A stock market crash is inevitable

Stock futures projected another big down day today for stocks, as if losing 1,150 yesterday on the Dow wasn’t enough.

This will put us at “a line in the sand” that will show whether this is just a sharp 10% correction or the first wave down of the next major bubble burst, which could see us lose another 40%-plus in the first 2.5 to 3 months – that means by late April!

That makes this an especially important point for protecting your wealth.

In the January Leading Edge and in the January 24 Economy & Markets, I looked at one of the most reliable patterns that indicate the end of major bull markets, especially bubbles. It’s called a rising bearish wedge. Stocks accelerate upward in a narrowing trend with less and less volatility, and then crash when they break through the bottom trendline.

Right now, we’re testing that bottom trend line.

Talking with my friend, Andrew Pancholi, at markettimingreport.com, he had two key turning points for this accelerating pattern to top.

The first was mid-October, which turned out to be an acceleration instead, something that happens about 10% of the time.

His next target was January 18-19 and the 25th. It looks to me like January 26 was “the top.”

On January 24, I sent you an email looking at the Nasdaq. This morning let’s look at the broader S&P 500. It looks the closest to breaking down from this pattern.

Futures were very volatile last night and this morning, with the S&P projected to open down anywhere between 39 and 72 points. It’s like a chicken running around with its head cut off.

This chart is as of yesterday’s close. Such an opening will put it right smack on the bottom trend line at 2,600 – down 49 points from yesterday – possibly just below it.

So, this is the do or die point!

For the Dow, that bottom trend line – the breaking point – is 23,600.

For the Nasdaq, it’s 6,850.

Note that all of these charts have had a classic throw-over the top, which is the most aggressive sell signal (as I explained in that January 24 Economy & Markets). The highest probability sell signal comes when it conclusively breaks through the bottom.

All of that said, the odds are the markets will bounce off this support point. If they do, the next question is: will they bounce strongly and potentially go back up to as high as the top trendline, which would be around 2,720 on the S&P 500?

If that happens, that would be the ideal sell signal, especially after such a sharp correction. The odds are now low that we would see a new high anytime time soon (at least not for decades, if that).

There have been 217 5%-plus corrections historically. When losses hit 5%, something starts to happen. Stops start getting triggered. Risk management sets in.

The average stock loss is 12%, the median is 8%. We’re going to be close to that 12% today, and right at that for the Dow.

So, what do you do now?

If you’re following one of our trading masters – Adam, Rodney, Charles, Lance, or John – stick to the system and wait for instructions from them. If you’re going it alone, then, unless we are more than 1% below the bottom trend line numbers above, and or if there is an immediate crash followed by a substantial bounce quickly, then it’s better to hold and wait to see what becomes of the rebound.

Otherwise, it’s better to be safe than sorry in your passively managed accounts.

By the way, Bitcoin has been down as much as 70% from its, pretty much assuring scenario two, which we discussed yesterday. That means Bitcoin is likely to go as low as $800 to $1,000 in the next few to several months.

I will keep you updated.

Follow Me on Twitter @harrydentjr

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Harry Dent
Harry S. Dent Jr. studied economics in college in the ’70s, but found it vague and inconclusive. He became so disillusioned by the state of his chosen profession that he turned his back on it. Instead, he threw himself into the burgeoning new science of finance where identifying and studying demographic, technological, consumer and many, many other trends empowered him to forecast economic changes. Since then, he’s spoken to executives, financial advisors and investors around the world. He’s appeared on “Good Morning America,” PBS, CNBC and CNN/Fox News. He’s been featured in Barron’s, Investor’s Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Success, U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, American Demographics and Omni. He is a regular guest on Fox Business’s “America’s Nightly Scorecard.” In his latest book, Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political and Financial Upheaval in Modern History to Your Advantage, Harry Dent reveals why the greatest social, economic, and political upheaval since the American Revolution is on our doorstep. Discover how its combined effects could cause stocks to crash as much as 80% beginning just weeks from now…crippling your wealth now and for the rest of your life. Harry arms you with the tools you need to financially prepare and survive as the world we know is turned upside down! Today, he uses the research he developed from years of hands-on business experience to offer readers a positive, easy-to-understand view of the economic future by heading up Dent Research, in his flagship newsletter, Boom & Bust.