Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blog traffic and market reversals?

Greater reference has been made in recent times to the association between blog readership and market reversals, not just from Barry's TheBigPicture from this past February and March, but also in the spikes in volume for TraderMike, Traderfeed, and my personal blog.

So for this paper napkin research I did some analysis of my personal blog web traffic. I converted my visitors number using the same calculation as used for on-balance-volume; termed on-balance-visits. When the S&P closed higher I added my blog readership to a cumulative total, when it closed lower I subtracted it. Overall, I experienced strong readership growth; moving from around 400 visits a day in October 2007 to the 700 currently:

By using an on-balance-visit calculation I can sidestep some of the concerns which may effect other metric calculations when trying to account for general readership growth. The key distortion when using on-balance-visit is a megaphone style chart with larger extremes as heavier (overall) traffic is added and subtracted to the cumulative total. This could be overcome by overlaying a moving average trigger as is done for on-balance-volume, or support/resistance lines connecting peak highs and lows (assuming constant growth in site traffic). I did neither here but it may be considered at a later date.

Like on-balance-volume, depending on when you start will dictate your zero line, so I started from the beginning of October just before the 1,576 top in the S&P. The initial relationship is given in the chart below; the green line represents on-balance-visits, the black line the S&P:

What is clear is peaks in on-balance-visits mark important market reversals; not just for bottoms but tops too.

In terms of spike lows, March 27th 2008 and November 16th 2007 were important on-balance-visits bottoms; each falling below the -3,000 mark. The S&P was at 1,325 in March and 1,459 in November. The spike high of 1,371 in my core visitor numbers actually occurred the day after the March 27th on-balance-visit low.

With respect to tops, complacency sets in on breaks above +1,000. The first break of 1,000 came on December 27th, then February 22nd and more recently on May 14th. The S&P finished at 1,476, 1,353 and 1,409 across each of those dates.

However, the current rally in the S&P has seen another surge in traffic to take on-balance-visits past the +3,000 mark. The prior two peak tops in on-balance-visits in December and February were quickly punished with declines of 11% and 6% respectively inside a few weeks. So what will the next couple of weeks hold for the S&P?

Dr. Declan Fallon, Senior Market Technician, the free stock alerts, market alerts, and stock charts website


Unknown said...

Generally when index is rising, more persons (not only regular investors) show interest about markets and search for them. Good article.