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Short the rally in small caps: Technician

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Small caps room to run: Pro

Small caps are having a moment.

The has broken above its 200-day moving average, a widely watched indicator of a shift in the tide of an index, but traders are split on how to play the recent move.

"I think now that the market is becoming more friendly to these riskier names," Eddy Elfenbein said Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "I think the small caps have some room to run."

The editor of Crossing Wall Street notes that while the S&P 500 is within shouting distance of its all-time high, the small caps are still in correction territory. The Russell is still down nearly 12 percent from the highs hit back in June.

"The small caps have really lagged. They've sat out so much of this rally," said Elfenbein. "It's the first time [the Russell 2000 closed ahead of its 200-day moving average] in over eight months. Historically, that's a very good sign from small caps."

Not all traders, however, see this move as a sign to buy.

"I see a 200-day moving average that's just sloping down, which means we still have a downtrend," Todd Gordon of TradingAnalysis.com said Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Gordon explains that despite the break above its 200-day moving average, the Russell is still trading below its broader trend line, meaning "resistance still seems to be intact."


Gordon also points out that the two largest sectors represented in the Russell 2000, financials and technology, have been beaten down this year and could continue to drag the index lower.

The financials, which represent 26 percent of the market value of the ETF that tracks the Russell 2000, the IWM, is the worst performing sector in the S&P 500 year to date, while the tech sector has only recently begun to lag.

"The top sectors are in a little bit of trouble here," said Gordon. "I would like to be short."