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The Daily Chartist: Breaking Out the Biotechs

The Chartist looks at this sector's recent slide and suspects that a positive test of the lows may be in store.

March 15, 2000

What the market giveth,

Mr. Clinton

and

Mr. Blair

taketh away. Of course, if we look at several of those highflying biotechs, we will find that many had not participated in the recent run-up from

Nasdaq

4500 to 5000. For example, didn't

Human Genome

(HGSI)

make its high at the end of February, and didn't

Celera

(CRA)

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make its high about a week before that? So maybe, just maybe, this is the culmination of that slide, rather than the beginning. Heck, just look at the excessive volume they had yesterday!

None of these biotech charts is my kind of chart -- in that there's been no test of the low, no bases built and a negative reaction to the news. Several of them are also sitting at uptrend lines and are oversold. I suspect we will see some sort of oversold rally in them over the next few days followed by another move down. It will be that second move down that might provide a positive test of the lows. (See Tuesday's

column for a discussion on how we know if it's a positive test of a low.)

Neither the

NYSE

nor the

Nasdaq

is oversold enough yet, but both are moving in that direction. The NYSE once again showed some relative strength on Tuesday's move down. It's most obvious in the advance/decline and volume numbers. For example, the A/D net on Monday's 11-point drop in the

S&P

showed a negative 735 issues. Tuesday's 24-point drop showed only negative 407. Some stocks are actually refusing to go down. Should this process continue, we may actually begin to see some bases being built on the NYSE.

Note: I will be traveling for the next few days. While I won't write a column again until March 21, I will post the overbought/oversold oscillators for both the Nasdaq and the NYSE on Thursday and Monday.

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 TheStreet.com. 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

KPMHSM@aol.com.