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S&P 500 Likely to Breakout This Week


Since the December 16 low at 1961.50, and the December 26 high at 2088.75, the overall price range of the E-mini S&P 500 futures (ES) has been contracting...but in a ragged fashion.

Short-term resistance has developed just below 2063, and support is present between 1960 and 1970.

Figure 1. March E-Mini S&P 500 Index Futures (ES) - Daily Chart

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The FOMC Rate Decision on Wednesday could be the catalyst that drives the S&P 500 out of this consolidation pattern. The price is already pressing against short-term resistance. If that's penetrated there's little to stop this market from making a new high. While the official intra-day high is 2088.75, due to the holiday season very little volume has taken place above 2070, so 2088.75 is unlikely to be significant.

The overall uptrend indicates the breakout is likely to be higher. That could occur before, or in the aftermath, of the FOMC announcement.  The two other others options are the E-Mini S&P 500 futures continue to move sideways, or they break lower.

Moving sideways doesn't change the outlook; trades just take longer to come to fruition, as this area will break eventually. The break lower is a counter-trend move, and would complete a (complex) head and shoulders pattern.

The target for an upside breakout is 2190, with a longer-term and more aggressive target at 2250.

The target for a move lower, based on this pattern, is 1840. 

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