Stocks are falling this afternoon.
The S&P 500 just broke through two key price levels to the downside, and technical analysts are expressing some concern.
The first level the index has fallen through today is the 50-day moving average, which currently sits at 1543.
That means the S&P 500 is now trading below the average price it's traded at over the last 50 days, indicating a recent wave selling and bearish sentiment.
The second level is a "resistance level" around 1539. (The S&P 500 briefly dipped below this level, but is now trading right at 1540.)
Miller Tabak Chief Technical Market Analyst Jonathan Krinsky explains the importance of this level in an email to clients this afternoon:
Nevertheless, the SPX is breaking is re-testing the key 1539 support level for the 3rd time in the last month. While we have yet to CLOSE below 1539, the fact that there has been only weak bounce attempts from the level has to be concerning to the bull case. Below 1539 and there could be a quick resolution down to 1525, which was resistance in late February.
If 1539 does prove to be support yet again, we could be in the process of forming the neckline of a head and shoulders top. That would suggest a bounce somewhere back to the 1560-1570 area. We view that as the least likely scenario given the breakdown in many marquee stocks, but as always want to keep an open mind.
The chart below shows the damage:
Business Insider/Matthew Boesler, data from Bloomberg
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