If there is a counter-trend rally in the S&P 500 index, then it is likely to "die somewhere between 950 and 1,008," McLaren told CNBC.
He sees the index resuming a downward pattern if it rises above 950 in the first two weeks of January.
"If the index can move up past February 19, it indicates something other than a counter-trend rally's taken place, and that would be bullish. I doubt that, but those are the parameters," McLaren said.
Counter-trend rallies usually form as a sideways trading motion with two attempts to the upside, whilst abnormal counter-trend rallies occasionally test the downside, he added.