Technically Speaking, November 2023

It is the end of the year already! November has been quite a game of musical chairs for the market as sectors exchanged batons, and asset classes gained more steam. But doesn’t it feel as though the year went by in a flash? 

But a constant companion this year has been fear. Fear that the market would correct to lower levels and breach levels of support. But that has only acted as noise in this buoyant market. While the corrections have come in the forms of time or price in different regions across the globe, the market has bounced more often than the recession predictions! And that speaks a lot of the underlying trend in play. While news channels have been blaring on about imminent doomsday, the market has quietly marched on and gone about its own business. 

Psychologically, this is the time when people introspect and look within to improve upon themselves, or their trade practices. We could argue that this should be a continuous system of checks and balances, but well, that’s for another day. This time of the year, however, brings me back to my most cherished activity of revisiting my ‘old’ new year resolutions. So here is a page from my book. Literally.

In order to improve my trade, it is imperative to revisit the involuntary errors I make and work towards overcoming them: 

  1. I will refrain from saying “I told you so” (this one is particularly difficult in our field) 
  2. I will not compare my Chapter 8 to someone else’s Chapter 20  
  3. I will not blame the market for my errors (this is just convenient. Why would the market single you out?)  
  4. I will exit the trade once it has triggered my stop loss; not average it (aren’t all of us guilty of this at some point?) 
  5. I will identify patterns on charts without forcing them (if I just tweak the lines a little, I can make it look like a triangle…maybe) 
  6. I will focus on being unbiased (‘My way or the highway’ really doesn’t work here)

 As this year comes to a close, I figured I might as well get an early start on my resolutions. You are free to borrow and build on them! What are some resolutions that have helped you in the market?

Until we meet again, 

Rashmi Bhatnagar


What's Inside...

The Next Big Things in the CMT Program: 2025

The CMT Association has been laying the groundwork for significant updates to the CMT Program curriculum and exams. ...

Read More

Precious Metals on the Move

Gold nears a breakout

Gold just closed at its highest level since May, and the rally...

Read More

Bull Market Turns 17 Months Old

Think about it. We were told there was a crisis.

We were promised a recession that...

Read More

Let’s Talk About Santa and December

“It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.” -Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman at...

Read More

The Next Big Things in the CMT Program: 2025

The CMT Association has been laying the groundwork for significant updates to the CMT Program curriculum and exams.  These efforts are now geared to the release of a new curriculum and updated exams beginning in 2025.  Here are the main elements.

Jobs Analysis

In the June 2023 edition of Technically Speaking, I described the start of the CMT Association’s Jobs Analysis.  I am pleased to report that this project has been completed.  The essential products of this work are a new content outline and blueprint for the CMT exams.  What does this mean for our exams?  The new content outline will guide the knowledge areas that appear on each of the exams.  The blueprint will guide the weight, i.e., the number of questions, devoted to each of the knowledge areas on each of the exams.

There are no plans for changing the structure of the Level I and II exams: 120 and 150 scored multiple-choice questions, respectively.  We will be assessing the Level III exam and will consider if any structural changes should be made to coincide with the new content outline and blueprint.

As you might expect, this will take some time to prepare.  Changes to the content of the three levels of the exams, and possibly to the structure of the Level III exam, are anticipated to be in effect beginning with the June 2025 administration.


We have had two longstanding goals for the CMT Program curriculum.

One of the goals is to move away from texts which are aggregations of excerpts from other books.  The aggregated texts were a major advancement when they became part of the CMT Program in 2015.  However, they have certain drawbacks in maintenance, readability, and control of content.  Hence, we are embarking on a very ambitious project to have a custom-written curriculum designed expressly to meet the needs of the CMT Program and our candidates.

The other longstanding goal is to move the curriculum to a modern digital platform.  This type of platform – known as a content management system (CMS) or learning management system (LMS) – is well beyond an e-book.  It creates a dynamic and flexible learning environment for candidates while giving us the means to make edits, corrections, and updates as needed.

The time is now right!  The completion of the Jobs Analysis as well as unexpected changes in our publishing relationship have serendipitously combined to put us fully into this effort.  As with the exams, we anticipate rolling out the new material, in digital format, for the 2025 CMT Program.

A Call to CMT Charterholders

If you are a CMT charterholder and would like to contribute to the efforts I described above, please reach out to me.  There are two areas in which we are soliciting the work of charterholders.

Curriculum – We are lining up editors and authors to contribute to the curriculum.  If you have expertise in a particular area of technical analysis and an interest in writing about it, please let me know.  We can discuss how it might fit into the Program and then provide support with outlines and learning objectives.

Exams – The multiple-choice question banks for Levels I and II need to be expanded with up-to-date, well-crafted items.  If this is something new to you, we will provide a primer on best practices and specifics on the topics that need coverage.

If you are willing to participate, please send a short email with just a sentence or two about the area or areas in which you might contribute, and any topics in which you have technical-analysis expertise.  And please bear with me if my response is not immediate.  I can be reached at

With respect for our history and a view to our future, I look forward to your help in these endeavors.


Stanley Dash, CMT

Stanley Dash is the CMT Program Director at the CMT Association, a global credentialing body. In this role, Mr. Dash works with subject matter experts, candidates, and the Association’s members to maintain and improve the curriculum, the test experience, and the value...

Precious Metals on the Move

Gold nears a breakout

Gold just closed at its highest level since May, and the rally could just be getting started.

For the last 3 years, gold prices have been stuck below $2,050, a level that is also the 261.8% retracement from the COVID selloff in March 2020. Between those pre-COVID highs at $1,680 and resistance at $2,050, the yellow metal has bounced back and forth, digesting the gains from 2015 to 2020 and generally frustrating everyone that has been involved.

Eventually a resolution must come, though, one way or the other. And now that we’re testing the upper band of this trading range once again, the likelihood of a bullish outcome has never been higher. On a break above $2,050, we want to be buying gold with an initial target of $2,400.

That initial target, derived from the 423.6% retracement of the 2020 decline, would be a welcome development for the bulls, but it’s a rather conservative outcome from a big picture point of view. We’re eying $3200 longer-term. That’s the 1794% Fibonacci retracement from the 1990s decline. Prices have respected these retracement levels all the way up: The hiccups in 2006 and 2008 occurred near Fib levels, the ceiling from 2013-2019 was the 684.4% retracement, and right now, were stuck below the 1109% retracement. It would make a lot of sense to go up and touch the next one. Even $3200 might be a conservative expectation – prices rallied a lot more after the 2004 breakout.

Before that happens, we’ll likely need to see more participation from silver. Prices for silver and gold tend to be highly correlated, but silver tends to move in greater magnitudes. As such, when precious metals are rising, we expect silver to outperform. That’s what we’ve typically seen during gold’s best runs. For most of the year, silver has refused to lead. Each time gold has tried to make a push higher, the silver/gold ratio fails at its 2019 high.

If we see the silver/gold ratio back above those 2019 highs, that will be a big feather in the cap for precious metal bulls.

To its credit, silver has come alive lately. In the last two weeks alone, it’s rallied more than 10% from key support at $22.50 and broken the downtrend line from May peak. We’d feel comfortable owning it on a break above the year-to-date highs near $26, with a target above $32.

The catalyst to get both gold and silver moving over the last few weeks has been the fading US Dollar. After a nearly unprecedented streak of weekly gains from July to September that wreaked havoc on equity and commodity prices alike, the Dollar Index found resistance at the 50% retracement of its 2-year range. It’s fallen steadily ever since. The real turning point came on November 14, when the index slipped below 105.50 and back into the volatile range that held for the first half of 2023.

Another beneficiary of Dollar weakness has been Bitcoin. No major asset class has had larger gains than Bitcoin’s 120% rally through the first 11 months of 2023, and the trend here is clearly upward. We can’t be anything but bullish as long as prices are above 30,000. Traders can use 35,000 as a tactical position for entries with a near-term target of 47,000.

We don’t have a strong opinion on the fundamental prospects for Bitcoin – there are attractive qualities, surely, but tracking price action is much easier than joining a cult. And price action tells us that Bitcoin is in a long-term uptrend. While 47,000 is our near-term target, it could easily go much higher.

We see the former highs near 70,000 and the next key Fibonacci retracement level at 112,000 as logical stopping points over the next few years. Ignore it at your own risk.


Austin Harrison, CFA, CMT

Austin Harrison is an investment strategist and senior equity research analyst at a Missouri-based advisory firm. In 2019, he started Means to a Trend, a blog dedicated to identifying both fundamental and technical trends in financial markets. He employs a weight-of-the-evidence approach...

Bull Market Turns 17 Months Old

Think about it. We were told there was a crisis.

We were promised a recession that could come at any minute.

Inflation was going to destroy the financial system.

Instead, European Banks are making new 52-week highs.

I’m old enough to remember when European Banks used to sell off during a crisis.

So if this is a bear market or some kind of credit event situation, investors sure have a funny way of showing it.

We’re seeing similar strength as breadth continues to expand in U.S. Stocks.

Here are U.S. Financials hitting new 8-month highs. This comes after finding support at those former resistance levels from before Covid.

This is all perfectly normal market behavior:

So as this bull market progresses, and participation among sectors and stocks keeps broadening out, we’re already seeing the world’s most important index just 2.6% from a new all-time high.

Think about it.

People are telling you this is a bubble.

But really, the Dow hasn’t even broken out yet.

Like I told Liz Claman a couple of weeks ago, this bull market is just getting going.

Look at the sector returns since the last bear market came to an end in June of 2022.

Notice how it’s only the most defensive sectors that are struggling to keep up. Everything else is up double digits.

In fact, the best performers – Technology, Industrials and Consumer Discretionary – are the sectors that we’ve historically seen leading in the early stages of a bull market.

What do you think people are so confused about?

Could you imagine not participating in this bull market because it upsets you that large-caps have been outperforming small-caps?

Or worse, some people aren’t making money because they’re upset that the yield of one bond is less than the yield of another bond.

True story.

Don’t be one of those people.

I would encourage you to take the time to count how many stocks are going up and how many stocks are going down.

And if you don’t want to do that, or don’t have the time to do it, then find someone who does and read their notes.

Trust me.

Life is much easier that way.

All you have to do is count.


JC Parets, CMT

JC Parets, who holds a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designation, is the founder of All Star Charts and is one of the most widely followed Technical Analysts in the world. All Star Charts is a research platform for both professional and retail...

Let’s Talk About Santa and December

“It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.” -Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman at Berkshire Hathaway

Before we get into today’s blog, I wanted to take a second and give thanks to Charlie Munger, who passed away Tuesday, and all he has done to make this world a better place. There have been so many amazing tributes to an incredible man, I couldn’t possibly add anything new. I’ll just say this, he was unlike nearly anyone else and there never will be another one like him. Rest in peace, Charles Thomas Munger.

Let’s now get into it and first things first. The best month of the year is sure living up to that name, as the S&P 500 is up more than 8% in November with one day to go, making this the best November since 2020 (10.8%) and 1980 before that. We wrote why we expected better times in November one month ago, but even we have to admit we are surprised by just how strong things have been.

Looking ahead, December indeed is a strong month historically for stocks and we don’t expect this year to be any different. One month ago right now nearly everyone was bearish and the truth is many money managers have been drastically underweight stocks this year and they need to add to their positions, so we expect a lot of performance chasing into the end of the year. Should we see any early December weakness, we’d expect buyers to step in quickly. In fact, early December weakness isn’t out of the ordinary, it is later in the month when Santa tends to come.

Speaking of Santa, you will hear a lot about the well-known Santa Claus Rally (SCR) very soon. This simply is when we tend to see stocks do well to end the year and it playfully is called the SCR. Here’s the catch. It isn’t the whole month, or from late November until year end. It is the last five days of the year and first two days of the following year. Believe me, I will write about it a lot later in December, but by the true definition of the SCR, it won’t happen for many more weeks.

With Santa out of the way, let’s look at December in general and why we expect to see more gains before ’23 is over.

First up, no month of the year is more likely to be higher, with stocks higher 74.0% of the time in the last month of the year. In fact, only once in history has December been the worst month of the year and that was in 2018 (we can thank the Fed for that policy mistake back then). Fortunately, the Fed is likely done hiking and we don’t expect to see a similar policy mistake this time around.

December is actually the third best month on average at 1.4%, with only April and November better. But what stands out to us is pre-election years tend to see even more strength, up 2.9% on average, another reason to expect higher prices before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

Here’s a chart we’ve shared all year that breaks down all 12 months based on various timeframes. Well, overall December is pretty solid, but it doesn’t rank very well if you look at only the past decade. But that is mainly due to the 9.2% drop in 2018 and the 5.9% drop last year. Here’s an interesting stat: Stocks haven’t been down more than 1% in December two years in a row since 1980 and 1981. Another reason to expect better times in December.

Some more reasons we expect a strong end-of-year rally? We’ve shared this chart a lot lately (because it has played out nearly perfectly) and it showed that years that were up double digits at the middle of the year tended to see weakness around the third quarter, but a late October low and vicious rally to end the year. This has played out well so far and we expect it to continue in December.

Speaking of the market being up a lot heading into December, we found that when the S&P 500 was up at least 10% for the year heading into December, the final month of the year has been higher 17 of the past 20 years and 12 of the past 13. Taking that a step further, if a pre-election year was higher by at least 10% going into the final month, the past five times December has been higher each time and up a very impressive 5.3% on average.

What about if November was up a lot? One would think a big November might steal some gains from December, right? There’s some truth to that, as we found when November was up 5% or more then December was up only 0.6% on average.

Lastly, we will leave you on this bigger picture bullish development. The S&P 500 has finished higher four consecutive weeks and gained more than 10% over the win streak. But what impressed me was each week gained at least 1%. In other words, there was persistent buying, not just one huge week and nothing outside that. So, I looked at previous times we saw a similar development and sure enough, the future returns have been quite impressive. The S&P 500 was higher a year later eight out of 10 times and up a median of 17.6%, which could have a lot of bulls smiling this time next year.



Ryan Detrick, CMT

Ryan Detrick, Senior Vice President, Chief Market Strategist, is a member of the LPL Financial Research tactical asset allocation committee, responsible for directly impacting the portfolio decision-making process, as well as a member of the market insights team, developing and articulating equity...