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SPX and BKX: One Chart to Rule Them All

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BKX seems to be providing solid clues that should help determine whether the market melts up or whipsaws.

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Before I begin this article, I feel obliged to engage in a bit of a tangential rant which actually relates to my charts. If you're on the hurry-up, or if you find my sense of humor to be confusing and mentally frustrating, then you can skip right to the section titled "Market Update."

My story begins like this: A couple months ago, I purchased a new PC. I'll pause here while we wait for Mac users to stop laughing, since they already know there is now no possibility of a good ending to this story. Anyway, like so many others who've bought new PCs recently, I had no choice but to "upgrade" to the latest mutant version of Windows, which is called simply Windows 8 (an inside joke at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), code for "Windows ate my desktop!"). As every PC user knows, every so often Microsoft's Crack Team of Windows Engineers feels it's their God-given red-blooded patriotic American duty to cram some new version of Windows down our throats. They refer to this as "progress," because that sounds better than "a way to continue justifying our expense accounts."

For those of you fortunate enough to have avoided Windows Ate, basically the iconic "Start" button is gone, and the desktop has been replaced with a series of apps pinned to a home screen. I was already familiar with the Windows Ate concept, since I've had a Windows phone for years -- and while I think the whole "app" concept is fine for phones, or tablets, or anything smaller than, say, a PC -- I think it stinks for PCs. I believe the majority of us who do not presently earn our livings by developing software for Microsoft were entirely satisfied with Windows 7 as a stable, user-friendly OS. In fact, within two days of having Windows Ate inflicted upon me, I had already installed a program that forced it to emulate the Windows 7 navigation style. Apparently Microsoft forgot that a handful of us still use our computers for something other than watching South Park's take on central bank policy on YouTube all day.

But even with this productivity upgrade, Windows Ate still does not emulate Windows 7 in terms of reliability. And the point I'm getting at (if I remember correctly) is that ever since "upgrading" to Windows Ate, my charts act screwy. When I use Adobe Flash for annotations, the lines and numbers demonstrate all the orderliness of a preschool fire drill, and show no regard whatsoever for remaining in their assigned locations. Numbers seem to move around of their own freewill, often vanishing from the charts entirely at random -- sometimes magically appearing later on a completely different chart, as if they'd traveled through an inter-cyberspace wormhole. In fact, the numbers behave in such an incredibly random fashion that I'm fairly convinced I've secretly stumbled onto the exact same algorithm Ben Bernanke is using to set Fed monetary policy.

Interestingly, when I use Java instead of Flash, almost everything works exactly as it's supposed to, except for one "minor" detail: With Java, I can only work on the charts at one-half normal size. Attempting to annotate these diminutive charts requires me to practically press my face directly onto the computer screen, while at the same time squinting really hard -- which makes me feel like some kind of Peeping Tom technical analyst, and I keep expecting to hear tiny screams of "Cad!" emanating from my computer.

These issues are a complete nightmare for someone who's as much of a perfectionist about charts as I am. So if you've noticed lately that my charts aren't quite as pretty as they used to be, it's not because I've gotten lazy, it's because Windows Ate them. I'm working to resolve this issue, with a hammer if necessary, and I'm sure eventually I'll get it all figured out... no doubt just in time for Microsoft to cram Windows Nein! down our throats.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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