It should be time for celebration on Wall Street. A bullish golden cross is on the verge of materializing in the 122-year-old Dow Jones Industrial Average, coming after an anxiety-provoking dip more than two months ago.
However, the formation, which is widely viewed as an upbeat signal, comes amid a torrent of market indicators suggesting stocks aren’t entirely primed to explode substantially higher and could even break lower.
As of Thursday, the Dow’s DJIA, -0.78% 50-day moving average was at 24,736.36, while the gauge’s 200-day moving average was at 25,125.81, FactSet data show. At current levels, the short-term average is just about 390 points, or about 1.6%, short of crossing above the longer-term average.
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Many technicians believe that when the 50-day average crosses above the longer-term 200-day line, that this relatively rare event marks the point where a shorter-term rebound morphs into a longer-term uptrend.
A death cross, where the 50-day falls beneath the 200-day, forming a bearish chart pattern, occurred back in December, with that downtrend culminating in the broader U.S. equity market’s suffering the worst trading day before Christmas ever.
Since then the Dow has been in ascent, gaining 16.9% since that Christmas Eve nadir, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.81% has climbed 16.9% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -1.13% has rallied 20% over the period.
More recently, however, the path of least resistance for stocks has been lower, amid growing fears that recent policy pivots by central banks in Europe and the U.S. may further highlight the cracks already showing in the global economy.
On Thursday, the European Central Bank unveiled plans to deploy additional stimulus, raising fresh worries about the health of the eurozone, with Italy in recession and Germany’s economy under pressure. The ECB’s move comes