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Strange trading action retraces start to 2014

There is some strange trading action happening in U.S. markets this week. The S&P 500 has seen drops greater than 1.25 percent in two of the last three session, just two weeks after setting an historic high.

There is plenty of hand-wringing: both the S&P and the Dow are now in negative territory year to date, and the S&P 500 is below its 50-day moving average.

Still, at roughly 2,044, the S&P 500 is right in the middle of its trading range this year—from a low of roughly 1,990 at the end of January to the high of 2,117 just a couple weeks ago.

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In other words, all we are is range-bound.

There are some eerie parallels to 2014: down in January, up in February, followed by a down start in March. And the rest of 2014 was mostly up.

At the same time, the German and French stock markets are at historic highs, and even Italy is at a three-year high.

As for gold, it's not far from another 5-year low as the stronger dollar makes the yellow metal less desirable.The Market Vectors Gold Mining ETF is also hovering near multi-year lows.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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