Bearish Bull Flags

Bull flags are found in charts with strong uptrends and are considered continuation patterns. They form when price barely subsides as the oscillators revert downward, such that when the oscillators are ready to move up again, rapid increases in price recur. Below are some bull flags with bearish implications that suggest perhaps more economic pain is to come in the years ahead.

1. Eurodollar Futures (pictured in the chart above and below)

Eurodollars are dollar-denominated accounts at foreign banks or overseas branches of American banks. Eurodollar futures lead the Fed Funds Rate. Overnight, the Eurodollar Futures broke out of a months-long consolidation pattern. This has occurred because we are in quadruple witching season. Unfortunately, the scope of this gap up is a bearish sign for risk assets and the economy more generally. If my calculation is correct, this chart suggests that the Federal Reserve must now raise rates to at least 5.5%.

2. Japanese Yen to Gold Ratio

This chart shows a 20-year bull flag that formed between the Japanese Yen and gold . Decades of monetary easing have caused a profound weakening of the Japanese Yen. If this logarithmic bull flag plays out fully, it may cost millions of Yen for a single ounce of gold in the years to come. A major problem will occur if its populace begins to believe that it is no longer worth converting their labor into Yen.

3. Overnight Reverse Repurchase Agreements

This chart shows what appears to be a bull pennant forming in the amount of securities that the Federal Reserve has sold via overnight reverse repurchase agreements (also known as the "repo facility", technically reverse repo in this context). To put simply, the Federal Reserve has been proliferating its use of the repo facility to try to contain inflation . This chart, which once provided little technical analysis value in the past, now seems to show a bull pennant forming. If a breakout occurs then this could suggest that inflation is continuing to spiral out of control, as they Fed is forced to vacuum more and more dollars out of the system.

4. S&P 500 vs. Nasdaq

This chart shows that, after decades of the Nasdaq 100 stocks ( QQQ ) outperforming the broader market ( S&P 500 ETF - SPY ), a bull flag is now forming in the chart of their relative performance. If this bull flag pans out and SPY breaks out relative to QQQ , this would be quite bearish , especially since SPY itself is beginning to oscillate down on the higher timeframes. This could mean that as monetary tightening deflates the everything bubble, tech will remain at the forefront of the declines.

5. Commodity Prices

This chart plots the Commodity Index Tracking Fund ( DBC ) relative to the U.S. money supply ( M2SL ). If commodity inflation was solely due to excessive money printing then commodity prices would generally move in a flat horizontal line relative to the money supply. However, commodity prices are moving up much higher than the money supply, which suggests that other commodity supply issues are more to blame than simply increased money supply. One can only speculate what these extraneous factors may be: War, pandemic shutdowns, deglobalization, climate change, aging and less productive population, etc. What we know for sure is that the Fed is trying to fight this inflation battle solely through monetary tightening. But can the Fed solve these larger-scale inflationary issues through monetary policy? If so, it's hard to envision its success without a major economic downturn.

6. Dollar Index

Perhaps the most alarming bull flag with bearish implications is that of the dollar index . The dollar index ( DXY ) measures the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to certain other currencies. It appears to be forming a bull flag on its yearly chart. Bull flags that form at this high of a timeframe often signal a new supercycle or prolonged period in which the context has changed and will remain changed for years or decades to come. In this case, the context of lower and lower interest rates over the past several decades has ended. As the U.S. economy remains strong relative to much of the rest of the world, and as monetary tightening occurs in the US while less tightening or even loosening occurs in much of the rest of the world, the value of the dollar will continue to climb higher.

The implications of this are profound since a highly indebted global economy may not be able to afford to service its dollar-denominated debt if the dollar rapidly strengthens. If this bull flag pans out, it may inevitably lead to a financial crisis.

To learn more, you can watch this video about the Dollar Milkshake Theory: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxzy3sLs...

If you've identified any bull flags with bearish implications please share your chart below! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, as well. If I've made an error in my analysis leave a note below.

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