WALTER ZIMMERMAN: The Stock Market Roller Coaster Has Been Released From The Fed's Lift Chain

Last week’s stock market sell-off put the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the red for the year.

“What strikes me most about all this is the sheer complacency,” said Walter Zimmerman, chief technical analyst for United-ICAP. “The most pervasive reaction to the recent sharp drops in the equity indices seems to be ‘What is this doing here? I thought we were finally done with stock market declines.'”

As a technical analyst, Zimmerman pays a lot of attention to chart patterns and the statistics behind them.

However, his current concerns about the stock market are echoed by those who focus on fundamentals. These concerns include deflation and the discontinuance of the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus.

“I was wondering when the equity markets would start playing catch-up to the great asset deflation that has been the scourge of the commodity markets since May 2011,” Zimmerman said in an email to Business Insider. “Looks like we can now add the global equity markets to the great asset deflation parade.”

Indeed, even gold — considered a safe haven asset class by some — has been getting punished.

Zimmerman sent Business Insider two sets of slides. The first set features the Russell 2000, an index of small and mid-cap stocks, and the DAX, an index of German stocks. The second puts the global markets into context characterising it like a roller coaster with the Federal Reserve at the control panel.

“This widespread reaction tells me that everyone is long and un-hedged,” he said. “Of course this decline is so sweeping in its extent that it seems quite likely the only effective hedge will be the side-lines.”

'This widespread reaction tells me that everyone is long and un-hedged.'

Small and mid-cap stocks have further to fall.

'You know it is a global debacle when both the Russell 2000 and the DAX break down at the same time from virtually identical and massive peaking patterns'

Hope and complacency have been at extreme levels.

The Volatility Index, or VIX, has been a mirror image of the S&P for months.

It's even a mirror image on an hour-to-hour basis.

Stock market peaks and bottoms come with certain characteristics.

The current stock market cycle is like a roller coaster.

The Federal Reserve has acted as the roller coaster's lift chain.

That roller coaster peaked with a wedge pattern seen in stock markets all over the world.

The market is now off of that lift chain. We might see some rallies, but gravity will keep pulling stocks down.

These roller coaster patterns aren't without precedent.

Morgan Stanley thinks there are ways to invest in a slowing economy...

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