The behavior of the power function of autocorrelation tests such as the Durbin–Watson test in time series regressions or the Cliff-Ord test in spatial regression models has been intensively studied in the literature. When the correlation becomes strong, Krämer (1985, Journal of Econometrics 28, 363–370.) (for the Durbin–Watson test) and Krämer (2005, Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference, 128, 489–496) (for the Cliff-Ord test) have shown that power can be very low, in fact can converge to zero, under certain circumstances. Motivated by these results, Martellosio (2010, Econometric Theory, 26, 152–186) set out to build a general theory that would explain these findings. Unfortunately, Martellosio (2010) does not achieve this goal, as a substantial portion of his results and proofs suffer from nontrivial flaws. The present paper now builds a theory as envisioned in Martellosio (2010) in an even more general framework, covering general invariant tests of a hypothesis on the disturbance covariance matrix in a linear regression model. The general results are then specialized to testing for spatial correlation and to autocorrelation testing in time series regression models. We also characterize the situation where the null and the alternative hypothesis are indistinguishable by invariant tests.