The chart below shows the trading in the S&P 500 ($SPY) So far this year, the market is up 3.13 pts (not adjusted for dividends) or 1.52%, pretty unimpressive for being into the 8th month of the year.
More unimpressive than the actual change, is the range for the market, it has never been up or down more than 3.5% on a closing basis. The range has been so flat that the volume weighted average price year to date (represented by the blue moving average on the chart) is basically flat, meaning the average price paid for SPY is right here, showing no conviction from bulls or bears. So the question is, is this accumulation before we see another drive higher, or is it distribution before the market enters a bearish phase? Unfortunately, I do not have that answer, not yet at least.
Our job is to patient wait for the market to reveal itself to us and while we wait for the answer. Either switch to trading on shorter timeframes or wait patiently in cash. Be aware of key levels of support and resistance (shown with green and red shading on the chart) and to be aware of HOW those levels may break to determine if there is enough energy stored for a real move to begin. For now, it is a game of either short term trading or longer term patience for the market to tell us what is next.