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Technical Analysis: All's Not Lost ... Just Yet

Discouraging action today, as stocks turned sharply lower and are nearing the lower support levels we noted yesterday.

Below those levels and we could be entering a new leg down toward the support levels we mentioned on Monday.

But there are a couple of positives — just a couple — and stocks need to turn higher quickly to take advantage of them. First, new lows actually improved today despite the steep decline, raising the possibility that downside momentum may be waning. And downside volume was well below 90%, another hint that momentum doesn't belong to the bears again just yet. But stocks will need to reverse quickly to take advantage of that, and upside catalysts are admittedly in short supply here. So today goes to the bears, with a smidgen of hope that the bulls need to seize on.

We won't spend more time on the major indexes today — the market close and technical analysis columns will return next week — but we should mention the follow-through to the downside reversal we noted in commodities on Monday (see first chart below). We could be witnessing the unwinding of some pretty crowded trades here, with commodities turning lower and the dollar (second chart) finally getting some relief as the Fed ends its rate cutting campaign. A lot of market dislocation going on.

Paul Shread is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and member of the Market Technicians Association.