Beware the Ides of March: A Technician’s Warning

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Last Thursday was the Ides of March and now a closely followed chart watcher is focused on a key level from that session.

“We’re at a juncture of whether we can go up or down,” John Person of Person’s Planet said on today’s Morning Market Briefing. He plotted the key area around $276.50-277 on the SPDR S&P 500 fund (SPY), and said a breakout through that level could be followed by an additional 3 percent of upside in the broader market.

But there is also risk in Person’s view because the index is in a triangle. He said CME’s E-mini futures on the S&P 500 could test 2650 if they close under 2740. Those would translate to about $264 and $273 on SPY, respectively.

Person’s other big idea idea was that traders should look for rotation away from the technology firms that have led for most of the last year. Instead, money could flow toward small-cap companies, transportation stocks, financials and energy. He added that this could fit longer-term seasonal patterns.

“We see chips and software weakening,” Person explained. “We have an interesting situation where we could see the Russell 2000 outperform the overall tech sector and the Nasdaq-100.”

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David Russell is VP of Content Strategy at TradeStation. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.