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If you're timing the market, you need to take a look at the technicals. Now there are a lot of patterns to keep in mind, head and shoulders, flagged, cup handle tenant, and even more than that. But for this we'll focus on one investors love to see, and that's the golden cross. The simplest terms. It's when a shorter term moving average, like the 50 day crosses the longer term average, like the 200 day. Crosses can be formed on smaller scales like the 15 day crossing the 30 but the longer the term, the stronger the conviction generally speaking. Crossover is crucial to market timers, especially when accompanied by higher trading volume. As it suggests a bull is ready to run. Now, investors can never trust one signal alone and need to be cognizant of possibly contradictory signals offered by other indicators and remain vigilant about fundamentals as well. But with algorithms that dominate the market tapped into this key indicator. Humans can grab an aura as the rising tide of short term moving averages lifts boats through something like the golden cross.

There is no single magic signal that will tell you when to buy a stock or index.

However, the golden cross has proven to be one of the more reliable, although not infallible indicators.

The pattern is formed when a shorter-term moving average, most commonly the 50-day moving average, crosses above the longer term 200-day moving average. The trend, coupled with strong trading volume is seen as a key indicator of bullishness left ahead and can help mindful investors ride a continued upward trend.

Additionally, with algorithmic trading becoming an ever more dominant trend, the technical factor can spark added buying pressure and cement that trend.

For a concrete example, the S&P Homebuilders index (XHB - Get Report) formed a golden cross pattern after rosy reports from KB Home (KBH - Get Report) and Lennar Corporation (LEN - Get Report) in late March. After crossing that line, the index ran nearly 10% to the upside in just the next week. Not a bad time for chart-watching traders.

For a quick explainer on how to spot the pattern forming and what it means for investors, check out the video above.

For more in depth analysis of individual stock chart readings and a slew of other chart patterns to watch, head over to Real Money for daily insights from Market Technician Bruce Kamich.

UPDATE on Barry. It is still a tropical storm. Experts say it could be hurricane conditions by nightfall. AccuWeather is estimating damage costs to total more than $8 to $10 billion dollars.

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