DOW Utilities Lead Stocks: A Bear Market In Stocks Looms On The Horizon

April 17, 2015

Although scant attention is usually paid by most analysts to the Dow Jones Utilities Average (DJUA), it indeed demonstrates a respectable record of anticipating important turns in the Dow Industrials Stock Index…AND Wall Street Stocks in general.

This leading tendency of utility stocks is based on their relatively close ties to the bond market, which is also a leading indicator of stocks. Therefore, the DJUA is defined as an intermarket indicator.

Historic Record of DJUA as a Leading Indicator

Since 1970, five major reversals in the DOW Stock Index were preceded by a turn in the DJUA.

  • The November 1972 peak in the DJUA preceded a similar peak in the DOW two months later in January 1973. Both averages dropped in the second half of 1974.
  • In September 1974, a bottom in the DJUA preceded a bottom in the DOW three months later in December. Both averages rallied for two years.
  • The DJUA hit a peak in another January 1981, preceding a major top in the DOW three months later in April. Both averages declined together in 1982.
  • The DJUA bottomed in July 1982, preceding a major bottom in the DOW one month later in August. Both averages rallied together until 1987.
  • In January 1987, the DJUA hit a major top, leading the peak in the DOW seven months later in August 1987.  This was immediately followed by a horrific One-Day Record Plunge of 22.5% on October 19, 1987 (infamously known today as Black Monday).


During these two decades, the DJUA failed to lead a major reversal in the DOW only three times. In March of 1980, both averages bottomed together. In 1970 the DOW bottomed one month before the DJUA. Of the eight major turns since 1970, the DJUA led stocks five times, reversed at the same time once, and lagged only twice. The leading tendency of the DJUA at market tops is especially impressive.

Longer-term shows that the DJUA has led the DOW at every peak since 1960 with only one exception - the 1977 peak. During those 30 years, the DJUA peaked ahead of the DOW by an average of three months, although the actual lead time varied from one month to ten months.

What Is the DJUA and DOW Doing Now?

The DJUA peaked in late January 2015 at about 650. During the following five week the DJUA was hammered down -13%, while the DOW continued forging new all-time highs. And although the DJUI  made a valiant attempt to rally for five days in mid-March, it has resumed its downtrend - and now stands at about 583 (04/17/15) – and is precariously resting below its 200 Day-Moving Average (but well below its 50 Day-Moving Average)…thus confirming a Bear Market in the DJUA Index has indeed begun. Historically, this suggests there is a 90% probability DOW stocks will soon begin their own Bear Market decline.

Although the DJUA has historically demonstrated amazing consistency as a leading indicator to the DOW Stock Index, we must remember the average leading time period ranged from one to ten months. It's uncanny that during the last 30 years, the DJUA peaked ahead of the DOW by a leading period from one to ten months - and now we are in the 3rd month.


Premised on corroborating results of the past 30 years, it is highly probable a BEAR MARKET IN US STOCKS LOOMS ON THE HORIZON - as long as the DJUA remains in a downtrend.

Moreover, the weekly chart of the DJUA has for months been demonstrating marked bearish CONFIRMATION between its price and several Technical Indicators - which nearly always herald a price trend continuation (in this case DOWN). The weekly negative indicators for the DJUA are MACD, RSI and Stochastics.

The question is not "IF," but rather "WHEN" stocks will begin to plummet…as the DJUA has again opened the gate allowing the bears to enter.

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