Weekly Wrap: Dow Theory sell signal?, Electoral goodies for homeowners, will Robos make your dreams come true?

Mark Hulbert, Marketwatch.com

Influential investment newsletter ranker and market analyst Mark Hulbert says the Dow Theory just flashed a Sell Signal as Thursday’s swooning stock markets closed.

Two of three conditions for a “sell” signal were already in place before this week’s meltdown: the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Dow Jones Transportation Average both must experience a significant correction from their joint new highs; then in any significant rally attempt following that correction, one or both  Dow averages must fail to rise above their pre-correction highs. As Hulbert notes, the first two conditions were met earlier this year: after sharp declines in January, the Dow Transports were not able to join the Dow Industrials in rising to new highs.

The third condition is that both averages must then drop below their respective correction lows. Hulbert says the “third and final hurdle of a Dow Theory ‘sell’ signal was generated at Thursday’s close when it broke under the low identified in step 1, which was 17,164.95.”

However, Hulbert says not all followers of the Dow Theory are throwing in the towel just yet, at least until the action in the broader S&P500 index confirms the negative action of the far narrower Dow indexes. Hulbert says Jack Schannep, editor of TheDowTheory.com, “acknowledges the original version of the Dow Theory has indeed emitted a ‘sell’ signal” but Schanne’s modified theory that focuses on the S&P500 as well as the Dow averages won’t generate a “Sell” signal until the S&P 500 closes below its January closing level of 1992.67. Even after Thursday’s carnage, the S&P500 was still 2.2% above its January low. Something to watch in Friday’s action: if that occurs, you can expect some pretty gruesome reading in this weekend’s financial pages.

It’s probably a good time to talk to your financial advisor but before taking drastic action of any nature, you might want to go back and read Steve Lowrie’s Hub posts that began each of the last three weeks, such as Stop reacting to Market Noise or Stop feeding on Junk Media.

The commodities sell-off

About the only thing that wasn’t headed south this week is gold, which has been in the doldrums for ages, along with oil and most other commodities. This week’s The Economist has a good summary of the dire situation of the commodities market: The Sell-off in Commodities: Goodbye to all that. It warns “the latest leg down in crude prices may not yet have run its course.”

Well at least that means a relatively cheap fill-up for our cars, as many of us head out to cottage country this weekend for what little remains of the summer. (I am, which is why we have posted this version of the weekly wrap on Friday instead of the normal Saturday).

Then we can look forward to the market action of September and October (not!) and the stretch run of a longer-than usual federal election campaign.

Motley Fool blog: Tories court middle-class homeowners

Pool & waterfall in our back yard: the 2009 Home Renovation Tax Credit at work

As my Motley Fool Canada blog reviewed this week, homeowners, both existing and prospective, are being singled out by the ruling Conservative party: Tories court middle-class homeowners with 2 measures. In there I mention the pond and waterfall our family installed courtesy the original (and temporary) 2008-2009 tax credit. This is a measure we think of every day in the summer!

As for those not yet in the housing market, the chance to withdraw more money from RRSPs may be a welcome one given the sky-high prices first-time owners face in markets like Vancouver and Toronto.

Can Robos make your dreams come true?

The Financial Uproar blog has a provocatively titled blog on robo-advisers: Is a Robo-Adviser about to make all your non-sexual dreams come true? The writer is a bit of a skeptic: note the reference to Investors Group Inc., a traditional financial planning firm/mutual fund provider. (which, ironically, recently bought into a robo-adviser.)

Options when money runs show

From the Reach Financial Independence Hub come these suggestions providing Your options when money runs short. Apparently there’s a concept called “Borrowing smartly.” Seems like a bit of an oxymoron to us but the piece is geared to younger people seeking Findependence, as evidence by curious phrases like “more or less financially independent.”

Help paying for prescription Drugs

Over at the Retirement Redux site, Sheryl Smolkin asks the question Will Public Plans pay for the Drugs You Need? 

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