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Yes, This Is the Big Pullback: Chart Pros

Monday, 8 Apr 2013 | 3:43 PM ET
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It seems to be the consensus on Wall Street: The market is about the pull back. And some of Wall Street's top chartists say it's finally happening.

In a note published on Monday, Piper Jaffray's technical market strategist Craig Johnson wrote: "We believe the broader market has entered a period of backing and filling and suspect the S&P 500 may now pull back and retest its 200-day Moving Average," which is now down near 1450.

Carter Worth, chief market technician at Oppenheimer, has long been calling for a similar correction of 6 to 9 percent, and he believes that the recent downdraft could certainly be the start of it.

"Ultimately, the correction has got to start somewhere," Worth said. "I think it's obviously long overdue, and one day it will come. So why not right now?"

After all, the market "is showing signs of wear and tear," Worth said. He noted that the home-building stocks, which have made investors a great deal of money over the past year, have started to roll over.

(Read More: The Smart Way to Play the Market: Stutland)

Richard Ross, global technical strategist with Auerbach Grayson, also said the correction has begun. Last week's action, Ross wrote in a Friday note, "offered the strongest macro technical evidence to date that the rolling correction, which has thus far plagued the major emerging markets, metals and commodities, has finally made landfall across the US and Europe."

So after a 5 to 10 percent drop, will it be safe to get back into the water?

The charts seem to say yes. Johnson believes that the pullback "will be tactical in nature, and may represent the single best buying opportunity this year." Once the S&P trades down to 1450, he expects the market to make a real run for the money, and rise up to 1,700 by August.

"This is the pause that refreshes," Johnson said, "and it will give investors a great opportunity to buy high-quality stocks."

Carter Worth goes so far as to write that "it is the corrections, the dips, the selloffs, the pauses, the consolidations that keep a market healthy and allow a Bull to keep advancing sustainably."

If the market simply continues higher, it could lead to a terrible outcome. Worth ominously wrote that in that case, the market would be "at risk of something inevitably much worse than a garden-variety correction."

Perhaps a selloff, then, will end up being a bull's best friend.

—By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg

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