likely that the market will top soon, and that a retest of the recent lows will commence.  -4.6% -4.9% 1.3% -40.4% +
1/18/08 Probability is very high that the bull market top arrived in October 2007 and that we are now in a bear market that will continue for another year or more, possibly until mid-2010. Until we have evidence to the contrary, remember that bear market rules apply. The next thing to expect is a reaction rally… 2.2% 2.6% 4.9% -37.6% +
1/4/08 …the tecnicals are worse than they have been since the last bear market ended, and it is difficult to be optimistic at this point.  -0.8% -5.3% -2.9% -35.8% +
12/14/07 Odds are in favor of the retest moving lower, but my guess is that long-term support will hold, and that the retest will be successful.  1.1% -6.5% -13.0% -38.4%
11/30/07 We can expect a retest of the lows, but there is a very good chance that a medium-term bottom is in the making. 1.6% -2.3% -10.1% -41.2%
11/16/07 …I believe that it will take several weeks before the decline is over and a solid bottom is in place. -3.6% -0.3% -7.5% -44.7%
11/2/07 …I am inclined to think that the correction will continue for several more weeks. -3.7% -3.1% -8.5% -36.9% +
10/19/07 There may be a few more days of selling, but the market is short-term oversold, and we should expect a bounce in a few days. 2.3% -4.5% -11.7% -39.5% +
10/5/07 …a corrective pullback should be expected within the next week or so.  0.3% -3.6% -9.4% -36.8% +
9/21/07 …the market has begun another leg upward that should challenge and exceed all-time highs for the S&P 500 Index. 0.1% -1.3% -4.8% -22.3% +
9/7/07 The odds favor a retest, and that decline could turn nasty in a hurry. Unless we see more buy signals on the major market indexes, I will be staying out of the market until the retest (or whatever) is complete.  2.1% 6.8% 2.2% -15.2%
8/17/07 …the most likely outcome will be another decline to test the recent lows. Our Thrust /Trend Model currently has us neutral… We will wait for the model to generate buy signals before re-entering the market. 2.3% 5.1% 1.7% -11.9%
8/3/07 …I expect to see a bottom forming over the next several weeks. I am still overall optimistic…however, caution is recommended until our timing model switches back to a buy signal.  1.4% 3.9% 8.1% -10.0%
7/6/07 …the next 20-Week Cycle trough [end of July] is more likely to be a buying opportunity than the beginning of a serious decline. 1.4% -4.1% 0.6% -18.7% +
6/8/07 …current cycle orientation is more clear than usual, and it is bullish for stocks, probably for several months.  1.7% 0.2% -1.9% -11.4%
3/30/07 …there is reason to believe that the correction still has at least a few more weeks to go.  1.7% 4.6% 6.0% -3.6%
3/16/07 …it is safest to assume that the recent decline is a bull market correction. 3.5% 6.1% 9.8% -6.4% +
3/2/07 I personally do not believe that we are setting up for a big crash or a bear market… 1.1% 2.7% 10.3% -3.9% +
2/16/07 …the advance is likely to continue.  -0.4% -3.1% 3.9% -7.8%
12/8/06 …my analysis of the price structure and internal indicators leads me to the conclusion that there is not a crash anywhere in sight. 1.2% 1.0% -2.3% 5.6% +
12/1/06 The market is overbought as measured by many of our internal indicators, and it should experience a small correction or consolidation…  0.9% 1.5% -0.1% 7.9%
11/17/06 Many investors are still expecting a major decline later this year, but I think that is unlikely because a new 4-Year Cycle is beginning. Prices should remain in an up trend for several months… -1.4% 1.7% 4.0% 2.8% +
10/6/06 …I will remain bullish until our mechanical model says otherwise. 1.2% 2.2% 4.7% 15.2% +
9/15/06 …it is probably not a good time to be adding new long positions. …I think that people need to become more bullish before the rally will end.  -0.4% 3.7% 7.1% 15.1% 0
9/1/06 …we must assume that prices will move higher until sentiment turns more bullish. Such an adjustment could occur within a few weeks.  -0.9% 1.8% 6.8% 10.9%
8/18/06 …indicators show us that the trend is turning up. Short-term conditions call for a “pause to refresh,” but, once a short correction/consolidation is complete, intermediate-term conditions allow for the rally to continue for at least a few more weeks. -0.6% 1.2% 7.2% 12.3% +
8/4/06 …the most objective evidence we have shows that the market is configured for another advance… -1.0% 2.6% 6.9% 13.6% +
7/14/06 Our market posture is neutral for both indexes based upon the status of our primary timing model…the market could be transitioning to a bear phase. 0.3% 2.6% 9.2% 25.6%
6/30/06 Our market posture remains neutral (as of Thursday’s close) but our primary timing model is close to generating a buy signal. At this point my assumption is that the rally will continue, but that it only has modest potential.  -0.2% 0.1% 5.4% 20.5%
6/16/06 For planning purposes, I will assume that the rally will continue, but my market posture will remain neutral pending a buy signal on our timing model.  -0.6% -1.2% 5.2% 21.6%
6/2/06 …some backing and filling can take place before the up trend continues, but it is most likely that higher prices will be forthcoming.  …I do not think this is the beginning of a major bull move… -2.8% -0.6% 1.2% 15.7% 0
5/19/06 An oversold bounce can be expected, but there is plenty of room (and need) for a continued decline longer-term. Our primary timing model for the S&P 500 switched from buy to neutral on Friday, so I am inclined to believe we are in for some rough sailing over the next several months.  1.0% -2.1% 2.4% 19.0%
3/17/06 Our mechanical timing model has been bullish since November 4, 2005. Short-term indicators are overbought and problematic, but medium-term indicators, as well as sentiment, allow for a continued advance in prices for at least a few more weeks.  -0.3% 0.0% -3.9% 9.7%
3/3/06 …even though the trend of the market is still up, increased caution is appropriate.  -0.4% 0.8% -0.1% 8.9% +
2/17/06 …there are very few cracks in the wall so far — only the Nasdaq 100 and Consumer Staples have dipped sufficiently to cancel their buy signals. For all the indexes shown, long-term conditions are still too bullish to permit sell signals. 0.5% 0.8% -2.0% 12.7% +
2/2/06 …we are due for a cyclical bear market, and the 4-Year Cycle is pointing toward a major price low in October, so odds are in favor of a significant price decline.  -0.6% 0.6% 2.9% 14.1%
1/6/06 The odds favor a decline this year, but the top isn’t in place yet.  0.2% -2.4% 1.8% 10.8%
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