Multilingual content from IBKR

Close Navigation
Learn more about IBKR accounts

Chart Advisor: Essential Signs of Market Exhaustion

Posted June 11, 2024 at 7:19 am

By David Keller. CMT

Recognizing Bearish Trends: Essential Signs of Market Exhaustion

Investopedia is partnering with CMT Association on this newsletter.  The contents of this newsletter are for informational and educational purposes only, however, and do not constitute investing advice. The guest authors, which may sell research to investors, and may trade or hold positions in securities mentioned herein do not represent the views of CMT Association or Investopedia. Please consult a financial advisor for investment recommendations and services.

When the market’s going up, I often get questions about why I sound so bearish. Why am I posting about the Hindenburg Omen and other signs that the market’s potentially rolling over?

Your goal as an investor should be threefold: identify the trends, follow those trends, and look for signs of trend exhaustion. That’s where the Hindenburg Omen and signs of a market top come into play.

Identify the Trend

The trend overall for the market is going up. I know this, you know this. I own plenty of stocks, mostly through ETFs, in my own accounts. The market trend overall has been positive since the end of March 2023. My medium-term model, which I rely on as my main risk-on-risk-off indicator, has been bullish since early November 2023. The short-term model has been consistently bullish since mid-April. So as progress through the 2nd quarter of 2024, I’m not disagreeing with the positive trend.

Follow the Trend

If you have been following these trends, you’ve been riding this market uptrend. But, of course, following the trend alone isn’t enough.

Anticipate Potential Turns

This brings us to the third and arguably most important step: looking for signs of trend exhaustion to anticipate potential market reversals. Trends can change, and you don’t want to be caught off guard. This is why I talk about bearish indicators when the market’s going higher. The goal is not to be surprised or confused by a market top but to see it coming. So, what are the three signs of the bear that I’m watching?


Step one is spotting a bearish momentum divergence and not just one but a group of them. As the market pushes higher, it typically has strong momentum — buyers outnumber sellers. However, interestingly, in the last four weeks from mid-May to mid-June, while the S&P 500 made higher closes, the momentum, as measured by the RSI, has been trending downwards. This can be an early sign of bearish momentum divergence. Amazon and Eaton Corp have already exhibited this pattern with higher highs in price but lower peaks in momentum, so the S&P 500 may just follow suit.


The second sign is when breadth fails to confirm a new market high. Look at the advance-decline line for the New York Stock Exchange: while the S&P touched new highs, the advance-decline line trended lower. This means fewer stocks are pushing the market higher, which isn’t a sign of a healthy bull market. Similarly, the advance-decline lines for large caps, mid-caps, and small caps are all showing lower trends. This divergence indicates that the broad market participation is weak, often a precursor to a weakening trend.


The third sign of a bear is the breakdown of a critical support level, what I call a “line in the sand.” For me, a simple trendline originating from the October 2023 low has held up through mid-April, late April, and early May lows. If the price breaks this trendline, that will signify a change in market character. A breakdown through that line indicates that the uptrend’s pace and structure are starting to shift.

So, those are the three signs of a bear that I keep an eye on: bearish momentum divergences, breadth failing to confirm new highs, and breakdowns of critical support levels. Keep your alerts updated and remain vigilant as we observe the market climbing but with potential signs of underlying weaknesses.

Remember, as an investor, embracing both the bullish trends and the cautious signs of a potential bear can help you navigate the complexities of the market a little better. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and you’ll be well-prepared for whatever the market throws your way!

About the author:

David Keller, CMT is a former CMT Association President. He is now a Chief Market Strategist at, where he helps investors minimize behavioral biases through technical analysis. Dave is a CNBC Pro Contributor, and he recaps market activity and interviews leading experts on his show “The Final Bar” on StockCharts TV.


Originally posted on June 11th, 2024

Join The Conversation

If you have a general question, it may already be covered in our FAQs. If you have an account-specific question or concern, please reach out to Client Services.

2 thoughts on “Chart Advisor: Essential Signs of Market Exhaustion”

  • Naresh Babu R


    • Interactive Brokers

      Thanks for engaging!

Leave a Reply

Disclosure: Investopedia The comments, opinions and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy.  While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described on our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment or strategy. This information is intended for US residents only.

Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

Information posted on IBKR Campus that is provided by third-parties does NOT constitute a recommendation that you should contract for the services of that third party. Third-party participants who contribute to IBKR Campus are independent of Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers does not make any representations or warranties concerning the services offered, their past or future performance, or the accuracy of the information provided by the third party. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material is from Investopedia and is being posted with its permission. The views expressed in this material are solely those of the author and/or Investopedia and Interactive Brokers is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the material. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security. It should not be construed as research or investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security or commodity. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

Disclosure: ETFs

Any discussion or mention of an ETF is not to be construed as recommendation, promotion or solicitation. All investors should review and consider associated investment risks, charges and expenses of the investment company or fund prior to investing. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

IBKR Campus Newsletters

This website uses cookies to collect usage information in order to offer a better browsing experience. By browsing this site or by clicking on the "ACCEPT COOKIES" button you accept our Cookie Policy.