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Feb. 10, 2000

I post my stock charts by hand.

Justin Mamis, my mentor in this business, and I used to joke that we knew it was a bull market when our stock charts went off the top of the page. Of course, if there were lots of stocks going off the bottom of the page, we knew we were in a bear market. I thought of this yesterday as I found myself cutting and pasting

Philip Morris


as it fell below 20 -- the bottom of the chart -- while at the same time I was cutting and pasting

Applied Materials


as it went



Join the discussion on


Message Boards. Now maybe these two are not the best examples of the dichotomy in this market, but lately I find myself cutting and pasting in both directions! So, is it a bull market or a bear market? I figure the answer is that it is a bull market in technology and biotechnology and a bear market almost everywhere else, as the list of stocks that go off the bottom of the page is much more diverse in its groups than the ones that go off the top.

With this in mind, I've decided to show you the chart of

Johnson & Johnson


today. This is a weekly chart, so you can actually see the top clearly. That break at 90 a couple of weeks ago completed the top. Just look at the volume on that break! If you turned the chart upside down, you'd see a big base with a breakout on huge volume. That's one way we know it's a real top.

And that top took one year to complete. At this point, the best thing I can say about Johnson & Johnson is that it's got support down around 75, and 75 is where the top measures to. But the point of this exercise is to show you how its stock may have rally attempts at any point, but that resistance overhead around 90 is so formidable that it is hard to imagine this stock coming back into favor for quite a long time.

And that's what a bear-market chart looks like.

Overbought/Oversold Oscillator

Helene Meisler, based in Singapore, writes a technical analysis column on the U.S. equity markets on Tuesdays and Fridays, and updates her charts daily on Meisler trained at several Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and Cowen, and has worked with the equity trading department at Cargill. At time of publication, she held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. She appreciates your feedback at