Trading Nation

The market just woke up after hitting the 'afternoon snooze button' all week

A unique pattern is developing in the market, and that's raising a yellow flag: Piper Jaffray

You snooze, you lose?

On Friday, the Dow surged into the market close and reversed a unique pattern evident over the course of the last four trading sessions.

According to an analysis by Piper Jaffray, the Dow had been experiencing what felt like an "afternoon snooze button" of sorts; the index was for the most part rising in the first half of the trading day, then dropping off much more notably in the second half.

Craig Johnson, the firm's chief market technician, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday that the recent weakness into the market close was raising a note of caution. He said the reversal was still something to watch. Here are his reasons why.

• On Friday, the Dow surged into the close, trading at session highs by 4 p.m. Eastern. This was a stark reversal from the trend over the prior four sessions.

• Last Friday, for example, the Dow rose 212 points between the market open and 11:45 a.m., then dropped off by 193 points. The next trading day, on Tuesday, the index dropped by 162 points in the second half of the trading day, then 268 points on Wednesday.

• Between the four trading sessions from last Friday until Thursday's market close, the total point loss the Dow incurred in the second half of those trading days, altogether, was 724 points.
This weakness was concerning, raising the question of whether the recent setback in the market was not yet over.

• Investors may want to take caution at this juncture, even as the Dow reversed the trend on Friday. Piper Jaffray still maintains its outlook that a secular bull market is still intact, but that caution is prudent here.

Bottom line: The Dow on Friday surged into the market close, bucking a pattern that appeared over the prior four trading days.