By Roberto Pedone

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Technical analysis can be a great asset to investors who want to determine what the trend of the market or a stock is before they throw down hard-earned money. Consulting the charts can help you spot important market action before it happens, preparing you to follow the trend and make the right trade.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by relying on the assumption that market data, such as charts of price and volume, can help to predict future market moves and trends. Technical analysis will help guide you to discovering the chart patterns that offer the highest probability of success. By consulting the charts and using technical analysis, plus combining those methods with fundamental analysis, you will truly have an edge over a majority of market participants.

From a technical perspective, the S&P 500 is currently stuck in a trading range between 1157 and around 1130. This trading pattern shows a market that is in consolidation mode and possibly preparing for a big move in the near future. The direction of that move won't be clear until the market makes a definitive breakout either above or below the current trading range.

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A breakout above 1160 and then 1173 will seal the deal for the bulls and will give the market a clear path towards 1130. A move below 1130 and then 1106 (the 50-day moving average) should seal the deal for the bears and setup a test of the August lows at around 1040.

Here's a look at some compelling charts that are piquing the interest of the Stockpickr community.

Stockpickr member Michael Morse submitted Fly Leasing ( FLY), a global lessor of modern, fuel-efficient commercial jet aircraft.

If you take a look at the chart for Fly Leasing, you'll see that the stock has been in a very bullish uptrend for the last 12 months. In fact, the stock has been making higher highs and higher lows as the shares marched from $7.54 to its current level at around $12.80 a share. This type of price action is very bullish for a stock.

Just recently, Fly Leasing broke above some overhead resistance at around $12.20 a share. If the stock can manage to stay above that breakout level, then shares could be setting up to make a run at taking out the 52-week high at $13.27.

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The bottom line, as of right now, is that there isn't much to not like about this chart. If I was a bull on FLY, I would even be comfortable with the stock pulling back toward the 200-day moving average of $10.70 a share, which is right around a key trendline.

Stockpickr member Kjp712 submitted China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD), a retail drugstore chain in China.

Shares of China Nepstar recently broke out of a trading channel that had lasted since June and had the stock stuck in a range between $3.50 and $2.50 a share. The breakout of this channel pattern started about a week ago and was accompanied by extremely heavy volume. The three-month average daily volume is around 300,000 shares, but during the channel breakout, volume hit as high as 2.6 million to 3 million shares.

Who Owns China Nepstar?: Robert Karr

With volume patterns that strong, China Nepstar should be able to take out its next area of significant resistance at the 200-day moving average of $5.01. A move above that key level should set the stock up for a run towards $6.46. However, a failure at the 200-day could spark a sharp selloff driven by profit taking from the market players who enjoyed the recent run up.

Stockpickr member shawnmks submitted Coinstar ( CSTR), a provider of automated retail solutions. Its business segments include coin services, DVD services, money transfer services and e-payment services.

If you take a look at the chart, you can see that Coinstar is starting to struggle and fail at the 50-day moving average of $44.64 a share. This could mean that the stock is going to retrace some of its recent gains and move a few percentage points lower. It could even hit the 200-day moving average at $39.62 and still be in good shape.

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If you're a bull on this stock, then you'll want to watch for shares to trade above the downtrend line at around $46. A move above that level would be very significant and should set up a test of $50 a share or even higher.

Keep in mind that over 39% of the tradable float of 32 million shares is sold short as of Sept. 15. That's a gigantic short position, so any good news or bullish price action could spark a massive short squeeze that propels this stock much higher.

Also: 5 Stocks Set to Rally in a Short Squeeze

Stockpickr member Michael Morse also submitted Denny's ( DENN), which is engaged in operating restaurant chains.

Looking at the chart, you can see that Denny's is approaching a key overhead resistance level at around $3.20 a share. A break above that level should set the stock up for a run toward $3.50 to $3.70 a share or even higher. I would consider it healthy in the short-term if the stock consolidated some of its recent gains and traded sideways between the 200-day moving average of $2.86 and the near-term resistance level at $3.20.

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As long as the stock doesn't trade below the 200-day moving ($2.86) or the 50-day moving average ($2.65), then shares look ripe for higher prices. The volume has also been strong on up days for Denny's during the month of September. This could mean that smart money has been moving into the stock and accumulating long-term stakes in the company.

To see more technical analysis on stocks such as PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ( UUP) and Netflix ( NFLX), check out the Charts of the Week portfolio on Stockpickr.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.

Stockpickr is a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com.

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