These three charts could spell doom for the S&P
Worth then pointed to an all-time chart of the S&P 500, on which the market's two prior highs are clear.
"Everybody knows we have the 2000, the 2007 high, and where we are now," Worth said. "Now a lot of what drives this thing, of course, is the participation rate on the part of the retail investor."
Third chart: NYSE margin debt index
Given the importance of investor participation, Worth then looked at NYSE margin debt.
As Worth explains, the chart looks at "all NYSE-member firms—my firm, Merrill Lynch, everyone. And the debt balance in margin accounts. Meaning people borrowing, excessively, to buy equities."
The Oppenheimer technician notes that the chart troublingly echoes the long-term chart of the S&P 500. "It peaked in 2000, it peaked in 2007, and now we are at record levels of borrowing on behalf of retail investors to buy stocks."
The implication is clear. "This is not a good circumstance," Worth said.