The S&P 500 (^GSPC) index has been consolidating and moving sideways in a very small range over the last two weeks.

Given the very tight consolidation range we have seen, this bellwether U.S. stock index could be make a breakout this week.

We continue to have a bullish bias because of the index's long-term uptrend. Thus, traders should look for a buy signal near 2105.00 or slightly higher. The S&P 500 may not need to go that low, however, and could simply make an upside breakout from its recent consolidation range.

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Gold flipped from bullish to bearish last week as it cascaded down through the key support area of $1,300 an ounce to $1,310 an ounce. We have been talking about the importance of this zone for months now. 

The line in the sand is now $1,310 an ounce. As long as gold is below that level, there is risk to the downside. Savvy traders can watch for pockets of strength to establish short positions as the market could rotate lower in the coming days.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.