The stock market hasn't been kind to bulls lately
. And the mauling may be set to only get worse.
That at least is the warning
from some technical
indicators, those chart-based omens that analysts examine to divine
the market's direction. The S&P 500-stock index, in particular, is in danger of tripping over a talisman that has boded ill in the past. The index's 15% selloff since late April looks set to push the market's 50-day moving average below its 200-day moving average, in what is known as a 'death cross.'
这至少是部分技术指标发出的警告。技术指标是通过股价走势图表显示出来的征兆，分析师在经过分析后用来预测市场走向。其中，标准普尔500指数(S&P 500-stock index)就有可能撞上一个在过去预示着凶险的兆头。这一指数自4月下旬以来已经下跌15%，很有可能使其50日移动平均线行至200日移动平均线下方，形成一个所谓的"死亡交叉"。
As the label suggests, this tends to be a bearish signal. Its opposite is known as a 'golden cross,' which is a bullish sign. The last death cross formed in late December 2007; the S&P 500 went on to lose more than half of its value.
Such a death cross also has marked every other bear market since 1972, notes Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research. And the market's 50-day average is currently less than 1% above this tipping point.
研究公司Yardeni Research总裁亚德尼(Ed Yardeni)指出，这样一种死亡交叉，也是1972年以来其他每一轮熊市的特征。而且，目前市场50日移动平均线离这个临界点的位置只高出不到1%。
The trouble with such technical
patterns and formation
s, which are often derided as a form of hocus-pocus by investor
s more focused on fundamentals, is that they tend to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy
. This is especially the case given how many people in markets watch them.
So as the market sells off, short-term averages by definition
will fall more quickly than longer-term ones. The bearish signals that result then reinforce
trend. In other words, the danger of a death cross is that it puts further pressure
on already eroding investorsentiment
The cross itself isn't always a surefire sell signal. There have been nearly two dozen death crosses over the past four decades, notes Brockhouse Cooper strategist Pierre Lapointe. The S&P 500 has declined by 0.4% on average one month after such a formation
. After six months, on the other hand, the market on average had gained nearly 5%.
交叉本身并不一定总是看跌信号。投资咨询机构Brockhouse Cooper策略师拉普安特(Pierre Lapointe)指出，过去四十年已经出现了20个左右的死亡交叉。在出现这种信号过后的一个月，标普500平均下跌0.4%；六个月后，市场又平均涨了接近5%。
But that may be cold comfort if stocks' sharp rebound since early 2009 was a classic
bear-market rally. If so, the current selloff is more likely the start of a longer period of weakness
, says Andrew Chevariat a technical
analyst at BNP Paribas.
但如果说股市自2009年年初以来的反弹属于一种典型的熊市反弹，那么这些情况对投资者就起不到什么安慰作用。法国巴黎银行(BNP Paribas)技术分析师Andrew Chevariat说，果真如此，当前的下跌更有可能是一轮更长期疲软走势的开始。
Whether or not such signals are a guide to the future, they do affectsentiment
. And this severetechnicalweakness
is the last thing the market needs heading into Friday's vital jobs report.