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Don't buy stocks — until you see this: Technical analyst

Technical analyst Rich Ross has a message for those considering buying stocks at record-high levels: Hold your horses.

As the S&P 500 rose to an all-time high for the fourth-straight session on Thursday, Rich Ross of Evercore ISI sounded a note of caution on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

"Anyone can trade the breakout, but you have to hold the breakout," Ross said. "So what you want to see is a Friday close above that old high of 2,130, 2,135. And in fact, we really want to see consecutive weekly closes above that level."

Ross' concern is that a risk-reward analysis doesn't favor buying stocks at these levels.

"If this is the beginning of the next secular multiyear bull market — of which I'm not convinced — then waiting two weeks is not going to kill you. But what will kill you, metaphorically speaking, is top-ticking a 7-year-old bull market … on a false, unconfirmed breakout to an all-time high."

"That would be bad," Ross added. "So let's wait before we get too excited about this breakout."


In addition, he warns that the "broadening top pattern" he spots "could suggest an impending reversal."


"Typically, I like a fresh breakout to an all-time high accompanied by strong breadth as much as the next trader," Ross said, "but in this case, not so much."

Prior to this week, the S&P had not closed at record highs in four consecutive sessions since November 2014, according to S&P Global.

Clarification: This story was revised to include dropped words "is a Friday close" in one of Ross' quotations.

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Brian Sullivan is co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F,1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running programs, as well as the host of the daily investing program "Trading Nation." He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and other NBC properties.

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