Relief rally is here. Enjoy it while it lasts: Technician

For the first time this year, the bulls are showing their horns.

The S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed their first positive week in the last three, renewing confidence in the otherwise gloomy market environment. According to one technician, a bottom could be in place for the very near-term—at least for the time being.

"The first thing we see [on the charts] are the textbook signs of short-term trend exhaustion," Rich Ross, head of technical analysis for Evercore ISI, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" this week. The S&P 500 saw its best trading session in more than a month on Friday.

Looking at a chart of the S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (ETF), the SPY, Ross pointed what he calls a three-day pattern of "exhaustion, stabilization and follow through" that formed on the chart in recent days. He pointed to the low seen mid-week as the exhaustion phase, the rally on Thursday as the market trying to find footing, and the continued strength during Friday's session as a confirmation in trend.

"I think that sets the stage for some short-term relief that could take us higher," he said.

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For Ross, the S&P 500 rally another 5 percent over in the next several sessions, with the SPY going as high as $200 before resuming its downtrend. On Friday, the fund traded around $190.

Outlook still negative

Ross, who correctly called for a break below 1,900 in the S&P 500 a few weeks ago, ultimately believes that the market will retest its Wednesday low of roughly 1,812, which translates into $181 on the SPY.Looking at a longer-term picture, Ross noted that there could still be significant downside ahead.

"It looks to me like we're forming the neckline of a big head and shoulders top," said the analyst. "A break below that neckline gives us a confirmed breakdown that sets us up for a deeper pullback," he said.

For now, added Ross, enjoy the bounce while it lasts.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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