Stocks are suffering a ‘time correction’: Technician

The standard definition of a stock market correction is a 10 percent drop from high to low—something the S&P 500 has not technically experienced since mid-2011. But according to one noted technical analyst, stocks are currently in the throes of what he terms a "time correction."

"Whoever said that the market has to have a correction in price? You can also have a correction in time, meaning the market can just go sideways," Craig Johnson of Piper Jaffray said Monday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

To understand what the phrase "time correction" means, one first has to is understand that stocks tend to rise over time—with the S&P 500 returning an average of 10 percent a year in the long run. A longish period of time in which stocks return little to nothing, as they have done thus far this year, represents a kind of correction after a bull run.

A period of flatness "allows all the fundamentals to catch up with the price action you've been seeing in the market," Johnson said. "It's actually a healthy thing."

Read MoreTime to prepare for a market correction: Technician

Time clock
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Indeed, Johnson considers the current "time correction" to be a bullish driver for stocks.

"When you go back and you look through history, you will see that these time corrections have actually proved to be a positive for the market. It gives the market time to digest, build a foundation and a base to move higher from here—and that's exactly what we think will happen this year."

"We would agree with Craig—we think that strong leadership is going to revive the rally," added Andrew Burkly, head of portfolio strategy at Oppenheimer, also on "Power Lunch." "You want to be constructive until the year-end."


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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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