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The S&P 500 is bumping up against an ‘incredibly important resistance level,’ technical analyst says

The Dow Jones industrial average may be stealing the headlines as the 20,000 mark appears in sight, but the S&P 500 is approaching a critical level of its own, according to one technical analyst who sees a familiar pattern in the charts.

The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high Tuesday, at 2,271.72, mere points below the 2,275 mark, which Miller Tabak's Matt Maley said is a key spot to watch.

"If you go all the way back to the highs of 2007, if you draw a line along the top of those highs, it basically comes at 2,275 on the S&P, which is basically where we are," Maley said Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."


That line around the 2,275 level creates the upper line of a "rising wedge formation" that's typically a bearish pattern. If the market fails to break above that, it could experience a sharp pullback "all the way to the bottom end of that line, which is well down near 2,000," Maley said. And if the market breaks meaningfully below this level, "you got some real problems."

This makes 2,275 "an INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT resistance level," he wrote in an email to CNBC.

The odds of the market breaking through 2,275 with substantial gains would be better if the market pulls back a bit and takes a "breather," and comes off current overbought levels, Maley said.

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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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