Stock exchange traded funds have rallied sharply from the October low but the S&P 500 hasn’t been able to make a sustained push over its 200-day average, a closely watched technical indicator.

“The S&P 500 failed to break the 200-day and Italy’s debt yields really blew out, so you have a panicky reaction in the marketplace,” said Brian Barish of Cambiar Investors, in a Bloomberg report Thursday.

In early October, “the market was poised to rally on almost anything, and it did,” but the 200-day average is “where it ran out of gas,” Barish told Bloomberg. [S&P 500 ETFs’ Rally Over 200-Day Average Opens Door to Year-End Rally]

Stocks were recovering some of their losses Thursday after the previous session’s downdraft caused some to question the rally’s sustainability. [How Bounce Left in Stock ETFs?]

The 200-day moving average is “a longer-term, well-defined trend line” and the S&P 500’s failure to stay above it is “disappointing,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research, in the article.

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