After watching the kind of vertical moves that have occurred in ETH and LTC, this appears to be an anything goes market so even though these conditions are rare and high risk, the strength is clear and must be acknowledged. This means the signs that do appear do not carry as much weight.
In the case of this market, I wrote about the variation which is what is unfolding at the moment. Price makes a new high, but not much higher within the reversal zone (below 18300). In a normal market this would be a sign of coming weakness and even offer potential short signals on smaller time frames. The problem is this is NOT a normal market.
I realize there are a lot of people itching to short this market because reward/risk is attractive at these levels and even a relatively small move lower is worth a couple of thousand points. And if you have the risk tolerance and ability to put a short position on, this would be a better time to try compared to the previous price action. Just remember keep this in mind: Weak markets do not sit and consolidate near highs. They reject resistance fast which is not happening right now.
This is why acknowledging the bigger picture is so important because it sets expectations that are more in line with the intent of the market. Newer traders see a and jump on it with high expectations while the position may offer some profit, but expectations should be limited until this market shows significant signs that a broader correction is more likely which it is not doing right now.
Until this market breaks some significant support levels like 12400, it is more likely to consolidate and attempt to go higher. In this environment, support levels are more likely to hold.
As far as swing trades go, I want to see price retest the 12400 area (.382 of structure measured from the 4k low) and then show reversal patterns for a retest of the high. Also the 14280 level is an interesting area because it is a .382 of the structure measured from the 8821 low. IF the market retests these levels, it could be setting up a formation on a large time frame which would then imply a short term top is in place, but right now it is too early to tell while the broader structure still exhibits strength. If I am going to take swing trade I want to be in line with the bigger picture, not against it.
In summary, a -500 or more day in a market that has the ability to move 2k is not much. Maybe the are beginning to have the effect that I have been writing about as far as bringing more of a balance. We can sit here and speculate about how and why, but again the market doesn't care what we think. As a price action trader, I am always comparing current price action to previous structure and history, and evaluating that information in light of the bigger picture which carries the most weight. So using what is available now to answer "is the top in place?" the answer is no, because there is not enough supporting evidence to make a strong argument. Remember making money in vertical markets does not require skill, but keeping that money is a different story. If the market is not coming to you, there is no need to put on a trade. Flat is a position too.
Questions and comments welcome.