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Judging from last week's action, the market doesn't want to go down on bad news. At least not bad economic news. But at the same time, stocks are having trouble rallying on good news.

I've been hoping for a move through 900 on the

S&P 500

, which I believe would be a false breakout. I keep harping on the negative side of the equation because my indicators aren't lined up to allow for a sustainable surge higher right now.

Many, but not all, of my intermediate-term indicators continue to say we're late in a rally phase.

But a handful of the indicators I watch need more time, meaning we could see a rally before the market pulls back.

To begin with, there's the volume. Upside volume as a percentage of total volume, on a 30-day moving average, is above 50% now. This indicator can't be timed exactly, but the chart says that we're now in an area where the market typically falters, not where it rallies.

Then we have sentiment. The Investors' Intelligence percentage of bulls is now the highest it's been since mid-January. A reading over 50% isn't where rallies begin, it's usually where they end.

Another indicator suggesting we're late in the rally is the Market Vane Bullish Consensus. Readings in the 20% area are bullish, but readings over 35% aren't. We're currently at 34%, so perhaps the bulls would argue that we still have a little room on the upside. I would contend that any rally from here would move this indicator over 35%, making it bearish.

Additionally, the McClellan Summation Index tracking


volume has rolled over. A big up day would reverse that, but if a rally had room to expand, this indicator would be struggling to decline, not struggling to rise.

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Now we have a week ahead of us that will be packed with earnings. Options expire at the end of the week. Plus, it's only four days long.

I continue to want to see a surge across those downtrend lines, as well as a move to force the shorts to cover, but again, I must stress that my intermediate-term indicators say such a breakout would be false.

Overbought/Oversold Oscillators

For more explanation of these indicators, check out The Chartist's


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Helene Meisler, based in Shanghai, writes a technical analysis column on the U.S. equity markets and updates her charts daily. Meisler trained at several Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and SG Cowen, and has worked with the equity trading department at Cargill. At time of publication, she held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. She appreciates your feedback and invites you to send it to

Helene Meisler.