Utility bills for December and January hit the welcome mat this month and the bottom line came as an unpleasant shock to energy consumers, writes Ian Murphy of MurphyTrading.com.

Likewise, statements for pension funds have confirmed in writing what many already suspected, namely 2022 was a dismal year for investors. For example, according to the industry, the average loss on an American 401K was 20%.

As mentioned, numerous times in these notes, we might be in the midst of a long-term trend change from bearish to bullish, but the jury is still out on who should win between bulls and bears. They are taking a hell of a long time to deliver a verdict. The left chart below shows the bearish downward spiral of the S&P 500 (SPX) throughout 2022, and this was followed by a possible first higher low pattern which we have been monitoring since early January (arrow).

Thankfully our wait may be coming to an end because this week’s bar and next will have to find support between the EMA and the -1ATR (green square), and form a higher low in that zone if a trend change is really happening.

In terms of trading, we can continue to nibble at short-term trades while waiting for a verdict, and the Help Strategy might trigger today if stocks build on yesterday’s price reversal (circle on the right chart). The level of 4000 on the S&P 500 sits on the -1ATR, and this needs to hold as support.

Learn more about Ian Murphy at MurphyTrading.com.