March 05, 2013 - Navigating Crude Oil Requires EPS: Elliott (wave) Positioning System by Elliott Wave International
Several months ago I took a drive to a horse riding stable in rural North Georgia. My only guide was an old-school roadmap. It showed me the general direction I was supposed to take: North on Highway 85. But when I exited the interstate I was totally helpless. Eventually I was on a dirt path that came to a dead stop, with a sign that read "End of the Road." Beyond the sign was a deep chasm, at the bottom of which was the collapsed bridge I was supposed to take.
Needless to say, I never reached my destination.
Last month I took that same drive again, except this time I had a GPS-equipped smart phone. I entered the address and in turn saw that the program even could alert me to any real-time traffic interruptions or road construction.
I set off, letting the digital voice give me fair warning of approaching turns. And on the turn or two I missed, that voice simply rerouted me back to the right course. I reached the stables in under an hour.
My experience during that first trip was like having a poorly-equipped set of technical tools when trying to navigate trend changes in financial markets. On their own, indicators like relative strength or momentum are, at best, able to identify where near-term prices are likely headed. What they can't do is account for sudden, unexpected changes along the way. Nor can they anticipate upcoming turns or redirect in the event of an unexpected move.
I liken the second trip to having the huge added advantage of Elliott wave analysis. Here, price action on financial price charts unfolds in clear and observable Elliott wave structures. Each pattern adheres to specific rules and guidelines that regulate the depth of each wave within the larger pattern, including but not limited to these below:
· Impulse patterns unfold in five waves in the direction of the larger trend.
· Wave 2 of impulse moves can never retrace more than 100% of wave 1
· Wave 3 is never the shortest among waves 1, 3, and 5
· Wave 4 does not enter the price territory of wave 1 (overlap).
· A zigzag is a three wave corrective pattern with a 5-3-5 subdivision.
· A flat is a three wave corrective pattern with a 3-3-5 subdivision.
When the Elliott wave count proves correct, prices will reflect the parameters as defined by these guidelines. But the best part is: You know well ahead of time the specific price levels that, if violated, would indicate the count was wrong and a recalibration was necessary.
Let's go over a real world example. On Feb. 12 EWI's Energy Specialty Service editor Steve Craig recorded a special video take on the near-term Elliott wave pattern unfolding in crude oil. There, Steve plugged a bullish wave count into his EPS. The "map" (i.e. chart) and directions appeared:
"The key point is that further gains should lie ahead as the market traces out the final subdivisions of the wave (i) advance. On the downside, I'll reassess if Monday's 94.97 low gives way prior to a rally."
In the days that followed, Steve tracked the progress of crude oil. He would continue to follow a bullish course so long as the key support level of 94.97 was not taken out. On Feb. 20, Energy Specialty Service's revealed that such an event had indeed occurred. In his daily analysis on Feb. 20, Steve made a necessary U-turn and headed in the bearish direction: "I'm now anticipating a deeper, more protracted pullback."
The next chart moves forward in time and shows how crude oil prices did indeed follow its bearish near-term course. And, in the current Energy Specialty Service, Steve reveals whether the market has reached its final downside destination.
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