With the S&P 500 near a record, analysts want to see a 'definitive breakout' before buying more

A view of people passing by New York Stock Exchange in Wall Street amid Coronavirus Pandemic on April 5, 2020.
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The S&P 500  could be on the verge of a big move higher, but it needs to show it can definitively break above its previous highs first. 

The S&P 500 ended up 1.4% Wednesday at  3,380, just below its record close of 3,386. The S&P temporarily crossed above that level in afternoon trading to 3,387, but was still also shy of its Feb. 19 intra-day high of 3,393.

"The point is we want to see a definitive breakout rather than just partially touching a level there and correcting again," said Ari Wald, technical analyst at Oppenheimer. "I think with the market up against seasonal headwinds and some overbought trading conditions, it would be likely to see a sell off first, ahead of the breakout."