BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- So much for a strong start to the week.
Even though the U.S. debt debacle is on the verge of being sorted out (at least in the short term), poor timing on economic data knocked stocks down right out of the gate yesterday. But zoom out a bit from the day-to-day market news, and a more important picture starts to form for traders and investors alike.
From a technical standpoint, yesterday's 5.34 point decline in the S&P 500 is much more significant than just another down day. Instead, it's giving the market another chance to retest the secular trend line between March 2009's market lows and today. This isn't a new thing for market participants - we last tested that trend line support level back at the end of June, successfully bouncing higher as buyers piled into stocks.
In a sense, it's make-or-break time for stocks once again. With an abundance of demand for shares just below that trend line level, it's likely we'll get a volatile move if either the trend line is confirmed again (bullish implications) or shares break down below it (bearish implications).Related: 5 Rocket Stocks to Buy for August In the meantime, some attractive technical breakout trades are emerging on a smaller scale in individual stocks; it's time to take advantage. Remember, technical analysis is a way for investors to quantify qualitative factors, such as investor psychology, based on a stock's price action and trends. Once the domain of cloistered trading teams on Wall Street, technicals can help top traders make consistently profitable trades and can aid fundamental investors in better planning their stock execution. Here's a look at this week's setups.